ONI Recon armour (H3 ODST) build

Discussion in 'New Recruits' started by ThermalSoarer, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. ThermalSoarer

    ThermalSoarer New Member

    So following a long time lurking here, as well as seeing pics of all the 405th members at Gamescom this weekend, I thought I might as well start up a thread and finally get going on my own Halo armour build. After a lot of changing my mind between whether to do Halo 3 Master Chief or a custom ONI Recon agent, I've finally decided on the ONI agent. My idea is to basically do a custom painted version of Dare's armour from Halo 3 : ODST. My current goal is to get it done by Gamescom next year, which should hopefully be enough time.

    At the moment I'm looking to do the armour 3D printed since I have a custom-built Reprap Prusa i3 which I've been modding to make it optimised for printing cosplay/prop parts (though right now it's sitting in parts in the middle of having new print fans added, and then I'll need to print a new z-axis assembly to work with the leadscrews I recently bought). However, I am also considering right now getting a partial kit from Sean Bradley studios with all the ODST parts that are necessary for the ONI Recon armour, then 3D printing the rest of the needed parts as this should save quite a bit of time and effort (at the cost of the pride of doing it all myself....).

    The only part I'm really stuck on right now is getting models for everything. I've already downloaded a great 3D printable file of the M6 SOCOM pistol that I've started by printing off the trigger and magazine retention clip, and will get on with the rest once I've finished my current round of printer upgrades. After that, I'm planning on trying to sit-down and learn how to 3D model well enough to clean up the game files and make them ready for printing. I was thinking of using Blender since I've played around with it a couple of times previously and so am already familiar with the basics (but could never make anything that wasn't very blocky!), however recently I've seen a few recommendations for Autodesk's 123D for building 3D printable models, so I'm going to look into that.

    Well, that is all I have for now. I'm really looking forward to getting this build started so hopefully I should have plenty to post about here.
  2. socialmediajunk

    socialmediajunk New Member

    Good luck !
  3. Camjay


    Good luck, I can't wait to see how this goes
  4. MasterSensei


    Good luck, and hope the Plastic Gods won't stuff up the prints
    Yeexsters likes this.
  5. peterthethinker


    a few of Us have printed full sets of armor. I am on my 3rd . Feel free to ask me questions.

    this is all so new that its all R and D at this point.
  6. CommanderPalmer


    A new fellow European? Welcome to the 405th.

    If you want to finish the suit for gamescom - we all are looking forward to see you on Gamescom next year. :D

    We have quite few people who are 3d printing in our European Regiment, but I recommend you talk to the master kaween in terms of 3d printing.
    Also, I wouldn't say printing is R&D all new. It's been since years. There are many people who print literally for quite few years.

    As for the models... Well... Unless you'll find free ones on the internet, well either you'll have to learn how to clean up and add details or you'll have to print low-res models.
    I personally didn't find any high-res full armors, but I've seen few separate armor parts like shoulder or chest plate.
  7. peterthethinker


    less then 10 sets of full 3D printed HALO armor have been made by cosplayers .
    I will not directly speak on behalf of others who print here , but I suspect WE would agree that full HALO armor sets are A Very new thing.

    I lost count on the number of parts I had to track for chief. 64 for the chest 14 for the thigh 28 for a set . forerms are 3 parts
    110-150 parts per armor set is a TON of stuff to manage.

    I know It looks all the same on the outside but unless you print stuff and are versed in CAD and Engineering, there is a Ton of things to decide, It takes many programs and tons of steps . back and forth to heal a mesh . Scale . upconvert , Heal . Dice, Slice and then print.
    it takes days and days of CAD work to take a asset in to a full set . I spend about 60 hours alone just to prep parts for the machine.
    Its no less or more time in software then Pep but you dont do the same things.

    ThermalSoarer Ive used a few prusa I3's back in college years ago.
    One of the best mid-size open frame single Noz machines you can buy or build!!!. and easy to upgrade .

    for workflow I use both 123D design and meshmixer
    and blender for Mesh to solid and up converting polys

    If you have a way to get a body scan it is priceless!

    for a long time Microsoft had it for free easy to use on a Azure server and as we are all gamers and have a gamer tag you can use that MS log in for there server,, OBJ or STL in OBJ STL out
    however ! a few weeks ago they modded it and it only outputs there proprietary 3D file ...Bummer ...... however the free basic Netfabb will do well to heal the manafold issues you will encounter.
  8. ThermalSoarer

    ThermalSoarer New Member

    Wow, wasn't quite expecting this much response. Thanks!

