1. 581-Erudite Watch
    Greetings Guest! I am the NEW guide of the 405th Infantry Division. I am 581. Surely, you are asking yourself, who is this fascinating entity and what is he about? Fear not! The staff of this great community has cleverly created a comic to share my backstory with you. Click HERE to learn more!

    Dismiss Notice

Arbiter Build

Discussion in 'New Recruits' started by TPceebee, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    I've just finished my first full costume build (Sadly, not halo related. 'Twas Arrow's s2 Deathstroke) and I fancy doing something a little more ambitious. I'm in the early stages of planning and could do with something I can document my process on, hence this thread. My plan is to build the Halo 2 Anniversary edition of the Arbiter (with an energy sword of course). I have begun by sketching body positions and getting an idea of the scale of the project. I've seen quite a few WIP elite builds in my search on this forum. Hopefully this is a project I can see to the end.

    Body Scale
    I am 5 ft 5.6. Halo Wiki has the arbiter standing at 7ft 10. To make it easier for me I plan to keep the height under 7ft 5inch. I will add height by using Digigrade stilts and positioning my head at the base of the neck.

    The main pieces would be the feet, calf pieces, thigh pieces, hip pieces, torso/chest and back pieces, arms, shoulder pauldron, neck pieces, helmet, face and undersuit.

    I plan to build the main armour pieces using eva foam as i prefer it to pepakura. It will be coated in urethane resin using a technique by XRobots. An alternative to this is to 3d print the rough shape, clay sculpt the details then mould and cast, though I believe I can get the detailing done accurately using the foam. I will 3D print the head, then sculpt clay on top for detail and mould and cast in latex. I will then cut the 3D print to create a skeleton for the head. I will create some internal mechanism or servos to make the mandibles move. I will bulk out the shapes of the body with LD200 foam (Using softer, upholstery foam for the joints). The undersuit has a hex pattern with strips across them. I will either find a fabric with the hex pattern or I will mill an mdf board with the pattern then mould and cast in latex. I will then use thin foam or webbing to create the strips. Evakura armour also sell strips of similar stuff for the master chief undersuit that would suit my needs. The joints will be neoprene.

    Internal Frame Composition
    Due to the size and shape of the suit I believe I will need an internal frame. I will build a frame for the upper torso and connect it with backpack straps and some solid pieces. The head will also be connected to the backpack. A hollow gimbal in the neck will allow for movement of the head, controlled by a strap around my head with wires connected to it. As I've stated before, the legs will have digitileg stilts. I don't believe it is necessary for a frame for the upper legs or lower torso. The hands will likely need wires connected to my first 3 fingers and thumb to control.

    Body Positioning
    As I've said before, my head will sit at the base of the neck, just above the chest armour. I plan for my elbows to match the positioning of the arbiter's but this isn't too important to me at this time. My hips and knee positioning need to match.

    Strapping and Attaching Pieces
    I will connect the overlapping pieces using either webbing or elastic straps. To hold them in place I'll use velco on the undersuit.

    This will be a long project. I plan to give myself a year or two to complete.

    If I buy the Digilegs then that would cost £700. They would likely cost £200 to make. I would allow approx. £300 for the 3D printing, £150 for the foam, Maybe £500 for the latex head and suit?, £50 for clay, £20 for strapping, £50 for paint and allow for £130 additional costs. I have no idea if these are accurate as I'm just guessing. I will fund it piece by piece whenever I get the money monthly. At a guess, this would make the total cost of £1800 with using area 51's Digilegs or £1400 by building my own. Though if i learned anything in my last costume build, I'm awful at budgeting.

    Google, this forum, Foamsmith books, contact with experience in electronics, contact with experience in mechanical design, contact with experience with optics (for the sword which I'm yet to plan)

    Any help, queries or comments would be most welcome. :)
    Alhmanic likes this.
  2. MasterSensei


    Good luck on your build, I can't wait to see Thel Vadaam come to liffe
  3. peterthethinker


  4. CommanderPalmer


    EndlessForrest likes this.
  5. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    That would be wonderful, Thank you!

    Thanks for the link, his frame seems similar to what I had planned. This will be very helpful.
  6. peterthethinker


  7. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    While I'm waiting for a quote for the metal for the digitigrade stilts, I've been sculpting the head in Blender. This is what I've got so far. I'll add a bump map for texture and convert it to a mesh. Any thoughts on what I've got so far?

    Screen Shot 2016-10-08 at 00.03.01.jpg
  8. VividT E X

    VividT E X Jr Member

    I have a hard time figuring out how you converterd a normal map into geometry as it has no height information ( unlike a displacement map ) but if you can retain your sculpted information for future 3d printing I think your sculpt is very capable an convincing :) ( well done, its pretty to look at ) I raise this issue because the general rule with normal maps and 3d printing is that as it has no height information it canot be used to ad detail to the print : only the lowres model would be printed... But if you already know that I wish you luck on this print :)
  9. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    There is a function on blender I believe. It's a modifier called displace. The other way would be to convert the texture bitmap to an SVG vector, import it as a curve, convert it to a mesh, extrude it, then use a Boolean modifier to subtract it.
    peterthethinker likes this.
  10. VividT E X

    VividT E X Jr Member

    Could you use the armor files and the normal maps provided with them in the archives to ad details to helmets and armor pieces ?! Because I once tried with 3ds max before realy understanding how the software worked. I tried to work with modifiers and it realy did not work properly :p because It could be usde to print nice quality helmets wothout much trouble !
  11. Takanuva

    Takanuva Jr Member

    For the jaw mechanism, look into cable mechanisms used by SFX artists and in prosthetic limbs. I'm pretty sure there are some guides from Stan Winston's SFX website, but I definitely know you can find tutorials on instructables.com for it.
  12. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    I did have some success converting the normal map to a mesh. Hard to tell as my laptop isn't powerful enough to put into render mode. I can't promise that I could improve the models until I've successfully printed the head, but it could be possible. If you can point me to a certain file you would like me to try then I can experiment in my spare time.

