Soft Parts Sean Anwalt's Reach Mk. V undersuit build

Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
There is a lot of very good and very hard work going on here in the soft parts section, and I'm way stoked to see what FANGS, Turbocharizard and others come up with. It's likely to blow our collective minds.

But since "everyone else is doing it!" I guess I have to as well. This thread is going to cover the undersuit portion of my Reach Mk. V.

I've spent DAYS going over tips and pointers by Turbocharizard, internet pictures, and some pictures I took while watching Red vs. Blue, and stewed over how this going might actually be accomplished. I printed some human silhouettes and then transposed the patterns from the internet, Turbo's build, and a lot from Red vs. Blue to the silhouettes, and that is how I'm going to build mine.

I will update this post as it becomes pertinent, but for the time being, I'm only starting the thread so I have a place to store my references.

Wish me luck!

20181015_230752.jpg 20181015_230801.jpg
 

Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
Finally! After many moons, I, Sean Anwalt the magnificent, have scrounged, begged, justified, and bribed enough to get $8 for the stupid McCalls pattern #7340, which will be delivered sometime in the next whnvr. I will use this as my base for my custom under suit.

So as I formally prepare to build this under suit, I have questions.

I'm going to tag TurboCharizard, FANGS, and electricknite because they put up a ton of good ideas in the soft parts tutorial section. If anyone else has ideas, please share them! Thank you in advance for the helpful advice!

I really like the looks that a neoprene wetsuit gives, tight but thick, but I choose life, so i'll need something less neoprene. I would like to find a fabric that will look good and breathe really well. I'd also like to find one that I can use as the iconic "belly plate" on the reach armor, meaning a stiff, solid looking fabric:
Screenshot_20190118-104807_Gallery.jpg

Would you recommend cutting out sections under the armor plating and replacing them with mesh, for temperature control?

How difficult is it to add details in the fabric like this:
Screenshot_20190118-104741_Gallery.jpg knee
Or
Screenshot_20190118-104753_Gallery.jpg butt?

Is it possible to take a balaclava, divie it up into its own pattern, and add it to the under-suit?

And just for kicks how difficult would it be to build and install a water-cooling system?

I acknowledge the fact that the halo armor game is one of heat and sweating. Even during the cold winter months. What are the best ways to negate this?

Once again, thank you in advance for all the helpful input.
 

Dirtdives

RXO & Keeper of Con Lists
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Some of those cooling system are pretty pricey......Not going to find anything for $8 that's for sure....maybe 2 water bottles.....but only if you buy them outside the cons......they up the prices.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Finally! After many moons, I, Sean Anwalt the magnificent, have scrounged, begged, justified, and bribed enough to get $8 for the stupid McCalls pattern #7340, which will be delivered sometime in the next whnvr. I will use this as my base for my custom under suit.

So as I formally prepare to build this under suit, I have questions.

I'm going to tag TurboCharizard, FANGS, and electricknite because they put up a ton of good ideas in the soft parts tutorial section. If anyone else has ideas, please share them! Thank you in advance for the helpful advice!

I really like the looks that a neoprene wetsuit gives, tight but thick, but I choose life, so i'll need something less neoprene. I would like to find a fabric that will look good and breathe really well. I'd also like to find one that I can use as the iconic "belly plate" on the reach armor, meaning a stiff, solid looking fabric:
View attachment 264708

Would you recommend cutting out sections under the armor plating and replacing them with mesh, for temperature control?

How difficult is it to add details in the fabric like this:
View attachment 264709 knee
Or
View attachment 264710 butt?

Is it possible to take a balaclava, divie it up into its own pattern, and add it to the under-suit?

And just for kicks how difficult would it be to build and install a water-cooling system?

I acknowledge the fact that the halo armor game is one of heat and sweating. Even during the cold winter months. What are the best ways to negate this?

Once again, thank you in advance for all the helpful input.
Here's a list of approximates from JoAnn because we don't have them in Canada but I assume you have one at least fairly local to you.
  • For the "armour" detailing on the under suit I used a mix of gray and black marine vinyl to create a more layered look and more rigid piece.
  • For venting on the sides, knees and elbow joints I used two layers of a similar polyester sports mesh.
  • The main body of the suit is flexible stretch knit and there are a load of options so it all depends on how you want the texture or shine of the fabric.
Since you don't have a serger the sewing is going to take a little bit longer and you're going to be doing a buttload of zig-zag stitching (takes forever) to allow your stretch knits to keep their flexibility along the seams.