    Yeah, that is one of the things that quite appeals to me about 3D printing is how it is still relatively new to the cosplay/prop making space, especially coming from the Star Wars Cosplay community where nothing except the odd prop weapon is 3D printed. Working full-time as a Software Engineer I'm quite looking forward to the challenge of overcoming any problems I may face throughout this project. :D

    Thanks for the welcome. Not quite sure how new I'd say I am since according to my profile I did join way back in 2011! While I haven't posted much at all I have kept my eye on the community in that time to help build ideas on how to tackle this build, so I guess we can leave it at "newly active in the community". :) I actually did try to start this build way back then using Pepakura to make a forearm and chest piece out of cardboard, and I think I got as far as fibreglassing the chest piece before I put it aside since I was at uni then so time and money weren't on my side, plus I ended up getting sucked into Star Wars costuming instead. Still, at least I'm here now and am actually intending to get started on this properly....

    Yeah, I've been searching everywhere I can to find high quality models for this and coming up short. I've been meaning to really get into 3D modelling for a while (I did a little bit of it at uni in 3DS Max as part of a games module, but never carried it on), so this seems like a perfect excuse to actually go ahead and do it.

    Part of the reason I settled on the ONI Recon and not the Halo 3 Chief is because the ONI Recon looks like it should have less parts to it, so be a bit easier for a beginner like me to print.

    I guess thanks to my engineering pedigree, one of the habits I seem to have is that if I decide to fully commit to a project, I will then go and research it HEAVILY before I start work on it. I've already spent the last couple of months in my spare time looking up as much info as I can get on making the best quality prints (both in modelling and printing) including thinking about orientation, supports, infill, watertightness (I think that is the right term), etc; in addition to getting hold of as many references pics as I possibly can. My experiences so far in printing have also taught me some valuable lessons, like placing support material on the model BEFORE hitting print! Oh the stringy mess....

    Honestly when I picked the Prusa i3 I had no idea what I was doing, and I believe the decision was simply based on the fact it looked to be quite popular. Of course I don't regret it now, it is indeed a great machine and I do love how many mods there are on Thingiverse for it!

    I'm still pretty clueless about which 3D modelling software I should be using, but I guess until I try using them I won't start working out what I work best with. Since 123D Design gets mentioned quite a bit that'll be my next stop.

    One of the projects I've thought about doing for a while is a DIY Kinect 3D scanner, but didn't really see myself having a need for it right now. I never actually thought about getting a body scan but now you mention it I can just imagine how useful it would be!
    peterthethinker likes this.
  9. peterthethinker


    Sweet ! a fellow engineer! I do elec engineering

    I am excited as I really wanna see a 3Dprinted H3 Chief .

    Robot chicken has If I remember right some UHD assets in the works . . perhaps he can chime in .
  10. VividT E X

    VividT E X Jr Member

    Unfortunately high resolution meshes of anything do not make it into any games ever... They exist, in fact 343 seem to hire external artist working in companies like Liquid to produce thier high resolution suits of armor. These complexe meshes are way too heavy for a game engine to render them real time, so they put the low resolution meshes that commander palmer was talking about with texture maps faking the geometry of the higher polygon model. ( They are called normal maps )

    Now when someone like Chernobyl provides the comunity with these models its the low res version contained in the game's cd that she recovers. The only high res version that may exist anywhere on the internet may come from two sources :

    1- The original files from studios like 343 and Liquid. These models may never be obtained in anyway and doing anything with them would be very edgy...

    2- Some artist, like dutch props and many more, are highly skilled modlers that recreate them from refferences for themselves, other prop makers or client request... These models are sometimes also made by artists for personal projects and, as I can personaly understand ( i do this for a living ) are not for public giveaway. People like these artist ( dutch props included ) work very hard for these and rarely let them go for free. Dutch props gave some away and its a very generous gift from his part.

    So to sum up my point, full high resolution version of suits may be very rare and never be easy to come by. But that does not mean none exist... I have personaly seen a full suit of mjolnir mk VI ( halo 4/5 ) in the 3d modeling section of the forum

    You may not want this version however :)

    Good luck !
  11. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    Peter, how is a 3D printed suit in terms of weight? I'm guessing it's dependant really on plastics used and how thick your supporting structure is but I just imagine the finished armour to be fairly hefty.
  12. peterthethinker


    Besides the hard plastic riding on your sholders for the chest. I dont feel bogged down

    chief was around 16 kG once glassed . Rtas 14..
  13. Ghost8617


    I can't wait to see further progress! I could imagine the possibilities once you finish all the files. Good luck!
  14. ThermalSoarer

    ThermalSoarer New Member

    Yeah, I'm aware of the limited quality of game models and the reliance on post-processing effects to add the details in. I was hoping that someone would have already created some high-res models somewhere and made them available but unfortunately that does not appear to be the case, hence why I'm planning to learn 3D modelling and have a go myself.

    I have a large Halo 3 poster next to me on the wall and every time I see it I do think about how much I like how the Halo 3 Mk. IV armour looks. Maybe for my next build....

