TurboCharizard Makes a MkVII


Division PR, RXO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
Hello everyone and welcome to another instance of “Turbo went quiet on build threads for a few months and has come back with a completed suit”. This time instead of something small and transportable for conventions anywhere I’ve gone back into the depths of my desires to make a mashup suit while at the same time making a MkVII that allows me to be an indecisive costumer in an ever evolving cosmetics system like Halo Infinite. What exactly does that mean in simplified terms?
I’ve devoted the better part of four months holed up in somewhat isolation fully designing a MkVII core suit that is fully modular for any attachment currently available in Halo Infinite. By modular I mean with an allen key or hex driver you can swap out one attachment for another or go back to base form without attachments. Everything is designed to be easily buildable by anyone with access to a 3D printer and rigging points of the suit are designed to support multiple different styles depending on personal comfort and range of movement limitations.
Also this suit is designed to have the appearance of a Vocaloid and it lights up like a Christmas tree so we can dance and party on the con floor.
Since this is a non-traditional build thread in the fact that there is approximately four months worth of work already completed and the whole suit is “finished”, the first page of posts is reserved as documentation for the build. The thread will continue as I rebuild parts to more suit my liking and as parts are added to the list of possible attachments compatible with the core of the suit.

Thread Index
Post 1: Costs Breakdown
Post 2: Design Methodology
Post 3: Suit Features
Post 4: Design Process
Post 5: Parts Sample, Revisions, Future Updates
Post 6: Assembly
Post 7: Surface Preparation
Post 8: Paint and Decals
Post 9: Flexibles and Soft Parts
Post 10: Electronics
Post 11: Otafest Glamour Shots
Post 12: Future Additions and Longevity

For those wanting a playlist to listen to while reading about Vocaloid or to play while wearing your own Vocaloid build, enjoy
MkVII Vocaloid Dance Mix

For those needing to channel the chaos energy that was required for this build, consider the following.
Last edited:

Post 1: Costs Breakdown​

For reference and mostly self reporting/being able to go back and determine roughly what’s needed in replacement if parts break, this is a cost breakdown and rough shopping list of items if you were to follow this build in a to the letter manner. Do I advise following it exactly? No, please Build Your Character and let your creativity take over. A MkVII SPARTAN is a canvas of it’s own where you can use the colour zones to your advantage, add custom decals and markings and just make it whatever you want it to be.
Take everything in this as a rough guideline knowing that it’ll be different based on personal scaling and material availability in your area. Victoria is a fairly artistically inclined town with various suppliers for these items but plenty of online ordering was required so shop smart and get those online savings where you can.

Suit Associated Costs

Monetary Costs
Base Materials

eSun PLA+ Grey - 220
Spool3D Flex PLA - 80
Fiberglass Mat - 40
Polyester Fiberglass Resin -35
XTC3D Epoxy Resin - 42
60mm x 10mm x 3mm Magnet - 2
10mm x 10mm x 2mm Magnet -4
M5 x 12mm Fastener
M5 x 45mm Fastener
M5 Washer
M5 Nut
Toggle Latch - 10
Chest Harness -20
Belt - 15
LED Shoes -25
Helmet Liner Padding - 15
PETG Sheeting -10

MSA Safety 10087218 Hard hat suspension - 20
Radio Chest Harness - 25
Tactical Belt - 20
Non-Roll Elastic -
Nylon Webbing -
Parachute Clips -

Paints and Coatings
Rustoleum 2 in 1 Filler Sandable Primer - 80
Rustoleum Matte White Primer -30
Rustoleum Matte Black Primer - 30
Rustoleum Gloss Black - 15
Rustoleum Silver -15
Krylon Stainless Black Steel -18
Montana Black Punk Pink -15
Tamiya PS-50 Sparkling Pink -60
Golden High Flow Acrylic Pearl White -12
Vallejo Metal Color 77.720 Gunmetal - 12
Alclad Aqua Gloss Clear -8
Rustoleum Matte Clear -15
Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze -15
Leak Seal -18
Rit DyeMore Sapphire Blue -15

WS2812b LED strip -20
Flexible LED Filament (Pink) 26cm - 25
5V 4020 Blower Fan - 10
5V 3010 Fan - 10
Waterproof 3 Pin Plug Connector -8
Slide Switch
Adafruit Trinket Pro 5V -18
Raspberry Pi Zero W - 22
3.5” HDMI TFT Display - 20
RasPiCam - 15
Bluetooth/UHF wireless voice amp - 65
LED High Tops - 60

60 Grit Sanding Disc
80 Grit Flapper Wheel
120 Grit Sanding Pad
220 Grit Sanding Disc
220 Grit Sanding Pad
300 Grit Sanding Disc
300 Grit Sanding Pad
400 Grit Wet/Dry Sandpaper
800 Grit Wet Sandpaper
Latex Masking Fluid
Masking Tape (Various)

Time Costs
Design Time
6 Weeks - 270 Hours

Total Time Dedicated to Suit
441.25 Hours

Print Time
Total Material Weight 10.9kg
Total Machine Time 35.95 Days


80 hours

41.75 Hours

Assembly (Rigging, electronics, various)
50 hours
Last edited:

Post 2: Design Methodology​

For this suit and any that are based off of it in the future there was a set outline of things that it had to be. This helped focus my attention to making my time designing and building easier and limiting the stress in potentially difficult building conditions while being under a time limit. The five main points that I adhered to were as follows

1. The suit must be infinitely customizable for any armour permutation.​

This challenge was very interesting and led to the development of what can best be called the “Hard Point System”. Attachments in Halo Infinite, much like Halo Reach follow a consistent placement pattern around the SPARTAN armour core. However, unlike Halo Reach, Halo Infinite and the designers of the Mk VII core were very thoughtful of how each type of attachment would connect to the body of the wearer. Each mounting point either has some greeblie, panel or object that is a different colour zone on the canon armour coating system which allows for some trickery in removable plates that can be fastened and removed as needed. For each main body component I’ll show an example of how this can be used.

