Lemonade's Halo Reach Foam Build WIP

Lemonade

Member
Update

Behold!! Armor!





I haven't posted in about 3 weeks due to the insane amount of painting I've been doing. And it didn't help that it rained for a full week in that time! But I did manage to get everything painted and lights installed just in time for East Texas Rose Comic Con! And it paid off-- we won the cosplay contest! I wish I had gotten a picture of my husband and me together at the con in our armor, but I totally forgot! We also didn't end up going to the con in Dallas, since it would have been two cons in a row, we didn't have anyone else to go with, and I wouldn't have finished my armor in time anyway.

But back to armor stuff. I took a couple of notes when looking at the awesome work of TurboCharizard and attempted to cut out my own decals from painter's tape. I'm guessing my decals were a little too small to do this properly, since the paint leaked through a bit, but it wasn't anything a very tiny brush armed with cyan paint couldn't fix:



Here's a close up of my Magnum on my thigh piece because I think it's super cool! And you can see I stole the idea of adding a message to my weapon from TurboCharizard.


The magnets held well, as long as I didn't bump into anything .. Which was a problem. So I'm planning on adding a strap with a buckle to keep it in place. It won't be as easy to access it quickly, but when I make a DMR, I won't have much of a reason to need it quickly.

Also, I'm having trouble uploading a video of my lights in action, but they flash in an alternating pattern! When I initially started looking into lights, I noticed a really great deal on some pre-programed Christmas lights, and it sparked an idea I immediately fell in love with: what's better than static lights? Flashing lights! I'm so happy I was able to implement them into my chest piece.

So there's my armor so far! I'm going to take a much needed break for a bit, and then I'm hoping to get these things done in the spring: helmet, neck seal, spine, fabric stomach detail, DMR, and remake the shins.

Thanks for following along!
 
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Lemonade

Member
Thanks everyone!

While working on this armor, I’m reminded of the build process I went through with my first suit. It was an interesting time in my life, and it definitely helped shape me into who I am today. Here’s a bit of heartwarming reflection for you guys. I know it’s a bit long, but I can’t help it! It’s storytime with Lemonade!

___________________________________

In June 2011, my best friend Diandra and I had both recently graduated high school, and we were quickly making our way through the seasons of Red vs Blue together. This was the setting for our seamingly crazy year of armor building.

Diandra and I were already cosplay partners. When choosing our cosplays, we made sure our characters made sense together, like Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny from Pokemon, or the twins Luki and Noki from DOGS.

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So when our current obsession was RvB, Diandra suggested cosplaying from that. Grif and Simmons were our favorite duo. Being the sensible one of course, I told her it was absolutely impossible. But Diandra was the visionary of our little team, and even though neither of us had ever made armor, she didn’t give up. Some short time later, she restated her desire to make Halo armor along with a mini presentation of her research. That’s when I learned about the 405th.

I think back then EVA foam wasn’t as common of a way to make armor as it is now, and paper is easier on noobs, so we decided on the pepakura process. I remember her telling me about a guy named Longshot who made armor the same way we planned on making ours. After seeing his armor, I wondered how in the world that level of crafting was even possible. And after making my own suit, I still feel that way.

___________________________________

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With the wealth of information found on the 405th, we began our process. However, as word got around and people saw that two inexperienced little girls were trying to make full suits of armor, and out of paper no less, we gained a few skeptics who clearly didn’t think our plan would work. Among them were our fathers.

Since we both attended community college during this time, we lived with our parents. My dad asked what the full plan was, and after explaining to him that resin and fiberglass would harden the paper, he said that it sounded like it wouldn’t work and suggested that everyone on the website were part of an elaborate prank that would cause others to spend countless hours folding paper. Her dad straight up said it wouldn’t work and we were wasting our time. However, we continued to cut, score, fold and glue.

