Saber's Halo Reach Skirmisher


Saber

Active Member
Member DIN
S028
It's been a long time lurking, but I'm back at it again with my Covenant Shenanigans.

You've seen the Hunter, Engineer, and Brute, now time for something a little more... manageable. But still to-scale!

This project I'm taking on will be the Murmillo rank Skirmisher. Y'know, the dudes that skrrrt-skrrrt around with their little arm shields!

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This will be a slow burn project as I have lots of other projects going on at the same time, but I figured I could finally post updates here.

I started with the sculpt of the head.
The plan is to mold the outside AND the inside so I can make a latex foam skin to allow a hollow space for mechanics and animatronics.
A portion of the lower jaw, the tongue, and the fleshy strip between the jaws are all separate for ease of molding in the future. Still a long ways to go by way of sculpting, but a majority of the shapes are down.

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I also got to work on the eyes. Eyes are what captures the spirit of the creature and I wanted to make sure I got this right.
I experimented with following eyes (aka a flat picture behind an acrylic disc) and a sculped iris and I've decided to go with the sculpted eye. It's much more realistic.

Here is a pic of it peering from inside a prototype of the Murmillo rank helmet.

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I also needed to decide on which weapons I wanted the Skirmisher to carry. I decided on a loadout, a Needle Rifle and a Plasma Pistol.
I don't have the Needle Rifle model yet (it's in progress), but I did print out this Plasma Pistol I found on Thingiverse.

You can get the file for free here.

The Plasma Pistol was also printed to-scale, here is a size comparison between half of the print and a commercial Plasma Pistol toy.

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For a few months, I didn't really work on the Skirmisher. 2020 was a heck of a year.

However, last night I started building again! I made the thighs by hand. I used the amazing HD foam by SKSProps available through BLICK Art Materials.

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They need some refinement, but I'm really proud of how these are looking first slapped together.

I can't wait to see where this project goes!
 

Saber

Active Member
Member DIN
S028
More Armor Progress!

I smoothed out a thigh plate, filled the seams, and now it has a couple layers of my favorite sealant, LeakSeal. The best part? I can wet sand it so it doesn't have a foam or sprayed rubber look!

ThighLeakSeal.jpg


After the Thigh plates, I was able to build both shoulder caps! They still need some dremeling and sealing, but they're made!

ShoulderFoam.jpg


After the shoulders are the gauntlets!
One is missing some raised detail in this pic, but they're ready for sanding as well!

GauntletsFoam.jpg


Here is a gauntlets with a foam hand and a doggo for scale.

ArmFoam.jpg


There's my progress for now! It's a slow burn, but I love the progress I'm making!
 

Harri51

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S251
Saber you never stop amazing me with how you being the covenant to life. I love the carving of the head and that armor bits look amazing as usual. I am going to be watching this thread with high hopes!
 

Saber

Active Member
Member DIN
S028
Saber you never stop amazing me with how you being the covenant to life. I love the carving of the head and that armor bits look amazing as usual. I am going to be watching this thread with high hopes!

Shame your on the other side of the great pond. i would love to see this in person once finished :love:

Thanks, guys! I'm excited for spring when the temperature starts to warm up so I can make progress faster! It's supposed to snow tonight and into this weekend, so I can't work on sanding or sealing until the weather clears.

Guess I'll make some feet next!
 

xXDashIVXx

Sr Member
I just found this thread and I'm so glad you're posting this! I've been following this for a while on the social medias and every update I am just blown away. All your builds are so ambitious and legendary, I cant wait to see what boundaries you break next!
 

Saber

Active Member
Member DIN
S028
Holy Cannoli! Looks awesome! I hope the weather clears for you soon!

Thanks! The ice actually took out power here for five whole days. Slept in a cuddle puddle with my four dogs and two cats with no heat at sub freezing temps for three nights. Adventure!

Power is back since last night, but I haven't made any progress, understandably.

I agree that the eyes really help in making a creature look more realistic, and those eye look perfect! Looking forward to seeing how this turns out throughout the year :)

Thank you! I plan to do some more contrast detail painting on them to really make them pop!

I just found this thread and I'm so glad you're posting this! I've been following this for a while on the social medias and every update I am just blown away. All your builds are so ambitious and legendary, I cant wait to see what boundaries you break next!

Thank you! I figured I would also post here since not everyone has a FB or IG account!

That's some sexy foam, thanks for linking it, went ahead and ordered 8 of those, also love seeing another foamsmith, kids with their fancy 3d printers, hmph ( mostly jealous)

No problem! The foam really is that amazing! I'm just sad I run out of it so quick!

We're definitely going to have to meet up and do a Covie squad photoshoot in the future lol

YASSSSSSSSSSSSS, I'll try to update the Brute enough to get that involved too!
 

Saber

Active Member
Member DIN
S028
Hey guys, not as much progress today.

The last couple weeks have been rainy and filled with my day job.

I made a the helmet for the Skirmisher a second time. The first was a prototype/ proof of concept for my pattern and I was able to make the second helmet a lot smoother and stronger. I won't need nearly as much foam putty to fill those seams.

