Rookie planning an ODST build, NEED CRITIQUE!

FoxtrotZero

Jr Member
Hehe.

I know I'm getting into something really difficult, FlusherCape26, and I thank you for looking out for me. I'm kinda looking for that challenge, though. This is supposed to be sort of a long-term hobby for me, something that'll be done by, say, next halloween. I want to take it slow, and I want to have a really good product, and I'm not confident in my foam skills at all, so that's why I chose pep. I am going to have to do some foam work nonetheless, for the torso and thighs.

Despite not really previously being interested in a MJOLNIR build, though, I've been putting some thought into it and have come up with A) a concept I like and B) the conviction that I should try a foam build at some time, too, so sometime after I finish the ODST build, I'm going to try a foam Reach-era Spartan. Something in the spirit of Jorge, and borrowing a lot of his concepts (UA collar on the chestpiece, double UA wrists, his custom UA shins, HMG and backpack, the works) but definitely my own thing (nothing I ever got to play in MP, as I'm thinking of having the left shoulder as Security to match the UA collar, and I never hit Brigadier).

It's actually kinda sucked to be thinking about this and working on an ODST instead, but this is the project I started and I'm not confident enough in my abilities (yet) to tackle a full MJOLNIR build, nor a full foam build. Plus, there's a few things I need to figure out still (like if I want assymetric shoulders, and what helmet I should wear - it's pretty much down to JFO, which I wore, or EOD, which completes the walking tank look).
 
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RobTC

Member
So soon there'll be actual pieces of Pep to view? Can't wait!

Is it just me or does pretty much everyone do foam ODSTs? I'm actually looking forward to seeing the difference with a full pep version. Will it look more "armorish"?
 

Vampy

Jr Member
Heya, sorry if it has been covered already... Your original post you aid you did not want an open neck. I got a black pair of these. They also help surprisingly well with overheating!
 

FoxtrotZero

Jr Member
RobTC Thanks for the encouragement. Yep, I'll be starting a thread when I have something to actually put in it. Things are currently pretty slow going, though. I mostly get a few hours in the evenings, and I'm trying to balance it with my college work. That'll probably start when I have the calf fully pepped, which I would expect to be by the end of the week, at the latest. As you can see, it won't be a constantly updating thread. And you're right, I don't know if I've ever seen much in the way of pepped ODSTs, so maybe I'll be contributing something novel.

Vampy, no nobody actually covered that. That's the sort of thing I'll consider just making if I have the materials on hand (I wasn't going to go very high tech with the underclothes, a black exercise shirt and a pair of good black pants), but at that price I'll definitely consider the balaclava. Thanks for the recommendation.
 
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majorflint

New Member
first off like most have said looks like you have a good plan as to were too start im new here and to pep which I think is a great thing but I have seen some great Mess-E armor done in full foam that's the way im planning to go no messy bondo or resin' which ever way you go I wish you luck :)
 

FoxtrotZero

Jr Member
Eh, I've got a bit more of a formulated approach for the ODST. The torso (at most down to about the waist) have an underarmour suit that looks a bit more flexible than the regular armour plates. This also includes the prominent shoulder pads, collar, and the (often overlooked) kidney pads. I was going to build this out of EVA foam, and it has the nice quality of not really needing much detail. It's presence is the detail, in so far as it differs from the normal underclothes (which themselves are not very remarkable, and can just be flat black close-fitting clothing).

The biggest problem so far is exactly how this is supposed to play with the rigging. The idea is that I'll put on the clothes (close-fitting long-sleeve shirt and pants) first. I'm likely to omit the spine reinforcement, unless I decide to get adventurous later with some craft foam (there's not a lot of really good rear shots on ODSTs, and it doesn't seem particularly important to me, but we'll see).

Next probably comes the waist belt that's going to support the weight of my beltplate, buttplate and groin plate (haven't decided if these two should be hard or soft), hip plates, thigh plates, and probably the shin plates as well (these should be done by clipping the belt on, and then sliding into the thigh/shin pieces individually and clipping them into place). Then come the boots and knees (I'm considering attaching the knees seperate from all of this by using a couple of elastic straps, similar to actual knee pads).