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___________________________________

When we were ready to begin the hardening process, we took a trip to Menard’s to purchase the resin. However, even this simple task would prove to be difficult. Upon entering Menard’s, we were immediately approached by an employee who seemed to assume the two young girls must be lost. When telling him what we were looking for, we found that the employee, who works at a hardware store, had never in his life heard of fiberglass resin. “What are you going to use it for?” “Well, the way we’re going to use it isn’t how it’s supposed to be used...” “What’s it normally used for?” “...We don’t know.”

After more questioning, we finally gave in and told him we were going to apply it to paper to harden it. He told us to try paper mache. No thanks. He said he’s never heard of anything else like that. Maybe try a craft store. We told him again we’re not using the resin for how it’s normally used. He walked over to the paint section and suggested some kind of spray paint, asking the employee there if he had heard of anything called fiberglass resin “that hardens paper.” Again, we received a big “Nope.” After a frustrating half hour of searching for the resin with an employee who looked at us like we were crazy, we finally left empty handed.

I think that incident happened before either of us had a smartphone. Thank goodness for modern technology. Well, we obviously did more research and learned that fiberglass resin is used on cars, and I developed the habit of walking into hardware stores briskly to avoid employee interaction, heading straight for the automotive section. Some time later, we were in Menard’s again picking up another can of resin, walking to the correct section, when Diandra began scanning the aisles with determination in her eyes, clearly looking for the same employee. “Sorry Diandra, this is a different Menard’s.” Her expression turned to that of annoyance.

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Above, you can see us beginning the process of applying the resin. Below is a picture of us after first learning the dangers of fiberglassing followed by a picture of us after a few weeks of becoming comfortable with fiberglassing. From complete paranoia to casual handling.

FB_IMG_1540847861555.jpg


FB_IMG_1540847939959.jpg


After a few months, we were joined by our friend Alyssa who decided to make Caboose armor. We then became the three crazy girls making Halo suits to our group of cosplay friends.

FB_IMG_1540847979978.jpg


___________________________________

When we first started, we were met with a lot of skepticism, but as we neared the end, even our biggest skeptic jumped on board the Halo hype train when he saw that the fiberglass actually worked. Here’s Diandra’s dad helping us sand and dremel:

FB_IMG_1540848012278.jpg


And when we finally finished, we proved to everyone that three inexperienced girls with a lot of perseverance and even more fiberglass resin could create three full suits of awesome looking spartan armor.

FB_IMG_1540844097838.jpg


FB_IMG_1540844184506.jpg


While we did have a huge number of supporters throughout our process, we also had people telling us we couldn’t do it. To be able to prove those people wrong was an amazing feeling, and the amount of dedication needed for such a project gave me self-confidence used in other areas of my life.

___________________________________

Now that I’m almost done making another suit, this time around there wasn’t a single person telling me I couldn’t do it. Everyone had seen the result of my first effort, so they had no reason to doubt. Therefore, the only one telling me I couldn’t do it --was me.

Sure, I knew from my first suit that I had the dedication required, but this new material, EVA foam, required skill. Skill I wasn’t convinced I had. The outside skepticism from the first build became inward in the second.

Despite my own doubts, I did it anyway. Several times during the building process, I would look at armor others have made and get discouraged that mine didn't look that good. But then I began to realize that building armor isn't about that. I'm confident that I did the best I could do, and for that I am very proud. And in the end, my armor turned out even better than I had hoped for!

If I could give one piece of advice to those just starting out, I would say this: don’t compare yourself to others. Look at where you started and be proud of the progress you’ll make in learning a new skill.

Just keep building!

IMG_20181027_114313165.jpg
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Thanks everyone!

While working on this armor, I’m reminded of the build process I went through with my first suit. It was an interesting time in my life, and it definitely helped shape me into who I am today. Here’s a bit of heartwarming reflection for you guys. I know it’s a bit long, but I can’t help it! It’s storytime with Lemonade!

___________________________________

In June 2011, my best friend Diandra and I had both recently graduated high school, and we were quickly making our way through the seasons of Red vs Blue together. This was the setting for our seamingly crazy year of armor building.

Diandra and I were already cosplay partners. When choosing our cosplays, we made sure our characters made sense together, like Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny from Pokemon, or the twins Luki and Noki from DOGS.

