1st Build Cody's ODST Radio Operator

ODSTCody

New Member
A couple of years ago, I took a shot at a Mark IV Spartan build that… wasn’t especially successful. I wound up bailing on that project (which I discarded due to both its failure, and because I was moving and needing to lighten the load) and sort of drifting from project to project until gaining access to 3D printing.

When I got my first 3D printer, I started a Colonial Marine (from Aliens) build, but while taking a pause from that (due to a variety of complications, including the aforementioned move), I replayed Halo 3: ODST, and my childhood obsession with the Helljumpers was rekindled. With so many successful ODST cosplays here and elsewhere, and lots of available files and documentation on how people put their costumes together, I’m feeling a bit inspired and have the feeling that I could actually finish this.

Of course, being me, I want to stand out and do something a bit novel. Therefore, this will follow in BAG's footsteps (based on their pararescue ODST project, which was a bit inspirational for this) of doing something sort of outside the norm from what we’ve seen – my ODST will be a radio operator.

Cykukpq.jpg


This is some concept art I did, featuring clone trooper armor-like patterned markings in a few different color combinations (can’t decide which one to pick though – any input in the comments would be noted). The two most prominent things here are Mickey’s radio backpack and the CNM on Buck’s helmet, both of which make for a nice comm technician sort of look, I think.

Now, as for the actual build:

A lot of people start with the helmet, but I opted to try and start simple. I printed these three pieces of one of the shoulders (purchased from SkookumProps on Etsy, which I cannot recommend enough – the only thing better than the products is the customer support and service quality. I’ll be buying more parts for this from SP, no doubt about it). Though I like the two unique ODST shoulder variants (the ones worn by Mickey and Romeo), both shoulders for this will be stock ODST shoulders.

THeNDZL.jpg


This afternoon, I used the uppermost part of the shoulder as a test subject for this really interesting video I saw on using acetone to thin out Bondo filler and make it thin enough to just spread on with a paintbrush. I tried that, and my results were nothing short of fantastic.

UjgaYRR.jpg

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For anyone who hasn't tried this, I recommend this method. It's not only easier to apply via a brush, it's easier to sand, is more resource-efficient (you need to squirt a decent amount of putty into the mixing cup, but you'll ultimately be using less than you would if you were trying to manually glob it on and spread it via finger or craft stick) and it takes less time to dry.

For the time being, this is all I’ve got to share, since I need softer sandpaper, and what Bondo I was using was A) a year old; and B) almost empty, meaning that it was quite difficult to squeeze remained of it out of the tube. A trip to my local hardware store to pick up more is in the future, it seems.
 

DeltaAlphaZulu

Member
A couple of years ago, I took a shot at a Mark IV Spartan build that… wasn’t especially successful. I wound up bailing on that project (which I discarded due to both its failure, and because I was moving and needing to lighten the load) and sort of drifting from project to project until gaining access to 3D printing.

When I got my first 3D printer, I started a Colonial Marine (from Aliens) build, but while taking a pause from that (due to a variety of complications, including the aforementioned move), I replayed Halo 3: ODST, and my childhood obsession with the Helljumpers was rekindled. With so many successful ODST cosplays here and elsewhere, and lots of available files and documentation on how people put their costumes together, I’m feeling a bit inspired and have the feeling that I could actually finish this.

Of course, being me, I want to stand out and do something a bit novel. Therefore, this will follow in BAG's footsteps (based on their pararescue ODST project, which was a bit inspirational for this) of doing something sort of outside the norm from what we’ve seen – my ODST will be a radio operator.

View attachment 324210

This is some concept art I did, featuring clone trooper armor-like patterned markings in a few different color combinations (can’t decide which one to pick though – any input in the comments would be noted). The two most prominent things here are Mickey’s radio backpack and the CNM on Buck’s helmet, both of which make for a nice comm technician sort of look, I think.

Now, as for the actual build:

A lot of people start with the helmet, but I opted to try and start simple. I printed these three pieces of one of the shoulders (purchased from SkookumProps on Etsy, which I cannot recommend enough – the only thing better than the products is the customer support and service quality. I’ll be buying more parts for this from SP, no doubt about it). Though I like the two unique ODST shoulder variants (the ones worn by Mickey and Romeo), both shoulders for this will be stock ODST shoulders.

View attachment 324211

This afternoon, I used the uppermost part of the shoulder as a test subject for this really interesting video I saw on using acetone to thin out Bondo filler and make it thin enough to just spread on with a paintbrush. I tried that, and my results were nothing short of fantastic.

