First Build - ODST - EVA Foam

SierraEdict

New Member
Helloo o7,
I've been a little anxious about my first post but I can't lurk forever :D

Binging the Halo games with a friend as well as binging the books in recent months had me designing an OC, and with MCM London looming I thought I'd take the plunge and shell her - Edict Zantanos!


For the most part, I've been following Andrew DFTs ODST tutorial (and I'm forever thankful for it!) as I've never made anything out of foam before - though I have made costumes and a few props in the past! The helmet I'll follow Heroes Workshops pep foam pattern for, as I like the results of that more.
Anyway... progress so far!

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So far, for a first time adventure with foam, I'm pretty happy. I sanded down some sharper edges as I liked the look better than the hard cut sides - though there's some spots I may attempt to sand further if I feel brave enough.

Definitely a few seams to fill, too, (a small attempt was started on a shoulder piece at one point)

I also wasn't the biggest fan of hot gluing every seam, so it's been a mix of contact adhesive and hot glue, hot glue mostly on the inner bevelled and folded seams.

Either way, not too many parts left to go!
 
Well i will say this as far as your build goes it looks very nice. great job i hope mine looks half as good as yours im going to start my first foam build soon (scary).
but great job so far
 
Thank you all for the kind words! I'm definitely excited to get it finished. I spent so many hours watching and rewatching tutorials and tips etc on working with foam, kinda binging if I can do what is needed and tried to apply it wehoo!
andrew DFT the gateway drug to spending tons of time and money on halo cosplays. That was my first suit, yours is looking good, excited to see how it turns out, and what future projects you get up to.
This is so true, haha! I'm already trying to figure if I could ever get a spartan build made and if I need to invest in any new tools etc - though perhaps I'd put less of a time constraint on myself than this one.

Well i will say this as far as your build goes it looks very nice. great job i hope mine looks half as good as yours im going to start my first foam build soon (scary).
but great job so far
I'm sure yours will be great! If I learned one key thing on this first run, its that investing in a good quality blade (stanley is what I can get easily here...) and a knife sharpening rod ends up running cheaper than multiple cheap blades for sure - there was some jagged and snagged edges on the torso I was able to sand down luckily but the first helmet (and first /thing/) was a mess from bad blades causing me issues cutting clean lines, I'll get a picture later for complete record keeping. Just not sure where I put it at the moment :D
 
Not only is this pretty darn good for a first build, but you've also shown you're quick to learn - and that's great! Have you got a design for colours and decals?
 
Not only is this pretty darn good for a first build, but you've also shown you're quick to learn - and that's great! Have you got a design for colours and decals?
Thank you :>

As for colours, I'm thinking grey and yellow accents as I am thinking majority yellow might be a little much.

I threw some money at a friend to cricut me some vinyl decals, so I have "UNSC", the birb and medical/blood type for the shoulder as I don't trust my stencil making or hand steadiness for that. I also got some water decals from precisionvectors on etsy of the ODST logo and the bird again in case the vinyls don't cooperate.

There will also be some 'graffiti' on the chest saying "spam in a can" similar to Wierbowksi from Aliens, for some individual character :>

I've not painted anything like this before so fingers crossed for that part of the project!
 
Ramble-y update time (sorry). Some iffy fitting of the torso, though I the only 'fitting' I did was to get it to fit over my chest - however I have a funny gap on the shoulders that makes it look awkward and the shoulder pieces themselves sit badly. So... any advice on how I might fix it (other than making a new torso, though that might be on the table if I have time...) I have a few ideas but ye.

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Big ol' awkward gap..

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I was thinking if I were sewing and had this sort of problem I'd make a dart here and bring it in to help curve it - though the two layers of foam here is t h i c k so I might have to thin it all down and do some extra securing and supporting on the seam. Also, a potential to trip the excess darker foam from the edges and instead create the layered effect post-painting with some fabric strapping on top?


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Also, for comparison, the first helmet which was the first thing I built with foam vs the new helmet! Not perfect and I have a few sins to try and hide with foam clay but I think it'll work out okay! I used the heroes workshop pattern for the new one.