View attachment 261749

View attachment 261750

So when our current obsession was RvB, Diandra suggested cosplaying from that. Grif and Simmons were our favorite duo. Being the sensible one of course, I told her it was absolutely impossible. But Diandra was the visionary of our little team, and even though neither of us had ever made armor, she didn’t give up. Some short time later, she restated her desire to make Halo armor along with a mini presentation of her research. That’s when I learned about the 405th.

I think back then EVA foam wasn’t as common of a way to make armor as it is now, and paper is easier on noobs, so we decided on the pepakura process. I remember her telling me about a guy named Longshot who made armor the same way we planned on making ours. After seeing his armor, I wondered how in the world that level of crafting was even possible. And after making my own suit, I still feel that way.

___________________________________

View attachment 261751

With the wealth of information found on the 405th, we began our process. However, as word got around and people saw that two inexperienced little girls were trying to make full suits of armor, and out of paper no less, we gained a few skeptics who clearly didn’t think our plan would work. Among them were our fathers.

Since we both attended community college during this time, we lived with our parents. My dad asked what the full plan was, and after explaining to him that resin and fiberglass would harden the paper, he said that it sounded like it wouldn’t work and suggested that everyone on the website were part of an elaborate prank that would cause others to spend countless hours folding paper. Her dad straight up said it wouldn’t work and we were wasting our time. However, we continued to cut, score, fold and glue.

View attachment 261752

View attachment 261753

___________________________________

When we were ready to begin the hardening process, we took a trip to Menard’s to purchase the resin. However, even this simple task would prove to be difficult. Upon entering Menard’s, we were immediately approached by an employee who seemed to assume the two young girls must be lost. When telling him what we were looking for, we found that the employee, who works at a hardware store, had never in his life heard of fiberglass resin. “What are you going to use it for?” “Well, the way we’re going to use it isn’t how it’s supposed to be used...” “What’s it normally used for?” “...We don’t know.”

After more questioning, we finally gave in and told him we were going to apply it to paper to harden it. He told us to try paper mache. No thanks. He said he’s never heard of anything else like that. Maybe try a craft store. We told him again we’re not using the resin for how it’s normally used. He walked over to the paint section and suggested some kind of spray paint, asking the employee there if he had heard of anything called fiberglass resin “that hardens paper.” Again, we received a big “Nope.” After a frustrating half hour of searching for the resin with an employee who looked at us like we were crazy, we finally left empty handed.

I think that incident happened before either of us had a smartphone. Thank goodness for modern technology. Well, we obviously did more research and learned that fiberglass resin is used on cars, and I developed the habit of walking into hardware stores briskly to avoid employee interaction, heading straight for the automotive section. Some time later, we were in Menard’s again picking up another can of resin, walking to the correct section, when Diandra began scanning the aisles with determination in her eyes, clearly looking for the same employee. “Sorry Diandra, this is a different Menard’s.” Her expression turned to that of annoyance.

View attachment 261754

View attachment 261755

Above, you can see us beginning the process of applying the resin. Below is a picture of us after first learning the dangers of fiberglassing followed by a picture of us after a few weeks of becoming comfortable with fiberglassing. From complete paranoia to casual handling.

View attachment 261756

View attachment 261757

After a few months, we were joined by our friend Alyssa who decided to make Caboose armor. We then became the three crazy girls making Halo suits to our group of cosplay friends.

View attachment 261758

___________________________________

When we first started, we were met with a lot of skepticism, but as we neared the end, even our biggest skeptic jumped on board the Halo hype train when he saw that the fiberglass actually worked. Here’s Diandra’s dad helping us sand and dremel:

View attachment 261759

And when we finally finished, we proved to everyone that three inexperienced girls with a lot of perseverance and even more fiberglass resin could create three full suits of awesome looking spartan armor.

View attachment 261760

View attachment 261761

While we did have a huge number of supporters throughout our process, we also had people telling us we couldn’t do it. To be able to prove those people wrong was an amazing feeling, and the amount of dedication needed for such a project gave me self-confidence used in other areas of my life.