    So I've been doing lots more research on this and am currently looking at staring with the straps over the shoulder. Specifically, I'm looking at doing the base ODST straps that appear to be on the costume. Playing around with some H3 ODST models I found in Garry's mod I've got some ref pics and managed to measure up the various widths of strap I'll need. I'm not sure yet what to do the main strap out of, probably foam covered in something smooth and grey, however for the black straps I've identified 2 parts that looks to me to be different materials:


    The one in red I'm thinking of using some grosgrain ribbon for, while the blue one I'm thinking of using some propylene webbing for. From looking at other ref pics I have of Dare, it looks like the grosgrain ribbon is used in several other places as well so I'll probably get a longer length of that to use. I know this is a lot of effort to go to for something that ultimately will most likely not be seen, however looking at various refs (as well as playing through Halo 3 ODST again) it is my opinion that the main staps you see on Dare's armour are actually straps for the backpack and underneath are the regular ODST straps, and since I'm planning to make the backpack removable to give me the option to troop without it I want to make sure that there is something underneath. Plus it seems like a good starting point for now.

    Attached Files:

  15. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    What I did for mine was coat EVA foam cut to shape and coated in stretch vinyl to give a leather like appearance. The straps going vertical in your picture I layered 1.5" black elastic straps underneath 1" nylon webbing and then the horizontal strips were just 1" nylon webbing that I used to help position and hold the shoulder pads in place.
  16. CommanderPalmer


    Attached Files:

  17. ThermalSoarer

    ThermalSoarer New Member

    OK, so after putting this costume on hold for various reasons, I'm finally able to get back to building this. I've got 2 weeks off work coming up from this coming Friday, so I'm planning to blitz it as much as I can in that time. I've spent most of my spare time over the last month researching the costume heavily, building up a big shopping list of parts and materials I'll need.

    Unfortunately, my 3D printer is out-of-action right now (it is either mechanical or firmware issues, not had a chance to troubleshoot it yet), and given that I've not had a chance to learn much CAD modelling yet, I've decided to stick with good old Pepakura for now. I've actually got some prior Pepakura experience from building various helmets previously, though the furthest I ever got was fibreglassing once or twice. Either way, it seems like the best option at the moment for me to finally get this costume done (I've been saying to myself for about 5 years now that I'm going to do this one!).

    My main goal is to have at least the helmet completely done by the end of the 2 weeks, but I also want to get the gloves, gauntlets and chest piece done as well if I can. To start with I have to prioritise building a new chest box for my Star Wars X-Wing pilot costume as my current one is a bit beat-up, but thankfully with what I learned building my current one I reckon I should be able to get that done in one afternoon.

    Ultimately my goal is to have it all done by October as I've got everything booked for RTX London that is taking place then, and I'd really like to have a Halo costume ready to take with me. In order to help with that, I've decided to spend some money on a Silhouette Portrait cutting machine as I know from before how long and tedious I found the cutting process to be, so this will really help keep me motivated to get this done; plus it'll be useful for cutting out vinyl decals later on as well.

    Something else I'm debating whether to spend money on is mould making supplies as I'm thinking about possibly moulding and casting the helmet to use, rather than keeping the pep'd version to use at cons. I'm not going to rush into anything right now, and will instead wait to see how I feel once I've finished working on the helmet before I commit; though any advice and recommendations in the meantime are welcome.

    Well, that is all the update I have for the time being. Just 4 more days of work to go before 2 weeks of armour building! I have been really looking forward to this for the past few weeks now!
    EVAkura and mblackwell1002 like this.
  18. EVAkura

    EVAkura RCO 405th Regiment Officer

    Automation via a Silhouette... so jealous!!! Keep us posted!
  19. ThermalSoarer

    ThermalSoarer New Member

    I know, I can't wait to get my hands on it!

    Today, the first part of my costume arrived!


    They're weight lifting gloves I found on Amazon. I picked them out because they seemed to be the best base glove that I could find, plus the hex pattern padding on the palm I thought would fit in well with the newer style of Halo costumes. Obviously I'll have to remove that rubber design on the wrist strap, and the other strap will need to come off completely, however the rest of it is about as good as I'll get for adding the ODST-style padding to it.

    I was also randomly looking this evening at my events calendar for this year and realised at the end of next month I'm planning to head to London for mini-maker faire. I wasn't going to bother with a costume, but now I reckon it'll be a perfect opportunity to take a completed helmet out for a test. I don't think I'll have the whole costume done by then, so I'll likely just do the helmet with normal clothes. Either way, this now means that the helmet is the top priority for this costume.
  20. ThermalSoarer

    ThermalSoarer New Member

    Today I managed to make the first progress on the helmet. I had some trouble at first getting my Silhouette to work as it seems either I've mis-configured the software somehow, or my inkjet printer is slightly mis-aligned. Either way, I couldn't get the Silhouette to recognise the registration marks if I printed out with edge IDs.

