Rakshasa Discussion

Beemo8bit

Member
I treated myself to the Nerf Bulldog. Sanded off the writing, primed and now starting a Flash Fjord style coating! I built a foam sidekick which will be getting the same paint. I’m also going to try these new Plaid FX flexible cosplay paints for the armour itself.
 

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Beemo8bit

Member
Flash Fjord bulldog coating is more or less done, needs assembling and weathering. Sidekick done. All armour except shins and helmet built!
 

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sniktau

New Member
I'm happy to have found this forum. I've been intimidated from making Halo/Metroid armors because they seem to require a lot of know-how with foam and paint to make things look decent and well-proportioned. I am comfortable with modeling in OpenSCAD but I've never made armor for myself...

The Rakshasa armor set seems to be quite appealing because it has more "soft" materials and many parts seem like they could be re-used from sports equipment, such as one of the variations of the kneepads for this core. Also, note how it seems like one could use shoelaces for some of the accents that connect some armor seams together from the image below:

back_of_legs_note_shoelaces.png


I am thinking of trying for the Byzantium Dream color scheme (plum/seafoam colors), but maybe make an EVA-like helmet because I don't really care for most of the Rakshasa helmets.

I live in a warm climate, so I might make a leaner variant and design the chest to potentially hold cooling packs or the like, and choose fabrics that breathe more, or try to sew in mesh "windows" in strategic places where I'll be really warm. It seems that the gilet and pants situation would need to have abundant loops to help get everything up and attached, so it seems that this suit might require a lot of planning as far as sewing the attachment points go, and that's not even addressing the aforementioned piping and other texture details.

TL;DR: I feel like this is going to be a somewhat less intimidating (and space hogging) Halo costume to engage with. I feel that apart from the copious sewing implied by the project, that I can go about crudely strapping the armor together. I know that strips and straps would add to the look, and that if something was loose at the con, wrapping something together as part of an emergency repair would probably add to the look even further.
 

Beemo8bit

Member
I'm happy to have found this forum. I've been intimidated from making Halo/Metroid armors because they seem to require a lot of know-how with foam and paint to make things look decent and well-proportioned. I am comfortable with modeling in OpenSCAD but I've never made armor for myself...

The Rakshasa armor set seems to be quite appealing because it has more "soft" materials and many parts seem like they could be re-used from sports equipment, such as one of the variations of the kneepads for this core. Also, note how it seems like one could use shoelaces for some of the accents that connect some armor seams together from the image below:

View attachment 319403

I am thinking of trying for the Byzantium Dream color scheme (plum/seafoam colors), but maybe make an EVA-like helmet because I don't really care for most of the Rakshasa helmets.

I live in a warm climate, so I might make a leaner variant and design the chest to potentially hold cooling packs or the like, and choose fabrics that breathe more, or try to sew in mesh "windows" in strategic places where I'll be really warm. It seems that the gilet and pants situation would need to have abundant loops to help get everything up and attached, so it seems that this suit might require a lot of planning as far as sewing the attachment points go, and that's not even addressing the aforementioned piping and other texture details.

TL;DR: I feel like this is going to be a somewhat less intimidating (and space hogging) Halo costume to engage with. I feel that apart from the copious sewing implied by the project, that I can go about crudely strapping the armor together. I know that strips and straps would add to the look, and that if something was loose at the con, wrapping something together as part of an emergency repair would probably add to the look even further.
I'm glad to see someone else thinking about doing this. I also look at the armour itself as easier to make, and my experience has backed that up. I'm cutting corners a little with some details, and generally it's an enjoyable build compared to my previous projects. The idea of it being custom also forgives a lot in my opinion. Personally I think the armour connectors/repairs you've mentioned are staples rather than thread. It's impossible to tell really, but I feel like metal staples make more sense. I'm not sure if I'll be adding those.

