Disguise "Ultra Prestige" Master Chief rework

Scarlet Impaler

New Member
Hello! Long time lurker, and it's time to give a little something back.

For how much better the Disguise Master Chief armor is compared to the old Rubies Halo 3 costume, it still needed a lot of work to be convention or even photoshoot ready. The plates and parts would pop off, velcro barely holding on, etc. The goal here was to rework a lot of how everything attaches and stays on. Some of it is simple, some of it is more involved. Hopefully this helps others who want to get the most out of their's.

I didn't want to repaint it, I like the colors enough. I know some don't like the colors, but repainting would be a huge project in itself and decided against it. You could if you want to, and hey, more power to you, but I won't be covering it here.

I think the Disguise MC is a great jump off point. A lot of the armor feels rigid enough, the helmet and undersuit are pretty good, detailed and breathable. Gloves are a bit hokey, but at least they're of decent quality. Its good enough to nab this, nab a BoomCo blaster and you have a decent costume, but its not good enough to wear all day at a con or hike around in for photoshooting or do any dynamic posing. Which is the goal of this rework.

All this took was about $30 in supplies, since I already a lot of the webbing, elastic, foams on hand. I 3D printed some things, but its not entirely necessary if you don't have a printer. Because I found the costume at 30% off with free shipping, I did everything here for under $300, and about a week worth of work. Not bad.

Onto the meat and potatoes.

This begins the general method of adhesion and adding eva foam for strength in areas I or you feel aren't strong enough. First, if needed, is to create a template by pushing paper into whatever shape or crevice, then tracing around it, cut it out for your template. Then you just copy that pattern onto eva foam to cut out. This doesn't need to be perfect fitting. You can use extra glue later to fill in any gaps between the plate and eva foam.

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Next is score the area you'll be gluing. Find a tool that can scratch deep, thats not as dangerous as a knife. I used a leather needle-tip stitch punch. Score up and down, left to right, going past where the thing you're gluing will lay. This will give little crevices for the glue to really hold onto because the armor is otherwise smooth and glue doesn't have a lot to hold on to.

I forgot to take a picture of the next part, so I'll try describing it the best I can. Using E6000, I traced around the edge of the area, not everywhere I scored, just where I expected to put the eva foam or strap. Immediately after, laid down hot glue in the middle.

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Then I put the piece on and hold it there for a few seconds. I'd also go and fill those gaps with hot glue, like you see to the right. You'll see later, the point of scoring around the area is so you can lay extra hot glue for extra hold. The idea is for the hot glue to hold the foam/strap in place while the E6000 cures and does it job. I'm probably over doing it this way, but I want to be sure.

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The greaves had a problem with falling down. The idea here was to have them really clamp down above the calf. I used a few layers of thick foam (not eva, the green stuff you find at Joanns, not sure what its called), and an adjustable closure strap up top. This keeps them in place really well and don't need the suit velcro to keep them on.

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Here are the knee caps. I simply added elastic and velcro to prevent them from popping off. This is where I started to use M3 screws to keep straps on. The method for that is the same as before, but then you drill a hole through the plate and strap, then you insert a screw with washers on both sides and a nylock. I had printed some OD colored washers to use for most of this. eSun OD PLA is a close match to the armor. I wanted to reduce the image of the screws as much as I can. If you wanted to repaint the armor, you don't have to worry about that. Obviously, just do all the rework before painting, so you'll cover the screws.

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The thighs were a big problem for me. Even though I ordered the XL, and I'm only a large, they kept popping off from the leg and the closure was popping off from itself, too. For some reason, the rear velcro attachment point on the suit is incredibly high on the thigh, to the point where the plate supports my butt. First I tried to just use a buckle to see if it helped, it did, but the plate still managed to come off the suit. With a single elastic strap on the side, it wasn't staying it up well. So, I desperately needed a garter system.

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Desperately needing the garter system, I took to the ab and butt plate. I mounted straps with adjustable buckles on each side, reinforced the butt plate a bit, and then added two general purpose/admin pouches to hold con essentials.

In order to make the garter system for the thighs, this meant moving the butt plate up to an equal height to the ab plate. Moving up velcro on the undersuit, too.

Alternatively, if you want the back to be more authentic, you can make the belt from the ab plate level, and have the butt plate hang down from it. This is probably the better method, I did things like this because when I wore this out first, I only had time to fix one problem and felt the ab and butt plates were going to be the biggest problems and I needed pouches.

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This is the finished garter system. Garter straps are both elastic and webbing, and attach via D-rings that hang from the belt. Mine came out a bit jank, I don't think my working sewing machine likes webbing and elastic much, let alone layers of.

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The torso was mostly fine. I had the bottom velcro pop off a few times, and was afraid the boosters could easily be knocked off. I bolted down the boosters, and added closure straps and buckles to the bottom velcro area. Note: its better to use side release buckles for this, I just ran out of them when I did the thighs. It will be much easier on you, as you'll be able to do it yourself.

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The guantlets didn't need a whole lot of work either. Like the greaves and knee caps, simple thick foam and simple elastic straps for the elbow caps to prevent them from dangling if knocked off the velcro.

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The shoulders gave me a bit of problem. I gave them two extra spots of velcro. One, on the post, around the original velcro, and the matching section of the suit. Two, added velcro to the elastic end, pointing inwards, and a matching strip of velcro sew onto the undersuit. High up into the armpit. I think the problem is that the strap likes to slide down, pulling the armor down with it, but putting this velcro to keep the strap up seemed to really keep the strap and armor in place.

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The boot armor required a lot of work as they are going to take the most abuse. They're big, thin, flop around, you're gonna kick things with them accidentally, others will accidentally step on or kick them, etc etc. The solution was to armor up the insides real well with eva foam. Though, I feel like I'm going to need to do something with the straps. Either replace it, tailor it, or add another set in addition to the ones there. They stayed on good for most of the tests, except fast kicking, but I don't know how long those single pieces of elastic will hold.

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The gloves were a bit hokey looking, but good enough to reuse. The material's texture or weave was great for E6000 application, and the screen printing (or whatever method they used), was great as a template to adhere 3D printed plates to. This could have been done with eva foam as well if you don't have a printer. Thanks to the forum here for the files.

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Test run time! It went great. Needs a bit of adjustment here and there, and may need a tad bit of second hand help (like securing the bottom torso), but I wore it around the apartment for a hour and two, doing a bunch of things with it. Sitting, running, kicking, punching, swinging lightsabers, crouching, etc with little problems. I'm still afraid to go prone in it or down on one knee, but its not like Master Chief does that in the games.

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I can get about this low now with no worries.

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When you get the invite to finish the smash. I can't quite JoJo pose, but I can try without killing me or the armor.

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Sitting down is a big deal in armor. I'm ecstatic I can comfortably sit down.

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*insert "I studied the blade" or Star Wars joke here*

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Leaked photo from Metroid Prime 4 after Retro Studios picked up Halo 4's lead artist (bad joke).

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I'm giving the Covenant back their dab.

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I'm happy how things turned out, and hope this helps others. Sorry if it turned out a bit jokey at the end, wanted to test a few extra poses and kind of went off from there.
 
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