2. The suit must be primarily 3D printable for part accuracy​

For the Hard Point System to work certain tolerances must be maintained during construction and when worn to limit deformation and allow for continued use of the system through the life of the suit.

3.The barrier for entry must be low​

Due to point two limiting the primary material to a 3D printed medium a certain up front cost is required to build this style of suit. Unfortunately printers and filament are expensive so the goal was to limit individual part size wherever possible to fit within the build volume of a standard Prusa i3/Ender 3 which are the most common build volume. As an additional design constraint, planning for minimal support material usage to get the most value out of the spool of plastic was considered.

4.Every chance for a simplification of a future construction step, the design must attempt to simplify.​

Post processing is the point where you make or break the appearance of a suit. Layer lines in the crevices give away your material used. Difficult to mask parts often leads to pieces that are hand painted or paint bleed from tape peel up. Separation of greeblies and pieces that are in a different colour zone that do not add to the overall strength and stability of a part were removed for easier finishing work to save time either through easier access or the ability to duplicate through casting of parts.

5. The build must be complex to allow for all desired features but be simple enough to easily construct through short instructions.​

Planning for every possible attachment variant as well as having separable greeblies makes for a suit that instead of consisting of just main body components but alternatively has over one hundred pieces of varying sizes. Without being the designer of the suit files this becomes a daunting task of a jigsaw puzzle. Keyed geometry and simple instructions that combine with well organized and segmented sections keep the build manageable and easy to follow. Also check off lists and worksheets that promote note taking help immensely on a full suit build. Documentation saves lives.

With five main constraints on the overall design for how to make a suit it seems a bit daunting but when boiled down to the base description of “MkVII is a great canvas for customization but sanding and painting takes a long time, let’s limit that” we have a rally cry and a goal we can all believe in. The time constraint was a primary concern for the prototype suit as will be discussed later. This project started in late January and needed to be ready for the May Long Weekend and Otafest so wherever a few hours of physical hands-on time could be saved, it was needed. This build was a sprint. Everything after this point is both offered as insight to other designers and builders as well as a warning that yes things can be completed but they will physically take a toll on you.
Last edited:

Post 3: Suit Features​

For this post I will be exploring how the core parts of the suit operate. Components like helmets, shoulder UAs, knee UAs and chest attachments will be discussed later once the basics of assembly have been shown. The best way to explain how a suit works is with an excess of design progress photos and showing how the sub assemblies interact.

The key feature of the Hard Point System is through holes for fasteners and captive nuts that can quickly and securely attach parts in a repeatable fashion. Due to the integration of McMaster-Carr into Fusion 360 ordering parts was easy and exact fastener lengths could be quickly acquired. The majority of the suit makes use of M5 10mm fasteners at standard scale which translates roughly to a 6-32 nut and 6-32 ⅜” fastener if you need to run to the closest big box store for spares in North America.



All of the Hard Point fasteners are accessed through the reverse side of the chest which creates a need for the clamshell design with the front being split along panel lines from the over the shoulder and underarm section. This also allows for the arm gaskets to be permanently affixed to the back section of the torso which also helps with keying of the two halves when wearing the suit.

The front of the chest makes use of four separate mounting points for attachments.

  • The two side panels are excellent for holding the majority of UA plates and in some instances such as the Paradise Rig can be used as electronics boxes for supplemental controls.
  • The upper point that is inset within the collar line is used primarily for gorget style UA plates such as the Relikt Cuirass and Malachit Plate.
  • The central point is perfect for abdominal UA plates such as the AAP/DAKH Ordnance Pack and the M550D Halfplate.

For connecting the front and the back halves of the torso there are planar segments in the overarm that can be used to attach latches or skate bindings or simple parachute clips. To hide these connection points a small decorative cover is used that magnetically is held in place.

Illumination of the suit for shield emitters has always been one of the most fun parts of a SPARTAN build for me and Halo Infinite on the majority of Armor Coatings just doesn’t make use of emissives. It’s kind of unfortunate since we all love bright and colourful armour. For this build I added several locations where emitters should be based on game appearance and added electronics boxes that also serve as blackout boxes to prevent light bleeding into the suit. These are in the front of the chest for the front facing emitter pair and in each thruster on the cooling vent.

The neck and arm gaskets are always one of the most painful experiences of a SPARTAN suit and for this build I wanted to prepare something that could be created in multiple mediums depending on preference of the wearer. On my prototype suit the collar gasket is rigid plastic (it helps with the alignment of the halves) and the arm gaskets are a flexible printed material. I did build a foam variant for the arm gaskets but skinning the foam with fabric was proving to be time consuming and not as aesthetically pleasing as I was hoping for (time crunch dictated to stop it and move onto something more productive).


The biceps are one of the points of greatest customization on any SPARTAN with many options for shoulder plates. To accommodate this multiple mounting methods were explored to make the modular customization experience easier over the life of Halo Infinite and the possible shoulder attachments that may be released.
The shoulder mounting utilizes a variant key piece of the bicep that both supports the shoulder and creates a convenient rigging point internal to the bicep. The variants are as follows.


Purely decorative and is not modular. Excellent as a display piece that is on a SPARTAN that has chosen not to wear shoulder armour.

Single Bolt
Similar to the previous option when no shoulder armour is desired but the modular design is kept for changes later in the life of the suit.

Double Bolt Pair
Fully modular and works with every shoulder plate and allowing for quick changes between shoulders as desired.

As well as the shoulder mounting method there is variant inner arm options since this is always a high friction and pinch point on a costume a flexible inner plate (or none!) was created for the personal comfort preference of the wearer. The Inner Plate is provided in two formats for different crafting methods. A rigid component for printing in stl or a pdo for foaming an inner plate with more give when attempting the dreaded SPARTAN game of “head and shoulders”.



Canonically there is one hard point on the MkVII SPARTANs right wrist for decorative armour attachments (Shield Nodes and Bucklers) as well as a connection point on the left wrist for specific equipment (Grappleshot and Repulsor). Through a removable detail piece this forearm can be used to mimic that feature while providing a secure connection to the arm. Much like the other parts, decorative geometry is used to our advantage and keyed connections are then bolted in place for a piece that won’t be knocked off of the armour without excessive force.

