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First time EVA Foam ODST

Discussion in 'Halo Costumes and Armor' started by Begocer, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. Begocer

    Begocer New Member

    Hey everyone!

    I don't know about the rest of you but I'm someone who's just a little too obsessed with the soldiers we all know and love as ODSTs.

    It's an armor style I've always found to be interesting and figured after years of dreaming and going through life said to myself: "Hey, why don't you make an armor set yourself?"

    So, here I am!


    I haven't had much experience with foam crafting, painting or even using a glue gun without burning myself at one point or another (but that's normal) but I'm always one to try and surprise myself at what can be created.

    It's taken me more than a while to get started, having used all the awesome suits I've seen made here as the incentive to get started, I'm finally posting a progress thread.

    To tastefully contradict what was said above I have worked with EVA foam a little in the past year by purchasing the DFT armor PDFs and making only the helmet from it. This was after realizing whilst the plans are awesome for beginners (such as I) it wasn't the styling aesthetic I wanted to wear. Plus I also had only a week to Fan Expo in Toronto to complete anything. So I wore the helmet, an old Reach T-shirt and looked completely out of place with 5% of an ODST suit- but always had a blast!

    Early this year I wanted to attempt to make a full ODST set so I smartly loaded up my sketchup model of a trooper I made in the past and went 'this will work well!' before realising 1: My model was too high poly 2: I had no idea what I was getting into and finally 3: I had no idea what I was getting into.

    So... I started late April by smartly starting with the helmet and immediately was put off from foam building due to my lack of skills and equipment. Beginners mistake.

    I don't have any pictures of that terrible time but soon after reading several other threads I saw the potential of Armorsmith as an aid to scale, export and print the armor pieces. So I bought the program and a rotary tool.

    Which died after 15 minutes of use.

    But enough said I’ll post pictures and information of the many steps! I apologize in advance for the long post.

    My first day: Oh how I greatly underestimated what I had gotten into.

    Started on the lower leg parts and realized really far in I had over scaled the leg piece. So I downsized it, ran back out to Staples to reprint the plans and was much better off on scale. Here is a v1 next to v2....Yikes...


    Version two fits much better, allows me to slip my foot in with plenty of space and has decent albeit slightly hindered range of movement. The rotary tool has been more than a life saver, helping me with beveling the countless edges required for achieving a smooth edge for corners as shown with the knee guard below.


    Two lower leg parts in and I can see why some people say these are the toughest parts...so many small parts and beveling to be done!

    I next moved onto the upper leg parts and fired those guys out, having to custom make some small pieces for sections that ended up being weirdly extended in the pepakura files in Armorsmith that I wasn't able to print/use.

    I also upgraded my workstation from an old cruddy desk top from my wife's old college work table to a fancy cutting mat which both allowed me to have a safer work station and allowed me to spread the dust given off by the rotary tool onto her current desk. She loves it when that happens...not.


    These fellas are small coffins for the many knife blades I wore out before I brought out the knife sharpening tool from IKEA.


    Just kidding it's super nifty details for lower leg pieces brought to you by a rotary tool.


    I began work on the booty plate and suffered the wrath of the rotary tool: it sniped on the end due to my not realizing it'll snag and then dig into the edges of pieces.


    Its really an 'oops' moment but it's going to be called 'battle damage' officially.

    I didn't take any pictures of how I made the stomach sections (sorry) but here is the booty plate, central panel and flange thingies.


    "Hey Begocer, those flange things look kinda of bland and boring" Well just so you know I wasn't able to find any craft foam until I hit up my local Michaels and found this:


    Clown camo! For when the war hits your circus. This stuff is gonna help with adding details to the side plate thingies.

    I next moved onto the highly complex upper thigh guard plates: 2 whole pieces that I came to see I made them too narrow. Not a big loss of material and time as it took me a whole 5 minutes to cut out, glue and heat form so remaking them won't be an issue at all.


    I finally got over the hurdle of the completing the lower legs (minus the visible missing parts... I threw out the stencil for it....oops)


    So I moved onto the largest piece- the chest! I spent longer than I want to admit cutting out and gluing the chest part before common sense finally kicked in and showed to me that I could've done it out of 1 piece instead of 6.


    Oh well. Got that sucker cut out and glued up and through the magic of not taking progress pictures I give you a chest mount! My head was too big to fit through the hole so for now its just shown as is so I can better build a more fitting neck cuff and hole.


    For the time being the taped side parts are staying separate until the chest piece is mounted and I can properly scale how tight the entire piece has to be as I don't want it too loose and too tight. I'd post the process of me donning the taped chest piece but I'm ashamed of how long it took and how many times I went 'Help! I'm stuck again and need to be rescued!' to my wife...


    I next moved onto the beloved ODST chest plate and got it glued up and marked for on the fly field surgery. The piece is really bowed but with what will be tons of hot glue will fit nicely onto the mount without stressing the glue on the back section.


