1. 405th Pacific Regiment Member Einhander's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2012
    Jul 23, 2013, 1:56 AM - First build - Mickey ODST - with post Comic Con pictures and consensus #1

    Hello to all the 405th members!
    After about 2 months, I completed the ODST costume I embarked on starting May 5th and finished a few hours before San Diego comic con. I wish I had had more time because I had a lot of sleepless nights, cancelled plans and I also didn't do as good of a job as I think I could have if I had allotted myself more time. I had lots of fun, frustration and satisfaction making this build and really the most I hope for out of this post is to help encourage people to go out and try to make a costume! With no formal training other than a job where I paint a lot, I was a complete newbie to absolutely every technique and procedure but I ended up with a half decent costume and a lot of hope for the future in improving it and even starting new ones.

    I'b be more than happy to answer any questions about the procedure (although not claiming to be an expert, but sometimes an amateur mind is helpful to newcomers). I'll go over as much helpful stuff as I can without trying to bore anyone.

    I'll start with the finished product and go through the steps of the build which took just over 2 months. My friend (Dutch) started his at the same time but didn't have time to make a helmet so here we are at Comic con

    I'd also like to personally thank all the members of the 405th at comic con that we met up with. They were VERY kind, welcoming, helpful and enjoyable. They encouraged us newcomers to keep up with our work and were a blast to hang out with.

    Here we go

    The basics - I'm from San Francisco, with no modeling background whatsoever. I have a flair for artistry but no real training on anything that would help me with this project. I'm just over 5'10" and 175lb making me just about exactly average for this project. Also, I'd be horribly short for a Spartan.

    I chose to go with the fiberglass/resin/bondo method because of a few simple reasons. I felt it would last longer, be stronger and I liked the look of finished costumes vs foam. More or less, it was all personal preference that lead me to this but I would certainly like to try the foam approach on a future project as I would like to have one of both to compare them. Initial thoughts was the fiberglass was itchy, messy, took longer to form (especially when an area needed lots of bondo) but was very strong, solid and took/held paint very well.

    I found essentially every pepakura file I ever needed on the 405th database. A very minimal amount of web searching was needed to find a few more obscure items that were 'Mickey' specific. After a lot of research on things like how to bondo, rondo, fiberglass, sanding tricks, mounting tricks and things of that nature, I dove in, making an expensive trip to Home Depot, Osh hardware, Tap Plastics and Auto Zone. At the end of this project, all said and done, I spent about $700. I had most of the necessary tools already such as my dremel, electric sander, drill and glue gun.

    Pardon the large amount of pictures. I'll try to bold the areas where I offer my amateur advice and explanation of the process for any newcomers that may be reading!

    Step 1 - Start somewhere
    After downloading all the proper paper files and reading about how to scale them, I dove into cutting a few pieces and gluing them together. It took awhile to get an effective cutting, scoring and gluing method down.

    After many hours of cutting and gluing, the chest and belts were done and got resined.

    Making a side plate and marking out where to 'rondo'

    Running into a snag. Also, it appears Richard Hammond is attempting to pet my cat

    At work, I quickly decided I needed a way to keep track of what I had done and what I needed to do

    I had no set order of completing parts. All I know is I wanted to save the helmet for last so that I would hopefully work out all my kinks and be good at fiberglassing and bondoing by then. Here are some pieces after being resined and hung to keep them from fusing themselves to the newspaper I left them on. The fiberglassing method quickly becomes one of my least favorite. The process is supposed to be cutting out small-ish amounts of cloth to apply to the inside of all the parts. After brushing down a layer of fiberglass resin, I found out just how sticky the resin is when I tried to dip cloth in the resin and apply it to the inside. HOWEVER, one of my biggest tips is this take the extra time to cut smaller pieces. The bigger the pieces, the more likely you are to form air bubbles and air bubbles will seriously compromise the strength of your pieces. Especially on edges and sharp curves