The wristband is removable to assist with mobility and adding extra flex to the rigid part. With a band of nylon non-roll elastic the wrist can be connected to the main body. To further focus on accessibility and mobility needs, two variants of the forearm were made with one being solid (easier to print) and a second with a removable bracer section (easier to paint, easier to wear with mobility concerns).



Canonically there is a hard point for Utilities on the MkVII SPARTANs left thigh and through a removable detail piece this thigh plate can be used to mimic that feature. With the power of a helpful mirror tool we can carry twice the amount of thigh utilities!


Certain armour coatings illuminate the shield emitters on the front of the thighs. Keyed plugs are used which can be printed in an opaque or transparent material depending on the coating. PETG sheeting can also be mounted to the inside of the emitter depending on the clarity desired through the lens of the emitter.


Much like the inner bicep, the thigh gaskets of SPARTANs are a notorious pinch point. The MkVII thighs also sit much higher than other games and a flexible option is almost always preferable. To support this, both a printable variant and a Pepakura variant were created. For my personal suit I opted for a foam backed fabric solution that is fixed in the front and flexible on the lower and rear connections for extra mobility.


Mobility concerns and considerations were also brought into the shin armour. The separable front shin plate that can be removed from the calf plate makes for both easier post processing and the ability to put the armour on in an easier manner than pulling on armoured pants.


The shins are designed to allow for a hard point mounting solution for the various knee options of Halo Infinite. There is an array of captive nuts within a bar along the top of the shin plate to accommodate the different knee shapes and mounting positions. There may be a knee in the future that draws my attention but currently UA/Type ST looks great and fits the aesthetic.



This boot pattern includes the three main armour plates of the MKVII Boot as well as optional connection hinge pieces, gaskets and sole to match the canonical appearance. On my personal build I did not use the sole (for glowy reasons discussed later) but if a SPARTAN wanted a canon footprint to leave on the ground while also getting a little extra height, there’s ways to cheese this.


The hinged instep plate is optional but greatly helps with foot articulation when walking. I’ve adjusted where mine sits to give greater articulation than what an Infinite SPARTAN can achieve wearing hard armour.
Last edited:

Post 4: Design Process​

From this point onward in the build thread we’ll be discussing specifically the prototype suit and the evolution of the IA themed MkVII build.

I’d also like to thank everyone that kept me sane in the process of the “month of hell” as well as the finishing of the build. To Angus314, CplYapFlip, NobleofDeath16, ODCA, Rock Lobbster, Viper 466 and ZettaiKagerou, thank you for being there to bounce ideas off of, add valuable input on why ideas would/wouldn’t work and for being there for game nights when things just weren’t working out. Also thank you Penguin Heist for being the correct level of absurd to counteract long days at work followed by long days in the Fusion mines.

During a game night a group of us had the fun idea of customizations based on certain colours. It evolved using the “what if” game and tied to Vocaloid characters and the “haha but what if” game just kept increasing until we opened up the reference pack by Surasia and Jeffw773 and started digging.

Using some of our favourite pieces of artwork we all came to characters and rough designs that just felt correct. Our “haha” turned into a secret project which would be revealed only at Otafest, the convention that we had all agreed to meet at. My artwork inspiration was of the Vocaloid IA which utilised illuminated cabling (Paradise Rig) and a teddy bear (Clonely Bear). The off the shoulder design with striped markings was looking for a shoulder UA that had a wide curved panel (Agathius) and then a mirrored shoulder to bring a similar shape but more of the secondary pink tone into the armour (Cambra). For the hair that ends in two braids with metallic bangles, I wanted a helmet with a curved shape and landed on Zvezda with the TAS/DROCTULF and Purrfect Audio attachments for a better silhouette than just the large visor which would add too much of the eye colour to the helmet.

With some messing around in Inkscape to figure out decal placement and further adjust colour zones to design a SPARTAN I could happily dance in.

The limiting factor on this whole plan was the time constraint of around 120 days to get everything finished before it had to be packed and on the way to Otafest. We had a great idea, we had the experience to do speed builds previously, we had each other to keep everyone on task and firing on all cylinders for the next three and a half months. It was on.

Initial Prototype Build Sprint​

January 19th - March 3rd AKA Turbo’s Month of Hell

Reminder to all those out there that if you are working a full time job and decide to take on the workload of a second full time job, things will get interesting. Do not try this at home. Also somewhere unaccounted for in this tracker I modelled the Halo Reach Operator helmet and did some post processing for it.

This is not necessarily the order of part development I’d recommend for anyone starting to design a suit of armour, it was just convenient to create small groupings of pieces that I could use as weekly goals for completion that would look good on an Armorsmith avatar.



I went with the basic hand of the CAPAXX glove (MkVII default) primarily because of the hand plate being similar in shape to the Reach MkV female “cat ears” plate. Yes, most of the major decisions in this suit involved some feline influence.

Overall they were a quick warm up and made use of a similar technique that I implemented on previous designs with a strapping loop for a removable hand plate on gloves that want to be washed occasionally. The design for the handplate made use of some simple Fusion sketch intersections and offsets while the finger plates were more of the Form environment that I would be spending the majority of the next several weeks in.


At this point I started appreciating the design of the MkVII and how the Armor Coatings interacted with the colour zones. Instead of the normal method of splitting greeblies off for easier printing I embraced that easier sanding, painting and making the actual donning of armour more accessible was the goal of the build. I don’t know if I would have had the same “aha” moment if starting with the boots as I often do but looking at this bracer plate and considering how it could be further simplified in the build process led to a change in how other parts were created.

Helmet - Zvezda

I like to work on helmets in hermit mode. I disappear over a weekend, put on some music and then come out three days later with a thing. The Zvezda helmet was a little treat that way where I had a weekend that I wasn’t working and was able to hole up and create the design.

