Planning ODST Build - Questions about Templates

einherjarvalk

New Member
Hi all,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I've had my eye on doing Halo cosplay for years but the cost and scale of the work necessary has put me off for a long time. My new year's project this year is to overcome that and eat this particular elephant one bite at a time, with the intent of eventually having a wearable ODST cosplay by this fall. While I'm not a stranger to making armor (I've done some small armor pieces and props with foam and Worbla for a few other cosplays that were much more fabric-intensive), this will be my first time using Pepakura templates of any sort. I've decided to start by making a weapon of some sort to get my bearings using pep templates before moving on to armor pieces and then, finally, the helmet.

Right now I've pulled the pep files from the Armory for Halo 3: ODST's armor and weaponry, but I'm having a bit of trouble making sense of it all. There's some files labeled "FOAM" as well as "A" or "B", but they often don't seem to have all the parts matching to the file; some of the parts are outside of the "print" format. Am I supposed to use both A and B templates for things like the M7S or just one or the other?

I've been poking around at Reach files as well in case I decide to go for the more detailed Reach ODST look, but there appears to be multiple cases of A/B files with missing parts for the major weapons (MA37, M392) as well, and I haven't found any ODST .zips for Reach either (I'm guessing the Reach set is a mish-mash of UNSC Marine/Army trooper and Spartan-III parts).

Any guidance that might be helpful? I realize it may be cheaper and more effective to just buy things like weapon props, but I want to start small and have the satisfaction of saying "yes I made these" when I go out in public with them if possible. Additionally, does anyone have experience using thermoplastics like Worbla to "coat" foam Halo armor? I've done it before for Fire Emblem pauldrons but I'm not sure if the finer details of Halo pieces may make it suboptimal.
 

xXDashIVXx

Active Member
It is definatly cheaper to make the armor and props than to buy it, and it feels really good to have it done and show it off. I dont quite understand by the mention of a and b parts, but when you have peices off of the printing zone of the pepakura, that is because the file your are using is foam and has been converted to foam from a paper peice. That peice may be not on the shape because you needed to connect two one dimensional peices of paper, when it's not needed because the two dimensional foam peice already makes the shape, if you understand what I'm trying to say. I have always wanted to try using worbla, and I have seen people cost things in it, but it just gets so expensive I have never ordered it. If you want to make something hard like that, I would just fibreglass a pepakura file.
 

einherjarvalk

New Member
Apologies, I should have included some screenshots for reference. Here's what I'm looking at in a couple of different places.

wlUNthf.png

Note how there are 4 different files for the M7S - an "A", a "B," and then a "B" for both foam and the optic. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to use all 4 together, just the "A" or "B" set, or just the "B" foam and sight files together assuming the majority of that part will be made of EVA foam. Looking at the "B" foam file, it's evident that some parts are not effectively rendered in the pep file, namely the suppressor and muzzle device for mounting it, despite both being present in the 3D model the pep file is derived from.

It's a bit different elsewhere:

Xn86Y2D.png


This set of Reach files has an MA37 followed by a 3-part foam MA37 file. While the foam MA37 files have notes that make it a bit clearer that they're supposed to go together as a set, the M392 having 1 normal pep file and then A/B foam pep files is confusing me.

As for Worbla, I'm lucky enough to have a local shop that sells it directly, so I've never had to deal with shipping costs for it, which were what made it really expensive upon initial discovery. While I've never worked with fiberglass/bondo/rondo to make a prop, I can't imagine it gets easier than pointing my heat gun at a Worbla sheet and just melting it onto the foam parts. That said, I'm assuming fiberglass over pep probably maintains hard angle sharpness better than Worbla (and is probably exponentially less likely to deform in the Texas heat), so I may look into that more when I get there.
 

xXDashIVXx

Active Member
Absolutely correct. I would assume the peices would go together, but I dont know as to I cant see the file/template itself... maybe someone else will see this thread soon, or if those files were used in a different thread you can find them there.
 

einherjarvalk

New Member
I've been away for a bit dealing with some other things but have recently (when time allows) been trying to build the M7S SMG using the AndrewDFT files. Is there some kind of secret to getting clean EVA foam bevels that I'm missing? His look super clean and despite using the sharpest blades I can find, my bevels look super chunky and patchy to the point where I may just scrap this entire attempt. Is it perhaps the foam I'm using? I'm just using generic EVA foam matting from Harbor Freight but I know their materials aren't always the best and may be causing more tearing/"chunkiness" than a better foam might.
 

PaiganBoi

Sr Member
IMAG0881.jpg
When you are cutting your bevels are you using a sawing motion or trying to do it with a smooth stroke. Sawing motions will definitely give you jagged and chunky cuts. If you haven't noticed DFT has actually some nasty looking cuts, he saws his bevels.
To clean up the mess you have to sand it smooth with either a dremel or sandpaper, or both.

Edit: I have built the same prop as well. It was second prop I ever made.
IMAG0881.jpg

You can see here that I was guilty of the sawing motion as well. At this point had done some sanding but not enough. Some of the nasties are still quite visible.
 
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Dirtdives

RXO & Keeper of Con Lists
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
A metal ruler goes a long way for straight edges and smooth bevels. When cutting, draw your arm back rather that bending the wrist. It will prevent the blade from moving side to side. That is what gives it that jagged look. Changing of position of the blade. One smooth motion.....clean cut. Its the inside corners and rounded edges that are the hardest to do w/ cuts. That is when a good sander, hand or power, comes in to play.
 

Harri51

Well-Known Member
First and foremost. Sharp blades and sharpening stones. I personally have done the DFT method and it is a lot of going back and smoothing things out with my dremel. A clean cut will always make look best and sand less too. With the ODST files it is best to open them and look at it all. sometimes it is just a very refined detailed version of the prior. Back cuts and thinking of reinforcing all porps. Think of each cut before you do it. and just take is easy. rushing through the work can lead to lots of mistakes. With ODST armor having many curves you need to be slow and clean for the best results. Then over time the speed just comes.
 
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