    After some mild bondo, one of my first attempts at primering/sanding. The bondoing process is also kind of frustrating. The bondo is like clay, but it dries very quickly. After you mix the putty with the hardener, you have but a few minutes to work with it. I used popsicle sticks and gloved hands to apply the bondo but you will typically end up with the bondo drying with pits and uneveness. Multiple layers are almost always required but be patient and don't try to mix more bondo than you can use before it dries! It's a waste

    While making my first gauntlet, it appears I have inadvertently made an owl with some intense eyebrows

    For my 2nd gauntlet, I wanted to add a phone receiver as well as drill a hole in the holder to accept a charging cable that would lead to a charging brick inside my gauntlet. Here's my original mock up

    I shimmyed up a holder and some walls for it

    annnnd essentially willed it to fit

    Quickly cut up some foam to see how I could fit the phone in

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  3. 405th Pacific Regiment Member Einhander's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2012
    Jul 23, 2013, 2:10 AM - #2

    Meanwhile, I decided to fiberglass the whole world and so did my friend with his parts

    After glassing the phone gauntlet, I threw some foam in to see how it fit

    Merry Christmas to me! My brother mailed me an old motorcycle visor to do whatever I wanted with to try and make a visor which will come much later

    The gauntlet gets my first attempt at rondo. This is the half bondo half fiberglass mix to make a pourable/auto leveling mixture. The downfall - It's not great for trying to make details on a curved surface! But I did it anyway and ended up shaving off a LOT of excess

    The cable for my phone gauntlet arrives. It is a 5 inch cable to avoid unecessary coiled cables

    The gauntlet gets some primer. I like primering early. It makes imperfections VERY easy to spot

    The CQ shoulder gets some bondo to add some definition. I did smooth it all out don't worry

    After some primer, I drilled a hole straight through the bottom half and the top half to add a bolt in order for the shoulder piece to be allowed to manipulate

    I know I'm skipping around a lot but I didn't want to REALLY overkill it with the pictures.

    After fiberglassing and bondoing my chest piece, I realized the cutouts didn't exist on the pepakura file. So I had to make a rondo section on the other side and drill it out

    I started with bondo on the thigh pieces. However, I ended up pouring a lot of rondo across the top to add a more universal and quicker layer of bondo to sand into a round shape.

    In the meantime, I papered me up a shin!

    Also bought some boots

    And underpants. I ended up with underarmor Heatgear for the pants. For the top, I wanted a thick enough substance to not just appear to be a black long sleeve work out shirt. I ended up opting for a 0.5mm wetsuit top. It was a roughly accurate color scheme and you'll be able to see it later in the finished pictures

  4. 405th Pacific Regiment Member Einhander's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2012
    Jul 23, 2013, 2:22 AM - #3

    A few small parts are pep'ed, resined, glassed and prepared for painting

    After primering the pieces, I threw a few coats of paint on. I ended up using car paint mostly against rustoleum automobile primer. I liked the end results. Again, the tips here are pretty well known. Make sure it's decently warm out, with good ventilation. Keep your paint cans room temperature (aka, don't leave them outside overnight) and use short bursts and spray evenly. Don't get impatient and just blast spots you missed. There will always be time for new coats. Lastly, make sure the whole piece is dry before you even think about adding another layer! Some quick silver paint is thrown on for weathering effect, but it is not final

    At this point, here's where I am at.

    Preemptively, I ordered a dual shotgun shell holder for Mickey's shin

    The chest and CQ shoulder get their first coats of paint

    The side plates get some real treatment. I painted them, all be it, with some textured paint to match the texture on the actual character a little more closely. Then after some coats of black, I used a brush and some silver model paint to add some weathering. After glueing down a 1" strap, I riveted two sections of painted foam across the strap.

    The thigh gets its first attempt at a camo job

    The gauntlets get some paint and detail work

    The charger housing

    A silly proof of concept picture

    The side plates (hip plates?) get my first attempt at mounting. They'll be bolted to a tactical belt with some buckling to attach to the thighs. I ended up with two straps not just the one pictured.