So far I've worn my suit in temperature ranges between 5°C and 32°C and haven't had any issues for cooling and I haven't had to worry about freezing my bits off.
 

electricknite

Member
You quoted my work in the soft parts but my best undersuit is in my armour build. my second undersuit was made as close to the game as possible. I wrote a tutorial-ish thing about it.

I would recommend finding moleskin spandex. Its a thick spandex that is used for dance and circus costumes. if you can't get that, my suit is 2 layers of regular spandex which seems to work just fine. the rest of the materials I used are pretty much the same as Turbos except I'd say go easy on the marine vinyl, It looks good and is sturdy but its not actually meant to be worn, its stiff and doesn't breath. stretchy pleather is more comfortable and looks good but it can be a bit annoying to work with. sew a test piece to get used to it.

Up here in Canada-land I rarely see temps above 28C so I didnt put any mesh on my suit. could be beneficial to you though. the armpits would be a good area for mesh and anywhere hidden under armour.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
You quoted my work in the soft parts but my best undersuit is in my armour build. my second undersuit was made as close to the game as possible. I wrote a tutorial-ish thing about it.

I would recommend finding moleskin spandex. Its a thick spandex that is used for dance and circus costumes. if you can't get that, my suit is 2 layers of regular spandex which seems to work just fine. the rest of the materials I used are pretty much the same as Turbos except I'd say go easy on the marine vinyl, It looks good and is sturdy but its not actually meant to be worn, its stiff and doesn't breath. stretchy pleather is more comfortable and looks good but it can be a bit annoying to work with. sew a test piece to get used to it.

Up here in Canada-land I rarely see temps above 28C so I didnt put any mesh on my suit. could be beneficial to you though. the armpits would be a good area for mesh and anywhere hidden under armour.
Can confirm that the stuff doesn't breathe at all! Luckily I have only patches of it around the suit and venting is not an issue. I'm not sure what fabric stores you have locally but ours on Vancouver Island are notoriously terribly stocked when it comes to anything remotely close to being "specialty fabric".
 

FANGS

Commanding Officer
Community Staff
Division Staff
Moleskin spandex is the best. I order mine from www.spandexworld.com. It's really lovely quality stuff. I'd go with the matte versions so it isn't so bright shiny. The other stuff I use a lot for undersuits is the Ponte Di Roma. It's a stretch (go with 4 way stretch for the most comfort and ease of wear) that is more cotton like but nice and thick. I have armor attached to it for one of my 501st costumes and it holds it well without drooping. I LOVE that stuff.

Also, let me introduce you to a friend of mine - GeekyPink. I asked Teresa to come in here to help out with questions like this. She owns Geeky Pinks and creates a lot of different bits and pieces for 501st gear, like neckseals and gaskets and whole undersuits. She knows nothing about Halo, but I think she can really help us out here with more ideas for soft parts. Teresa is stupidly talented and loves to help out!

Teresa, meet the gang! If you scroll to the top of this thread you'll see the questions that Sean has about his current build. Undersuits tend to be the bane of Halo costumers, although some really talented folks like electricknite have come up with some great solutions. We're always looking for more ideas so I appreciate you coming in! This thread is in an area of the forum that is just related to soft parts so when you have time, have a snoop around and see if any ideas come to mind!
 

GeekyPink

New Member
Moleskin spandex is the best. I order mine from www.spandexworld.com. It's really lovely quality stuff. I'd go with the matte versions so it isn't so bright shiny. The other stuff I use a lot for undersuits is the Ponte Di Roma. It's a stretch (go with 4 way stretch for the most comfort and ease of wear) that is more cotton like but nice and thick. I have armor attached to it for one of my 501st costumes and it holds it well without drooping. I LOVE that stuff.

Also, let me introduce you to a friend of mine - GeekyPink. I asked Teresa to come in here to help out with questions like this. She owns Geeky Pinks and creates a lot of different bits and pieces for 501st gear, like neckseals and gaskets and whole undersuits. She knows nothing about Halo, but I think she can really help us out here with more ideas for soft parts. Teresa is stupidly talented and loves to help out!