On the Zvezda helmet in general there are two big features that I greatly enjoy and it makes me believe that some of the design team at 343 are paying attention to how living in this armour would actually play out. The first big feature is the intake filters on the front of the helmet. These worked perfectly for having a constant supply of fresh air being forced into the helmet.

The second feature is the clearly defined panel lines on the rear section which make for a perfect removable neck plate which makes this close fitting helm wearable.

The overall helmet has a very wide base and narrow top and it was of concern that the helmet would either be very uncomfortable, have an extremely visible human chin or end up being too large depending on the scaling. The team came through though with sanity checking helmet sizes.

As per my usual plan of using steel plates and big magnets for a neck connection, there was plenty of room in the large side panels of the helmet.

Overall I really grew attached to the helmet and feel that it was the right look. I had been debating using Firefall but with the selection of attachments, this just felt more unique and easily customised for my needs.

Shoulders - UA Cambra and UA Agathius​

UA Cambra was a knock it out in an evening type thing where it didn’t even have a progress screenshot taken other than a “hey look at this” thing that was shared. The point of note for the Cambra shoulder was that it helped finalise the mounting arrangement due to it being the smallest and the one with the most open top which reveals the most to anyone looking at the costume. This led to the creation of a bolt pattern that would be able to be matched on all the other MkVII shoulders to connect to the biceps. Yes it was a very convenient coincidence that I chose an aesthetically pleasing shoulder that was useful to do some problem solving for a major component needed on every suit.


Again the mounting system leans on M5 fasteners but this time with longer bolts going through geometry on the bicep for a secure connection. Due to the way that Infinite has shoulder UA plates rotate around the character bicep and the in-game mounting points just clip through the bicep, some creative liberties were taken with the mounting brackets but the overall shape is maintained with the exception of through holes.

UA Agathius was for some reason a head scratcher for me. Whatever it was I just couldn’t comprehend what was going on for some of the pieces around the upper plate. It took a little bit longer than expected due to fiddling and futzing but it got to a point where it was close enough for a prototype and then later received a revision that simplified the painting and assembly process. This is why we always test and have others play with the prototypes to confirm everything works as expected.



I talked in the previous post about how the goal with the bicep was for added flexibility in both wear and customization. I don’t recall 100% but I remember a conversation with Angus314 where we were both being dumb and arguing the same point about how to use bolts in the bicep for mounting webbing and securing the shoulder UA plate. Yes, we both agreed on the concept but articulating it just was not happening. We both agree that less stuff going on in armour means less things to break.

With the prototype arms finished as well as the helmet, there was more than enough to keep robots happy printing. As a look of where I was just over a week in, not too bad.


The thighs were a piece of cake. I had previously modelled a version during the swarm build for the initial MkVII when we got our hands on the cosplay guide back in 2021 so the rough order of operations was in my mind. Quality of life improvements were made for assembly, finishing and wearing while also focussing on capturing all the detail as opposed to getting to the 95% point needed for a foam unfold which is easier to adjust and detail after the fact.

A comparison between the two versions shows the corrections made primarily to the side panels as well as the more accurate overall shape of the front edge. It’s the benefit of two years of additional references and two years more experience in design.

The thighs were also an interesting point for character customization on the IA suit. She has two different length socks and a garter on her left leg which I wanted to bring into the overall suit design which lead to asymmetric paint patterns on the thigh armour which I don’t often see implemented and I think it helps this armour stand out even more.

Last edited:

Shins + UA/Type ST Knees​

Around the time that I was working on this portion of the build, Fallen had completed her build with UA/Type ST Knees with awesome colour combinations that inspired me to change from the planned UA/Type SA. Thank you Fallen for showing me a much more interesting knee plate and one that better fits the shape of IA’s boots.

Again IA’s socks played into asymmetrical paint patterns with two white stripes on the right calf. This also ended up being helpful for quick differentiation when suiting up since I add additional padding on the inside of my shins to help keep them positioned on my funny bow legged self. I may one day add an ammo belt with pink straps to match the buckles on her boots but for now, I really like the way things look.


Someone at 343 has been listening to us. The MkVII belt is actually very comfortable and fits a human waist. With flexible connections between panels it feels like you’re wearing nothing at all. I designed the belt with the intention to have the front three and back three panels permanently affixed with nylon elastic and the centre boxes being a floating buffer to cover the connection gap, however this changed slightly and became everything rigged onto a hidden belt while also supporting the weight of the thighs in a similar fashion to the H3 Marine Pilot that I had previously worked on.

The intention with the belt was to mimic IA’s skirt by introducing as much pink as possible. A kama was considered but then it felt like it interfered with the look of the thighs or made the rear shield emitter look out of place. If anyone can figure out an elegant solution for attaching a kama to a MkVII belt there are plenty of Oreos awaiting you as a prize.


Remember all that stuff about chest modularity from the previous post? Yeah. Originally that wasn’t all there. I rushed through the chest design over the course of a few evenings and got it to the point of a few break off parts, threw it on the slicer and went “oh no”. An all in one go back plate wasn’t going to fit (a blessing in disguise honestly due to orientation of layers and access for post processing later).

Thus began the great breakdown of the chest from several large parts that keyed together to about a dozen mid-sized parts that keyed together and many greeblies that were easier to post-process and paint as individual colour zones.

At this point I was running out of parts to print and as soon as things were designed they were getting slapped onto one of the four waiting printers. It was a bit stressful but the finish line was within sight. Revisions and documentation could be completed closer to the Otafest crunch end while various paints and epoxies cured.

Chest Completion​

The last thing that I wanted to include was a neck gasket. However the completionist in me had other things in mind and I ended up making the abdominal wrap/pants of the MkVII as well even though for my personal kit I only ever planned on using the spine plate to cover the cable run from the chest to the lower suit sections.

Overall the abdominal wrap would be fairly simple to make but I’ll take a difference in materials appearance between the spinal guard and the undersuit over boiling myself alive in funny SPARTAN shorts.

Paradise Rig​

The last bit for the IA appearance, a collar, an activity centre and a funny li’l box. Dead easy. The only slightly difficult part was the planning for what electronics would be controlled through the activity switches and dials. On the full release revision there are cutouts for cable runs, a mounted potentiometer and slide switch to match roughly what looks to be available as inputs on the game model.