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This gap is giving me a little stress, mostly due to my own poor execution of extending the template etc. I have some 2mm thin craft foam I'll try and fill the back in with then add the mushroomy details on (I noticed on the video build HW provided there was some kind of backing so I dont think I totally goofed with the sized of this gap.) Hopefully will get that done today then begin tackling filling gaps and seams and then consider what to do about the torso piece after some less daunting tasks.

I think after this I need to find me some little baby pepakura projects to get the hang of understanding how it all works before tackling something more complex!


Update ramble complete :D
 
Ramble-y update time (sorry). Some iffy fitting of the torso, though I the only 'fitting' I did was to get it to fit over my chest - however I have a funny gap on the shoulders that makes it look awkward and the shoulder pieces themselves sit badly. So... any advice on how I might fix it (other than making a new torso, though that might be on the table if I have time...) I have a few ideas but ye.

View attachment 336660
Big ol' awkward gap..

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I was thinking if I were sewing and had this sort of problem I'd make a dart here and bring it in to help curve it - though the two layers of foam here is t h i c k so I might have to thin it all down and do some extra securing and supporting on the seam. Also, a potential to trip the excess darker foam from the edges and instead create the layered effect post-painting with some fabric strapping on top?


View attachment 336662View attachment 336663

Also, for comparison, the first helmet which was the first thing I built with foam vs the new helmet! Not perfect and I have a few sins to try and hide with foam clay but I think it'll work out okay! I used the heroes workshop pattern for the new one.

View attachment 336664

This gap is giving me a little stress, mostly due to my own poor execution of extending the template etc. I have some 2mm thin craft foam I'll try and fill the back in with then add the mushroomy details on (I noticed on the video build HW provided there was some kind of backing so I dont think I totally goofed with the sized of this gap.) Hopefully will get that done today then begin tackling filling gaps and seams and then consider what to do about the torso piece after some less daunting tasks.

I think after this I need to find me some little baby pepakura projects to get the hang of understanding how it all works before tackling something more complex!


Update ramble complete :D
Wow! That’s some really good improvement, your second helmet looks great!
 
Another rambling update, sans pictures, mostly to get my own soupy brain thoughts out, at the very least for my own sanity and log keeping. Sorry! :lol:

All is constructed and the chest piece fits a lot better since the shoulder modifications, test visor looks good I just needed a slightly thicker sheet of plastic to make it sturdier.

Primed and ready for painting, as well, which is part of where I want to pull my hair out. Using acrylic paints, I wasn't happy with the first piece I started on and ended up rinsing it off - too many brush strokes and just didn't sit right with what I want. Sooo... I've gone and invested in an airbrush - though nothing mega pricey off the bat.

I read this post the other week and can't stop thinking about how true it is haha! If I didn't have a deadline, I really would be remaking and remaking until I was satisfied with everything (if I ever would be??) - but a wise friend of mine also said that I need to draw a line in the sand somewhere otherwise I'll not stop. (My shoulder pieces in particular have me going ): <<<)

Doing art as well (well, this is an art form but in regards to the illustrative stuff I have more practice in), I remember a tip that even if you're not happy with where you're at to keep going and finish a project to completion so you can practice the whole process in flow - otherwise you'll get really good at the starting point but then be hit with dissatisfaction at mid then end points which can be damaging to motivation and feelings of achievement. In that case it referred to sketch>lineart>colouring>shading process etc but I keep reminding myself it applies here with building then painting etc.

Either way, a little copium is had on this recent purchase as I can use it in other hobbies I have as well bahaha.
 
Some more rambling updates, fuelled by the convention date looming over closer. I think as it gets nearer the anxiety that I'll look goofy or 'bad' is growing but I keep reminding myself its my first build and its all for fun at the end of the day weoo. Something to look back on when I progress on future projects for sure!

Had some delays on getting things painted due to work and such but hopefully over the weekend I can get it all done and then top coat it all ready to rock :> I've finished the DFT boot cover bits as they're smaller and probably less likely to be seen - so a good test for painting/weathering etc! Yellow detailing and then weathering is pretty much all thats left. Invested in the M40 nerf gun to repaint in the meantime due to time constraints- also it's cool to have anyway haha!