    After the thighs are finished getting painted, a block of foam is epoxyed into place and then 2mm neoprene is applied on the outside

    After adding more neoprene for the detail, a few strokes of black is added to weather the neoprene

  5. 405th Pacific Regiment Member Einhander's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2012
    Jul 23, 2013, 2:38 AM - #4

    My friend riveting his own gauntlets. I made sure to always drill the hole justtt a bit bigger than the rivet body. Since the rivet will expand when placed, it is a good idea to give it some room to expand so it isn't forced into the fiberglass and potentially crack it.

    The shin gets done being fiberglassed and the thrown on with the thigh to see how it fits. So far so good! Even with the boot on.

    I accidentally resin the entire kneecap to some cardboard. A 20 minute snag of having to cut and grind away the excess...

    After some weathering, I started trying to mount pieces to the modular vest I got off of amazon. A vest I would end up modifying heavily to fit me better as well as remove excess pouches and straps. Mounting was probably the trickiest part for me. I would end up trying to measure how long straps needed to be and remeasure 100 times before I ever got the balls to glue one down to try it out. My main tips is always give yourself plenty of strap to work with. I used a series of buckles sewn onto the vest to attach my pieces. I have a camping store that had a plethora of different sized strap and buckles. All said and done I probably used close to 20 feet of 4 different sizes along with about 30 buckles on the entire costume.

    Since the straps and buckles to the parts are more or less bearing the entire weight of the part as well as the force of walking around, these puppies need to be secure. In ANY case I could, I used a small amount of rondo and poured it over the strap/part in order to essentially superglue it down. Regular glue and even epoxy proved to not be strong enough to survive the stresses of walking around for a few hours so I got a little extreme. So when it came to mounting straps to the vest, I would epoxy and sew them on on that end and glue the straps to the armor first to keep it in place before I added a small amount of rondo over the strap to keep it in place.

    With a lot of primary pieces becoming close to finished, I ended up starting on my backpack

    Both parts of the backpack would be hinged and the rectangular half would be requisitioned as a camelback reservoir holder

    The most frustrating thing about the backpack was all the small, enclosed pieces. This made it very difficult to assemble as well as be able to fiberglass all of the inside.

    I decide the vest needs some straps. I glued/sewed on some foam to give it some definition and depth with the intention of wrapping all of that foam up in some neoprene and securing it on the underside where noone could see the string or glue

    After some painted neoprene! I didn't think the neoprene would hold paint well but it turned out to do so very well so long as you didn't drown the piece in paint.

    The shins get some weathering

    The CQ shoulder gets some rondo-ed on straps and some foam to guard it from scratching against the gauntlets too much.

    Using the Denmark font and some sticker paper, I cut out a template for the lettering

  6. RTWHOCKEY's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2012
    Jul 23, 2013, 2:55 AM - #5

    Dude.... Just wow.. It looks awesome, nice work!
  7. 405th Pacific Regiment Member Einhander's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2012
    Jul 23, 2013, 3:00 AM - #6

    Sitrep, Most of the major armor pieces are made and mostly completed. The pieces that go under the armpits were made out of foam that was then covered in painted neoprene. They would eventually go on to get straps epoxyed on and then secured to the vest. The gun was purchased as I would not have time before comic con to complete one myself. I will end up selling this one to my friend most likely and then make my own. The biceps pieces you can spot are just foam, neoprene and some paint.

    After drilling for the short cable, the charger is in place and proof of concept goes well

    The backpack gets paint and instead of fancy gizmos on the side, I got lazy and added my gopro to document comic con better.

    The major pieces are done and it's time for a helmet! This one took me several nervous accounts of sizing my own head before I even attempted to print a pep file. It also took me some time to find a pep file I really liked.

    After some resin, I fiberglassed the inside with this stick inside to make sure it kept the proper shape

    First round of bondo

    After some more bondo, some primer to find imperfections

    Meanwhile, I began cutting out the pieces to form the visor from the aforementioned motorcycle visor. Just like with the straps for mounting, I left myself room to work with in terms of excess visor for each piece. The goal was to heat gun the visor into the right shape without annihilating it.

