Selecting Your Character (guide)

PerniciousDuke

RCO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
What?!?! You thought we were actually going to tell you what character to make??


The character you build is going to take a lot of time and effort. You need to be invested in it if you want to come through with your own suit.

If you ask people on the internet what character you should make, or what color it should be, then you'll get every response under the sun. But is that really what you want? For this reason staff discourages these kinds of "what should I make" posts.


Instead we'd like to help you make the decision for yourself.


In this tutorial we will:
  1. Discuss the challenges of different builds
  2. Explore ways to test your selection
  3. Help you get set up for creation

Please note that there are no right and wrong ways of building a halo costume. In the 405th Infantry Division all cosplays are welcomed and celebrated. Whether you bought a spandex suit with a Spartan print on it, built ODST armor out of cardboard or perhaps you've spent the last 10 years making a functional warthog, we want to see it all! The most common thing our members love to see within our group is perseverance. So let's get you started on the right path.





Level of involvement:

There are four main types of Halo costumes
  • Spartan
    1- Spartan IG-districtcreations.jpg IG: districtcreations

  • ODST/Marine
    2- ODST IG-reisan_cosplay.jpg IG: reisan_cosplay 3-Marine IG-sporksaladcreations.jpg IG: sporksaladcreations

  • Uniforms
    4-Officer IG-thecostumegeek.jpg IG: thecostumegeek

  • Covenant/Aliens
    5- Covie IG-sanghelios_customs.jpg IG: sanghelios_customs
None of these are easy and none should be considered better or worse than the other. But, they do offer us different ways to explore the Halo universe.


Spartans are among the most popular to cosplay and provide significant challenge because they have numerous armored pieces and also large sections of exposed under suits. If you want to learn every aspect of cosplay including armor making, undersuit making, lights, weapons and manipulation to appear larger than you are then this could be the cosplay for you.


ODST/Marine are a great introduction to armor building. There are not as many armor pieces as Spartans which makes a difference when that inevitable overwhelming wall of frustration hits. We've all been there. This feeling that you've put so much work in and you're still not even a 1/4 way done. With less pieces to make in the ODST and even less pieces to make in the Marine you will increase your chance of completion. Another benefit is that the undersuit for these costumes look good with regular clothes, longs sleeves, jeans, black boots, etc.


Uniforms for some members sounds easy and for others seem daunting. But like everything else, practice will make it easier. Most our site is for armor creation, but we are slowly building up a backlog of soft costume builds. Luckily sewing itself has been around for a long time so there are many people and places that would love to help you get better at this.


Covenant and other alien races are not cosplayed as much as the UNSC. That means there are less resources for you to learn and adapt from. If you are an adventurous creator and want a cosplay that stands out among the Halo crowds then this will be the route for you. There are some that have done these costumes, so don't rule out research just yet. Especially if you plan to build the Larger than Life type costumes like Brutes and Hunters. Building those types of suits without the correct supports can do damage to your body so be sure to spend a lot of time in the planning phase.





Try it out! (armor files found in 405th's Armory)


1. Use the computer first.

There are programs like ArmorSmith Designer that let you put all the armor files on a mannequin with your dimensions. Maybe you'll notice that this specific armor set does not compliment your figure. Or that it doesn't give you enough room to bend your limbs. Change it up! See what different armors might look like together.
6-armor smith.png 405th: PerniciousDuke


Another cheaper option to do this using free image manipulation program like GIMP. Find a picture of the armor you like, make it 50% transparent. Then take a picture of yourself standing in the same position and put it under the armor image. How do you look? Does it get you excited to make the suit? If not Change it up! Print it out and color it with a custom paint scheme using colored pencil or whatever you have. If you're not exciting when thinking about your suit then chances are you're not going to have the enthusiasm to finish it.
7-overlay 405-perniciousduke.png 405th: PerniciousDuke



2. Start Small

It is going to take many hours to build a full suit regardless of which one. Why not try to make one piece of it from start to finish first just to see if you like it? If you feel confidential in your skills or if you don't care about failing then perhaps you could start with a helmet or a prop, something that you can be proud of and hang on the wall.


