Help with my first build pls


SpartanIIGaming

New Member
Hey guys, So I've gotten the tools to work with foam building. I'm curious to what helped people who have never done cosplay before get started in the right direction. I have no foam as Im kind of lost on the thickness I would need to start making armor. What pieces should I start with? What's best for scaling the files and printing? What armor would you suggest a total newbie off with? As much as I already love this community, playing games and general chatting, I still want to build armor and show of progress and its been tough mentally to pick a starting point. Appreciate all and any advice you all have to offer. Much love y'all!!
 

Fallen

Active Member
Member DIN
S922
Frankly reading people's posts and asking questions is a perfect place to start. Also be sure to check out the Tutorial Index if you haven't yet.
First off I'll point you in the direction of the Foam Guide or, if videos are more your thing, check out this YouTube channel by a certain red Spartan around here.

For foam DFT has some good beginner-friendly suit builds such as a Marine and ODST and various prop builds (SMG, M6C SOCOM, and H5 DMR come to mind) for getting started if you want to follow along step-by-step.

The aforementioned Spartan's channel is doing a Reach suit build tutorial series that'll get you an amazing build and get you used to using pepakura templates for armor pieces, so I'd recommend checking his channel out.

As for what armor to do, only you can decide that. What armor interests you? What part to start with? If you want to practice getting used to foam and the techniques something small like a handplate is the way to go as you'll waste a lot less foam if you need to restart or do something again. If you'll be motivated by having a really cool piece done or think you might not want a full suit, just a show piece, a helmet can be a good option, although foam helmets aren't as common as other methods.

For scaling and printing Armorsmith at $30 USD is a really good option because you can create an avatar with your measurements to get a more accurate estimate as to the scale you need. Pepakura Designer is also a great option that you can start using for free (some features are not available in the free version such as saving) and is $38 USD to purchase a license.

Good luck crafting, and don't hesitate to ask questions. People around here will help in whatever way they can.
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RXO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Member DIN
S068
Hey guys, So I've gotten the tools to work with foam building. I'm curious to what helped people who have never done cosplay before get started in the right direction. I have no foam as Im kind of lost on the thickness I would need to start making armor. What pieces should I start with? What's best for scaling the files and printing? What armor would you suggest a total newbie off with? As much as I already love this community, playing games and general chatting, I still want to build armor and show of progress and its been tough mentally to pick a starting point. Appreciate all and any advice you all have to offer. Much love y'all!!
Back when I started I kind of just set a goal of "I am going to make an ODST" and went from there.

Having that goal lets you pick through some other threads, find some other makers who have already worked on that project and learn from them. Being able to see stumbling points and places where extra care is needed will make your life so much easier than just grabbing a knife and cutting into foam. Luckily there's fifteen years of community knowledge on the forums and a large group of active members here to help guide you to the right spot.

If you're looking for something easy to start off with I second Fallen and her recommendation of following along the DFT pattern route (maybe not his techniques since they aren't necessarily for long lasting suits) or a Halo 3 Marine since they have a little less armour plating that'll naturally collide if your scaling is a bit off. Also they're comfy as heck!
 

Harri51

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S251
To start. Fallen thank you for all the links and help!
I strongly agree with both Turbo and Fallen on everything they said as to start you out. Remember as well we now have the official Cosplay guide if you want to start a game accurate. If you would prefer to just get your feet wet then please go with the DFT.

Looking through the odst threads (please pay attention to dates to avoid necro posting) and just be nosey. I don’t think a single person here will tell you no.

Pulling reference images constantly is what I do to kind of see what I’d prefer in my minds eye kind of deal. Props are a big one too. I would say start with a foam prop to be con safe, not saying a 3D printed prop is not okay. Just a s a first time deal I personally recommend it. Don’t forget as well Monday nights on the discord colonial gets together to hang out so we can help you and you could bounce ideas off us all; or anytime for that matter.

Another good person to have help because he is on the tier 3 road, similar to myself, is CrimsonViper97 he has loads of images and advice on his “trip” so far.
 

ZiggyGrimm

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
Firstly, welcome! Second, you can also reach out to other people who build in your medium of choice. We are all fairly friendly on here. I build in foam with fiberglass and resin overlay, so I have some of the foam-smithing answers you might seek along your journey so don't hesitate to reach out.

For starting armour... honestly, whichever one you are most motivated to build. Yes, an ODST may be easier than a full blown Spartan, and a Spartan may be easier in some respects to a specialist armour set (EVA, Air Assault etc.) but at the end of the day ease of build should only be one component you consider. There are other questions like:
What one do you like most/ want to wear?
What do you have budget for?
Is there a time limit on your build (needs to be done for a con)?
How long do you want the suit to last for?
Once you have these things sorted getting started becomes a lot easier. :)
 

Electraknite

Member
Damn I relate in that its tough mentally to choose a starting point. I will literally think myself into paralysis. Lol, if you havnt yet check out punished props on YouTube for foam smithing advice and tutorials. Not halo specific but it’s all good stuff to know. they've also got a how to scale armour video that saved my butt.

I second picking your fav armour even if it’s harder to do. itll be better motivation to finish it and do it well.
I’m a noob at foam smithing too and I’ve found that I like to test templates and make notes before starting the final, good versions. It’s a whole learning process but once you’ve figured it out it’s not too bad. ive only ever used 10mm and 2mm foam which I’ve found to be able to do most things I need. 5mm foam looks like it might be the easiest to learn though. The thickness is a complicated thing to wrap your head around.. or it was for me Anyway.

start with the armour piece that looks easiest to make first. The one with the least polygons and fewest angles. Rounded things are easier to make than angled stuff. fold and tape together your pattern pieces first to figure out the final shape and remove seams that seem unnecessary.

I hope that’s helpful as a starting point. Good luck!
 
Last edited:

Adeptmechanicus

Jr Member
Another thing to think about are your tools of the trade for foam smithing. Sharp blades are a must for nice, clean cuts. I use the utility knives with the break off blades and no. 11 xacto blades. I also bought an inexpensive diamond hone to keep the sharpness up on my blades. A heat gun will help with shaping your foam pieces and to heat seal later on for plasti dip and painting. For adhesives I use Barge and whatever brand cya glue(Krazy glue) that I can find. You'll also need sand paper or a rotary tool like a Dremel or equivalent for smoothing corners, edges and what not. You can use different bits to add details or battle damage too. Just some things to ponder if you don't have anything yet. Good luck and get building!
 

ZiggyGrimm

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
Another thing to think about are your tools of the trade for foam smithing.
I second this! One of my best investments so far is a heated exacto-knife/ wood burning tool. It lets you make easier bends and the heated knife creates super clean cuts without having to constantly sharpen the blade or replace blades. Just another option (mine is nice because it is also my soldering iron for the electrical work I'm putting into my suit).
 

Adeptmechanicus

Jr Member
I second this! One of my best investments so far is a heated exacto-knife/ wood burning tool. It lets you make easier bends and the heated knife creates super clean cuts without having to constantly sharpen the blade or replace blades. Just another option (mine is nice because it is also my soldering iron for the electrical work I'm putting into my suit).
Nice! I didn't think of that, got 2 or 3 different irons. Have to try it
 
Top