man i wish i had that advise when i started. i started off with the pep/body filler helmet and 3 years, literal blood and tears it was finished and now i struggle to motivate myself to finish my odst pistol and smg let alone start with the armour.Your not wrong starting simple can be a good way to get going. I have a couple friends who are just getting into cosplay and I told them buy a pack of foam from harbor freight for cheap and follow along AndrewDFT to learn the tricks and skills needed for just about any foam build. Regardless if they plan on wearing it. Just to learn foam smithing. I only really suggested chest and shoulders here due to the lack of foam OP has. Hell I havent even finished the chest on my build yet. Life just came at me fast lol. But I do fully understand your side .