Revisions for Release​

It was finished.

Usually for big build logs like this I do caffeine intake tracking, that would be less than ideal for this build so we’re going to leave it as the total of “a concerning amount”. Luckily all that remained on this build was documentation, quality of life changes for anyone using the files after me and of course finishing the suit.


March 3rd - May 17th
Ongoing improvements to the files and changes to the assembly guide (roughly 40 pages) were made over the following two months while also completing the prototype suit. A distinction of this being the prototype suit is being made for the sake of the plans of ripping out several good pieces while updating certain parts to the fully modular abilities of the final design. The hard line in the sand deadline was the afternoon of May 17th when the car gets packed up and we cannonball to Calgary. Everything had a drop dead date of May 3rd, if there was not a possible completion plan for a wearable suit, Daisy would be going to Otafest. Spoilers if you’re reading this as a novel, everything was released as we drove onto the ferry and two Vocaloids were able to meet up.
Last edited:

Post 5: Parts Sample, Revisions, Future Upgrades​

Now we jump from the digital design stage into the physical production of prototype parts. Yes, there is overlap in the events of these posts and yes you may be able to figure out what happened when based on the shirts I’m wearing. Overall this post is more of a demonstration of parts and explanation of differences between the prototypes and release files than an instructive post like the upcoming ones.

The MVPs of this stage of the build were the two Ender 5 Plus printers which were dedicated to the IA project for a month. To celebrate their hard work I applied stickers to them as badges of glory and to help remember which is which. MikuCube (01) being my first Ender 5 and TwinsCube (02) being the second. Will there be a LukaCube (03)? Maybe one day, these things are rock solid and the Tevo Tornados are starting to show their age.

Ender 5 Plus was the chosen machine here for stability, reliability but slightly slower printing with a better track record than the Tornado for failure rate. Spoilers for the build, there was only one reprint to adjust scale and one print failure that required slight bodywork to repair aesthetically but not catastrophic enough to require reprint. If you can spot the failure, again, there’s Oreos up for prizing.

For parts samples there’s plenty of photos of trying on pieces in front of the washroom mirror while rocking my comfortable shop hoodie. If I can wear the hoodie underneath an armour piece there’s usually more than enough room for my traditional sewn bodysuit under armour rigging methods so it acts as emotional support and a litmus test for sizing.

I always used to make the helmet last as a capstone for a build but now I’m on team carrot on stick. Use that helmet as a physical thing that motivates you to complete the build. The prints being clean and just locking themselves together for the most part and being able to sit as an item that you can happily look at and look forward to working on is how I want all projects to be as opposed to a shelf of shame sitting there.


Forearms are always a struggle for me and the MkVII ones get narrow in weird places so this sizing test helped confirm a number of things about comfort and the modular mounting arrangements.


The stupid grin for the biceps was for the confirmation that running a constant scale through all parts on the arms and torso would work which meant that proportionally my top half should look correct to the reference. With the addition of a dry fit shoulder plate to test weight and check for possible collision of physical parts proving to go smoothly, everything arms was turning up aces. For the UA/Agathius here I used a prototype that differs from the final version that utilizes more greeblies to simplify post processing. Was it mostly because I love my friend Angus314? Yes.


The Capaxx glove plates were a test on a specific glove that I bought in a multipack ages ago for my Daisy-023 suit. Initial standard SPARTAN scaling proved to be too large for my hands to also include the finger plates on the knuckles so a reprint at a smaller scale was completed.


Due to some family vacations, long work days during testing and the powers of adjusting sleep schedules around print changes, the pile of parts rapidly advanced from a small collection to a large array that overtook the floor. Here you can see that my thigh plates are the non-modular design, this was a change that happened late in the design process and I didn’t have the time to redo a thigh before the convention.


Breaking up the legs into multiple parts here reduced the overall print time and material usage which was the name of the speed build game. The only negative part of this decision was the difficult access for assembly of permanently affixed shin plates and my specific plastic welder. For sake of comfort I elected to do a foam and fabric thigh gasket to reduce movement limitations of Daisy-023 and try something that I don’t think I’ve seen implemented in other builds.


Initially I had picked out a specific pair of shoes to work around for the build and then changed that plan late in the project (as shown in the electronics section) which slightly changed rigging requirements. If you can, make sure when you’re testing fit and form, have all your base components finalized and don’t do funny changes in the name of cool shoes if you need specific spacing of parts.

The chest front of the prototype suit was at the 95% stage when I hit print and does not include the hard points. IA is stuck with the Paradise Rig and I am 100% A-Okay with that. Will I make another SPARTAN that showcases the quick change parts? [maybe]

Apologies to PlanetAlexander, you’ll notice that everything was printed in eSun PLA+ Grey. The global stockpile of the stuff was greatly reduced during this period of time.

Last edited:

Post 6: Assembly​

The following sections can act as a general guide on my process of getting a 3D printed armour part to various milestones. Each milestone will have a listing of tools that I find useful and consider invaluable for speed running a suit. Yes, different tools do exist as do different methods but this is how I get a suit wearable quick*.

*Quick is defined as still dedicating an amount of time daily that would constitute working a full time job with overtime. Do not attempt this if you value not upsetting your normal daily schedule or if you value having a social life.

For getting an armour piece from fresh off the printer in parts to something that is “wearable” the following steps are followed.

Tools Overview​

For assembly we’re keeping the toolbox super basic and relatively simple with one or two outliers.
-Needle nose pliers
-Flush cutting pliers/diagonal cutting pliers
-A knife/deburring tool
-Painters tape
-A drill with bit index or step bit
-Five minute epoxy
-CA glue
-CA kicker
-Plastic welder/hot stapler
-0.8mm wave staples
-Rotary tool with grinding stone

Safety Concerns​

-Sharp materials and sharp tools
-Chemicals requiring gloves, respirators and ventilation
-Heating and melting of materials requiring respirators, ventilation and removal of flammable materials
-Removal of metal components which can eject, recommend safety glasses or grinding shield

Deburring, Support Removal and Dry Fit​

The most important part after removing a print from the bed is clearing as much of the support material from the internal structure as possible. This will help with the sanding stages later and overall make the suit less pokey. Generally I use a set of pliers to twist and break supports from the parts to limit hand contact and all the micro cuts that come from handling small, sharp plastic pieces while still maintaining full finger dexterity and grip from not wearing gloves.

