1st Build Foam Halo 3 ODST Build

CMYKey

Jr Member
Hey folks! New member here. The goal of this thread is to document the progress on my first foam armour build and to get some feedback to help me along the way.

For those interested in some background, I am relatively new to the cosplay scene with only 2 builds under my belt, with minimal DIY work. This past year, I dipped my toes in foamcrafting to create two prop weapons for this year's Calgary Expo (see below, unfinished). I had an absolute blast creating these props, and I was very pleased with the result. With the postponing of the Expo and getting temporarily laid off due to COVID-19, I figured now might be the time to take the next step in my cosplay journey and begin work on my build for next year's events - the ODST.

IMG_0950_1.jpg IMG_0952_1.jpg

Wanting to continue improving my foamcrafting skills, I figured a suit of armour would be the next logical step. I chose the ODST because I've always been a fan of the series and the armour, and the potential ease for a first-timer due to the relatively small amount of pieces involved and the abundance of resources out there for the build.

My plan for the complete build includes the armour, an M6C/SOCOM, an M7S SMG, and a combat knife. I'll be using the Halo 3: ODST armour as a base, with a bit of remixing here and there. One of my biggest wishes is to implement the CBRN/HUL attachment on the helmet.

So, while I wait for my foam order to come (10mm, 5mm, 2mm), I've sized up my armour pieces in Armorsmith and started to print and assemble them in cardstock to test the proportions before cutting up my foam. If you notice something off with the proportions on my rig, let me know!

ODST_armour_mockup_apr04.jpeg IMG_0958_1.jpg IMG_0956_1.jpg

I'm open to any and all feedback, advice, and tips along the way. I hope you can find some enjoyment in my successes and failures throughout this build!
 

CMYKey

Jr Member
Wow, that looks good. I am a total noob also starting with ODST, so I am realy glad that someone else is building same type of costume as me. I will be following your progress(y). I have a question: Which glue will you be using?
On the two props here, I used LePage Heavy Duty Contact Cement for the larger pieces, and Gorilla Super Glue for the smaller details. I know Barge is typically the go-to for contact cement, but it's hard to come by (and expensive) in Canada. I can't compare because I've never used Barge, but the LePage Contact Cement did its job just fine.
 

CMYKey

Jr Member
Not much of an update yet, I'm still waiting on my foam to arrive. I've been struggling with getting the vest sized in the meantime, however. Maybe someone can give me a hand.

I've printed out and assembled the vest in cardstock twice, neither of them fit. Both fit in the shoulders, but are too big around. That being said, however, the neck-hole on both are too small to put my head through... and as far as I can tell, I don't have an oversized dome. So I'm not sure where I'm going wrong there.

For both tests, I used the uniform scale tool until the vest fit the width of my shoulders, which also made it a proportional fit lengthwise. For both fits, I used the non-uniform scale tool to scale the z-axis to slim it. On the second print, I scaled the z-axis even more, ignoring the parts that were clipping through my avatar. Again, too big.

Here's how my second test looks in Armorsmith:

odst_armor_vest02.jpeg odst_armor_vest04.jpeg odst_armor_vest03.jpeg

I've quadruple-checked my measurements and I'm 100% confident in them. I've thought about using the freeform distort tool to bring in the sides near the base of the vest to see if that would do the trick. However, the vest starts to clip through my avatar quite a bit. Here's what the vest looks like if I use freeform distort:

odst_armor_vest05.jpeg odst_armor_vest06.jpeg

That still doesn't solve my small neck-hole problem, though, and I'm hesitant to do another cardstock test and waste more paper and tape. I'm pretty sure I'm assembling the paper right, but I'm debating just assembling it in foam and seeing where that gets me. Any advice?
 

CMYKey

Jr Member
Okay, good to know. Any tips for getting the right size for the vest? Am I wasting time with the cardstock tests?
 

PaiganBoi

Sr Member
Okay, good to know. Any tips for getting the right size for the vest? Am I wasting time with the cardstock tests?
The cardstock tests are a good thing to do. It's better than wasting foam.
You could also alter/adjust the cardstock and use that as your template for the foam.
 

CMYKey

Jr Member
Still waiting on foam, so not much of an update today. Been working on the paper tests, and 4 attempts later, I'm feeling a bit better about the vest. I've also been working on some of the design elements for the build. I'm probably getting ahead of myself, but maybe this will inspire some folks who are further along than I.

The blood badges provided here are fantastic, but the graphic designer in me couldn't help but make some small adjustments. I vectorized the badge and made some changes to the font and alignment for a more balanced design. I've got all the time in the world right now, so I've been thinking about making and posting vector versions of all the blood types if that's something people might be interested in.

blood_type+final.png

I've decided on the callsign "Wolf," which I plan to paint on the chest piece, along with the wolf multiplayer emblem a la Dutch. I found vector versions of all the emblems here. I'd love to do the emblem with spray paint and a stencil, giving it a rough sort of graffiti look. Oh, and I forgot to mention in my initial post that I'm going for a gunmetal and blue colour scheme similar to Romeo.

wolf_emblem.png
 

RogueOneSpartan

Jr Member
Thanks for mentioning the blood badges and showing the link for them. Yes, I am interested in vector versions of blood badges, and I really want to see how your design turns out.
 