If this is your first build, you've chosen quite well in terms of complexity, but because there are no pepakura files available yet, you will have to sort out the 3D to templates to foam process yourself. I've done a lot of work on that and I'm happy to share, although it's all a mess. It should save you trouble. I downloaded the game models from The Halo Archive on Discord. Regarding the helmet, there is a helmet coming up which may appeal to you (RAKSHASA ARMOR LEAK???? | Fandom) - I'm doing the Lechuza, which has a nice modern military look. My advice if you've never done armour before is choose a helmet with a simple, straight visor - you can use one-way window film to make it, and not have to worry about bends, impossible curves and strange shapes. I'm also doing my own colours, probably a deep red on most parts and dark metal on the others.

Do the armour and gilet first, then worry about the undersuit. That way you can wear it with a jacket and most trousers and still look good.
 

sniktau

New Member
Personally I think the armour connectors/repairs you've mentioned are staples rather than thread. It's impossible to tell really, but I feel like metal staples make more sense. I'm not sure if I'll be adding those.

If this is your first build, you've chosen quite well in terms of complexity, but because there are no pepakura files available yet, you will have to sort out the 3D to templates to foam process yourself. I've done a lot of work on that and I'm happy to share, although it's all a mess. It should save you trouble. I downloaded the game models from The Halo Archive on Discord. Regarding the helmet, there is a helmet coming up which may appeal to you (RAKSHASA ARMOR LEAK???? | Fandom) - I'm doing the Lechuza, which has a nice modern military look. My advice if you've never done armour before is choose a helmet with a simple, straight visor - you can use one-way window film to make it, and not have to worry about bends, impossible curves and strange shapes. I'm also doing my own colours, probably a deep red on most parts and dark metal on the others.

Do the armour and gilet first, then worry about the undersuit. That way you can wear it with a jacket and most trousers and still look good.

I might still use shoelaces or something stretchy of that sort of texture because the model in blender has it as a very matte texture, and some of the spots would benefit from a somewhat elastic connection for wiggling in and out of the suit. There is a spot on the back where there's an "x" of what I think are laces and what you think are staples. Either seem somewhat credible, but I think the little details are some kind of elastic string and I think I'll build with that in mind. (I did notice the spot on the arm where it's more likely to be a staple than a lace, but iunno, maybe it's a mix?)


I'm pretty committed to an EVA helmet and the Mark V neck. I know it's going to be a hard time to get the visor shape but I have some thoughts about vacuum forming machines, which would allow me to achieve the odd shape and potentially allow me to avoid foam for various parts of the armor. The neck looks like a common neck on sweaters/jackets I could find at the thrift store.

If I can go about a vacuum-form technique, then I could do large parts of the armor with this. The advantage is that I will have an easier time figuring out 3D-printing the molds than I would translating the STL to foam forms. Another advantage is that I can make some parts of the armor light and hollow but spacious.

That's a whole 'nother dependency, though, I might be able to get a dental-scale vacuum former with ease but anything bigger would require a fair bit of work, spend, and storage space to just build a vacuum forming table

I think for the time being I'll prioritize finding the visible under suit, gilet, and armor strap donor pieces from thrift stores. I figure I'll be looking for big, baggy, black denim or canvas clothing, probably workman sort of stuff at the thrift store. Maybe overalls and die them black. For the gilet, I'm wavering between building it out of a heavy canvas fabric, or instead looking for a suitable like, windbreaker and then modify it. I feel the cleanest approach will be to find a baggy denim coat or shirt, dye it to the desired color as needed, and then sew in ridges to create some of the piped effect, adding a heavy zipper

I figure I could 3D-print most of the various strap loop elements and maybe paint them to have a metallic quality. It doesn't seem too hard to get nylon straps and smack grommets in place like in the lumbar area, but the wide back straps with the heavy fabric over them? The cheapo route is to get guitar straps. A fancier route would be to get nylon (or just buy guitar) straps and then use the same materials in the gilet on the straps, giving them an outer cover. I wonder if I could buy covered straps of this nature? Hm...

I feel like as far as patterns go, I might have some luck looking at motorcycle jacket patterns because the overall "stripes" of tough-looking fabric has a motorist quality to it.


