Detailed construction tutorial: FOAM H4 MC Shoulder Armor (NEW template! File within)

Discussion in 'Halo Costumes and Armor' started by EVAkura, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. EVAkura

    EVAkura 405th Regiment Officer

    After looking for foam templates that were accurate and easy to interpret for the Halo 4 Master Chief shoulder armor, I finally gave up searching and decided to make my own. After a first attempt that failed, I came up with this, Ver. 2.0 :)


    First off (I can't help it), due credit must be given: Template by EVAkura :) (this template is redistributable, but please give credit) Be sure it prints to only one page, with no borders. NOTE: At this time, this links to a .jpg that may not print to scale. I tested it with the same file provided, making sure the margins were off, it was not scaled to fit the page (print actual size), in landscape format, and it came out perfect. NEW UPDATE: I have replaced the original hand-drawn file with one that I remade digitally. It is scaled MUCH larger now. Just be sure your print settings are set to 300dpi.

    Tools required:

    EVA foam - These parts utilize approx. 1/2 of a 2'X2' sheet of EVA Foam for both left and right shoulders. Note: I used 3/8" thick EVA
    Craft foam - 1/4" (6mm) Craft foam is used for the topmost piece. 1/2 of a standard sheet is more than enough.
    Scalpel handle with #11 blades (I used just one blade and sharpened it between each piece at a minimum) MUST HAVE SHARP BLADE FOR OPTIMAL ACCURACY.
    Ball point pen
    Printed template. The default constructed size is H:190mm W:210mm D:75mm. This template only requires 1 page!
    *Cutting mat (or other surface to protect your table or whatever is under your foam!)
    Super Glue (This build will NOT be using ANY hot glue. I strongly advise not attempting this build with it)
    Heat gun
    Dremel with barrel sander bit (120 grit)

    Now for the build. After printing the template, take the main portion (largest piece), and cut out around the outside, as well as the parts you see in the photo below. Lay it down onto your EVA and trace that half, then flip over, align the center line, and trace the mirrored side. It is very important that you make sure your pen marks are VERY VISIBLE! I will explain why in a bit. DO NOT CUT THE EVA AT THIS POINT.


    Then, continue on to the next few parts of the template (using the photo below for reference). Make sure that all of your previous lines align with the template and trace out the new cut-outs. DO NOT CUT THE EVA AT THIS POINT.


    Now for the last cut-outs. After you have done this step, ONLY cut the outermost outline of the EVA.


    The next step is to heat form this part. The reason why I stressed making sure your pen outlines are so visible is because heat forming tends to fade out the ink quite a bit, and you certainly will need to be able to see them after heat forming! It is best to have a few good reference photos to compare the shape that you need to replicate, but I will give a few pointers just the same. Other than the obvious curve, the shoulder has a compound curve that makes the front dip down, as well as the sides. This gives us the perfect opportunity to exploit the properties of EVA.

    Heat the part to temperature (if you are not experienced with heat forming, practice on some scrap to get the hang of it beforehand) and start with the outside bends. Then, following the photo below, hold the EVA with one hand and with the other (the one with the arrow) push your fingers down and pull in the direction of the arrow (away, not up). Be sure not to stretch the EVA, but you will need to stress it to the point just before that. This will concave the EVA to give the compound angles needed.


    Then, flip it over (right side up meow), and using photo below as reference, heat form the EVA for this bend. Where the line is, is where you want the majority of the bend to be.


    At this point, your piece should look similar to this:


    Now it is time to cut out the "plates" and the two recessed rectangles. The rectangle pieces are pretty straightforward. With the plates, I carefully cut them out by suspending the piece in one hand and cutting with the other. I recommend not cutting this on a hard or flat surface to avoid loosing its shape. Obviously, be careful of the blade. Once they are cut out, use the barrel (just the rubber barrel) bit in your dremel to "sand" the top edges of the plates. The friction created will round them a bit without taking away any material if done lightly. Then, glue in place, making sure that they are stepped above the surface of the main armor by about 1/8". When supergluing, glue one side at a time. Always apply glue to the piece that is lowest in profile. In this case, that would be the main armor, not the plates. This will help keep any glue from being visually exposed. It will take a bit of bending to get the other sides glued after the first one is done, but if done carefully, it works quite well, and becomes easier over time. Once finished, they should look similar to this:


    Now, cut out the center piece shown below. The left arrow shows the front that needs a 45 degree angle cut. The middle shows the detail line on the top, and a slit cut in the bottom. The piece will bend here when reassembled. The arrow on the right shows that piece is cut completely off, then re-glued a step higher. Detail lines are then added.