    Luckily, I don't need to use registration marks to just cut out the pieces so I ended up cutting all of the pages for the helmet with no edge IDs. I've never attempted to make a Pepakura piece without the edge IDs, so that will be an interesting experience.

    Over the weekend, I was looking up guides for using the Silhouette for Pepakura, and found an excellent one right here on the 405th:

    Silhouette Cameo Pepakura Video Tutorial by RobotChicken

    It is what convinced me to use the pens to mark out the fold lines on the cut parts, so yesterday I ordered a set to use (thank you Amazon Prime for free next day delivery!). This afternoon, once they arrived, I began going through each page and getting all the parts cut out. I also ended up deciding to score all the mountain folds too using the Silhouette, so all I have to do now is just score the valley folds by hand and then glue everything together.




    Overall, I'd say it took about 3 hours to mark, cut and score all 12 pages for the helmet. I also had to go and re-arrange all the parts as the Pepakura file I have for the helmet from here is in Letter paper format, but being outside the US I of course use A4 size instead. Doing that, as well as then exporting all the vector files for Silhouette to use probably took me about an hour yesterday. Definitely not as fast overall as I was expecting, but it was far less tedious then doing it by hand; and I have much cleaner cuts then I would have gotten by hand too!

    Next up is obviously assembly! Might give that a go tonight, but if not then it will definitely be tomorrow.
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  21. ThermalSoarer

    ThermalSoarer New Member

    So I forgot just how slow a process Pepakura building can be. I've spent pretty much all of today working on my helmet (about 9 hours total) and I reckon I'm probably about a third of the way through. So far I've been focusing on the top of the helmet, working my way down.

    One thing I'm slightly concerned about is scaling. I did check before cutting whether the scale would be OK, and according to Armorsmith Designer it looked like the default scale would be fine. Testing what I currently have over my head it looks to me like it might be fine, but will definitely be a tight fit (which I guess is not necessarily a bad thing...).


    I've been using super glue to adhere all the parts and it has been working well, despite the occasional sticking of myself to the part! I've used glue sticks previously when doing Pepakura and while they are definitely easier to remove from your fingers, I have had problems with the strength of their adhesion so for now I'm going to stay using super glue as I don't think these joins are going anywhere.

    Well, tomorrow I'm going to carry on working on this. Tomorrow is where it will really slow down as I'll be doing all the smaller, fiddly bits around the visor and the mid-section of the helmet.
  22. ThermalSoarer

    ThermalSoarer New Member

    No more pics right now, but plenty of progress. I continued the build yesterday and, after doing most of the visor area, realised that it would be a bit too small as I was worried about, though not so much in width as height. As a result, I ended up spending the rest of yesterday afternoon scaling the helmet up 10% and then re-arranging all of the parts, as well as making some edits to the unfold to help make it easier to assemble.

    I've managed to get back to where I was at on Tuesday with the larger helmet, and I'm hoping the changes I've made will help speed up the more fiddly work around the visor. The only slight hold back right now is that I've just run out of super glue. I do have some more lying around, but I'm not sure yet whether it is dried up or not. I guess I'll find out tomorrow. Either way, I've still got pages to get cut out so I'll be able to make some progress.
  23. jsg6


    Can't wait to see it finished!
  24. ThermalSoarer

    ThermalSoarer New Member

    Thanks, jsg6! I've been making some more progress today. I've got most of the visor area done now, so just need to work on the sides next and then the neckseal.



    And here it is next to my X-Wing helmet for size comparison (note, the X-Wing helmet is actually slightly too big for me):


    Finally, I've been trying out the latest developments in superglue application technology to see if there is a better way then the traditional squeeze tube:


    I first tried the brush bottle (on the left), but didn't really like it as the bristles splayed outwards very quickly, making it difficult to get a clean application of the glue. Now, I'm using the super glue pen (on the right) and much prefer it. It is a gel glue rather than liquid, which I don't like as much (I find the liquid absorbs into the cardboard much better), but the form-factor of it makes application of the glue MUCH easier. I'm definitely going to keep using these glue pens from now on instead of the traditional squeeze bottle.
  25. ThermalSoarer

    ThermalSoarer New Member

    OK, the pepping is more-or-less done now. The only part left to finish is the neck seal.


    I'm going to leave off the neck seal for now as I want to leave myself easier access for the various mods I'm planning to make now to add more detail and accuracy into the helmet. I figure it'll be much easier to do it now then it will be after I've fibreglassed it.

    Here are the main mods I'm planning right now. I've got a few more in mind for the back and sides, but will look more into those when I've got these ones done.

    I'm going to make the mods by simply cutting out the details outlines and then adding extra layers of cardboard underneath until I have the shape I want. I'm probably going to cut extra copies of the pieces to be modded to use as a base, rather than trying to cut out on the helmet itself.

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