    These two parts will hopefully be stuck to the areas of the chest that are yet to be sized but for the time being their off to the side since is so hot the painters tape can't even hold itself together.

    So here we are. A dozen really large pictures and a final one showing off what I have up to this very moment! By the way, how many pillows on a bed is legal before it becomes a crime?? My wife says 8 is fine and won't accept that 2 is really better...


    Only thing I'm worried about is those thigh pieces- they are really bowed at the top due to how the foam was put together and will need a large piece of foam to draw them in. Just have to custom make the piece needed for it but that will come at a later date. Oh and I've since filled in that missing section on the lower leg part in the above image.

    Currently my next step at this moment is to get the final plans printed (forearms) and start on the upper arm sections and mounting brackets. And finish those blank stomach side sections.

    I've got much to learn in how to get cleaner cut lines and still occasionally have the rotary tool bite into edges when I angle it wrong. Since I've first started I've improved with getting edges sanded smoothly considerably and having that knife sharpener has reduced the amount of blades wasted.

    Again I apologize so much for the length of this post as I will make sure all future posts will be much shorter in the future, this was just a quick/lengthy catch up of what I had done.

    I'm always open to opinions and critiques!
  2. Sean Anwalt

    Sean Anwalt RCO 405th Regiment Officer

    Welp, I'm pretty much gonna give up, now. No way I can beat that! Those are some mighty fine foam skills, Begocer, and I'm super excited to see the rest of it!
    Dirtdives, Begocer and PaiganBoi like this.
  3. PaiganBoi


    I'm with Sean Anwalt... I am just about finished with my suit and I see your build. Soooooo much better. Especially with the greaves/shins. If I had done some of the things you have done, I would be more satisfied. :oops:
    Nicely done Trooper!
    Dirtdives and Begocer like this.
  4. Satchmo III

    Satchmo III Well-Known Member

    Looks very impressive. It's cool to hear that you came up against numerous struggles but persisted anyway and came to learn new techniques and also refine your methodology along the way. Good luck on the rest of your build!
    Dirtdives, Begocer and Sean Anwalt like this.
  5. Begocer

    Begocer New Member

    Thanks guys!

    PaiganBoi I don't know your trooper is really bad ass if I may say so myself- you're going for a really custom and unique suit and have pulled it off extremely well :D

    Sean Anwalt don't you dare stop yours!
    Dirtdives and PaiganBoi like this.
  6. Begocer

    Begocer New Member

    So apparently I'm a technomancer as my second rotary tool clonked out on me midway through my first shoulder piece. I dug out the first one and flicked it on and off a few times out of frustration and it turned on.

    Did the same to the second one and it turned back on too. Gotta love that shoddy wiring in cheap Walmart rotary tools.
    Dirtdives likes this.
  7. Sean Anwalt

    Sean Anwalt RCO 405th Regiment Officer

    Dirtdives likes this.
  8. FANGS

    FANGS Commanding Officer Division Staff

    Hey Begocer! I highly recommend the Mastercraft one from Crappy Tire/Canadian MoFo.....whatever you guys call it out east....hehehe I had their rotary tool forever before I wore it out. I have a Dremel now and it's lasted several years but I only got it because they were out of the Mastercraft at the time. Hopefully they still make them!
    Dirtdives likes this.
  9. Viper 466

    Viper 466

    Lookin good so far Trooper. Hope you keep up the fantastic work and that your journey smooths out a little for ye.
    Begocer likes this.
  10. PaiganBoi


    Your rotary tool could be crapping out from overheating. Depending on how long you have it running when you are beveling. I have a black & decker one and it suddenly died on me. It was pretty hot to the touch. Left it alone for about an hour, came back and it was working fine.
    Begocer and Dirtdives like this.
  11. Dirtdives


    You might be covering the intake vent while you are holding it. This is the main cause of units like this overheating. Do they get hot during use: Yes. Is the unit designed for prolonged use: Yes, but it doesn't hurt to give it a break and cool down.
    Sean Anwalt likes this.
  12. Begocer

    Begocer New Member

    I do stop and go a lot when I'm beveling edges but it isn't often I run it longer than 2 minutes at a time then let it get a bit of a break to glue up stuff.

    That still does heat it up, as expected...but $25 dollars comes with what could be a poorly cooled tool lol I knew it wouldn't be top quality with my budget.

    With intake coverage i gotta check how I hold it as I may be covering it unintentionally.

    I'll scout out the Crappy Tires around me to see if they have any good deals on those tools! Thanks FANGS
    Dirtdives likes this.
  13. Begocer

    Begocer New Member

    Thanks! Luckily it's still just the tool issues currently, not something awful like "Oh no! My dog mistook my trooper as a dog toy for some reason!"
    Dirtdives and Viper 466 like this.
  14. Begocer

    Begocer New Member

    It's been a slow night so I spent it cutting out the belt and applying the clown camo to complete my stomach side sections and first of 2 shoulder pieces.