    Cut a small piece of foam about 1/8" thick and glue it to the end of this piece here:


    This piece makes up the distance lost when the piece is angled down in the reassembly process. Also, it is not on the template.
    Glue this piece back in place, but recess it about 1/4". This part, you will want to double-check with reference pictures, or my final image for further understanding if unclear.

    Now it is time to cut out the outside edge.


    Once finished, it should look like this:


    Continuing on the next post due to image quantity restrictions.

    Attached Files:

  2. EVAkura

    EVAkura 405th Regiment Officer

    Glue the outside edge back, but step it up by about 1/16" (2mm).

    Set this piece aside. Cut out the top assembly template and transfer it to the 1/4" (6mm) craft foam. Using the same method as the previous piece, trace the outline for each section of this piece.

    Flip the piece over and cut in contour lines as pictured below. You will also need to either cut, or use the barrel sander (preferred) to take down the outside edge that will come in contact with the main armor piece so that it sits flush.


    Angled cuts at the "opening" are also needed to reduce the lip. Heat form to shape.

    Now cut out the outside edge and glue back in place, stepped up by no more than 1/16"


    Cut out the detail lines in the middle portion. Where the arrow is, that part is cut all the way through so it can be dropped down and re-glued in place, but stepped down by about 1/16" (2mm).


    Take this piece and glue it to the main piece. Test fit before gluing to make sure it sits flush and to get an idea where to position it for symmetry.

    Finished shoulders should look like this when completed:


    I hope this has been helpful!

    Attached Files:

    JJBitter likes this.
  3. Mstruvmgc


    This sentence under your second picture does not make sense. Did you mean for us to draw out the next few parts?? Because you clearly state at the end of the sentence to not cut yet. or am i reading this wrong? or are you talking about the cardstock??

    Other than that the Tut was very helpful :)
  4. Demogorgon


    I believe he meant cut the cardstock template. You should not cut any of the foam pieces until AFTER you shape the entire part.
  5. mkshane81


    Another amazing tutorial!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. ShockWave


    Great tutorial
  7. EVAkura

    EVAkura 405th Regiment Officer

    Good catch! I can understand how that may have been confusing. Demogorgon is correct and I reworded it so that it makes more sense hopefully :)

    Just as a note: In version 1.0 I made three large errors that led to version 2.0's success. The first two were a combo mistake. I cut out the pieces, heat formed, and then hot glued them in place, then heat form to correct warping. I was fighting the two the whole way. Then, that lead me to error #3, cutting unnecessary contour lines in the main piece to relieve stress so that I was not fighting the first two errors so much. That left me with horrid contour lines... AND warped pieces with hot glue all over the place!

    The method I used in this tutorial was so much fun and easy. All frustration was alleviated, and the build was as smooth as butter. That and it gave me the opportunity to correct about 8 positioning and size errors by using better reference pictures and a bit of advice from critics :)

    Here is a pic of Ver. 1.0... Ugh!


    Attached Files:

  8. Lonewolf260


    Really great tutorial, i dont even plan on making a master chief suit but im going to make this anyway for my ODST!

  9. EVAkura

    EVAkura 405th Regiment Officer

    Thanks for the appreciation :)

    Minus a bit of distressing, here is what I came up with using my new painting technique for foam.





    Attached Files:

  10. Mstruvmgc


    Is it just me or does the paint look like it has a suede or felt texture to the main portion??
  11. EVAkura

    EVAkura 405th Regiment Officer

    That would be a fairly accurate description of what it looked like at that point :) It comes out of the can like that (reminds me of the radar absorbing paint we used in the military), but most of that texture brushes off after it dries. I will post more pictures after I have distressed it a bit.
  12. Lonewolf260


    Doesnt the EVA foam turn out that way when it gets heated? it can look very nice at times, especially for "leather" textures. Which is what i did on my skyrim suit. I just finished my H4 MC shoulder pad and i think its nice, just going to do black and red to match my ODST, also i need to figure out how i am going to make it comfortably fit on my suit!

