New Here, Any Tips on building, programs, etc.

AngelKnight1467

New Member
Hello just recently registered on here and looking for tips and stuff of how to start off, I'm hoping to the pathfinder armor from halo 4 and knowing I need to get some good footing on making my own cosplay with materials, programs to use to make it easier and long-lasting cosplay, I do want to get a look as if the armor is somewhat worn down, yet I know once again I need to earn and start off slow. so any info/tips?
 

The Wolf

Member
First you probably have to figure out which path you choose either fiberglass or foam (those are the two most common I think) you can choose because you are the "pathfinder"
 

The Wolf

Member
The pepakura files for the pathfinder helmet actually looks really easy:

EDIT: Actually people are saying it's hard, but as long as you be patient any of the helmet's can be done
 

he4thbar

Well-Known Member
I'd suggest foam. fiberglass is the strongest, however it cracks easier then foam if you drop it. i'm much more careful with my odst helmet then I am with the armor that is made of foam.
 

PaiganBoi

Sr Member
The two most common programs used for scaling the models are Pepakura Designer and Armorsmith Designer.
Pepakura has a free version. With the free version you can scale the part but cannot save your changes. Armorsmith is about $30 USD. Both a very good programs and highly recommended/needed.
 

AngelKnight1467

New Member
The pepakura files for the pathfinder helmet actually looks really easy:

EDIT: Actually people are saying it's hard, but as long as you be patient any of the helmet's can be done
well how do i access the files?
 

Cadet

Executive Officer & RCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
well how do i access the files?
Cick on that link, and at the top right of the page will be a big orange button that says "Download." Click that while logged into your Forum account and you will download a .Zip containing all the .PDO files that you can then open with Pepakura.
 

TuckerDidIt

New Member
Hello just recently registered on here and looking for tips and stuff of how to start off, I'm hoping to the pathfinder armor from halo 4 and knowing I need to get some good footing on making my own cosplay with materials, programs to use to make it easier and long-lasting cosplay, I do want to get a look as if the armor is somewhat worn down, yet I know once again I need to earn and start off slow. so any info/tips?
Evening, AK. I am "new" here as well. I actually started here over a year ago, but with one thing and another haven't had much time for this project until recently.

My personal preference is for 3D printing. Many of the files you need and the support for them is online and relatively easy to come by. You can set up a 3D printer in more or less any place. (Mine is in a 4 foot area in my den in a 1100 sq foot apartment.) Probably most important, you can continually make new parts and upgrades to your costume as you go. If a part breaks, just print a new one. Filament is relatively inexpensive, and there are all kinds of tutorials online to help you.

Doing the math, you can pick up an Ender 3 printer for about $229 (at the moment they're low in stock because people are buying them to print PPE for hospitals). With about $60 you can get more than enough filament to upgrade your printer with additional parts and supports to make your printing easier and better quality, which will also get you used to using your printer. For about $250 in additional filament you can have the entire shell of a complete suit of armor. (Plus, its a lot more durable than any of the suits I've seen out there that were store bought. Not as durable as fiberglass, but easier to work with and much lighter.)

Now, this is my method, but it's where I'd suggest you start.
 

RandomRanger

Armory Assistant
Community Staff
First off, welcome to the 405th AngelKnight1467!

In general people go with 1 of 3 methods to build armor: Fiberglass (often called pep), Foam, or 3D printing. Personally, I've only built with foam and it's my personal preference because I enjoy the build process and think it's the most comfortable to wear. If you're interested in doing a foam based build or want to know a little more about it, there's a new startup guide here that should help get your feet wet: Foam Guide
Additionally, simply watching some YouTube videos on foamsmithing (e.g. Evil Ted or Punished Props) can provide a ton of information on basic tips and tricks. Doesn't really matter what they're building, prop, armor, whatever.
 
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FalseShepherd

Jr Member
Hey angelknight1467! Welcome to the party!

As everyone else has said, the first step is deciding which medium to work in. I am personally a proponent of doing the pep and fiberglass method. I have learned so much about so many things just from figuring out how to build this suit of armor. He4thbar is correct that foam is less likely to get damaged if you drop it. It also appears to be a faster process and is probably more comfortably to wear (lighter weight more flexible). I would equate foam to dressing up in costume armor while the pep and fiberglass method is more akin to fabricating cosplay armor. 3d printing always looks great but (in my opinion) is alot more complicated to figure out with 3d modeling and all the technical know how about the printer. Also, it's a big upfront purchase. Going the pep route may turn out to only be slightly less expensive, but the charges are more spread out and there's ways to cut corners in favor of cost that would hurt your overall product in 3D printing world.

I want to clarify that the foam suits I see, look incredible and I have nothing against that path.

I personally chose pep and fiberglass bc I wanted the armor to feel like armor. I know it won't stop a bullet but I wanted it to be hard and heavy. Also the process was really interesting to me. I don't see a lot of people do full suits out of pep very often so it may become more trouble than it's worth, but we will see!

I also recommend armorsmith. It's 30$ but you can model the armor straight onto a manaquin of yourself with your own specifications. Then modify the pieces and print right from the program. I found the controls easier to get the hang of and the model looks awesome.

Also these are just my opinions. It would be great to have another person working on a full pep suit but I completely understand if that's not the route you choose.
 

TuckerDidIt

New Member
I personally chose pep and fiberglass bc I wanted the armor to feel like armor. I know it won't stop a bullet but I wanted it to be hard and heavy.
This is actually an important aspect that I think a lot of people overlook. Even though John-117 is an augmented human and the MJolnir armor is servoassisted, the suit has weight, and it has heft. When he moves, there's the sense of something ponderous in motion. This is something I don't think you get with a lot of the lighter "costume quality" armors.

Are they bad?Of course not! (Unless it's that junk made by Rubies. I am seriously angry with them for the $200 I spent.) But they don't move like real armor does.

I think this is a very good idea. You picked a medium that doesn't match my talents in which to work, but I agree with your reasons for choosing it.
 
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AngelKnight1467

New Member
well how everything going I think ill go the foam/ 3d printing route and perhaps try fiberglass later. it just now getting the materials, I really picky about pricing, whither if it has reviews and how good is the customer service... perhaps I should be a little less picky yet that's how I was raised... so anywhere to go to or recommend to get materials from
 

RandomRanger

Armory Assistant
Community Staff
well how everything going I think ill go the foam/ 3d printing route and perhaps try fiberglass later. it just now getting the materials, I really picky about pricing, whither if it has reviews and how good is the customer service... perhaps I should be a little less picky yet that's how I was raised... so anywhere to go to or recommend to get materials from
This thread has in depth information on buying foam: Foam Guide
 

CrimsonViper97

Member
As others have said above, comfort is an important consideration. While heavy, solid armor may sound appealing, it can be uncomfortable. the hard edges of fiber-glassed and 3D printed armor can "burn", basically irritate your skin through abrasion, and be more fragile. It ultimately works out to discomfort vs reward. Some people really like the look and weight of solid armor and are willing to ignore it. I have found foam, however, to be the most comfortable and easiest to learn material. Just something to consider.
 
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