CMYKey

Jr Member
So after some delays, my EVA foam finally came... and I'm now realizing I ordered way too little (and spent way too much). The foam feels... strange as well. It's noticeably denser than foam mats (squeezing it between your fingers barely makes a dent) yet at the same time, feels a lot flimsier. Sales are final, unfortunately, so there's no going back... but I will obviously need more foam to complete the armour. I opted for 10mm foam over the 12mm Wal-Mart foam mats because I figured the 12mm would be too thick. But, simply ordering more of the fancy cosplay foam isn't really an option for me, financially. Which means the 12mm might be my only option.

Obviously, I don't want the foam I ordered to go to waste. But, I only have enough to complete a few components of the armor. With this in mind, what do you guys think would be the best armour component to use the 10mm, denser foam for? The helmet? The vest? I'm hesitant on the helmet, cause of how flimsy it feels.

Unless any other Canadians know where to find 10mm thick floor mats?

EDIT:
Just some more info on the foam I ordered. It's the Oracle Tide 65KG EVA from Red Moon Cosplay. It's really strange... It feels really dense when you squeeze it, yet it's really lightweight, almost styrofoam-like. It doesn't behave like other EVA foams I've worked with. It didn't take on that characteristic "shimmer" and smoothness after hitting it with a heat gun, and the surface details that were cut into it didn't open up like they're supposed to - in fact, they did the opposite, the details sealed up.

EDIT 2:
I reached out to Red Moon and they were kind enough to not only to give me a full refund, but they let me keep the old stuff, and they're sending a sample pack of a different foam variety to test out. So that's that, I guess. Pretty happy with their service in the end. But, I'll still be looking to go with foam mats for the build.
 
Last edited:

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
So after some delays, my EVA foam finally came... and I'm now realizing I ordered way too little (and spent way too much). The foam feels... strange as well. It's noticeably denser than foam mats (squeezing it between your fingers barely makes a dent) yet at the same time, feels a lot flimsier. Sales are final, unfortunately, so there's no going back... but I will obviously need more foam to complete the armour. I opted for 10mm foam over the 12mm Wal-Mart foam mats because I figured the 12mm would be too thick. But, simply ordering more of the fancy cosplay foam isn't really an option for me, financially. Which means the 12mm might be my only option.

Obviously, I don't want the foam I ordered to go to waste. But, I only have enough to complete a few components of the armor. With this in mind, what do you guys think would be the best armour component to use the 10mm, denser foam for? The helmet? The vest? I'm hesitant on the helmet, cause of how flimsy it feels.

Unless any other Canadians know where to find 10mm thick floor mats?

EDIT:
Just some more info on the foam I ordered. It's the Oracle Tide 65KG EVA from Red Moon Cosplay. It's really strange... It feels really dense when you squeeze it, yet it's really lightweight, almost styrofoam-like. It doesn't behave like other EVA foams I've worked with. It didn't take on that characteristic "shimmer" and smoothness after hitting it with a heat gun, and the surface details that were cut into it didn't open up like they're supposed to - in fact, they did the opposite, the details sealed up.

EDIT 2:
I reached out to Red Moon and they were kind enough to not only to give me a full refund, but they let me keep the old stuff, and they're sending a sample pack of a different foam variety to test out. So that's that, I guess. Pretty happy with their service in the end. But, I'll still be looking to go with foam mats for the build.
I've used their Black Isle stuff and you kind of just need to wrap your head around the higher density than floor mats. This stuff once it takes a shape from heating and tooling, it keeps it. Usual craft knives go dull really quickly since it's so chunky so have a sharpener available at all times or consider using a bandsaw. Another thing I've done in the past is used cheapo mats as the base and then skinned the top layer with tougher Red Moon foam on the top layer for a more durable piece that resists denting and tearing.
 

CMYKey

Jr Member
I've used their Black Isle stuff and you kind of just need to wrap your head around the higher density than floor mats. This stuff once it takes a shape from heating and tooling, it keeps it. Usual craft knives go dull really quickly since it's so chunky so have a sharpener available at all times or consider using a bandsaw. Another thing I've done in the past is used cheapo mats as the base and then skinned the top layer with tougher Red Moon foam on the top layer for a more durable piece that resists denting and tearing.
Yeah, I may have overreacted a bit. It's definitely different, I guess I'm just not used to working with it. I do feel kinda bad for being "that guy." Their service has been really great. And I'll definitely still try incorporating the heavier stuff so it doesn't go to waste.
 

CMYKey

Jr Member
Praise the big red triangle! The good ol' Canadian Tire came through with some 10mm foam mats at only $10/pack. With that, I am now ready to get this build started for real.

A test fit of the thigh and shin from last week:

IMG_0965.jpg

And my completed vest. The seams definitely need some TLC, but overall I'm pretty happy with my first assembled part.

IMG_0974.jpg IMG_0975.jpg IMG_0977.jpg

From here, I'm going to keep going ahead with the vest components before moving on to the more complex parts like the shins or forearms.
 

PaiganBoi

Sr Member
Praise the big red triangle! The good ol' Canadian Tire came through with some 10mm foam mats at only $10/pack. With that, I am now ready to get this build started for real.

A test fit of the thigh and shin from last week:

View attachment 289671

And my completed vest. The seams definitely need some TLC, but overall I'm pretty happy with my first assembled part.

View attachment 289672 View attachment 289674 View attachment 289675

From here, I'm going to keep going ahead with the vest components before moving on to the more complex parts like the shins or forearms.
Nice.
To give you a head up. The knee guards are missing a piece in the templates.
20200424_230050.jpg

The 'ears' have some depth to them. That part is missing. You'll have to improve that part if you're looking for accuracy.
 
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