View attachment 324212
View attachment 324213
View attachment 324214
View attachment 324215

For anyone who hasn't tried this, I recommend this method. It's not only easier to apply via a brush, it's easier to sand, is more resource-efficient (you need to squirt a decent amount of putty into the mixing cup, but you'll ultimately be using less than you would if you were trying to manually glob it on and spread it via finger or craft stick) and it takes less time to dry.

For the time being, this is all I’ve got to share, since I need softer sandpaper, and what Bondo I was using was A) a year old; and B) almost empty, meaning that it was quite difficult to squeeze remained of it out of the tube. A trip to my local hardware store to pick up more is in the future, it seems.
Looks great! I'm glad your starting your build. I personally like the blue ODST. Second I noticed your using glazing and spot putty, so there's no need to dilute it using acetone. You can get a similar effect using some water. If you put a small blob on your part and spread it with gloved finger, then dip the finger in water and apply to what you have on your part you can thin the putty out. I personally don't do this because I like the imperfections that spot putty brings in detail after painting. Also with sanding I've found 220 will bring down spot putty quick and not sand it below your layer lines and seams.

(Edit) Also thank you, You gave me the inspiration to do a video on my joining, clean up, sanding, and finishing process. I appreciate the idea!
 
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ODSTCody

New Member
I'm appreciative of all of the above feedback, so thank you for that, DeltaAlphaZulu. I didn't know that about the water as a replacement for acetone idea, though in terms of application, I'm going to stick with a paintbrush (I went to Dollar Tree and grabbed some cheap brushes this afternoon). It's gentler on my fingers/gloves, but most importantly, it speeds up application time because it's bigger and therefore you can cover more surface of the piece faster. I do appreciate the suggestion though, and the explanation of it rather than just simply saying "use water instead of acetone" was a nice bonus.

I'm also glad I was able to inspire you re: the video. I wouldn't mind seeing that and maybe learning a thing or two.
 

ODSTCody

New Member
So I've been silent for nearly a month, until now.

Here's why:

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I caved and wound up going and buying SkookumProps' full ODST helmet variants collection/bundle (which I highly recommend due to the value, product quality, and customer service), in part because at some point after my radio operator is done, I may wind up doing my original ODST concept of a "heavy" CQC sort of dude and/or a sniper, so I now have those files to print at some point.

Mind you, not all of that time was spent printing - I've still done on and off work on the three shoulder components while working on non-cosplay projects (all of which pertain to tabletop RPGs) and sometimes playing Generation Zero (with or without a friend of mine).

After the final piece printed last night, I took it down to the basement and repeated that body filler + acetone trick I was using for my shoulder plates (no pictures of that for now), and got a few coats of it on within about 20-30 minutes (nice thing about cooler weather is that stuff dries fast, though at the cost of chewing through the cheap plastic Dollar Tree cups I've been using to mix the stuff in). Unlike the shoulder pieces, that helmet is big, so it's going to take a lot of time and many coats to get that stuff on, so stay tuned to see what the outcome of that will be.
 

DeltaAlphaZulu

Member
So I've been silent for nearly a month, until now.

Here's why:

View attachment 325261
View attachment 325262
View attachment 325263
View attachment 325264
View attachment 325265

I caved and wound up going and buying SkookumProps' full ODST helmet variants collection/bundle (which I highly recommend due to the value, product quality, and customer service), in part because at some point after my radio operator is done, I may wind up doing my original ODST concept of a "heavy" CQC sort of dude and/or a sniper, so I now have those files to print at some point.

Mind you, not all of that time was spent printing - I've still done on and off work on the three shoulder components while working on non-cosplay projects (all of which pertain to tabletop RPGs) and sometimes playing Generation Zero (with or without a friend of mine).

After the final piece printed last night, I took it down to the basement and repeated that body filler + acetone trick I was using for my shoulder plates (no pictures of that for now), and got a few coats of it on within about 20-30 minutes (nice thing about cooler weather is that stuff dries fast, though at the cost of chewing through the cheap plastic Dollar Tree cups I've been using to mix the stuff in). Unlike the shoulder pieces, that helmet is big, so it's going to take a lot of time and many coats to get that stuff on, so stay tuned to see what the outcome of that will be.
That's a good looking helmet. I like the amount of details it has!
 

ODSTCody

New Member
That's a good looking helmet. I like the amount of details it has!
Why thank you! It's a really good model, and I highly recommend it (especially since it's rather modular - I was even considering combining Buck's helmet variant with Mickey's, to get both the CNM and the little camera or flashlight [can't recall which] on the same lid).
I don't mean to alarm you but it looks like you have a partial clog in your nozzle. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the build though. (y)
What makes you say that?
Looking good. With all these ODST posts I've been seeing lately, I'm gunna have to join the club soon
Cheers. ODSTs are awesome for no shortage of reasons, but in a costuming sense, it's a good compromise between Marines (which are very beginner friendly) and Spartans (which have way many more parts, are heavier, and restrict your movement a bit).
 

