Felling lost and need help

Discussion in 'Halo Costumes and Armor' started by Crusader1080, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Crusader1080

    Crusader1080 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    Good day,

    Before I begin, I would like to introduce myself. Just last year in December, I came across Pepakura Halo cosplaying armor somewhere online and I was really intrigued by it. I was really interested to make one of these and cosplaying for the upcoming comic convention that will held next year in 2018.

    Fast forward to September of 2018, I am at a total lost. Being a total noob at Pepakura, I screwed up in every possible step in the way:

    · Using regular paper instead of cardstock
    · Screwed up the Papier-mâché twice, first time with toilet paper and the second time with newspaper.
    · Used the PVA-water-corn starch mixture for the initial reinforcement before using newspaper but it crushed itself under its own weight
    · Using a thicker of cardstock for the other pieces but they are collapsing under their own weight because they are too thin.
    · Finally gave in and used epoxy resin but sadly I used the glossy cardstock which ended up causing a tacky and smelly mess.
    · Realizing that the whole thing was too big to be mounted properly due to problems with scaling.

    And now today, after discovering the scaling for the chest and crotch plate is a bit too small to be put on easily. I am so frustrated with myself of not looking at the tutorials, being cheap and skimping on critical elements and finally, not asking questions. All these factors had let to failure after failure and I really out of time, money and options.

    I will attach a few pictures of the current iterations for you guys to evaluate.

    WP_20180911_22_44_16_Pro.jpg WP_20180911_22_45_08_Pro.jpg WP_20180911_22_45_40_Pro.jpg WP_20180911_22_46_35_Pro.jpg

    The first picture is the chest, second are arms and crotch plate, third are the legs and hand plate and lastly the helmet.

    Here’s my concern about my pepakura:

    · My pepakura doesn’t have the deep seams like the others since I never used any Bondo or any putty because they are hard to get in Malaysia.
    · Hence the pepakura is paper thin and without thickness hence it is not look as convincing as using EVA or Bondo, etc.
    · I am not sure if it is possible or it would look nice to use the existing pieces as a frame and stuck EVA foam on top of it without redoing it from scratch.
    · If possible, what would be the recommended thickness?
    · EVA foams in the form of yoga mats and puzzle floor mats are expensive and I am quite concerned about my budget. I had spent too much money on this project since early 2018.
    · If forgoing the EVA and just go on with the paper thin pepakura, how could I make it as convincing as possible without using too much money?
    · How can I fix the chest pieces that is shown in the attached picture?
    · If all else fails, what are my options?

    Sorry for the long post but this is my absolute first time in this project and I was being the told this community is very nice and provide lots of constructive feedback. I really hope this project will change the way how I do things, the importance of asking questions and proper planning.

    Thank you. :)
     
  2. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

    Trophy Points:
    125
    I'm hoping other members will chime in and correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's a good way to make armor cheaply. EVA foam is cheaper than the pepakura way, because with pepakura, you're going to want to purchase lots and lots of fiberglass and fiberglass resin. So if you want least expensive, go with EVA foam. If you don't want to start over, then you could try fiberglassing the stuff you've already done. Something to keep in mind: since you've added other stuff to the paper, like paper mache and epoxy resin, I have no idea how the fiberglass will react to that. Personally, I think you should try EVA foam, since it's faster, cheaper, more comfortable, and you can get the same kind of detail with it as you have with your current build.
     
  3. Asgardianhammer

    Asgardianhammer Identity Officer & RCO Division Staff 405th Regiment Officer

    Trophy Points:
    785
    Always Learning curves. Rightly so you have already figured out that doing some research up front will help you out. Let me recommend firstly Armorsmith designer for scaling your pepakura to fit you. This has some neat tools that will allow you to see if things fit first.
    Secondly, Watch some of Evil Ted Smith and Bill Doran over at Punished Props videos on Foam. As Lemonade has said there is no making stuff cheaply. If you scrimp on the tools and materials you need to do the job properly your results will be less than stellar.
    Now on to the work you have already accomplished. I think you are being too hard on yourself. Your folds appear to be clean. Regular paper will never have the structure you need to even do a test fit much less be able to support itself once you start applying other materials to strengthen it. I also would not try to overlay foam on what you have already. Foam can be used by itself. Basically take this first bit as a learning experience and do some more research. Ge the tools you actually need for foam, A dremel, some good knives and straight edges, good contact cement.
    If you choose to stick with Paper, then get regular 110lb cardstock and not gloss. To strengthen find a good resin and brush a single thin coat on the exterior and let cure. Do the same to the inside, let cure. add another exterior coat and let cure. Then you can add reinforcing materials to the inside. Do a little at a time and don't rush. Take your time. You obviously have the patterning portion down fairly well. My first suit was fiberglass. It took me over 700 hours to complete. My second suit was Foam and it took me about 200 hours to complete. You get out of what you put into it. Looks like you have the skills to make this happen however, so don't give up.

    letts0099.jpg

    FB_IMG_1493088132897.jpg
     
    Lemonade likes this.
  4. Beemo8bit

    Beemo8bit Jr Member

    Trophy Points:
    95
    I don’t know about pepakura, as I’m using foam, but your stuff looks pretty good. If you don’t think it will be wearable, use it as a cool display piece in your home. I agree that you can’t really do this super cheaply, so maybe you should just do one thing at a time over a longer period. Maybe just do the helmet properly, then later as money comes back in, a gun, etc etc. Don’t be too hard on yourself! Good luck!
     