    Some areas are going to be fixed up like the points on the shoulder piece where the blue foam didn't line up nicely enough with the grey foam.


    Though it doesn't show in the picture, the upper section of the side pieces have been scored, I just didn't draw a pen line on them which is why the other parts are more prominent.

    Tomorrow's plan is to get shoulder #2 done as I have an afternoon to myself then it's time for the forearms, another section I'm least excited for as all those curves and angles always spell disaster for me...but none the less I shall slog through this!

    I hear a Kwik-Seal employee starting to rub their hands in glee as I can already tell I'm going to need a lot of it being applied to this suit to get these gaps patched....

    Also: I have a possible idea to attach the shoulder pieces to a piece for my upper arm to go through but I'm not sure how to get the actual piece on, has anyone done it just by gluing in support struts going from the interior of the shoulder to the brace or by other magical means?
    Dirtdives likes this.
  15. PaiganBoi


    For my shoulders I made a cuff and glued them together. I have also seen people use foam knee pads that contractors use and attach those to the shoulders.
    Dirtdives and Begocer like this.
  16. Begocer

    Begocer New Member

    That's an interesting solution, I would never have thought of using those at all.

    Gonna try the cuff route for now haha
    Dirtdives likes this.
  17. Joffersmk2


    Begocer that is some skill you've developed there.

    I've been using foam for about 2 yrs now and I'd be delighted with those cuts and detail. Are you totally new to building or have you transferred skills from other mediums?

    Loving the level of detail you're getting on even the small pieces...well done man....well done.
    Dirtdives and Begocer like this.
  18. Begocer

    Begocer New Member

    I've always been hands on but have only built one small thing last year.

    A little off topic of the thread but its a little insight to how much I knew before I started the helmet. I had no experience with any of the steps from cutting out the foam to painting so everything was new and exciting.

    I didn't know what on earth I was doing but from that to this is a major increase of material, patience and skill.


    ....and I made it too small for my noggin mixed with poor ventilation that fogged up the visor often :( I couldn't wear my glasses underneath so I had to venture around the con going WHERE AM I!?. It was a fun build none the less!
    Dirtdives, Joffersmk2 and PaiganBoi like this.
  19. Joffersmk2


    For attaching the shoulders to the chestpiece of my ODST I used 1 inch elastic. I cut a trough in the underside of both, hot glued the elastic in then hot glued the piece I cut out back in a la DFT'S method.

    From 8 mins to 9.30 mins

    It is really very tough, I've ragged mine around and the join is really durable. I even tested one to destruction and the foam ripped before the straps gave.
    Dirtdives, Begocer and Sean Anwalt like this.
  20. Sean Anwalt

    Sean Anwalt RCO 405th Regiment Officer

    A lot of good information in that video, for sure.
    Dirtdives and Joffersmk2 like this.
  21. Begocer

    Begocer New Member

    His videos are awesome for beginners, only downside is that his plans are all I think scaled to A3 paper sizes whilst I use A4 and haven't found the proper size to up scale which was why my DFT helmet was smaller.

    ...aka I haven't looked.

    Plus his battle rifle plans are something I want to attempt if time permits me to and I can get it to the right scale.

    For my own suitsI've got some 1" back pack strapping...or whatever it's called coming in soon which will be used for rigging everything up.

    And with the upper arm I'm gonna just custom make a cuff, as I wanted to have a mounted plate rather than just an elastic strap to keep it down for something that is more game accurate. Still going to put a strap attaching it to my chest via the clasps for ease of disassembly and transportation.

    That's just my preference but if worse comes to worse I'll just go for the elastic.
    Dirtdives likes this.
  22. PaiganBoi


    DFT'S weapon templates are simple and easy to build. Plus easily customizable to add more details.
    I used his templates for the SMG & AR.
    Halo weapon props
    Then added my own touches.
    Dirtdives and Begocer like this.
  23. Begocer

    Begocer New Member

    That SMG is gorgeous :eek:

    The thin foam really makes the difference for details!

    Did you print the files as they came or did you tweak the PDF scales before printing? As I felt the SMG was a little short for me when I printed the files last year and taped up the side view.

    I had to laugh as I had the exact same thing in mind for having swappable tech if I were to make an SMG before I chose to settle on the BR. Man my mind really does like to over complicate things all for the greater good of accuracy.
    Dirtdives and PaiganBoi like this.
  24. PaiganBoi


    The SMG I left as is. It fits nicely in hand. For the AR, I think I scaled it down between 10 to 15 percent.
    Begocer and Dirtdives like this.
  25. Dirtdives


    That's only because your short!!!.........I left the AR files as is and they fit me and my boy, who's only 13, just fine. ;)
    Begocer likes this.

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