Emp Frosty

Active Member
Why thank you! It's a really good model, and I highly recommend it (especially since it's rather modular - I was even considering combining Buck's helmet variant with Mickey's, to get both the CNM and the little camera or flashlight [can't recall which] on the same lid).

What makes you say that?

Cheers. ODSTs are awesome for no shortage of reasons, but in a costuming sense, it's a good compromise between Marines (which are very beginner friendly) and Spartans (which have way many more parts, are heavier, and restrict your movement a bit).
The gaps and inconsistency of the layer lines in the coms module you've got look in line with how a partially clogged nozzle would print. I've printed my fair share of part with a clogged nozzle so I know its a pain to reprint finished parts. I print my whole thigh section before noticing and had to scrap it. (said thigh up close for comparison)

20210616_175042.jpg


You can see the gaps in the layers and see how easy it can come apart here.

Just an observation that might save you some frustration from someone who's gone through it already.
 

DeltaAlphaZulu

Member
The gaps and inconsistency of the layer lines in the coms module you've got look in line with how a partially clogged nozzle would print. I've printed my fair share of part with a clogged nozzle so I know its a pain to reprint finished parts. I print my whole thigh section before noticing and had to scrap it. (said thigh up close for comparison)

View attachment 325331

You can see the gaps in the layers and see how easy it can come apart here.

Just an observation that might save you some frustration from someone who's gone through it already.
I was just about to say this but you beat me to it! Good looking out.

You can fix the bad print lines for the most part in finishing but it will take a bunch of extra time and a print will eventually fail bad because of the clog so you might as well replace the nozzle when you first start seeing it.
 

ODSTCody

New Member
I see. Well, thank both of you fellas for pointing that out. I'll have to look into how to clear it out; I didn't realize that was a thing, and now that I know the risks, I have reason to take it seriously.

By the way, on an unrelated note: DeltaAlphaZulu, did you wind up making that video you talked about?
 

DeltaAlphaZulu

Member
In your first comment on this thread, you edited your post and said that this process inspired you to make a video showcasing your process/methods; I was just curious if you wound up doing anything with that.
That's actually the next one in the queue. I had to replace the press fit gear on my CR10S5 so that video took priority. I want to have that video finished within the next few weeks. I have all the parts printed I just need to start working on it.
 

DeltaAlphaZulu

Member
In your first comment on this thread, you edited your post and said that this process inspired you to make a video showcasing your process/methods; I was just curious if you wound up doing anything with that.
How's your build going? Just to keep you in the loop regarding the method showcase you mentioned in this thread, I'll have a video coming out tomorrow or Sunday going over my entire process on a biofoam canister prop. I can't wait to see how your ODST is going!
 

ODSTCody

New Member
How's your build going? Just to keep you in the loop regarding the method showcase you mentioned in this thread, I'll have a video coming out tomorrow or Sunday going over my entire process on a biofoam canister prop. I can't wait to see how your ODST is going!
It's been going very, very slowly due to various issues that keep popping up and causing me to lose time, whether that's not having a solution for the shoulder hinges, my printer acting up, or running out of resources at various moments. I have made some progress though, which I'll eventually make an update post for.
 

DeltaAlphaZulu

Member
It's been going very, very slowly due to various issues that keep popping up and causing me to lose time, whether that's not having a solution for the shoulder hinges, my printer acting up, or running out of resources at various moments. I have made some progress though, which I'll eventually make an update post for.
Oh ok, let me know if you need any help with anything or if you need someone to bounce ideas off of. I can't wait to see the progress you've made!
 

ODSTCody

New Member
I appreciate your faith in me and my project, DeltaAlphaZulu. It means a lot to me. And now, see how your faith has been rewarded:

First, let me show you all my helmet, which I've made substantial progress on.

7OObwTT.jpg

IBPWLND.jpg

o3H8NzQ.jpg

KVsq9aQ.jpg


The markings were a mix of my own personal choice (the green stripe on the rim) and a reference to one of my favorite helmet marking schemes in sci-fi (Imperial Super Commando Cpt. Hark from Star Wars Rebels). The damage effect was satisfying, but difficult. I used a method I saw here where you apply toothpaste after painting the base coat, you paint over it, and then remove the toothpaste to reveal the original layer. Going forward, I should probably use something less oily than Crest Kids toothpaste; if you lot have any better ideas, I'd love to hear them. All that I have left to do is get the visor made and installed, and add the CNM to the side. Speaking of which:

mUip4RG.jpg

yAC5Qy9.jpg

bkr6SsX.jpg


And lastly, though there's a strong possibility that I won't use it in the finished costume (I'll explain why in a moment), I also took the time to practice with foam a bit, with the first finished piece (using Andrew DFT's templates) being the breastplate:

rTwrCLq.jpg


As for why I'm not going to use the foam and why I've been quiet for the past ~two months, I've been slammed with inconvenience after inconvenience - printer being a POS, no communication from various people I had questions for, a lack of resources to continue working with, etc. - but I've more or less overhauled my approach. I'm going to shortcut most of this by hiring somebody to print the armor I'm going with (I discovered and became enamored with the AguilarWorkshop ODST files - they're more modular and far easier to assemble, with fantastic instructions - on a scale of 1-10, they're a 15), as well to print the visor buck for my current helmet, because I've been having so many issues with that thing and I can't afford (figuratively and literally) to keep wasting time and resources on it.

I was originally going to build the rest of this with foam, but the AguilarWorkshop files and realizing I could just pay someone to print the stuff for me was enough to deter me from using foam. That said, regarding the breastplate, I still plan on using the design (another homage to Star Wars - it's the design on ARC Trooper Fives' breastplate armor) on the 3D printed version.

Also, as ambitious as it sounds, I also plan to do another ODST build either when this is done or parallel to this, which is more or less just a different helmet, shoulder, and backpack, along with different markings for the shoulders, breastplate, helmet, and a few other parts (like maybe the knee pads or the forearm gauntlets).

Anyway, that's all for now, and possibly for quite a while. My project has been on hiatus due to the aforementioned issues, but it's not dying anytime soon, now that I've redefined my approach.
 

DeltaAlphaZulu

Member
I appreciate your faith in me and my project, DeltaAlphaZulu. It means a lot to me. And now, see how your faith has been rewarded:

First, let me show you all my helmet, which I've made substantial progress on.

View attachment 327365
View attachment 327366
View attachment 327367
View attachment 327368

The markings were a mix of my own personal choice (the green stripe on the rim) and a reference to one of my favorite helmet marking schemes in sci-fi (Imperial Super Commando Cpt. Hark from Star Wars Rebels). The damage effect was satisfying, but difficult. I used a method I saw here where you apply toothpaste after painting the base coat, you paint over it, and then remove the toothpaste to reveal the original layer. Going forward, I should probably use something less oily than Crest Kids toothpaste; if you lot have any better ideas, I'd love to hear them. All that I have left to do is get the visor made and installed, and add the CNM to the side. Speaking of which:

View attachment 327369
View attachment 327370
View attachment 327371

And lastly, though there's a strong possibility that I won't use it in the finished costume (I'll explain why in a moment), I also took the time to practice with foam a bit, with the first finished piece (using Andrew DFT's templates) being the breastplate:

View attachment 327372

As for why I'm not going to use the foam and why I've been quiet for the past ~two months, I've been slammed with inconvenience after inconvenience - printer being a POS, no communication from various people I had questions for, a lack of resources to continue working with, etc. - but I've more or less overhauled my approach. I'm going to shortcut most of this by hiring somebody to print the armor I'm going with (I discovered and became enamored with the AguilarWorkshop ODST files - they're more modular and far easier to assemble, with fantastic instructions - on a scale of 1-10, they're a 15), as well to print the visor buck for my current helmet, because I've been having so many issues with that thing and I can't afford (figuratively and literally) to keep wasting time and resources on it.

I was originally going to build the rest of this with foam, but the AguilarWorkshop files and realizing I could just pay someone to print the stuff for me was enough to deter me from using foam. That said, regarding the breastplate, I still plan on using the design (another homage to Star Wars - it's the design on ARC Trooper Fives' breastplate armor) on the 3D printed version.

Also, as ambitious as it sounds, I also plan to do another ODST build either when this is done or parallel to this, which is more or less just a different helmet, shoulder, and backpack, along with different markings for the shoulders, breastplate, helmet, and a few other parts (like maybe the knee pads or the forearm gauntlets).

Anyway, that's all for now, and possibly for quite a while. My project has been on hiatus due to the aforementioned issues, but it's not dying anytime soon, now that I've redefined my approach.
That's an awesome amount of progress! I think that it is a great idea to stay brushed up on foamsmithing, some of the best builds I've seen are fully foam! I've personally never been one for using the chipping method on my props and armor, but what you did looks great! If you want any ideas for finishing I have a full tutorial video showing some methods for making scratches and dents on props up on my YouTube. I'll also have a 2 part tutorial for making an ODST helmet from starting with a raw print moving all the way to a fully weathered helmet that I'll have out the second and third weeks of February if you want some other ideas or inspiration.

I can't wait to see your full suit and helmet, if they end up being as good as these two parts I'm sure they'll be great!
 

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