    A hand formed flashlight holder

    Dremel made detail

    andd some paint, as well as the first half of the visor

    After some heatgunning and dremeling, I managed to get a pretty decent shape for how short on time I was. I epoxyed the visor pieces together while the top half was mounted inside. I added padding inside the helmet to stop the pieces from scraping against the fiberglass.

    Now for the little stuff -
  8. 405th Pacific Regiment Member Katsu's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2011
    Jul 23, 2013, 3:12 AM - #7

    I love it, you did some fantastic work on it and the comic-con pics look like it paid off.
  9. 405th Pacific Regiment Member Einhander's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2012
    Jul 23, 2013, 3:14 AM - #8

    Everything major is done. Some weathering and minor mounting details remain but it is the Wednesday before comic con and a 500 mile drive is ahead of my friend and I.

    I attempt some weathering in the car and begin to worry that I haven't field tested my armor enough. This was what it looked like before leaving to San Diego.

    and my friend's Dutch costume (minus he didn't have time for a helmet)

    Disaster sets in on day one. Our lack of time to really test it all out means [EXPLETIVE DELETED] goes wrong immediately. Straps are popping off that we didn't rondo, pieces are interfering with each other and pieces we velcroed for additional form fitting are disintegrating. We flail around for a bit until we decide to go back and assess our situation. We end up making more or less temporary fixes that included using leftover strap to secure things (so ghetto, I know). We make it to comic con and a buckle on my backpack pops. I get a sweet picture but one that clearly shows my backpack sagging which in turn pulled my vest backwards

    After day one, we use our emergency repair kit to REALLY fix this stuff up. Bolts are threadlocked essentially, buckles and straps are rondoed into place and everything is fitted much more properly. The next days come and go and our costumes last about 8 hours until we get too worn out from carrying around a suit. The suit is not heavy but that many hours will take its toll even if you're carrying a book on your back. All in all, our costumes hold up well, look pretty decent and we meet up with a bunch more cosplayers on Saturday, most of which I believe to be active members on the 405th for a good photoshoot. I look forward to seeing those pictures but here are the ones we found online from other people!

    My friend vinyl wrapped his toys r us plasma rifle to be more accurate to the game since there were no blue plasma rifles in ODST

    I'd love to answer any questions anyone has. Like I said, this was my first project and I'm sure my write up wasn't exactly super informative or thorough. I had a blast making it but would certainly recommend people give themselves a lot of time to make their costume as I endured many sleepless nights. I'd love to give foam armor a shot next time!

    Thanks for ALL the help, 405th, I gained all my knowledge and tips from this forum before tackling this project!

    As a bonus, here is a picture of my friend and I meeting Molly C Quinn of Castle! She was shopping on the comic con floor and was EXTREMELY nice and polite with us. Total class act, thanks Molly!

    Thanks again and I look forward to any questions or feedback!
    Last edited by Carpathia; Jul 23, 2013 at 3:43 PM. Reason: Language. Keep it clean.
  10. 405th Pacific Regiment Member Einhander's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2012
    Jul 23, 2013, 3:15 AM - #9

    Thank you very much!
    Originally Posted by Katsu View Post
    I love it, you did some fantastic work on it and the comic-con pics look like it paid off.
  11. 405th Pacific Regiment Member Einhander's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2012
    Jul 23, 2013, 3:16 AM - #10

    Thanks a ton, I was very nervous going into this project and came out to be pretty pleased with the whole experience! I look forward to the next event I can use it for.
  12. 405th European Regiment Member The Death Angel's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2012
    Jul 23, 2013, 3:33 PM - #11

    Awsome, man it's awesome!
  13. 405th Midwest Regiment Member Carpathia's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2009
    Carpathia's Xbox Gamertag Halcyon Pillar
    Jul 23, 2013, 3:45 PM - #12

    Very impressive work. Great progress pictures as well.

    In the future, please keep the language clean. I had to edit one of your posts.
  14. New Recruit
    Member Since
    Sep 2015
    Sep 20, 2015, 7:38 PM - Re: First build - Mickey ODST - with post Comic Con pictures and consensus #13

    So which helmet pep did you finally go with? I am considering Hugh's foam edit.

    Great job, BTW.

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