Armour Crates 101: Packing Your Armour

CplYapFlip

BMO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S237
I was talking about how TurboCharizard and I pack our armour to haul it over the Rockies and back again, and figured I may as well pull our armour crates out and chronicle what I'm talking about (as well as pull things out in need of repair, repaint, and washing of soft-bits)

Nothing we do is, as far as I can tell, particularly innovative-- but I thought it would both be a good thing to point to when new folk show up and say "gee how do you pack that all up" and also a revival of ye olde trend of "What's in my bag"

What's In My Armour Crate? (Join the trend~!)

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My armour crate is like this fellow above. We think it was close to 200L, so probably around 50gal. And we fit my entire Reach Spartan sans helmet into. Honestly any box you can fit everything into will work just fine, but now that I've had my armour in something that has wheels and a comfortable handle to pull it by I cannot go back.

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Here's my crate from the last time I suited up. It's not the ideal set up but it still helps me cover the key points you'll want to hit for every cosplay.


Matryoshka everything possible. All the places where your body would normal be when the amour is being worn?
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Gloves w/ handplates into vambraces, into greaves, into thigh plates will apply to most Halo armour, and is also a fantastic argument as to why your arm attachments should maybe be detachable.

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Stack everything smaller inside of everything bigger whenever possible, like those Russian stacking dolls whatever they may be called.

Here's my stack of remaining large bits:

This part will vary greatly depending on how you did (or did not) break down the chest piece.

For TurboCharizard's initial Reach Spartan and his foam ODST, the chest piece is one single piece so it tends to be left on top of the crate, whereas his Reach Marine was purposely made to break down into as many flatten-able pieces as possible so we could pack it into our normal clothes suitcase for HOD Philly.

My chest piece is a clam shell "( ]", so we've found that off setting them in a more collapsed manner is the most space efficient for my amour.
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Belt on top of back piece Back piece on top of inverted chest piece

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Undersuit clothing as padding Inverted chest piece and back piece of belt

We did a couple iterations with the pieces effectively spooning one another "[ (" but the curve of the chest is so much more drastic than the back that it didn't last.

I didn't focus particularly on the boots and biceps/shoulders because these pieces are the most finnicky and we honestly change up how they slot into the crate every time we back. My boots in particular have been a pain in my butt and having a foam commando shoulder that I want to reinforce the curve with some metal but have yet to do--- if basically depends on how committed to preserving the curve of my shoulder I am at the time of packing :lol:

As you can sort of tell in the first shot with everything in the bin-- there are a few inches of clearance above all my armour pieces. As space savvy as you want to be, using a bin where the lid is creating any amount of pressure against the contents is asking for trouble (unless your armour is foam and you have zero worry about flexing and paint cracking I guess)
Particularly if you have other bins that may be stacked all together, having to remember which crate should be on top because the items might get crushed by the lid isn't fun. Plus having this room on top, I can wrap a scaled-to-me assault rifle in a towel and lay it across the pieces for an all in one packing set up. (or has often been the case, slap a spare hoodie in at the end of the day because we're hot and tired and its less things to carry in our hands)


All of this will depend massively on how your armour was made, mine is mostly 3D Printed with a handful of foam pieces (the belt and shoulder attachments). So the biggest concerns I keep in mind are pressure on flex points and being mindful of where scratches can form (I have a lot of scratch damage just from wearing it, but I try and keep my shoulders relatively away from anything that could scratch them)

Depending on how you sealed your foam/how long you're hoping it will last will depend on how much consideration you want to put into packing it.

3D Prints can obviously be a bit more fragile and that should be considered (although most of mine is resin backed so we're not too concerned with mine)

and I have yet to meet a pep suit owner who doesn't love to show me "you can just chuck it into the box, almost nothing can hurt this!"

I would love to see some breakdowns of how other folks pack their armour! Especially if you have successfully** flown with your armour o_O We chuck our armour crates into a hatchback car, or when we're taking more than two suits (or more humans with us) we borrow a minivan and stack them in the back and center with humans folded around them :lol:
**If you flew with armour unsuccessfully, please share what you learned from it Cosplay Horror Story Time, flying with armour pieces, and why using bondo in the hotel bathroom is a terrible time :oops:
 
Mine and my partners armor are both stored in rolling foot lockers. Her Agent Carolina takes 2 foot lockers with the helmet separate but we have extra room for small props and extra bit and pieces in them. My h3 mk6 is in one of the 55 gallon kobalt job/tool boxes (a whole foam odst will fit in it) and I have a foot locker as well thank to the size of my pieces of armor. We usually split the bins up between upper and lower body and fish things inside each other when possible.

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