From there I’ll remove any remaining brims that are necessary or blob/zits/strings from printing that may have occurred by carefully trimming with a knife. For brims that were on joining faces I will leave those connected for plastic welding purposes.

Next comes the moment of truth where we prove if our Armorsmith skills are indeed as good as we think. Key together any locking parts of the “mission critical” portions and painters tape the rest together so try things on and make sure they fit. If there’s anything that’s close but won’t require a complete redesign or rescale, it’s time to firmly but politely ask things to work. Some people like to tease things into shape with a heat gun, I prefer a subtractive method with small adjustments using a knife or at worst a rotary tool.


Parts Adjustment​

Before anything is permanently affixed I like to guarantee everything fits well and has room for added layers of paints and epoxies further in the build process. If it doesn’t fit now, it’ll be more of a pain when it’s all together.

Things like layer shifts or warping from poor bed adhesion can also be assessed at this point to see if it’s recoverable or worth redoing entirely. A layer shift can be split at the shift and rejoined, a slight warp can be sanded level again but sometimes it’s not worth the time and easier to just reprint. Luckily for this build no major corrections were required which saved plenty of time.

Some gentle changes like fixing through holes back into circular shape, opening recesses or sanding parts for a better fit are just part of the game sometimes. An example here is how I measured the height of the camera module incorrectly which led to the wrong diameter being measured and the hole needing to be widened with a step bit to get the lens to sit properly in the DROCTULF attachment. For bolts and support rod fit I first drill at the exact diameter of the fastener to deburr the hole and then follow up with one bit size up to smooth and add extra tolerance for adhesives like epoxy.



This stage is primarily for affixing parts of the same colour or large base components since I tend to leave greeblies and attachments for after the base colour stage. As always, anything that can make your life easier, do it.

Depending on the part I will use either CA glue or a five minute epoxy to join large parts together. Epoxy has roughly twice the shear strength resistance of a CA glue joint so for parts that will be flexing with movement I will often lean toward epoxy as the adhesive of choice. The two can be used in conjunction though with the quicker setting CA glue being used to tack important geometry in place while the epoxy cures. Like with all tools adhesives do take up space and viscosity of the adhesives can and will make parts difficult to assemble if your tolerances are too tight so always check first on how parts fit.



Plastic welding is one of those funny tricks that I picked up over the last few years and I don’t know if I’ve shown it in a build thread yet. The concept is simple, basically do the soldering iron melting of parts together but with a stronger connection due to the staple insert.

The staples are heated by running current through them and the hot staple is then embedded midway through the body of the part at the joining seam as shown below. It takes a bit of practice to know how long to heat the staples and how much pressure is needed to melt into a surface but once you get it, these joins become nigh on indestructible.

Using whatever cutting tool you have that can get as flush to the surface as possible, trim the ends of the staples. The less pokey your armour is, the better. Diagonal cutting pliers are great for this and usually plastic welder kits come with a pair however the quality of the steel may vary.


Grind down the ends with a grinding stone and then use the flat tip of the plastic welder to smooth over the welding marks. This is why I keep brims of adjoining faces still attached to prints, free material that can be used to make things smooth instead of using odds-and-ends old filament from ends of spools. Brims are already held in place for you and are printed thinner which requires less heat to get everything cooperating.


In the end, all of this doesn’t need to be beautiful, it just needs to be accurate enough that there’s no lumps on the outer faces and no stabby bits on the inner faces. Even the stabby bits is a light requirement due to the fact that everything will be coated in fibreglass which covers and rounds most issues.
Last edited:

Post 7: Surface Preparation​

We currently have all our main armour parts together and segments separated based on colour zones, time to get them ready for paint. This is arguably the longest and most physically demanding stage of a normal armour build so expect to be sore in multiple ways and put on some good music to just flow with.

Tools Overview​

-Rotary Tool
-80 grit flapper wheels (25mm height, 80mm diameter)
-5” orbital sander
-5” orbital sander pads 60/80/220/300 grit
-Mouse sander
-Mouse sander pads 60/80/220/300 grit
-Linear pen sander
-Two sided tape
-Sand paper 80/220/300/400/600/800 grit
-Needle files
-Disposable cups
-Disposable brushes
-Mixing sticks
-Aluminium foil
-Fibreglass cloth
-Polyester fibreglass resin
-XTC epoxy resin
-Bondo Body Filler
-Bondo Glazing Putty

A work station where you can be an absolute mess for periods of time

Safety Concerns​

-Chemicals and particulate requiring use of a respirator and ventilation
-Spinning tools working to remove material requiring safety glasses or a grinding shield
-Grinding tools requiring ear defenders
-Chemicals requiring use of gloves
-Fibreglass is itchy. Cover literally everything
-Take breaks, your body will thank you

General Approach​

You can likely notice that there are multiple sanding tools listed within the Tools Overview, this is due to the fact that although I like sanding, I hate sanding. My back and hands will get tired long before I am mentally done for the day on cleaning up parts so anything to help get to a milestone of “X armour parts sanded to Y grit level” quicker is always needed. For every sanding grit I start with the orbital sander, follow with the mouse sander for sharp corners and finish with the linear sander for small recesses and sharp corners. The goal is to save fingers and arms for the wet sanding later. Let the machines do the work early on to save you pain.

60-80 Grit​

The first pass after assembly and deburring is one where we have to trust the process. Stuff left the printer looking nice and glossy coming off the machine but we’re going to mess that all up in the name of getting it even smoother later.


Now is also the time where I’ll remove any remaining contact points from support material. Flapper wheels on a rotary tool get rid of it no problem at all.