___________________________________

Now that I’m almost done making another suit, this time around there wasn’t a single person telling me I couldn’t do it. Everyone had seen the result of my first effort, so they had no reason to doubt. Therefore, the only one telling me I couldn’t do it --was me.

Sure, I knew from my first suit that I had the dedication required, but this new material, EVA foam, required skill. Skill I wasn’t convinced I had. The outside skepticism from the first build became inward in the second.

Despite my own doubts, I did it anyway. Several times during the building process, I would look at armor others have made and get discouraged that mine didn't look that good. But then I began to realize that building armor isn't about that. I'm confident that I did the best I could do, and for that I am very proud. And in the end, my armor turned out even better than I had hoped for!

If I could give one piece of advice to those just starting out, I would say this: don’t compare yourself to others. Look at where you started and be proud of the progress you’ll make in learning a new skill.

Just keep building!

View attachment 261762
If anyone ever doubts you, they can fight you IRL.

I love that shout out to LongShot X by the way. Dude is a legend.
 

Lemonade

Member
Update

It's been a while! In the 6 months I've been gone, I did a lot of life stuff. I helped cook a Thanksgiving dinner for 30 college students who couldn't go home for Thanksgiving, I drove 1000 miles home for Christmas, my husband started his career after graduating with a bachelor's in mechanical engineering, we moved into a house we are renting, and we adopted two giant, fluffy dogs.

BUT THAT'S NO EXCUSE FOR SLACKING ON ARMOR BUILDING! BEHOLD, PROGRESS:

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Dallas Fan Expo is coming up in a week (May 4), so I'm trying to get my helmet done by then. It's been particularly tricky, because I couldn't find a file for foam, so the file I used was made for paper. While the seams aren't ideal, I think it turned out pretty well, all things considered. I also have to remind myself that I haven't liked some of the other pieces I've done until I painted them.

As you can see, I decided to build the tip of the visor area out of craft foam to allow for more detail. I reinforced the inside of that area with a million layers of more craft foam, so it doesn't have much of a chance to become warped if bumped too hard.

Here's the visor, ready to be cut into the correct shape:

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Now that we're out of our tiny apartment, it's so nice to have the space to make stuff. I've got a craft table out of the way in a separate room, and check out how chill it is to glue stuff outside with a couple of good dogs nearby:

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Here's how the helmet fits:

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Still need to add some foam inside to have it sit better, but I think it's a good size. Seems like it's bordering on bobbleheadedness, but here it is next to my old helmet, which is pretty much the perfect size for me:

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They seem like they're basically the same size, but I think my Reach one seems bigger from the front because it's wider. Hopefully it'll look more normal when I'm wearing my full suit.

So that's my progress! I've been working on my helmet for the past three weeks, and I think I can finish it in this next week. It'll be exciting to go to my first big con in it. I heard other members of the 405th sometimes attend Dallas Fan Expo, so maybe my husband and I will finally have someone new to troop with! I probably won't have time to give another update until after the con, so until then, here's a photo of my adorable dogs, Mouse and Pidge:

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Attachments

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Recon Assassin

Graphics Assistant
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.
The color choice is great when you match as a couple. Nice color scheme. It will certainly make it easy to find you in a crowd. Looking forward to seeing the finished project.
 

xXDashIVXx

Well-Known Member
If you're unhappy with your seams, get some kwik seal or some of that foam clay TurboCharizard is so big on. It'll help a lot.

I like the build, though, it's looking great!
Agreed, this man knows what he is talking about! (Use kwick seal for very minor and small seams) my first ever build was my helmet, and that thing has so many gaps and garbage seams in it. It looked like the Grand Canyon! I used some woodland scenics and basically sculpted the helmet and it looks sooo good now with minimal flaws... I'd even say it's up to the standards of the almighty ExCeLLuR8 :D

As long as you dont put the putty in corners that would flex, you are golden! I cant wait to see this bucket all painted! It looks soo good:love:
 
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