Reach Boot Foam tutorial by calladar

calladar

Well-Known Member
I know this is not dead on game accurate but is designed as a base which can be easily added to and modified depending on the amount of detail and realism you are attempting to attain.

Ok guys… There have been a lot of questions about how I made my foam Reach boots. Since my boots were scratch made and I had drawn them out as I made them I decided to recreate the templates.. I drew it out how I had done it and then I ran into a problem. For the life of me I could not figure out how to put the hand drawn templates online to be able to adjust the size easily and maintain the scale.
So I decided to teach myself blender in one day. YEA RIGHT!! Unfortunately I am old and when I was in college things were drawn out on a drafting table and with drafting tools and the only graphics programs were Autocad and Drafixcad (first generation) which I did have experience with and still had a copy of but alas they will not run on modern machines. So after that kicked my butt I began looking around for something else that I could pick up quickly. I downloaded Google Sketch up and was able to pick up the basics of it pretty quick.

Made a 3d model… transferred it to Pepakura… Unfolded it and then made a boot from the file.. I had to go back and forth and make several adjustments along the way to make it work the way I wanted it to. Now I know the model is basic and rough but it will get the job done. So without further a due here is the pep file and the tutorial to go with how I made it

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and the file:

http://www.4shared.com/file/tk_xitUL/Reach_Boot_for_Foam_by_Callada.html

Now the file is sized for US Men’s size 11 – 12.. If you have to adjust it use the width line to adjust the size larger or smaller.

First I assembled my basic tools for working with foam..

1. Hot glue gun
2. Extra glue
3. Hot knife
4. Sharpie (I like silver)
5. Scissors
6. Straight edge
7. Desk top sharpening stone (for exacto blade)
8. Holder for hot knife / soldering gun
9. Tape (not pictured)
10. Foam mat (for this I am using ½” foam from walmart.. I prefer the 3/8” that I purchase from Amazon but I am currently out so this will have to do. Keep in mind that different thickness of the foam will affect the fit of the pieces. The file was made for ½” foam. If you use thinner foam you may have to trim some from the heel and toe for a proper fit. If you use thicker foam you may have to add some to the heel and toe for a proper fit.)

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Now after printing the file I cut out all pieces.. I then proceeded to tape pieces together that I knew I would use to make larger pieces for the foam.

Tape the 2 pieces to the sole together, tape the 3 pieces of the heel together, tape the 2 pieces of the toe together, and tape the 2 detail pieces of the heel together.

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Once I had all the pieces cut out and taped together I got ready to get down to business.
Time to turn this into a boot…

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After cutting out the sole, heel, toe sides and toe it is time to assemble the basic boot.

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First I am going to start at the heel. Attach the heel to the back of the sole starting at the bottom forward corner and work around the back to the other side. Flex the foam first so that it can easily bend around the curve of the heel. Glue in place.

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Moving forward on the boot prepare the toe side pieces. You will want to bevel the front (forward) side of the toe side to help with getting a smooth seam and allow for the bend.

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Glue the toe Side into place aligning with the sides of the sole.

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Glue the toe piece to the front of the toe side piece and then hold a strong bend in the toe to help prepare it for the bend of the toe.

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calladar

Well-Known Member
Glue the toe piece to the front of the other side toe piece. Then after glue has cooled and set glue the bottom of the toe piece to the sole. Reinforce from the inside of the boot with extra hot glue for both the toe and the heel area.

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You should now be able to flex the sole of the boot to show how it will flex when you walk.

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After reinforcing the boot from the inside, cut the top of the boot out of foam and flex the foam to give it a slight bowl effect around the front and sides. I normally use a heat gun for this but for this I was lazy and didn’t go get it and just flexed it with my hands. Using a heat gun will “lock” the foam into the shape that you bend it and will retain the shape better.

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Glue the top of the boot starting at one corner of the top aligning it with the toe side. Glue the other toe side making sure to align the top with the toe side. Work your way around the front of the toe and be sure to use a lot of glue because you will not be able to go back and reinforce it later. There may be a little foam hanging over the front of the toe. Don’t worry about the foam hanging over you will deal with it later. When I made it, the seam was right on. Try not to have too much excess glue on the outside of this part. Wipe it away with your fingers as it cools (make sure it is cool) because later the excess glue will cause issues.

