Great Video for Gearing Up!

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Commanding Officer
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This was shared on the Regimiento de Mexico Facebook group and I thought it was a fabulous look at several things. This was put together by members of the 501st German Garrison. While it isn't Halo armor, it shows some things that I'd really like all of you to take notice of. I thought it would be helpful to anyone new to armor costuming.

First of all, you get to see the easiest order to put on a full armor costume. This will really be transferable to any full armor for the most part. You always want to save the parts that hinder your mobility until last. Also, it gives you a look at the harness system that is used by a lot of 501st for all sorts of gear. The harness allows you to not only better stabilize your armor but also helps to distribute the weight better. Some will use just a belt with thigh garters, others, like in this video, will use the full harness.

You'll also see that he has a lot of built in redundancy. You see it best on the ab plates where he has both Velcro and snaps. Snaps can come off. Velcro can fail. Rarely though will you lose both at once. His harness also has Velcro straps that attach to the ab plate. This will keep that section from riding up or twisting off centre. The suspenders on his ab plate also help with that and again, help support the weight. Plastic never seems heavy until you have it on for several hours while walking around etc. Foam can be the same way so plan ahead when doing your builds to add in ways to help distribute it.

Have a look at his knee armor - it seems to be on a sock of sorts and then has little straps to tighten once on. Knees can be notorious difficult to keep in place or keep from twisting so this is a great idea. Same with the shins - note the little piece of Velcro on his shoe covers that will not only keep the shin from twisting but will also keep the shoe covers from slipping or bunching.

Note how his arms go on like a shirt sleeve, except for the elbows. Some, depending on the style of armor, will have those sleeves attached to their chest and back and put the whole thing on like a shirt. Obviously, ease always trumps convenience. It might be convenient to keep things attached, but if you find it's a struggle or if it's putting a strain on your gear, it's likely best not to or to reduce the number of items attached. He gets in to his gear very smoothly so I'm going to guess that he's done it a lot. It does take some practice.

I find it also helps to leave yourself notes. On pieces that need to be on one side or the other, I make sure they have an L or an R on the inside so I don't have to think about it. As well, if it's something you don't wear a lot, it's helpful to have a list in your gear bin telling you what goes on first. Especially with anything that needs to go on before boots. I am notorious for forgetting to put on knees before I put on my boots. And your gear and how it's built is going to dictate that sort of thing. For example, he has to put his shins on before the boots, but if the shins opened completely in the back (clamshell) or came apart in two pieces, it would be easier for your boots to go on first. The list will also help to ensure that you have all of your pieces. A full box of armor means nothing if you forget your undersuit.

Take a look at how the gear fits him. He clearly took a lot of time to make sure it fit him well. Not only does this make for higher quality looking gear but it also can increase your comfort and mobility. You always want to take a look at how it fits you proportionally. The armor templates here are rarely going to fit you as is so take advantage of things like Armorsmith to help scale patterns. Same goes for any vac formed, cast or 3D printed armor. If you're making it, scale it before. If you've bought it, make sure to check what the size limits are. Some pre formed stuff can only be cut down so much or shimmed so much and some parts not at all. Make sure to always compare your pieces to what the in game armor looks like, especially with items like shoulder bells and chest sizes. You never want it to look like someone else's armor. It should fit you like a glove like the armor in this video. Compare the pieces in relation to one another and keep in mind that sometimes an item on its own will look too large or too small until it is matched up with the rest of the pieces. And lastly, always look at how the armor sits on your body in comparison to how it sits in game. Shorter, taller, heavier, skinnier - all of these things can change the way armor sits so you'll want to address it with shaping, padding, trimming etc. to get it to look the same as in game.

Happy watching and I hope this helps some!

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