Anyway the big decisions I need to work out are:
  • what material for the under parts? Cotton/denim? Some kind of canvas (more likely to require custom work)? Or maybe some kind of synthetic fabric like that of a windbreaker or tent? A breathable tech fabric could be great for summer cons and look ok at a distance, but a heavier fabric might "feel" better and look good up close.
  • Odds are, the gilet will the several garments that have been torn up and re-sewn together with piping added. I need to seek out close approximations and in time answer the prior question as well.
  • what approach for the armor? Foam? Vacuum form? Something else?
  • Do I even want to get all the straps? Are there other detail area(s) that I can skimp on at the outset?
  • which clips can be printed, and which would be better off being an actual metal strap? If a real metal strap is used, the armor may need to be modified to make it work with something reclaimed. Casting in iron is a vague possibility, but the person who I know with the setup doesn't have a lot of free time to dedicate to my metalworking whimsy.
 

Beemo8bit

Member
I might still use shoelaces or something stretchy of that sort of texture because the model in blender has it as a very matte texture, and some of the spots would benefit from a somewhat elastic connection for wiggling in and out of the suit. There is a spot on the back where there's an "x" of what I think are laces and what you think are staples. Either seem somewhat credible, but I think the little details are some kind of elastic string and I think I'll build with that in mind. (I did notice the spot on the arm where it's more likely to be a staple than a lace, but iunno, maybe it's a mix?)


I'm pretty committed to an EVA helmet and the Mark V neck. I know it's going to be a hard time to get the visor shape but I have some thoughts about vacuum forming machines, which would allow me to achieve the odd shape and potentially allow me to avoid foam for various parts of the armor. The neck looks like a common neck on sweaters/jackets I could find at the thrift store.

If I can go about a vacuum-form technique, then I could do large parts of the armor with this. The advantage is that I will have an easier time figuring out 3D-printing the molds than I would translating the STL to foam forms. Another advantage is that I can make some parts of the armor light and hollow but spacious.

That's a whole 'nother dependency, though, I might be able to get a dental-scale vacuum former with ease but anything bigger would require a fair bit of work, spend, and storage space to just build a vacuum forming table

I think for the time being I'll prioritize finding the visible under suit, gilet, and armor strap donor pieces from thrift stores. I figure I'll be looking for big, baggy, black denim or canvas clothing, probably workman sort of stuff at the thrift store. Maybe overalls and die them black. For the gilet, I'm wavering between building it out of a heavy canvas fabric, or instead looking for a suitable like, windbreaker and then modify it. I feel the cleanest approach will be to find a baggy denim coat or shirt, dye it to the desired color as needed, and then sew in ridges to create some of the piped effect, adding a heavy zipper

I figure I could 3D-print most of the various strap loop elements and maybe paint them to have a metallic quality. It doesn't seem too hard to get nylon straps and smack grommets in place like in the lumbar area, but the wide back straps with the heavy fabric over them? The cheapo route is to get guitar straps. A fancier route would be to get nylon (or just buy guitar) straps and then use the same materials in the gilet on the straps, giving them an outer cover. I wonder if I could buy covered straps of this nature? Hm...

I feel like as far as patterns go, I might have some luck looking at motorcycle jacket patterns because the overall "stripes" of tough-looking fabric has a motorist quality to it.


