How do you plan your builds?


Well-Known Member
Member DIN
I've seen quite a few different ways people plan out and/or track their build progress, so let me just ask

How do you plan or track your builds?

I like to use a Kanban board on a site like Trello with images, checklists, and labels so that I can have a single source of truth for everything I need. Want to look up that ref photo while in the workshop but there's no computer? No problem the Trello app is on my phone and usually has pics on the card for each story.

Screen Shot 2022-04-25 at 2.16.25 PM.png

Example of a board at the beginning of a build


Section of same board with example photo shown


Example of a card without checklist(s)

I know some others create calendars when there's a specific timeframe to complete things or others use a hand written series of checklists.
Last edited:


405th Regiment Officer
A website is such a great and easily accessible way for build logs. I feel like its so much easier to organize and move around thoughts. I type up my build logs through Google Docs, and create everything from a table of contents to a reference section. This build book is easily customizable and rearranged and I can add to it as I go. I'll end up printing it and putting it in a binder for contest / reference purposes.


405th Regiment Officer
I use the same planning methods I used in school and continue to use in university.

That is, winging it ;)

Not entirely though - I just don't plan nearly as much as you guys. I have a corkboard on my wall where I stick reference images for current projects, I write some ideas down in books and have folders for patterns. When it comes to a professional commission though, I take it more seriously and plot things out in MS Excel.


Well-Known Member
I just kinda pick my suit and find the files. Then it's one piece at a time with pep. Once I have a few things pepped move on to some hardening while pepping the next stuff. Kinda keep a flow going. Some things I am working on strapping, some things are drying outside while other things are getting pepped. Usually wait to paint until I have a few things ready. I do keep a list on my phone of the next few steps, but it's more so that I can check stuff off and feel productive than keep track of anything... And it gives me something to do when I'm bored at work or w/e. I try to keep my stacks of paper in the printed order and separate from any of the other random stacks of paper on my desk, but I don't really organize or plan things very often...

In terms of keeping track it's mostly just trying to remember to take pics for my build thread... I don't print stuff that often so I haven't been very good about my print log (although I do have one).


New Member
For my marine I'm working on I downloaded all the pep files I need, I sized them based on my measurements, and then got distracted with another cosplan lol. I mostly keep all of my files on a folder on my desktop, including Pep files, reference pics, paint colors, decals, etc. If I'm away from my computer I take my IPad with me and sketch my armor and where I would like to add decals/weathering/damage. Most of my build progress are dependent on my weekly income. Sadly very unorganized, but maybe for future builds I'll use my Google Drive or a calendar.


I typically use oneNote (only thing convenient that transits Linux/Android/Mac/Windows) with categories for each main section of a costume, with notes and references baked into that.
Once the grind starts I generate a checklist (print, prime, paint, etc), then check as I go. Strike through is used on anything I omit or side step

I never thought about using something like a workflow manager for costumes. Will have to take a look at Trello.


Well-Known Member
Wow. You guys are so organized. I just kinda find files and start cutting and gluing... I don't really do any planning for a build. That being said, I am almost 3 years on my first build and still not done so maybe some planning would be helpful... I did realize (about 1.5 years ago) that I had a lot for pieces in various stages of production and so I wrote down what steps I was on/were next for all the pieces on a note on my phone while I was bored at work. Does that count as planning?


Man you guys are organized. I write on a sticky note on my pc a check list of parts to build and download a bunch of files print them out and get going. I wish I was that organized lol. I usually only make one piece at a time so it works out pretty well


Active Member
I throw all of my files into a folder for my armor, then slap them into Armorsmith. Once I've printed a part I change the color in Armorsmith from default to orange. The exported scaled parts are renamed and also go into their own scaled folder within the armor folder so I can keep track of which files are scaled properly. Other than that I try keeping track of it in my head and pace in circles while I try to figure out what I need to do.


Jr Member
I usually dont have the time to plan with excel and stuff, i just have a list of stuff to make and I mark it down as I go
(side note, do not do this, it will cost you a lot of money)
plan ahead of time and measure your body correctly.
also make sure to print your pieces a little bigger than usual. you want to move, right?

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons: