Lemonade's Halo Reach Foam Build WIP

Discussion in 'Halo Costumes and Armor' started by Lemonade, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

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    Hi I'm Lemonade and I'm making Halo: Reach female spartan armor.

    7 years ago I made a pepakura/fiberglass orange Master Chief suit (Grif), and now that it's old and worn, and I've lost some weight between now and then (go me!), I figured it was time for something new.

    So while this isn't my first suit, it is my first foam build, which is something I've always been a little intimidated by.

    I live in Texas now, but I grew up in Chicago, and I miss the awesome people in the Midwest Regiment. I'm not sure if or when I'll move back, but for now, I've got a con down here to prepare for.

    My soft deadline I've set for my suit is Oct 27, the Saturday of East Texas Rose Comic Con in Tyler, TX. I've never been, but it seems pretty small, so I don't mind if lesser things aren't done by then. It'll be a nice test run.

    Now then, here's my progress so far:


    It sure has been a learning experience. For example, the first EVA pieces I made were the shins. I really didn't know what I was doing, and I used hot glue, because I didn't know I should be using contact cement. I've used the cement for the other pieces.

    The shins, as seen below, are also a bit too short for my body, and the red craft foam sections on the sides are comically large. I think I should remake these pieces, but that's something for after the con.


    The end of October may seem like a while away, but I've done the math, and at my current rate of progress, I'm already in crunch time. I'm hoping to get all building done by Oct 1, giving me 3 weeks for clay, wood glue, and paint.

    Speaking of clay, I'm hoping it will help out with the big gaps on the front of my forearms. Those gaps are super annoying to me. Using EVA foam still doesn't feel natural, so it's annoying that I spent all that time trying to make the forearms, only to have large gaps like that.


    Here's the hand pieces. They were the first thing I made, but they're made completely out of craft foam, so it felt more like making it out of paper, which I'm used to.


    The most recent things I've made are the left thigh and a magnum, both of which I'm pretty happy about. I think I'm getting the hang of it!



    I've also installed some cheap magnets into the magnum and future right thigh for awesome-looking purposes, but I'm worried that even though I've installed 4, they're not going to hold.


    My next task will be looking into stronger magnets and finishing the right thigh. Geez foam is hard, but I'm going to do my best and see how it turns out.

    So here's my journey, and I'm taking you along with me!

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. PaiganBoi

    PaiganBoi Well-Known Member

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    The build is look sweet. Your experience with a Pep build is certainly helping you out in your first foam build.
    My advice would be to not use clay as a gap filler. Since foam is very flexible and clay hardens, there is a very high chance the clay will crack and fall out. You are better off using a material that will move with the foam. Some people use sandable/paintable caulk. I have used DAP Quik Seal or what seems to be becoming popular foam fillers and foam clay.
     
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  3. Sean Anwalt

    Sean Anwalt RCO 405th Regiment Officer

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    Looking great so far! Stronger magnets are definitely a plus. I'm having McCartney issues of my own, so I'm interested to see what you do to solve the issue.

    Keep us posted!
     
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  4. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

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    Thanks! Advice is much appreciated! I think I'll try the DAP Quik Seal.


    A small update today:
    I've been playing around with how I want to color the armor. My husband finished his foam ODST armor earlier this summer, and he painted it purple and cyan. Since we're married and all, I want our armor to kind of look like we're part of the same unit when we're walking around together, but they don't necessarily need to match. After wrestling with various ideas and color combinations, I decided I don't really want to paint my armor game-accurate. I like the idea of each spartan being unique and painting their armor to kind of match their personality.

    So that's why I decided on a tri-color design, with a mockup seen below, and my husband's armor as reference.



    I used a Vanity armor preview for the base, and then I took it into Photoshop to mockup my custom paint job.

    Purple and cyan are 80s futurism colors, and I carried that aesthetic into the color placement and the cyborg dog logo I made for my armor. I was concerned about how busy the armor might look with three colors, but with one of them being white (a neutral color), I think I pulled it off. I'd like to know what people think.

    I plan on placing the cyborg dog on the chest piece where the UNSC logo usually goes, on the right bicep, and on the top of the helmet. I've looked into people who make custom stencils on Etsy, and I think it'll work for me to order a custom stencil and use that to paint on the design. I do have concerns about the thinness of some of the lines, but I'm hoping it'll work.

    Another note about the armor design: both the left and right bicep add ons have meaning. The left bicep is ODST, obviously matching Alec's (husband) armor. Even the coloring is the same. And the right bicep looks like that of my first armor, Mjolnir Mark VI from Halo 3. It feels bittersweet to be retiring my first suit after so many happy memories with it. The right bicep pays homage to those times.
     