If there’s any large surface defects that need to be reshaped or filled, now is the time to fix them and smooth them with Bondo Body Filler. Luckily on this suit there was only two or three spots that called for a body filler repair but the general rule of thumb is that any defect 1cm or less in width and depth can be fixed with body filler without a backing reinforcement, anything past that might need to be reprinted for structural reasons or a metal mesh should be added. For smaller defects (pits or scratches less than 3mm in depth) Bondo Spot Putty works great. This suit was getting an epoxy shell so the spot putty stage was not as important but at the same time there weren't too many locations in need of repairs.

Fibreglass Reinforcement​

It is well known that I am a clumsy lad on occasion (parts of this suit have been involuntarily drop tested) and due to that fact I like to add an interior layer of fibreglass. It’s lightweight and adds a bit of extra structure that will help prevent catastrophic failure of parts due to dropping or heat warping which is entirely a positive in my books. The added benefit of resin flowing and accidentally filling in layer lines on the outer faces of the armour is just a bonus.

For doing a considerable amount of fibreglass at once I like to pre-cut squares of fibreglass cloth and store them in a small rectangular take out container to help organize the workspace and limit damage spills can make in a time sensitive operation when odd shapes like armour are being manipulated.

To help further keep things simple and minimize loss when doing things I like an easy repeatable measurement for working with the chemistry of the chemicals. Most red beverage cups have some sort of marking on the side for specific volumes, and this 60mL marking is a small enough volume that’s easy to work with before the resin gels as well as being a nice round number for the approximate number of drops to get the magic 3-4% catalyst. As always temperature plays into chemistry and I was working in a basement in the Great White North which means adding a little extra kick always helps make sure we can get over the threshold for curing. Nobody likes sticky or smelly armour.

Applying two layers to all suit parts and three to some of the more accident prone parts (boots, shoulders, forearms) took about eight hours of solid work and I can tell you, that much time in nitrile gloves is not the most fun.

The only thing that is less fun than applying a bunch of itchy glass strands with a liquid poison is cleaning up the sharp sections of the hardened itchy glass. I will always advise against gloves when working with any rotating tool but for the sake of trimming excess and cleaning up edges, it was a tuck coveralls into gloves situation and tape the seams to stop as much as possible from getting in and onto skin.


Epoxy Coating​

Again it’s more poison, this time with a slightly more viscous resin that has a slightly higher bonding strength and overall resistance to the types of damage that costume armour is expected to encounter (flexing, dent impacts). I’ve used XTC-3D on quite a few other projects and I reserve it for the times that I want to be fancy and not have to deal with chasing drips like with polyester fibreglass resin. It cures quickly (as long as you mix correctly and don’t have old stock) and sands just a little bit more evenly.

The rules for XTC-3D that they really need to print larger or at all on the instructions are as follows.
-Check the date on the box. If the manufacture date is older than a year, do not buy it.
-Shake the daylights out of Part B before use. This stuff separates and will leave you with a mess if you don’t
-Alway B onto A, never A onto B
-The listed mixing time is no joke

For mixing again we have the funny red cups, this time cut down to size for easier handling and mixing. The newly introduced tool is the excuse to have a lot of ice cream (4L recyclable bucket) and aluminum foil to make a wide tray. Epoxies like this are exothermic reactions when mixed with their hardener and spreading out the volume in a wide container like this helps slow the cure while limiting the chance of the mixing cup smoking and wasting a few dollars of material.

Covering the whole suit while carefully avoiding panel lines is a time consuming task and having the constant pressure of a tray of material that is threatening to go bad if you don’t work fast enough is stressful, always have a fun relaxation activity planned for afterwards like building a Brute Shot. Yes, the camera angles were very specific during Mayhem this year to hide the suit of armour.


180-220 Grit​

Yes XTC is self levelling and will make a nice shell coat on the armour parts that will look nice but unfortunately some of the sharp edges will have been rounded and potentially some panel lines will have been filled so this stage is more for correcting any defects and helping satisfy any perfectionism. Overall the goal at this stage is to get a good paint surface that’s free of any telltale signs of FDM printing.

As always, continue to dry fit parts and confirm that any added material doesn’t get in the way of proper alignment and fit. Small greeblies that are inset may be the biggest struggle after an epoxy coat since their nests may have been slightly filled in. A linear pen sander is great for clearing out corners with the pointed triangle pads or in extreme cases a pointed grinding bit for a rotary tool can be used.

400-800 Wet Sanding​

The first step to this process is to spray a layer of high body filler primer, my personal preference is Rutoleum 2 in 1 Filler/Sandable but depending on where you live that may be difficult to source. If you’ve been a good noodle in previous stages things should already look really smooth but we’re being extra and going for a shine.

Depending on how many little treats you need in your life, another 4L icecream bucket can be used for water during the wet sanding stage. The goal of this stage is for a nice glossy finish on parts that will create natural reflections of light. Yes, you can go higher than 800 grit but overall I’ve found that past 600 grit there is very little benefit for large printed pieces if you’re painting with rattle cans. If you’re planning on using parts for moulding master parts, go higher but for this, save your fingers the pain.

If you can, do better at controlling the weather than I did and spray paint and wet sand outdoors in temperatures above 10°C. Always read the manufacturer's application instructions, they’ve probably tested the product once or twice.

Here the fingernail scratch test is going to be doing a lot of work looking for any small recesses that may not be readily visible. The filler primer will help highlight low spots as you sand most of it away from the surface of the parts. Water will also add a reflectance to the parts that help you spot any surface defects. Switching between colours of filler primer also helps if doing multiple sanding passes but here I was being thrifty and bought in bulk the grey. I’ve included a picture of an unrelated project to help show the colour switching of filler primers.


For this specific build the majority of the suit was wet sanded to 600 with the vibrant pink sections being sanded to 800 since I was planning on applying a colour shift top coat which likes glossy surfaces (spoilers, the colour shift didn’t end up looking great).
Last edited:

Post 8: Paint and Decals​

This is the part of every project that I just get to sit back and enjoy. If I could magically have a bunch of paint ready parts in front of me to use as a canvas I’d be a very happy Turbo.