  13. EVAkura

    EVAkura 405th Regiment Officer

    He was referring to the green portion after I had painted it. It has almost a sandpaper texture just after you finish painting and before you brush off the excess after it dries.

    Please note: I have uploaded a new (I altered the layout, changed a few lines to be more game accurate, and is now easier to size and is digitally drawn) template in place of the original at the beginning of this thread. I hope that helps people wanting to use this template be able to scale it easier than before.

    Here is a screen grab of the "new an improved" :)


    Attached Files:

  14. Mstruvmgc


    Oh okay, weird lol. Well guess ill wait for the new pics :)
    Thanks as well for posting the template to the shoulder.
  15. rainbow dash

    rainbow dash Well-Known Member

    Wow, thanks a lot, this template is awesome! :)
  16. Dox

    Dox New Member

    Thank you so much! Just finished one of them, I've been following all your guides and walkthroughs and building all the pieces, and my skill with foam has skyrocketed! Time to tackle the Halo 4 Chief! Feel like making a guide for a foam Chief torso?.. :p
  17. TheMagicNumber

    TheMagicNumber New Member

    Re: Detailed construction tutorial: FOAM H4 MC Shoulder Armor (NEW template! File wit

    Loving this..makes me want to give it a(nother) go with foam. Thanks for being so detailed here.
  18. EVAkura

    EVAkura 405th Regiment Officer

    Re: Detailed construction tutorial: FOAM H4 MC Shoulder Armor (NEW template! File wit

    In addition to the Reach tutorial I will be making (as time permits), I will be doing a full custom template and step-by-step tutorial on the H4 Master Chief. However, I won't be able to release that build until late November/early December. I am really happy to hear that the tutorial and template was helpful!

    You are very welcome! Foam certainly is fun to work with IMO.
  19. astromanED

    astromanED New Member

    Re: Detailed construction tutorial: FOAM H4 MC Shoulder Armor (NEW template! File wit

    Thank you for this. You have saved me so much time. Great tutorial!:thumbsup
  20. Fab4

    Fab4 New Member

    Re: Detailed construction tutorial: FOAM H4 MC Shoulder Armor (NEW template! File wit

    Great tutorial, very concise and easy to follow.I've been cosplaying since my teens and rarely buy anything. I'm a carpenter by trade and the skills are somewhat transferable for building my costumes. My wife is also into cosplay, and she's no stranger to the woodshed afterhours building her next costume. I've put a few tutorials on youtube over the years but the quality admittedly has been pretty shabby, but it's always something i've wanted to go back to and do properly. My buddy reccomended putting them up online and sharing them on here if anyone would be interested. I think I'm going to bite the bullet today and just go and buy a domain name, probs from 1&1. (this is more my nephews area of expertise, he says thats the best place to go). Anyway, keep the tutorials coming!
    EVAkura likes this.
  21. Uscstaylor

    Uscstaylor New Member

    Re: Detailed construction tutorial: FOAM H4 MC Shoulder Armor (NEW template! File wit

    Great tutorial keep them coming!
    EVAkura likes this.
  22. Iloverosa

    Iloverosa New Member

    Re: Detailed construction tutorial: FOAM H4 MC Shoulder Armor (NEW template! File wit

    EVAkura likes this.
  23. Raptr117

    Raptr117 New Member

    Re: Detailed construction tutorial: FOAM H4 MC Shoulder Armor (NEW template! File wit

    Looks awesome! Will definitely use this shoulder piece!!
    EVAkura likes this.
  24. ObiJ3ff


    Re: Detailed construction tutorial: FOAM H4 MC Shoulder Armor (NEW template! File wit

    Dude any chance you could do this for a Recruit shoulder?
    mwmanus likes this.
  25. ObiJ3ff


    Re: Detailed construction tutorial: FOAM H4 MC Shoulder Armor (NEW template! File wit

    Dude thanks for posting this. I made some for comic con this weekend. It took me like 4 hours to complete both. Now i am thinking of using some elastic strapping to use to wear them.
    EVAkura likes this.

Share This Page