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  5. PaiganBoi

    PaiganBoi Well-Known Member

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    I like the colours. I get the vibe of 80's rock hair band feing from it. :D
     
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  6. Beemo8bit

    Beemo8bit Jr Member

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    I'm also on my first foam build, you look like you're doing well - it's a fast learning process. Colour scheme looks cool!
     
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  7. Cadet

    Cadet Executive Officer Division Staff 405th Regiment Officer

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    When I saw this topic pop up in the New Posts sections, I thought someone bumped an old thread, imagine my surprise and happiness to see you back and posting, Lemonade!

    Glad to have you back and the build is looking good.
     
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  8. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

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    Thanks Cadet! It's good to be back!
     
  9. IPv6 Subnet

    IPv6 Subnet Member

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    Everything looks good so far! I like the choice of armor you picked to build. Halo Reach was my favorite halo!
     
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  10. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

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    Thanks! Halo Reach was my favorite too!
     
  11. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

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    I have a new update!


    I made the right thigh and a boot.

    I'm happy with how the thigh turned out, but as I suspected, the magnets are way too weak. The magnum falls off if I turn too fast.



    I plan on purchasing this set of rare earth magnets when I get my next paycheck, which is tomorrow: link

    I always figured rare earth magnets would be ...you know, rare. And expensive. But I'm glad to see they're only about $10 for 100. Not bad.

    Anyway, here's the boot.


    It seems rather square in the toe area, but that's kinda how the file was. I'm not sure what I could do differently.

    Here it is with the shin, and you can see how the shin is just terribly small. Again, I plan on remaking this piece, but it'll have to wait until after the con in October.


    Also, I thought I'd show the rest of my undersuit.

    Here's the gloves I got. I think they look awesome, and this time around, I finally got gloves that are able to interact with a touch screen.


    However, I could only find it in medium, and my hands are so very small, leaving a lot of room at the tips of the fingers, which makes the whole touch screen feature difficult. *Sigh*


    I also purchased these suspenders, which will hopefully solve the thigh problem I've always had with my Grif suit: link

    This voice amplifier came in recently as well. It works surprisingly well, especially for it only being $15. I'm excited to try it out, since I've ALWAYS had to take off my helmet for anyone to hear me: link

    Another problem I've had with my previous suit has been fogging in the helmet. I think it got worse when I moved to Texas. Maybe. I like to blame all my problems on Texas. I even installed a fan in my helmet, but I think there's just not enough room for airflow in there to make a difference. With this new suit, I say no more! I looked into different options to stop the fogging, and I decided to buy this anti-fog spray to see if it solves the issue. I'll let you know if it works: link

    And finally, I want to talk about the undershirt I've picked out.


    That's my super serious face.

    The shirt is kind of interesting though. The last con I went to in armor was in the Texas heat, and it had me wondering how I ever used to wear the suit for so long. Oh yeah, in the Midwest, it isn't 105 degrees! So I went to Dicks Sporting Goods to see if I could find a long sleeved shirt that was made for hot weather. What I found was this shirt, which is labeled as swimwear, and I could already feel myself cooling off just wearing it for a few minutes. For anyone in the southern states, this might be something to look into. I can't wait to try it out at the con.

    Speaking of cons, I'm not going to be very productive this weekend because a few days ago, our friends invited us to a con in Louisiana which is this Saturday. Not much warning, but you don't have to twist my arm to go to a con. It does mean I'll be wearing Grif one last time ..again. And I probably have some repairs to do, since it's 7 years old, and every piece is slowly becoming a problem piece. Time to epoxy everything!
     
  12. zachturner009

    zachturner009 Member

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    Very nice progress, I am also doing a Reach build, really like your magnet idea for the magnum, I think I will try that.
     
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  13. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

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    Dude... I'm digging the colour scheme. Can you add the 90's Jazz Cup wave pattern somewhere?

    W A V E P O O L A E S T H E T I C
     
  14. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

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    Thanks! Haha, sorry, but I'm not a huge fan of the jazz cup pattern. I don't like most of the design elements that came out of the 90s.

    I am digging the music though!
     
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  15. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

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    Update!


    I made another boot and two knees.

    The toe part of the other boot was really bothering me, so I tried remaking it to be a little slimmer at the tip. It doesn't seem to have made much of a difference, but I think it does look a little better in person. It's hard to see with the photo:


    I did add buckles and straps to the bottom of the boots, which will make it easier in case I ever use different shoes. The straps between the toe part and the rest of the boot allow for a little more flexibility in the foot.


    Here's the full set of leg armor in a fitting test!



    I haven't installed the suspenders to the thighs yet, so they look a little droopy right now.

    I also changed out the crappy magnets for the awesome rare earth magnets, and now they seem like the perfect strength for keeping the magnum on my thigh. Sean Anwalt you were asking about that. I give an A+ to the rare earth magnets.