The top, trousers and belt I'd like to get weathered but I'm not sure where to start on that beyond perhaps airbrushing dirt and taking sandpaper to 'worn' areas? Throw some chalk pastels and fullers earth on them or something like I would if painting dolls and stuff haha.

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Everything got this flat grey base coat after priming - though I'm not entirely satisfied with the priming or even its longevity. PVA wood glue but it seems to just start dissolving again if I'm too liberal with paint which is... not ideal. Praying the top coat is gonna seal it all in. It just needs to survive three days!
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A lot of the parts got a gunmetal coating, maybe overdid it looking at it but I still have a chance yet to go over areas with black. Not all of it will be this, for sure. As fun as a very, very shiny ODST might be to make in the future.

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Used masking fluid for 'chipping' on the cosmetic yellow detailing, it was pretty effective so I'll probably utilise it elsewhere :>

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And then the final weathering. Bottom one has no blackwash over it but the top one does. Again, the issue of the pva primer wanting to go liquid again reared its head but it didn't seem to remain when dried at least? Weh. I'll give these a few more passes of the satin top coat then give them a little water test. I read that in a pinch hairspray can be used to provide a temporary waterproofing - which given the weather forecast for the weekend of the convention.

I'm driving in, so worst case scenario I can get changed nearer the meet times to avoid anything catastrophic and otherwise stash it safely in my boot :>

Update and ramble complete! I'm very excited to see everyone's hard work on show at MCM London, definitely have been a massive inspiration and motivation - one day I may yet reach those sort of skill levels. Plus, everyone from 405th I've interacted with has been so nice it really does help keep mood up - so thank you to everyone for your kind words and hypemanning :D You're all rad as hell.
 
Thank you all for the kind words! I'm definitely excited to get it finished. I spent so many hours watching and rewatching tutorials and tips etc on working with foam, kinda binging if I can do what is needed and tried to apply it wehoo!

This is so true, haha! I'm already trying to figure if I could ever get a spartan build made and if I need to invest in any new tools etc - though perhaps I'd put less of a time constraint on myself than this one.


I'm sure yours will be great! If I learned one key thing on this first run, its that investing in a good quality blade (stanley is what I can get easily here...) and a knife sharpening rod ends up running cheaper than multiple cheap blades for sure - there was some jagged and snagged edges on the torso I was able to sand down luckily but the first helmet (and first /thing/) was a mess from bad blades causing me issues cutting clean lines, I'll get a picture later for complete record keeping. Just not sure where I put it at the moment :D
With what I'm seeing you could easily get a spartan build made with just a bit of time. New tools may help but at the end of the day the hardest part is sitting down and doing it :lol:.
honestly great work so far, and that odst helmet is looking awesome especially for this being your first build. helmets are one of the most difficult foam pieces to make
 
With what I'm seeing you could easily get a spartan build made with just a bit of time. New tools may help but at the end of the day the hardest part is sitting down and doing it :lol:.
honestly great work so far, and that odst helmet is looking awesome especially for this being your first build. helmets are one of the most difficult foam pieces to make

Yarr, new tools are fun to play with but I think I have what I need to get the job done if I want to knuckle down in the future (which I /do/ plan to.....) The time to do it is definitely the biggest thing as you said haha! I'll give myself more time.

Some updates toooo... I might have overdone it when it comes to paint, I'll be honest. Also decals.

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Prior to the final weathering, testing out the ugly but test visor to see how it might look when done.

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Despite the base not being totally black, I might have to go in with a more careful paintbrush technique to weather it as blackwash is having 0 effect. But I am worried I'll ruin it if I do this - and I leave in two days to go south.

ALSO think I might have been overzealous on the decals. It seems redundant to me in hindsight to have two unsc logos on it. I'm going to sleep on it and waiting on some feedback from my pals to decide whether the eagle gets removed or not. Also if anyone has an opinion on it, hit me with it :lol:. If the paint is damaged under removing it, it's not the end of the world as I need to crack out the gunmetal again tomorrow anyway...

Either way, the pieces just need a nice ol' clear topcoat and they're ready to rock.
 
Looking great! In terms of blackwash, maybe try mixing in some browns to lighten the color up? might make it a bit more visible. Honestly I wouldn/t worry about the decals, they look great in my opinion! and I love the inscription on the side of the helmet XD
 
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