Teresa, meet the gang! If you scroll to the top of this thread you'll see the questions that Sean has about his current build. Undersuits tend to be the bane of Halo costumers, although some really talented folks like electricknite have come up with some great solutions. We're always looking for more ideas so I appreciate you coming in! This thread is in an area of the forum that is just related to soft parts so when you have time, have a snoop around and see if any ideas come to mind!
Thank you Angela! Thank you for inviting me.
I’m happy and excited to be here!
Having 2 gaming sons that play Halo, I’m somewhat in the know of characters or costumes. Though, admittedly I do not play myself. That being said, I am a costumer. And currently sew predominantly for the Star Wars Universe. And I’m an OCD detail freak. I love researching a costume and learning all there is to them. If I can help ANY of you in any way, I most certainly will.
I can build armor. And sew or will try to sew, pretty much anything. I love patterning and figuring out costume pieces. I’ll do my best to help out where needed. Thanks again for having me.
 

serenko3

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
Honestly for breathability naturural fiber is the way to go. If you plan on driving to joanns you should be able to find 2-4 way stretchy material that is at least a blend of breathable natural fiber and has the sheentour looking for. Might even be able to find a good breathable batting for underneath it.
 

Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
O.K. I have the materials and am going to try to give some step-by-step instructions on how I am making my under-suit. This will be in two-sections, since I wasn't able to finish it in one setting. Part two will come hopefully on Monday.

I have McCalls pattern 7340, 4 yards of black 4-way stretch fabric, 2 yards of gray 4- way stretch fabric, and 1 yard of mesh fabric.

I opened the pattern, removed the instructions, and cut out the patterns' rough shapes. You'll need about a billion and a half pins, I learned, and use them to pin the patterns to your fabric after your fabric has been folded in half, since this gives you two patterns for one cut. It's important to read the text on the patterns and the instructions, since they aren't always straight-forward, and some will need to be placed on a fold.
20190330_141025.jpg


20190330_144224.jpg


Most patterns should have different lines for different sizes, so be mindful where you cut.
It is terribly frustrating, but when you're done you'll have a bunch of patterns lying flat on the table.

One of the points that are important are the registration marks in the the patterns. They present themselves as triangles and need to be cut out as written. Double points where indicated, single where indicated, you'll thank me later.
20190330_142710.jpg


When you have finally cut out all of the patterns and made sure you have the registration marks, it's time to put them together using pins. The "outside" face of the fabric, the part people will see, should be face down. When you sew two parts together, lie them next to each other sew-edges touching and lift the edges so the outside faces of each are touching. Then insert your pins to keep the edges aligned.
ATTACH=full]268176[/ATTACH]

That's not a great picture, but the fabric is held together by using pins, which allows you to fix the alignment as needed before sewing. Once you have it the way you want it it's finally time to start sewing!

When you sew it's important to:
1) have enough of the right color thread and know how to thread your machine, and
2) make sure your fabric is flat and clear underneath, in order to ensure you sew only through those layers you intend to.
20190330_163807.jpg

20190330_164236.jpg

My machine has a handy measuring grid to tell me where to hold the edge of the fabric to, I'm sure most have some indicators of similar purpose. You want to make sure to give yourself roughly 5/8 inch space from the edge of the fabric to allow for the seam.
Go as slow as you need to make sure the fabric doesn't wander on you, because it will.

The pattern I'm using doesn't have pockets. And from my limited experience and advice of others in the 405th, I decided to add some.
I measured the width of my phone, added roughly 3/4-1 inch for the width, and doubled the length of my phone for the depth. I then placed the pattern on a fold and cut it out. The opening of this pocket is roughly the width of the pocket, but cut in the top side, then the whole piece was inserted in the pattern side under my torso armor where it won't be seen, but will still be accessible.
20190330_182035.jpg

(Same picture as above, because I'm proud of it. )

Follow the instructions in your pattern. If for some reason there are none, or you're making your own and aren't sure what to do, it's easiest to start from the center out, and work on the inside.

20190330_200611.jpg


Once you have all the sewing done, trim all the seams about 1/4 inch from the seam, turn it right side out, and your seams will look great!

I forgot to take pictures of that part but I'll be sure to snag a couple when I get the chance.

Next update: adding details and explaining why I decided to go two-toned! Stay tuned!
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Just checking because my eyes are terrible and I can't tell from the photos, did you use a zig-zag stitch or another stitch that allows for material stretch and play?
 
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