Anyway the big decisions I need to work out are:
  • what material for the under parts? Cotton/denim? Some kind of canvas (more likely to require custom work)? Or maybe some kind of synthetic fabric like that of a windbreaker or tent? A breathable tech fabric could be great for summer cons and look ok at a distance, but a heavier fabric might "feel" better and look good up close.
  • Odds are, the gilet will the several garments that have been torn up and re-sewn together with piping added. I need to seek out close approximations and in time answer the prior question as well.
  • what approach for the armor? Foam? Vacuum form? Something else?
  • Do I even want to get all the straps? Are there other detail area(s) that I can skimp on at the outset?
  • which clips can be printed, and which would be better off being an actual metal strap? If a real metal strap is used, the armor may need to be modified to make it work with something reclaimed. Casting in iron is a vague possibility, but the person who I know with the setup doesn't have a lot of free time to dedicate to my metalworking whimsy.
It's great to see how you're doing things differently to me. I wish more people were doing Rakshasa so we could see different approaches. I got my mother in law to make me the padded undershirt, but it was a bit of a disaster and I didn't have the heart to tell her it wasn't usable. The arms were great but the neck was completely biffed. I've been looking at the gilet issue and it's a real problem because it's such a specific shape. The closest thing I've seen is horse rider's gilets, which are close-fitted and shorter. But I also don't want to spend tons of cash on that, so I'm going to try do it myself, using thin sculpted foam, probably covered with fabric. Time to try something new! And something I'm trying to keep in mind, is how do we put these things on? There's an argument to be made for the straps to be part of the gilet, then you just zip it up and put the armour onto the front. I was thinking last night maybe strong magnets are the way to attach the straps to the chest armour, rather than the giant buckles I've bought.

I'm definitely not sweating the details where it will make my life easier. For example, there's a wide strap wrapping around the upper thigh from the back to the thigh armour, but I'm just doing a straight strap around the thigh in that area. I'm using nylon webbing for all the straps and haven't decided if I want to cover the shoulder ones yet. eBay has served me well for cheap webbing, buckles etc etc. When you look at all the armour coatings throughout Infinite, you see so many variations on all materials as well as colours, so that makes me feel like it's justifiable to use your own material choices anywhere you want.

If you can vacuum form a visor, that's the best option by far. Not something I've wanted to try figure out, so that informs my helmet choices.
 

sniktau

New Member
It's great to see how you're doing things differently to me. I wish more people were doing Rakshasa so we could see different approaches. I got my mother in law to make me the padded undershirt, but .... The arms were great but the neck was completely biffed. I've been looking at the gilet issue and it's a real problem because it's such a specific shape. The closest thing I've seen is horse rider's gilets, which are close-fitted and shorter. But I also don't want to spend tons of cash on that, so I'm going to try do it myself, using thin sculpted foam, probably covered with fabric. Time to try something new! And something I'm trying to keep in mind, is how do we put these things on? There's an argument to be made for the straps to be part of the gilet, then you just zip it up and put the armour onto the front. I was thinking last night maybe strong magnets are the way to attach the straps to the chest armour, rather than the giant buckles I've bought.

I'm definitely not sweating the details where it will make my life easier. For example, there's a wide strap wrapping around the upper thigh from the back to the thigh armour, but I'm just doing a straight strap around the thigh in that area. I'm using nylon webbing for all the straps and haven't decided if I want to cover the shoulder ones yet. eBay has served me well for cheap webbing, buckles etc etc. When you look at all the armour coatings throughout Infinite, you see so many variations ... that makes me feel like it's justifiable to use your own material choices anywhere you want.

If you can vacuum form a visor, that's the best option by far. Not something I've wanted to try figure out, so that informs my helmet choices.

Thanks! I figure I'll be focusing more on the "soft" elements and trying to make them look good, because they take up a lot of eyeball real estate on this armor.

Playing with colors and talking to another person into cosplay got me some ideas.

Ooh Layers

Attached below is me messing with colors using one of the higher-contrast themes and trying to get a sense of "how would this look if I used denim and waxed it?" I've cranked up the contrast and saturation because you can see the outer layer is that x-stap/chest piece thing, covering the gilet, or perhaps being it entirely like you're debating. It's almost like, just a webbing under the x-strap.... it's a very unusual shape and I keep waffling between searching for decent starting items to threadrip or just trying to do this "re-topology tracing and UV unwrap to projection" that my friend was talking about to try to create fabric patterns from what's visible. I might do a lot of cheating and have lots of mesh windows here and there (inner elbow, neck, around the ankles) to help with comfort, so when I hear you talk about mesh I'm excited to share a brainwave lol.

1656090880947.png


Putting It On Thoughts

Anyway I guess this is all part of pondering "putting it on". I figure the x-strap is separate from the square of ruffled vest fabric, and under that is the true undersuit (in my case I might have my torso be mesh, the sleeves be thread-ripped military pants that I can close off after I slip on the gilet).