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Once the glue has set it time to do a little sanding. Get your tools together, Dremel with a sanding wheel on it (med grain) and safety glasses. I know the old saying of safety first but I am here to tell you this is no joke.. Remember above where I mentioned the excess glue. You are going to be sanding where that glue joint is and as you sand the Dremel will heat up the glue and then sling it off and if you get hot glue in your eye it sucks. So please be careful. Sanding foam with a Dremel wheel takes some practice. The best way I have found it to work with the spin of the wheel. For example if when you put the Dremel to the foam it pulls away from you then make sanding strokes (like paint strokes) with the wheel in the direction it wants to pull. If you go against the pull you will dig into the foam and that is not easily repaired and you may end up replacing the piece. Once I have a chance I will make a video of how I sand the foam and shape it but for now experiment.

Sand the toe as you feel fit to get the curve / shape that you want.

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At this point it is starting to look like a boot.

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Time for detail pieces. Cut the pieces out for the heel.

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Glue these into place. I did not take any measurements and eyeballed them into place. Put a little bend into the pieces so they curve with the heel.

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Once you are satisfied with the heel time to move onto the guard. Cut the pieces out of the foam. The center guard piece is tricky.

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After cutting the foam out flip the center guard piece over. Cut one side of the guard template along the dotted (fold) line.

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calladar

Well-Known Member
Use the template you just cut and lay it on one side of the upside-down guard aligning the outside edge. Trace the template edge onto the foam. Flip the template over and align it with the other side of the foam piece and trace another line.

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Carefully cut the line approx: ¾ of the way through the foam. Do not cut all the way through; you are trying to make a clean fold. After cutting the line cut a 45 degree angles on both sides of the line creating a “V” where the line is at a depth about ¾ of the way through.

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Bevel both sides of the center guard where it will join with the sides. (forgot to take a picture) glue the sides of the guards to the center guard.

At this point I would normally do some detail work to the top of the boot with foamies and give it some depth and detail. This is up to you and let your creativity run with it.
Align the guard where you would like it to be and at the angle that you feel is appropriate. Glue the sides of the guard to the toe sides in position. After the glue on the sides has set, glue the bottom of the guard to the top of the boot.

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Moving on to toe side details….

Cut out the template and trace to the foam. You will need to make 2.

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After cutting out the foam you will need to bevel all sides of both pieces and create “V” cuts like above where the outside piece will fold (inner corner to outer corner).

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Begin gluing the center piece to the sides and work your way around the sides until you have glued all the joints together. Glue the inside for support and after the glue is set glue to the toe side. I align the front bottom corner of the piece with the toe side and toe front joint.

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And you have a basic reach foam boot ready for detail. Smoothing of the glue and joints, sealing and paint

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I made this one sized for my size 14 foot just so I could make sure it fits right. Here is the boot beside my sons size 11 boot and one with my shoe in it ready to rock and roll.

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vshore100

Well-Known Member
Awesome job on this Calladar. I really appreciate you taking the time. It is really informative and a great guide too.:)
 

calladar

Well-Known Member
While I am not making these boots in particular, your tutorial has helped me on my road to making other boots. Thank you! :D
I am glad.. This was not just to make these boots.. I wanted people to see how I did it and expand on the concept and make it better... I am happy if anyone gets some help from this or ideas.
 

Syko

Jr Member
I wanted people to see how I did it and expand on the concept and make it better... I am happy if anyone gets some help from this or ideas.
Great tutorial! This is exactly what I have been looking for on making foam armor! I have reviewed tons(okay so I exagerate, but it was a lot) of threads on foam armor builds, but no real how-tos. Thanks for putting this together!
 

RoxyRoo

Well-Known Member
Someone please Sticky This!
I'm so using this tutorial when I get to this part. Thankyou so much for uploading this. <33
 

odst fng

Jr Member
wow thanks for taking the time to put this together calladar, the techniques you used in this will help me (and I'm sure others) in using foam for not only this but other pieces as well :D thanks!
 

Stormy01

New Member
I'm thinking about building a pair of these, just so I can wear them to school and see if anyone will notice. Nice tutorial.
 

Fudz073

Member
Love the tut, man. Trying to get a reach suit done for the Halo 4 premier and the most difficult part for me... the boots!!!! Can't explain it but your tutorial just saved me another month or so of headache. Very nice! Keep up the awesome work!
 
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