The other option is to build something very small or out of sight so that even if it doesn't turn out the best you can still use it on the finished suit. Things like handplates are very small. Things like shins are low and out of most sightlines.
8-handplate 405-xtreme tactics101.jpg 405th: Xtreme Tactics 101


The important thing to remember here is with 15 pieces of armor to build.... your skill or techniques are going to change with every piece as you learn more. Plan for it. Build Symmetrically.


3. Do mock ups.

Instead of just going full ham and printing all those pep pages or cutting all of sheets of foam why not make it out of cardboard first? Maybe only print the opening of the helmet to see if you'll even be able to get your head through. Instead of cutting foam, cut printer paper first and tape it together. Hold it up to your body and see if it feels right. This is a great time to ask the community for their advice. We are not always the best judge of our own image, but if you're not afraid of critique then others will be glad to give their opinion. Throw a picture up and say, "hey guys, does this boot look too big when compared to my normal shoes?"
9-pepon head  405-schankerz.JPG 405th: Schankerz






Getting Started


Now that you’ve got a good idea of what you want there are two big steps to take. One, determine which method is right for you. Then, collect as much information as you can.


Choose your Method (for armor):

· Pep – The way that started it all. Named after the program developed to turn 3d models into flat printable versions that you could then fold and glue back together, Pepakura Designer. Pepping is akin to assembling an elaborate jigsaw puzzle. Once you’ve got your papercraft you can put all sorts of elbow grease and products into getting it to hold up against wear. This process is ideal for people that excel at following step by step procedures and have space to work with chemicals, and want a durable material. People will be amazed to learn your suit was ever just paper.
10-pepmat 405-perniciousduke.jpg


· Foam – from EVA floor mats to armor in several simple steps. This method is affordable and can produce really amazing results the more you refine your techniques. Which is why it is the most common method of crafting armor across endless fandoms. The biggest downside is the durability. Seams will eventually tear, paint jobs will wrinkle. But, for the effort the outcome is definitely worth it.
11-foammat  405-pipninja.jpg 405th: pipninja


· 3d Print – No misconceptions here, there is still a lot of work to be done when printing props and armor. Often you won’t have a suitable file to print and will have to model one yourself which takes a lot of screen time. Then you have to deal with pesky printer problems. You thought you wanted to throw the paper printer out the window..? To top it all off, printers leave behind print lines. There are different methods for smoothing them out, but they all take work. For the tech minds out there it is still a dream come true.
12-3dmat  405-turbo charizard.jpg 405th: TurboCharizard


· Cast - While this is certainly a method for creating armor, first you have to make the master in order to make a mold. So, you’ll most likely be doing one of the methods above, or sculpting it out of clay. You’d really only do this method if you planned on producing duplicates of your work.
13-cast mat  405-hitbox workshop.jpg 405th: HitboxWorkshop




Collecting Information

1. The Beaten Path
14-405.png
Once you’ve settled on a method start by reading through a build log of someone that has made something similar to you using the same method. People will often share their hardships and frustrations which is often the best way for others to learn.


2. Learn from the Pros
15-youtube.jpg
There are many people who make countless youtube videos for every type of crafting. What glue to use on foam, how do you trouble shoot your printer, what is fiberglass resin? Chances are there is a video for exactly what you want to know, you may just have to try different ways of wording your search. There are also many written tutorials found in 405th's Tutorial Section.


3. Frame of Reference
16-google.png
Get every image you can find of the thing that you are building. Trust me, you can not have too many reference photos. Different angles, different lighting, different colors, take it all!!! Google image search is your friend, whether it is a game render, fan art or someone who has built something similar. The image gold is in game shots that you take, so hop on that Xbox One! This is research. Press the Xbox button then Y to take a screenshot. After an hour they will be uploaded to your online profile. You can go to a website like xboxdvr.com type in your gamertag and now you have your screenshots on the computer.


4. Make it Yours

Now that you’ve seen how other people do it, what are you going to do different? Any good costumer will tell you, find one thing that is your crown jewel. What is one thing that would be really cool to have on your character? A chest with a spotlight? Speaker for music? Maybe a material that looks really unique or some battle damage that develops into a character back story. This is my rifle. This is my gun.

17-build your character.png
 
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