Like you, I wonder if it would be a good idea to combine the vest and strap piece (where the "armor" bit is some foam or plastic covering the actual fastening to the vest below). But I guess if that's the case, I'd need to have a way to have things hold together reasonably well before I put the chest piece on. It could be nice to have those straps permanently on the back there so the costume wearer can just put on the vest without having to play tricks like putting it on backwards, affixing the straps/hub thing, then spinning it around and popping the arms out and working on the chest. Ew, I'd like to just slip it on and tigthen.

Another example, the spiral strap on the thigh: I could have it so the straps hang loose when I put it on, and I wrap. At the end of the strap I could have an insert that goes into pockets. I figure if the undersuit is a flightsuit or if the pants are just modified jeans, I'll have deep pockets and that can hold the spiral strap. If I try to sew on the strap, use vinyl, or something else pre-attached, then it would be hard to waddle into the pants at the outset and I could damage something on the way in or out. So in this case I'm leaning more towards keeping straps partially loose and then affixing them when I slip in.

I think that however it comes together (layers, unipiece) that one should be able to get all of the straps situated, flat, and such without having the plastic armor. Another way to put it, is that I do not want any forces on the faux armor from the various straps apart from the minimal tension for visual effect - I want to make the armor appear as if it's strapped on but I don't want to actually put random strap tension on the armor. When I move, I want the straps to pull on connections on other places on the body suit, rather than try to make my prop-armor also able to hold tension suddenly when I'm standing up, etc. The armor could have it's own straps of course on top of any elastic polycord, buttons, or magnet fasteners, but I want a bit separation between some of the undersuit's visually "cool" straps and the actually important straps for the armor bits where I'm thinking about the forces when designing the things.

Yet another way to put it: I want the undersuit to almost be a halfway-reasonable Sam Fisher (Splinter Cell) cosplay. It needs to hold up on its own so that when I add armor, the armor isn't just being yanked and twisted when I move around - that would look really silly (and flimsy). Also I like the idea of one outfit being able to adapted into multiple costumes with some simple changeup of props. Also, you just know that Sam Fisher would opt for the light operator kit over the tanky Mark VII noise.


Insanely Cooling Side Thought

I'm quite concerned about cooling on this suit, so before I hinted at mesh "windows" that wouldn't be too obvious but give a chance to cool down. However, with all the conspicuous piping and visible rubber tubing on this outfit, a part of me is wondering about making that tubing carry water and recirculate through the suit. A mini-compressor and the like is too insane (unless... I do it up like a port-o-fusion generator thing to make the blasted buzzing thing look like part of the costume somehow), but a pump and a main chamber that I can like, somehow fill with some ice cubes every 4 hours and maybe I could regulate temperature, especially if I could pipe some to the base of my wrists and the bottoms of my feet? It's a crazy idea of course because it requires recirculation, understanding the pump(s) needed to push the water wherever, and I also wouldn't be able to make it too elaborate anyway to keep costs down, which could mean that it would end up being insufficient and also overcomplex. But just an idea I had given the totally tubular look to the kit.
 

Beemo8bit

Member
I've just come in from hours of glueing, and it's midnight, so I'll be brief. It sounds like your costume is going to be badass as hell. I'm definitely doing it in stages, firstly focusing on the armour, and attempting the gilet on my own. That will be usable at conventions as it is. Then I'll have to think about the undersuit. One thought I had skimming this was that the X-straps could be separate from the gilet, but velcro'd on underneath on the upper chest, just to help them stay in place - this would also help remove tension from the armour, if that's something that worries you. I'm more or less doing it like it is in reality, so we'll see soon if there's tension issues from the strapping, the hard way. Sometime this weekend I'll post progress, which I've made a lot of over the past few days. Another last thought. If you're not making a Rakshasa helmet, do something to the helmet you do make to help it fit it. Like it's been salvaged and repaired in some way. Just another way to make it your own. And as for cooling.... if you want to go that far, you could build the actual cooling system that the Rakshasa has, with those insane awesome tubes.
 

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