    Screen Shot 2016-10-08 at 23.15.07.png

    On another note, I've realised that the teeth aren't finished meshes so I'm working on making them a separate model that I will attach to the head once printed.

    Yes, I did think of these, but I planned to have the mandibles open up as well as close. Because of this, the initial thought is to build a skeleton for the mandibles from a meccano-style set, or a plastic equivalent. TBH I haven't thought too much into it as i still have some major tasks to complete before I even get close to the animatronics. Thanks though.
  13. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    Been a while since I've updated, but I've been busy. I've revised the strategy to moving around with the suit and I've decided to scrap the plan of using digitigrade stilts. If I want something I can wear for hours at a time I'd want something a bit more comfortable. To that end, I've drawn up a basic plan of how I'm going to fit inside the suit.There is a bit of overlap and some concern about the arms, but the proportions don't have to fit exactly. I'll use foam to pad out the shapes to make it look digitigrade. Someone has also finally uploaded a file from killer instinct of the arbiter so I'll import it into blender and use that. I've also been in contact with a few friends and colleagues and they own tools that will make my life a whole lot easier (a foam cnc machine for example).

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  14. agentflorida


    I was actually introduced to the voice actor for the Arbiter before my knowledge of Halo. I guess it was one of the reasons why I felt so engulfed in the series. Good luck on your build and keep in mind that there were 2 separate versions of the Arbiter, the one in Halo 2 and 3, and the one in Halo 5, same person different armor and weapons. I would say that the Prophets Bane is held just like an energy sword, two fingers on each side of the handle and thumb on the opposite side in the middle of the handle, but provides a cover for your hands while gripping it. The blades were modified and reprogrammed to have a curve or look different signifying that he is no elite based on the history of the Arbiters. One last important part that all Arbiters regardless of everything, have a special symbol or mark that is burned on to them on their chest, signifying that they are the true Arbiters. You will need to have the mark visible under the armor. Once again Good luck.
  15. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    Another little update: I've managed to scale and edit about a hundred individual armour pieces so that they are all complete meshes ready for 3D printing/milling. These will be used to create the armour from rigid foam. I have also scaled and cut this mesh and sent it off for print so that I can use the model to figure out the body suit that will be shaped from LD200. Once that process is finished I can buy the hex pattern material I found on alibaba and create the undersuit. The idea is the final suit will come off in 3-5 pieces, with the armour and undersuit glued to the foam so that it is easier to get on and off. Looking forward to start actually crafting things rather than working digitally.

    Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 21.44.31.png
    MasterSensei and mblackwell1002 like this.
  16. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    Another update. The 3D print came and I've patterned the body...

    IMG_20170306_101745159.jpg IMG_20170306_153546039.jpg IMG_20170306_191018315.jpg
  17. mblackwell1002


    wait, how big are these templates? they look tiny! what is the plan?
  18. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    Digitise them and scale them up to the right size.
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  19. MasterSensei


    You should post these templates somewhere, just in case someone wants to use em'
  20. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    I'll be posting templates, 3D files and whatnot after my build is completed. I'd like a chance to build something out of them first xD
    MasterSensei and mblackwell1002 like this.
  21. Northern Dragon

    Northern Dragon Jr Member

    If you haven't already I would look into the build that Tested did on youtube for the Rancor costume they made in 2015. Might give you ideas on how to construct this in a way that is both accurate and more suited to a human form.

    Here is a link the first youtube vid if your interested:

  22. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    Funnily enough this is exactly the video i was basing my workflow on! I've been going back and looking at it step by step to get an idea of how it's going to work.
  23. Northern Dragon

    Northern Dragon Jr Member

    Great minds think alike. I am looking forward to seeing how you progress through this. Would love to see a version like Tested showed of the Rancor before skinning it.
    TPceebee likes this.
  24. TPceebee

    TPceebee New Member

    Phew! Haven't updated this in a while. Largely because not much has been happening. I'm struggling to fund this build, so I'm only able to do a bit at a time. I changed my idea from using digitigrade stilts to instead use plasterers stilts. That way I don't have to build them myself and I can avoid the fatigue that would be caused by constantly squatting. Not fun! I got a cheap pair of stilts online and they arrived recently, only they are the wrong size! I figure that I can reduce the size of them by removing some pieces and shifting them down, then cutting off some of the metal. I'll have to replace the rivets, but I'd rather use a bolt that went all the way though rather than rivets because I find bolts easier to work with. Hopefully it will still be load bearing, but there's only one way to find out...

    Time to break out the power tools.

    Otherwise I got a free trial on stan winston school and watched their monster making tutorials. They were super helpful for the sort of materials and techniques that I can put to use on building the arbiter.
  25. zigzwag

    zigzwag New Member

    I am definitely very interested in this Looking pretty good so far.
    TPceebee likes this.

Share This Page