    My next task: building the biceps and shoulders, which will complete the arms and leave just the helmet, chest and codpiece left. I'm nearing the end!
     
  16. Beemo8bit

    Beemo8bit Jr Member

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    Looks so good, I love the idea of magnetising a sidearm - may well copy you on that!
     
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  17. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

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    I almost forgot! The con I went to last week was fun! I love doing unconventional poses for pictures as a Spartan.


    The con also made me even more motivated to finish my new suit. I'm so tired of how uncomfortable fiberglass is. I can't wait for the luxury that foam will feel like.

    I also have questions for anyone willing to answer:

    1. What's the best cost-effective option for lighting in armor? I don't have any electrical experience. In the past, I've just used small flashlights or twist-on lights that I've duct taped to the inside of my armor for a 1-con use. This time, I want something more permanent, but I don't know what to buy. I've done a search on the forums for "lights" and "LEDs," but it wasn't very helpful. It'd be great if I could have all wires in the chest piece lead to one switch so that I don't have to turn each light on individually.

    2. I want to install lights in all or most of the places they're supposed to go, but I'm having a hard time finding a good reference photo for the back of the chest piece. I was wondering if anyone had one.

    3. How does everyone solve the problem of people seeing your face through your visor, especially when flash photography is involved? With my Grif suit, I installed the darkest shade of automobile window tint to the inside of the visor. It definitely fixed the problem, but my visibility took a huge hit. I'm fine in a well-lit convention hall, but if I enter a dark room or go outside when the sun is going down, I can barely see anything. It's like wearing exceptionally dark sunglasses. I was wondering if anyone had a better solution.
     
  18. zachturner009

    zachturner009 Member

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  19. zachturner009

    zachturner009 Member

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    These are wreath lights, freaking awesome crazy light weight, I use these very often got mine for $.15, try it out!
     
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  20. zachturner009

    zachturner009 Member

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    And the wires are 3ft plenty of stretch room for a chest with an on/off switch! Some use triple A or double A
     
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  21. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

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    Thanks! I'm looking into that!
     
  22. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

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    1. I'm a fan of not burning through batteries but I also have computer engineering and a buttload of circuit design practice so I might be a bad person to ask. My suit runs off a single 5V USB source in the form of power banks that get swapped out every ~4 hours of wear. I get big grab bags of bare LEDs and resistors so it works out to around $30 in electronics components and it's more customizable than the battery pack powered LEDs.

    2. References are a bit of an interesting thing, I just went straight into the game and capped some cutscenes. Then I went into Inkscape and annotated my patterns to show where I added in lights.
    34131814_10155175345287574_8083133433234063360_n.png 34266727_10160321268950431_805975446595305472_n.png 34434398_10160321268945431_5654440233207332864_n.png 34509848_10160321269025431_1251687387134689280_n.png 34688203_10160321269060431_6734639308608634880_n.png

    3.Visibility is a fun issue on less common shaped visors. I'm on Mk. 5 of my visor right now so let's see how this mirror chrome version works out.
     
  23. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

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    Thank you so much! That is all very helpful!

    Your description of your lighting sounds kind of complicated and reminds me of my first time trying to learn Minecraft redstone. But hey, I got those sticky pistons working eventually, maybe I can learn this too.
     
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  24. Lemonade

    Lemonade Member

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    Update!

    I got sick with a bad cold last weekend, which slowed my progress, but I'm better now! And I've built both biceps and shoulder attachments.


    I'm not worried about the detail on the top of the left bicep, since it's going to be covered by the ODST attachment. I've got a short strap with a magnet on the inside of the ODST, which attaches to a magnet on the bicep (picture below). I figured it would give me more flexibility in my arms if I need it. The top of the attachment will be held on with the normal strap and buckle to the chest piece, so the magnetic part is to help it stay in the right place.


    I also did some battle damage! Once I realized I wanted battle damage, it didn't take long to decide what the damage would be from: a freaking dinosaur. So here we have the results of a velociraptor attack:


    I think I'm going to add another claw scratch on the front of my left thigh and on the back of my chest piece, when I make that.

    And here's everything I've made so far on me at the same time!


    It's exciting to see it all come together. I think I'm going to try applying the Kwik Seal to a forearm, sealing it with Plastidip, and painting the base coat, which will hopefully inspire me enough to take on the three important (and remaining) pieces: cod, chest and helmet.

    One more thing: due to being completely insane, I've decided to try and move up my timetable by one week. October 20 is the Saturday of Dallas Fan Days, and some of our friends are going, so... of course I have to go. However, I don't want to rush the suit, so if it doesn't get to be wearable by then, that's fine.
     
  25. zachturner009

    zachturner009 Member

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    Nice work dude, it's getting there
     
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