  5. Crusader1080

    Crusader1080 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    Thanks for the all the suggestions and advice, I already conceded in salvaging the current papercraft+epoxy resin build and go for the EVA foam build. Is there anything to look after when building the armor using EVA foam? Something like precautions.

    I made a big mistake by skimping on stuff because at the time, I could make a Minecraft helmet with less than RM 10 (Approx $2.4) so I figured I could do the same with the Halo costume.
     
  6. Beemo8bit

    Beemo8bit Jr Member

    Trophy Points:
    95
    I'm busy with my first foam build, and I've learned a lot. Number 1 thing is a SHARP cutting blade - I mean, like razor sharp. You'll need to constantly sharpen the blade, as the foam blunts it very quickly, and you need to make very clean cuts. I'm using a single cheap extendable craft knife, but I bought a good knife sharpener, which was a very good decision. A more scalpel-style blade is useful for small detail work.

    Foam comes in various thicknesses. I'm using common 10cm thickness, and a pack of thin craft foam for some details. It's working for me, although some 5mm foam would have been handy.

    I'm also using a glue gun; I have a small cheap Hobbycraft one, which works fine and you can't get anything cheaper. You will need to keep buying glue stick packs; in my case, each 50-stick pack costs the same as the gun itself (around £6). I'll have used about 1.75 packs for my entire suit of armour by the end. Some people use contact glue and other solutions I think. Hopefully they will advise you, and you can decide what the cheapest option is. With glue, you'll need something that sticks quickly.

    A heat gun is useful if you want to more easily shape rounded pieces of foam and seal the foam at the end before you paint it. Apparently you can use a hair dryer, but it takes longer. I haven't found it absolutely necessary, but you'll have to judge depending the shaping style of your armour pieces.

    You'll need to seal the foam before you paint it; I haven't reached this stage yet. It seems the best option after heat sealing is Plastidip spray - I'm not sure what other brands there are. To save money, you can use many coats of watered down PVA glue or modge podge glue, waiting for each layer to dry in between. Then add colour. The Plastidip is best for avoiding wrinkles and cracks when the foam flexes; the other cheap options will wrinkle and crack which I've seen on YouTube. If you're using a single colour foam (like black), you might be able to get away with not doing this whole step until you can afford it?
     
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  7. Crusader1080

    Crusader1080 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    I have those, so I can check it out.

    I am still thinking about it. At first, I was expecting to use a lot of the puzzle mat foams that will cost thousands in my current currency but I managed to knock it down to at least 4 packs of 4 if my initial assumption of 80x80 cm foam mat are used based on 126 A4 papers with some generous rounding. (I need to check it at the store again for confirmation)

    Would 10mm and 5mm foams makes a difference in terms of strength?
    No comment on that.
    That is some high tech stuff that I never ever seen in any hardware store in my country. Guess I will use a hairdryer instead.
    Guess I go for the Plastidip route, but that's only after I can find a job to support buying these products as I expect they would be expensive.
     
  8. Beemo8bit

    Beemo8bit Jr Member

    Trophy Points:
    95
    I thought a heat gun was something special, but it's just like a super strong hairdryer used for taking paint off walls.

    I don't think 5mm would be weaker than 10mm in that neither would tear or break - EVA foam is really strong - but 5mm would bend easier, which would be bad for the main parts of the suit. A fall or bad bump would be far worse for 5mm in my opinion. It might also look strange - too thin, almost like a knight's armour, rather than a heavy Halo suit. A Spartan in their suit suit weighs around 500kg in the game.
     
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  9. Crusader1080

    Crusader1080 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    Over here in Malaysia, we often use high pressure water spray to do the job.

    On the EVA foams, how thick would the puzzle floor tiles would be? I am guessing its more than 10mm.
     
  10. Beemo8bit

    Beemo8bit Jr Member

    Trophy Points:
    95
    I'm using children's coloured puzzle floor tiles; they're 10mm. I found packs of larger black sheets in a hardware store used for work areas; those also looked like they were 10mm, although I can't say for sure.
     
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  11. Crusader1080

    Crusader1080 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    Well, thanks for the heads up. I will go to the hardware store after my late evening gym with a ruler and a calculator. Then I will decide how much I would buy without breaking my budget.

    As for the paper, do you use card stock or regular paper? I believed if using EVA foam, the paper are not involved in the construction (i.e. no other uses other than being a template)
     
  12. Beemo8bit

    Beemo8bit Jr Member

    Trophy Points:
    95
    I've found normal paper is fine for templates - you just have to hold it steady or pin it in place. I have used pepakura to build a few things to help me understand how they work better (complex pieces like the chest). I used regular paper, and it worked because I could see how the parts fitted and bent more clearly, but it was very floppy and annoying. Did the job though. Maybe I should have just traced the templates onto card from old boxes, would have worked better.
     