After that, I put on the pauldron pieces, which I still haven't got figued out. I should point out at this stage that I'm avoiding relying on using friction to keep anything up, but if there's anywhere that seems daunting, it's the arms. I figure the pauldrons will strap around my arm (as I'm omitting the actual bicep piece, it doesn't seem to appear in most screenshots or renders) and then have some sort of additional clip to keep them from sliding down. I haven't figured out how, but I might just clip them directly to the foam vest if I feel like I'm comfortable supporting the weight that way.

I don't think I want to try to tether the forearms to the pauldrons because arms are complex and it would probably only work when my arms are hanging by my sides - this might be the one part I have to have stay in place on it's own, which I can probably do with some good padding and maybe a couple of elastic strips if necessary.

Then the foam torso underarmour goes over my head like a clamshell and is clipped into place on my sides, with buckles that should be covered by the kidney pads (i'm assuming these will be removable with velcro or something, but at this point we're getting into minutia where I'm just throwing ideas around, and will have to have the parts before I can see how it all comes together).

The other thing I'm still iffy about is all the actual chest pieces (chestplate, and the three mid-torso plates beneath it, which I'm expecting won't be low enough to mount to the belt). This I expect will be on a suspender-like frame that goes from the belt on the front, up my torso where the plates are mounted, over my shoulder pads, and then dissapear into the vest, where they continue down to clip to the rear of the belt.

Now you people are probably going Great Scott, Fox, a little overkill don't you think? to which my response is probably. This is a best/worst case concept, which assumes that I have a lot of weight to distribute and decide to go all out on the rigging system to distribute it. The fact is, I don't know how heavy any of this is, but people tell me pep parts can start to weigh a few pounds each - and I'm bad at envisioning that sort of weight. Most ODST builds seem to be made of foam, which doesn't help me much with this, because you can just glue foam parts together. I also know that things sliding out of place is a big problem with pep parts, and that's something I'm going to be religious about avoiding.

Anyway, to answer your recommendation, Vampy, I appreciate your recommendation, but the ODSTs have a relatively well-defined chest undersuit that I'm going to emulate, and I'm not particularly worried about mounting points or pressure distribution. Most things will be strapped to my hips or my shoulders, with 1.5in nylon webbing as load bearing struts, and 3in nylon webbing (with some sort of foam, preferably dual-density stuff) for the locations where energy is channeled into my personage. It's always good to have outside opinions, though, so if you think of something, by all means, throw it at me.
 
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Vampy

Jr Member
I totally understand what you mean about the ODST undersuit. I didn't even think about that, my noobness shows!

I used mostly sticky-backed velcro to attach my armor to my undersuit. Industrial strength on the parts where i thought it would need the extra grip like on the thigh pieces. If i didn't have a good connection point on the armor interior i would hot glue some spare foamies and stick the velcro straps to that!
 

FoxtrotZero

Jr Member
Yeah, that sounds like it would work. There's a good chance I'm overestimating the weight of parts, but I meant it when I said I want to make things not move.

There's a few reasons to why I want a complicated rigging system as opposed to other potential solutions. The first one is modularity, wherein if I decide later that a particular part looks like crap, or if it gets damaged in some way, I can just replace that part and not have to worry about detaching it from anything else. The second is that I don't want to permanently modify any of the underclothes if I can help it, though if I decide to put on the protective spinal plates, those will probably be stitched or hot glued right to the shirt. The third is that I'm a little on the overweight side (mostly in the gut and thighs), and if I ever get a concerted effort together I might lose some of that weight, so I'd like the ability to adjust the rigging system accordingly.

The details are always difficult, but put enough love into them, and it will truly show.
 

