Foam Halo Reach Carter Build - Going for T3

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405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Member DIN

When I joined the 405th back in 2015 with grand ideas of the Spartan suit I wanted to make I knew absolutely nothing about how to build a suit. The first piece I ever made was a Mark VI helmet using the pepakura method that was too small and where I was too impatient during the bondo phase that I eventually just told myself to "finish it and move on." This was followed up by the big mistake of constantly comparing anything I attempted to make or even wanted to make to other members' builds thinking there was no way I'd ever have the talent or ability to make something that good. I'd start a build, get partially through, and restart or shelf the project because I discouraged myself by comparing it to {insert person's name}'s build. I did end up making a DFT Marine back in 2016 for Halloween, but never made a build thread for it. When I started making an ODST, I managed to create a build thread but still restarted and/or shelved it several times. It wasn't until HOD was announced for 2019 that I decided and finally pushed myself to finish and post a build thread for a full suit. By the end it was rushed, and I have plenty of upgrades to add and parts to be rebuilt, but having that suit done was just the push I needed to start thinking about finally starting that Spartan that I wanted back in 2015.

I'm building Carter from Reach, and I'm going for a T3 suit. I still may do my crossover build, but I've delayed that build for the time being. I'm also developing a TacPad application in a separate thread that will provide me with some amount of health data and ultimately control of various systems in my suit via connection with a Raspberry Pi.

Table of Contents

Forearms: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Progress Report

PartScaledConstructed/PrintedSurface PreppedPaintedWeatheredDone

Resources Used

Build threads followed for inspiration

Additional Builds

MoeSizzlac for his files on Thingiverse
TurboCharizard, Rock Lobbster, Harri51, and crackhead09 for feedback on helmet additions
Angus314 for sharing his version of the UA/HUL attachment

*Converting this thread to T3 attempt.
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Tools and Materials
* All prices listed are in USD

Purchased Tools

Tools Already Owned

  • Utility Knives
  • X-acto Knives
  • Blade Sharpener
  • Rulers
  • Cutting Mat
  • Dremel
  • Airbrush
  • 3D Printer(s)
  • Simplify3D (if you don't already own Simplify use Cura)
  • Bandsaw
Purchased Materials
  • Barge Contact Cement ($25 per quart on Amazon)
  • PLA+ ($23 per roll)
  • 2.5mm steel rod to make alignment pins
    • Could also buy alignment dowels like these
  • Magnets ($12 from MAGCRAFT)
  • LeakSeal ($9.98 per spray can)
Materials Already Owned
  • SKS HD-Foam (~$2.00 sqft if no discounts applied)
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First off, the helmet. Because this is one of two suits, I wanted to find one helmet that I could either purchase or build twice while being accurate enough for the T3 attempt build. Ultimately buying 2 helmets was going to be cost-prohibitive, so I decided to 3d print it instead.

I needed to find a model to work off of, and thankfully MoeSizzlac has a 3d printable version of Carter’s armor up on Thingiverse. Based on reference images, I decided to modify the helmet file to include additional details. I have not done any in depth 3d modeling in years, so I knew that starting from scratch was not a viable option at this time. Even though I don’t have a deadline for this build, I’m motivated by physical progress, and modeling the helmet from scratch had a high chance of ultimately demotivating me. Therefore, I started with the helmet file from Moe’s Thingiverse pack and the reference images I was able to put together from game files and materials pulled into Blender.

It was a lot of trial and error and just learning what I was doing in order to get the .stl file from Thingiverse converted to a format that I could edit in Fusion 360 and learning how to adjust the model and/or add the details I needed to make this helmet as accurate as I could. Using a combination of Meshmixer and Fusion 360 got me to a good starting point.


*v1 of modifications

For being able to wear the helmet, the opening at the base is not large enough to fit my head through without making the whole helmet far too big such that it will look like a bobblehead. I ended up slicing the model around the back and under the ear sections and intend to install magnets in order to put the helmet on or take it off.

To save on support material I created a structure that goes inside the helmet that is printed with 0% infill with supports printing from that to the actual helmet structure.

Helmet parts are printed with:
Esun PLA+ in gray
0.1mm layer height, 20% infill, 3 shells, 3 top and bottom layers, brim, and custom supports


Minus the buck for the visor which has not been printed yet, successful prints used just over 1kg of filament.

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I have to know, what kind of support is that? Is that added from meshmixer or something?

While in Fusion360 I created some simple structures using a sphere and cylinder for each support and then a plane cuts for anywhere I didn't need it to curve back around. Basically the process from an Uncle Jessy video but done in Fusion360 instead of Meshmixer. The structure was printed with no bottom, with a skirt, no infill, 2 top layers, and 2 outer shells. Still uses a fair amount of filament, but a lot less than regular supports and less cleanup than printing on an outside edge or slicing enough to get to no supports.


Finally motivated myself to get some handplates made. Using the file RandomRanger shared in his YouTube video. Built some test pieces until I was happy with the result, trying a few different techniques. I will admit, the height at the front of the plate is 1mm too tall when scaled for my hands, but I'm willing to live with that. I have a couple of versions, one set of which will be for this build, and the other will go to my crossover build.

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To make the back recess rounded, I used a pipe that was sharpened to first cut ever so slightly through the foam. From there I took my craft blade to cut the straight edges all the way through Then went back with the pipe to cut the circle out the rest of the way. About 3/4 of the way through the foam I angled the pipe so that it would only cut all the way through at the innermost part of the circle, the section that touches the main part of the glove. This way the straight and the circle stay together, and I won't have a seam to fill when I flip it over. Contact cement the two sections together and cut down to the correct length and it's ready to be used for the recessed part. Didn't need to be done, a squared off version would have been fine, but knowing myself even cutting that tiny corner will likely lead to me cutting bigger corners in the future. If that's not you, don't worry about it.

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Kwik Seal over any visible seams, shoe goo on the inside, and a few coats of Leak Seal later and I have a couple of gloves that are ready to be painted.

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For the actual gloves, I found some tactical style gloves that are about as close as I could find without (trying) making them myself that also were touchscreen compatible. One downside is that they have that hard knuckle piece sewn in which raises the plate in an awkward way. I'm going to try to remove it and put in a hopefully closely matching fabric, and the hand plates should sit more flush with little to no visibility of the "fix." Doing some color matching it looks like PPG Royal Plume is a close match, so I plan to get a sample made at the hardware store this weekend and test it out. I have shoes coming to start on the boots, so either those or the forearms will get started next.
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Looking great so far!
Those gloves look so good, I can barely tell they were made out of foam. excellent work so far

Thank you both. Really working to take my time and ask for lots of feedback from the Discord community and push back against my tendency to just want it done.

Forearms - Part 1

The past couple of weeks I've been playing Goldilocks and the three forearms.


Left: v1 - too small, Right: v2 - too big

Attempt #1 followed RandomRanger's tutorial video way and the linked file closely. I made minor adjustments such as where I chose to bevel or rounding over corners. Attempt #2 I took what worked and didn't work for me from v1 and adjusted more. One example is on v2 you can see that the section at my inner elbow is flat with a pen tracing for the piece. I taped together the templates to make cutting out those areas easier then cut the raised section out of 4mm foam with a slight bevel going to the outside. Since I realized the part was on the too big side, I never bothered to glue any raised pieces on. It's also worth noting that v1 was scaled uniformly, and v2 used a non-uniform scale based on how v1 felt. I think v3 can be uniform based on changes from v2.

I've since rescaled in between the two this time using uniform scaling again. After looking even more closely I'll be taping a few more templates together to make assembly simpler as well. If nothing else, this is getting me over my fear of having to rebuild a part multiple times.
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Forearms - Part 2

Over the past couple of weeks my forearm graveyard grew. Something was always off just enough for me to not be happy with the piece. Ended up with a total of 6 parts that I'll likely be scrapping. Not all is lost on them though, they'll be great for practicing my painting and weathering for these pieces. Never let rejected parts go entirely to waste.

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I don't have the a good number of details on the final version yet such as screws and freehand parts. I plan on making the second forearm to go pair with this one before adding the details on both. Maybe I'll use the "graveyard" pieces to practice getting those details how I want them too.

For a few notes based on changes I chose to make from the pepakura files to what I have so far:

1. Duplicated template and cut out of 2mm foam with an outward bevel. Rounded over edges slightly w/ dremel


*Photos from left to right from Halo Reach HQ Armor Reference Images by RandomRanger, game asset, pepakura file

2. Slightly raised above surrounding parts. Game model has raised but pepakura file has them slightly recessed
3. 3 "dot" details on piece made using smallest dremel bit I owned
4. Raised slightly with outward bevels. Duplicated template parts, one attached to other connecting template piece for easier cutting/less glueing and added 4mm foam cutout with outward bevel. Also used to cover some seams.
5. Not in pepakura file, free handed and cut out of template, slightly recessed to "red" section
6. Not circled in photo, but next to yellow circled part the lines aren't in the pep file but just measured the total distance of the sides and estimated how big each section would be. Cut a groove with my blade first and used smallest dremel bit and a steady hand to round over the edges of the grooves.

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From here I still need to round over some more edges, there's 1 missing piece from the template files that I need to cut from 6mm foam and attach at the wrist, add all of the freehand details/screws, and repeat for the left forearm before reinforcing the inside, filling any seams, and sealing for paint.

RandomRanger pointed out that I ended up installing the "wedge" part upside down on this attempt. Thankfully that's an easy piece to cut out and flip. I cut a little too deep on the sides, but those will fill easy enough as the cuts are only surface deep. Still need to dreml the edges smooth and reglue it, but good catch on his part. Looked back at previous versions, and this is the only version I ended up doing that on, even marked my template w/ the words "elbow" and "wrist" to try and help me orient it the correct way (you can see "elbow" written on the longer edge of the foam piece too. So I transferred it to my templates wrong. It's been fixed, so the left arm shouldn't have that problem. Just glad I don't have to start over yet again.

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Forearms - Part 3

Finally motivated myself to construct the second forearm, add the details, and seal the foam for painting. I might apply one more coat and lightly sand them, but they're basically ready for paint.

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The fit feels ok for me. It's still a little tight on the wrist with both my watch and glove on, but just shifting the glove to not cover my watch relieves that. I have a decent bend in my elbow before starting to squish it as well.

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Still haven't attached the glove pieces to my gloves, but I did go ahead and remove the hard knuckles. I'm thinking of sewing velcro in the space where the knuckle part was and attaching the gloves that way.

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I don't anticipate another update for awhile as I'm shifting my energy towards making my garage a bit more of a hospitable workshop and moving from the temporary setup in the basement.
T3 all the way man you got this, it’s looking incredibly detailed and clean, not to mention the thread is super well organized
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