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The first helmet was built with 1/4" craft foam from the local craft store and hot glue, while the second was made with SKS Prop's HD EVA foam and Barge cement. You can clearly see in the picture below the craft foam and hot glue don't hold the helmet's shape nearly as well. Part of the reason I'm sticking with the HD Foam and Barge!

The holes around the eyes is where the lights are going to be, but I don't want to attach them until I have the lights and wiring set up and the helmet finished.

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And here is a rough test fit on the sculpt! I think I got the sizing right!

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Saber

Active Member
Member DIN
S028
I little more armor progress and a process trick I'd like to share!

Some armor before I started using a dremel on it. The left thigh piece has already been coated in LeakSeal.

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Did some dremel work to the hand plate here and had some LED foam and did a mockup with some LED fairy lights to see how well the light shines through. Unfortunately, iPhones aren't very good at taking pictures of lights, so it shows a hotspot, but the light is pretty uniform to the naked eye.

I might rebuild these, the raised details are a little too thick and I'm not 100% happy with the dremeling I did on them.

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Okay! So here is the process that I mentioned earlier for the smoothest possible finish on armor after making them out of foam!

The first picture below is one of my shoulder plates covered in two layers of LeakSeal.
LeakSeal is a great product for sealing foam, it's nice and flexible and has more consistent coverage than Plasitdip.

One downside, like Plastidip, is that if not warmed, LeakSeal can apply really thick and bubbly. As seen below, the finish is textured in a way I don't want it to be. You CAN sand LeakSeal. I recommend sanding starting with a 300 grit paper to level things out.

But if you want to take it a step further, LeakSeal takes paints exceptionally well! (see next photo)

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Here we have the shoulder piece with two coats of LeakSeal and one coat of the Rustoleum filler primer paint. Mind you, this is before I took some 320 grit sandpaper to it, but the surface is partially leveled out by the filler primer alone.

But now with the filler primer, the surface is much more accepting to sanding! It doesn't take much! You're more polishing the surface, so don't put too much pressure on it and it will sand to smoothness in no time!

When I sanded this piece, I had a bucket of water nearby and occasionally dunked my sandpaper into the water and I got a really nice finish after sanding for only a few minutes.


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This third picture is of the shoulder piece after sanding and a coat of Rustoleum's Black Stainless Steel paint! The surface is nice and smooth and the piece looks like actual metal!

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Here is the one thigh piece that I had previously LeakSealed and added some Filler Primer, sanded, and now I have a silver coat in this detail area. I intentionally wet sanded the broader surfaces of the paint to give it a more weathered look. The in-game reference shows that this color is more of a bluish silver, so I may come back and spray a light tint coat of light blue over it and see how it looks.

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Onto what I am most excited about this update!
I made the head shell for the Skirmisher!

I started with a simplified version of the head model and made it out of 1/4" EVA foam. I didn't put a lot of work into it trying to get things accurate in shape because the skin of the Skirmisher will be going over top of this.

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Next, I worked with Worbla for the first time ever! I covered the exterior and edges of the skull and jaw portions of the shell, making it rigid, but still lightweight!

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I took one of the eyes I had previously sculpted and held it to the shell to see how it fit. I later decided to cut that portion of the eyebrow out and make it more of a round hole to make room for eye blinking mechanics.

At this stage, I also created a hinge using washers and a clevis pin! It's super floppy right now since I don't have any elastics or springs holding the lower jaw in a more natural pose, but I'm super happy it moves!

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Next was putting it on a head rig. I recycled the bicycle helmet from the old Hunter build, cut the PVC pipe that was attached to it shorter and attached the Skirmisher head to it!

This pic I took before making a few more adjustments to the PVC length. I had made temporary connection rings out of EVA foam, but I plan to add more permanent clamps either out of worbla, or get some pipe clamps from the hardware store.

I have a few ideas as to how I'm going to articulate the jaw and tongue, but I'm waiting for the parts to arrive, which should be tomorrow.

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And last little tid-bit. I got bored last night and had some oil-based clay on my desk and decided to sculpt eyelids.

So now I've decided the Skirmisher is going to have both the normal working eyelids PLUS the nictating membrane.

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That's all for this update!
Thanks for reading!
 

Saber

Active Member
Member DIN
S028
Another small update.

Finished the paint on a shoulder and thigh plate and I'm just super happy with how they turned out.
This was my first time using oil paints for weathering and I don't think I'll ever go back again.

Right shoulder plate base foam
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Right shoulder plate finished paint
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Right thigh plate base foam + seam filling
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Right thigh plate finished paint
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That's my small update!
Thanks for reading!
 

Saber

Active Member
Member DIN
S028
Holy cow! Incredible work, the head sculpt is beyond my favorite part so far. Cannot wait to see this done!
Thank you! The head is by far the scariest part to me since once I get to the molding stage, I only really get one chance to get it right. Definitely taking my time with it to limit my chances of messing it up!


How the hex did you paint those hexagons on?
Vinyl! I have a Cricut vinyl cutter and created my own hex pattern using Adobe Illustrator. I cut the pattern out, then carefully transferred the individual hexagons in chunks onto the painted piece with transfer paper. Once on the piece, I dusted a pearlescent paint over the whole piece, then meticulously took all of the hexagon vinyl stickers off again to reveal a masked hex pattern on the part!
 

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