RobTC

Member
I would sew thin webbing or some other strong tape-like material into the undersuit (so both minimal dermal pressure at those positions like the shoulders and no secondary spiderweb to get into, since it's built into the clothing), then attach press studs to that, so that all of the pieces just snap on one by one. Two or three industrial snaps should hold several pounds without difficulty. I've never liked the idea of Velcro for that, it seems like something would try to peel off at an inopportune moment and it wears out, but I think lots of people do it so I suppose it must work.

Definitely a good call on going big with the undersuit, though. It's the make or break aspect of a costume.

Edit: Just saw requirement for rigging adjustability. I think sticking with your current plan makes the most sense, then.
 

ErMaC

Well-Known Member
There are 2 very important things you will need. CONFIDENCE and MOTIVATION. Build your helmet first. Just in paper, it "WILL" take you 5-6 times to pefect it. But during this 1 build you will get the experience you need for the clean assembly. I was told to start with something small, like a boot, or handplate or something like that. but I started with the helmet, 19 paged, 219 piece helmet I built ruze789 cater helmet 7 times. I love the way it turned out at the end. And now I build nice clean pieces and I can cut out a helmet in about 5 hours. After you assemble the helmet in a way you love, you will have the confidence, motivation and experience to proceed.
I built:
16 forearms
12 helmets, going on #13
7 shins
5 thighs
4 helmet attachments
4 boots
I torso
1 abdomen plate
6 handplates
1 cod
1 set of torso attachments
4 ankle braces
8 knees
4 shoulder shields
and 8 biceps
I'm still building my first suite of armor
I developed my patients after the 3rd helmet.

When it comes to a workspace, all you need is a table. That's what I use. its to cold outside right now around my area to bondo or resine or sand and paint anything. Im going to use a relatives garage for that stuff.

Do one thing at a time, let your upcoming experience tell you what to build next.
 

FoxtrotZero

Jr Member
Heh, thanks for the pep talk, though it's a little late to tell me where to start. I started out by building Kirrou's tester helmet, which was too small and kinda sloppy, but a very good piece of experience, and it did, indeed, show me that this can be done. I'm keeping it around as a testbed for all the processes - resin, fiberglass, bondo, and paint.

I'm currently working on one of the shin/calf pieces. It has a good mix of detailed parts and simple flat sections, and I can afford for it to be a little bit imperfect. So far it's been going alright, though my glue tends to make it look a little dirty and the small folds are going to need to get some better definition when it comes time to bondo. It's a considerably more complex piece than the test helmet, so it's taking some time, and I'm also juggling my studies - I'm getting basically nothing done this week because I backed myself into a corner with some of my coursework (I have to study for two tests, write an essay, and complete an engineering project).

As for my workspace, I cleared out a place in the garage which gives me a good working area and storage space. I can also open it up and turn on the shop fan to keep the place ventilated. Luckily, I live in San Diego, so there might be a week, tops, in which I can't do any chemical work.
 

ErMaC

Well-Known Member
When it comes to using fiberglass matt or cloth, I suggest you make RONDO with BONDO GLASS. Fiberglass is mixed into it already and its just as strong and no clean up or air pockets to worry about, plus the chances of the pep warping decrease a lot. Look into bondo glass, Its way better then using fiberglass matt or cloth.
 

NightHawk

New Member
I saw you had a question earlier about using rondo. I have used it on my helmet so far and even though it has a lot of work which needs to be done to it. I really really like rondo versus using fiberglass resin on the inside. When I first rondo it took awhile because you will have to do sections at a time but once it hardened the sucker is as hard as a rock and far more studier than fiberglass. Of course this will make it heavier but the weight can be adjusted simply by sanding the inside. The problem you will run across is it will gather in corners which if you have the proper tools and you remove and this will reduce the weight quite a bit.
 

FoxtrotZero

Jr Member
Thanks for the input, NightHawk. I've decided to go for fiberglass, because I already have a good deal of matting on hand. I also don't trust myself to get a good, even coat, and I don't want to mess around with a dremel tool to fix my mistakes. I'd also like to save as much weight as possible.
 
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