Lemonade's Halo Reach Foam Build WIP

Lemonade

Member
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!
 

PaiganBoi

Sr Member
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.
 

Lemonade

Member
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.
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.
 

Cadet

Executive Officer & RCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
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.
 

Lemonade

Member
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!
 

zachturner009

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

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
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.
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
 

Lemonade

Member
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!
 

Lemonade

Member
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.
 
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