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  13. Lord of Reach

    Lord of Reach New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    It looks pretty good! Gives me a lot of vibes of Halo CE. If you still want to use pepakura, search for some tutorials on youtube, I had to see and search for a loooot of those. The best one I found was a video uploaded like 8 years ago, but still, pretty useful!
    I also made the chest with foam for an ODST armor, and I have to say, the hairdryer won't help. I tried to use it but it isn't hot enough, I had to buy a heat gun in Amazon, try to buy it with discount, that's what I did.
     
  14. PaiganBoi

    PaiganBoi Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,085
    The main reason it is good to seal foam before paint is that foam is extremely porous. Using PlastiDip, PVA or wood glue to seal the foam fills in these pores. When you reach the paint stage, you won't have to use so many coats of paint to achieve the look that you want.
    Just be aware. PlastiDip is not cheap and not readily available around the world.
    People on a budget or beginners will go with the PVA glue route. A mixture of 50/50 with water and then apply a couple of coats to make sure foam is sealed. The con to using glue is that when its cured, it is rigid and doesn't allow for a lot of flex. If the prop is dropped or flexes too much it will crack.
     
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  15. Crusader1080

    Crusader1080 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    That's what I am planning since I have an surplus of PVA glue. However, just now, I was looking around at a local DIY shop for tools for the build that will start in October using EVA foam, I came across this can at the automotive isle in the shop.

    IMG_20180912_184151.jpg

    I don't know if it works like PlastiDip and from what I read from the can it could possibly work but I am not taking any chances after taking so many risks and mistakes in the previous builds.

    I do want to know if that shade of green is Master Chief's signature colour? Its called Avocado Green by Anchor spray paint.
     
  16. PaiganBoi

    PaiganBoi Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,085
    That can isn't the same. What you are holding is just a car interior cleaner.
    I know of one alternative to Plasti Dip is a product by Rustoleum. It's called FlexiDip. It sells roughly 40 to 50 percent cheaper than Plasti Dip.
     
  17. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO & BCO 405th Regiment Officer Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    1,085
    PlastiDip, FlexiDip, GumiDip, Leak Seal, Frog Spray, etc.. The list of plasticized sealers is really long and all of them have roughly the same goal of making a flexible shell on the outside surface of your foam.
     
    PaiganBoi likes this.
  18. Crusader1080

    Crusader1080 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    So I do have a question, how do you guys estimate the amount of EVA foams to use. Currently the largest ones I can find is a pack of 4 puzzle mat foams that forms a large 60x60 cm area, hence, its 30x30cm per piece. I try to optimize the amount of foam used so it won't hurt my budget,
     
  19. Beemo8bit

    Beemo8bit Jr Member

    Trophy Points:
    95
    By the end of my project, I'll probably have used around 6-7 packs, each pack containing about 6 sheets, each sheet about 30x30cm. That's just an estimate, but seems about right. That amount also let me build a railgun and might have some left over.
     
    PaiganBoi and TurboCharizard like this.
  20. electricknite

    electricknite Member

    Trophy Points:
    145
    Crusader1080 If you use pepakura you can sorta estimate from the number of sheets from the unfold. depending on how good you are at cutting and scaling you might want an extra few floor mats though.
     
    PaiganBoi and TurboCharizard like this.
  21. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO & BCO 405th Regiment Officer Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    1,085
    My best guess is based on the page count in Pepakura or Armorsmith depending on paper size. Usually it's an A4/Letter size fitting roughly six pages to a 2'x2' (60cm x 60cm) floormat but when transferred to foam you can get a bit tighter packing depending on the shapes and armour pieces you're working on. Most parts (gauntlet/bicep/boot/thigh) take at least one sheet and larger ones obviously take a bit more.

    My Reach Spartan took about four packs of four 60cm x 60cm sheets to put things into perspective. I built chunky to look like an action figure but am 5'9" (175cm) so scaling might make it so you use more or less foam overall. The 60cm sheets are awesome for larger pieces such as the thighs and the top of the chest which have continuous panels and you don't have to gap fill for when using smaller 30cm sheets that are spliced together.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
    PaiganBoi and electricknite like this.
  22. Crusader1080

    Crusader1080 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    That's what I did.
    From my estimates, I have 66 sheets of A4 paper to be printed out and one 30x30 foam will fit approx. 1.44 sheets of A4, so I can fit 5.76 sheets of A4 on a pack 4. In total, I would need 11.4 foam pieces which equivalent to 2.8 packs ~ 3 packs. But I have to taking the thigh, arms, bicep, forearm, shins and boots into consideration as well which need twice the amount of foam, but I am stumped at that calculation.

    Meaning to say that the individual sheets are 60x60 large or the pack of 4 combined to form a 60x60 area.
     

Share This Page