Tools Overview​

-Delicate surface masking tape
-Flexible masking tape
-Liquid latex masking fluid
-Plastic wrap
-#11 Xacto
-Silicone spudger

Safety Concerns​

-Chemicals and particulate requiring use of a respirator and ventilation
-Chemicals requiring use of gloves

Colour Pattern and Design​

For this one I leaned heavily into the powers of the Halo Infinite SPARTAN Pack on The Halo Archive and IA KIO 1.0 to play around with colours. From there I played in Inkscape to quickly add decals, tweak some things that make my head hurt in Blender and get as close to what I think works in digital to a place that I can start playing in the physical world.

Blender, MMD and Inkscape are all free but mastery of these programs is not required in any way shape or form to complete a paint job.

Overall I wanted to incorporate less than six colours to fit within the limits of the Halo Infinite Armour Coating system while largely sticking to colour zones but adjusting with extra stencils and shapes to add the details of IA’s outfit. The rough breakdown became
Metallic Black - Blouse and Thigh Highs
Magenta - Skirt and Boot details + Accents
Metallic Pink - Skin and Hair
White - Boots and Decals
Blue - Eyes
Gunmetal - Standard MkVII locations


Paint Selection​

To absentmindedly browse similar paints to the hex values that I selected, Encycolorpedia allows for a search of popular common paint brands within a Δ range for similar off the shelf colours. This helped to track down a few possible candidates of solid tones but as I’ve stated previously in the thread, this build was a full send which meant violence in finishes. We’re getting metallics, colour shifts and pearls all in one.

For the metallic black and the pale pink I was able to go with two paints that I had on the workshop shelf to test and see how they looked together in person under different lighting conditions. The more magenta pink however was more difficult to nail down.


TurboDork colour shift paints called to my soul. I narrowed them down to “Bubblegum Crisis”, “Sakura” and “Turbo” as the top coat over a base magenta to get the effect that I wanted.

With a bunch of paints ordered and all parts ready for colour coats I started the process of testing different primer coats with the different paints to see how they reacted. Unsurprisingly the metallic black looked best with a gloss black primer to further enhance the shine. The two pinks were a bit of a surprise to me though, usually a yellow base helps pink become more vibrant but in this case I preferred a matte white for both. The moral of the story here is to test your paints to negate any possible surprises later on.

These test pieces are just acrylic Christmas ornament half globes that I bought in bulk for a crafting workshop at local libraries and still have dozens of. They’re great for seeing how light reflects off of a surface and testing paint adhesion or for possible reactions between odd paint combinations.

Sometimes in the paint testing stage you realize you wasted a bunch of money. Missions change, they always do.

[TurboDisappointment Video]

Everything will look good on a screen but you just have to have it in front of you to tell if it’s good or not. If anyone else has had success with TurboDork through either an airbrush or HVLP, I’d love to know your steps.

Chip Weathering​

This build created a long running internal debate on how fresh off the manufacturing floor a digital diva SPARTAN should look. The deciding factor was time available for doing an extra paint step and the argument for natural wear just making a suit look better over time as silver is revealed. This is very much not for the faint of heart since you have to very much trust the process in an intermediate ugly stage. First a matte black coat goes down over everything that will have chip damage followed by a dusting of a bright metallic. You don’t want everything coated evenly so that there’s visible variation on revealed chipped sections.

Trust it, no matter how gross it looks at this stage.

With the ugly mottled silver parts in hand we then grab our favourite liquid mask and start applying a masking layer to the corners and edges where damage and wear would naturally occur, scratches and dots of pitting to help break up large surfaces in believable ways.

If you’ve never spent far too much time near large metal objects made for military applications or never done scale modelling of vehicles I highly recommend Painting & Weathering for Props and Replicas, Master Scale Modelling or watching any painting video on Tested with Kayte Sabicer to see how they approach highlighting the shapes of things with weathering.

Once your masking goop of choice is set, apply a primer coat for your colour coats.



Next we dive head first into the world of masking off large areas for application of main colours and then further working toward small sections and decals later.

Having a selection of tape sizes and types is helpful and using them all on the paint test pieces will help confirm that no accidental adhesion issues will occur. My personal preference is to use the delicate surface Frog Tape for masked edges and then using a cheaper tape to hold plastic wrap to it in order to stop overspray.

For the most part on a MkVII suit you’ll be able to get away without any major masking processes but my colour pattern choices made for some multi-step masking that was very good at creating a tape ball.


Letting Him Cook​

Sometimes you just have to let the paint gremlins do their thing even if that thing is jank painting jigs.

Two sided tape and cardboard may seem like a dumb way to paint things but when there’s nearly one hundred small things to be painted, it starts to make sense.

This part of the process was inspired by looking through the cases of airbrush paint that I have and stumbling across a pearl white. Initially the white parts were going to be matte but again, we’re bringing more visual pop in the name of Vocaloids. We invoke Hatsune Miku.

More natural reflections are important when everyone is going to be looking at your cool shoes. With the chipping mask removed, a protective top coat is then added to protect the more delicate airbrush paint.
Last edited:

If I was smarter I could use the powers of Inkscape, Blender or Pepakura to get exact stencils prepared for this sort of detail work that could then be made using a vinyl cutter but using rulers, circle guides and a sharp Xacto knife over some tape was the paint gremlin mood I was in. To get a consistent thickness of lines I used more tape as a guide to make sure everything was roughly parallel and consistent.

A sponge brush and dabbing was used here as opposed to a considerable amount of masking for overspray prevention. Overall it turned out to look pretty cool

At this point I’d normally bring out the oil paints and powders but digital divas need to look their best and grime was limited.

Protective Coatings​

Once the hand painted details were on, clear coats were applied. If you have access to an airbrush I recommend you give Klear Kote a try. It’s good stuff.


I’ve previously done a couple writeups on visor making so I’m mainly showcasing the luck that I had here with making a visor and testing one from Rogue Workshop (thanks Felipe and Zachary) which ended up being a great fit. I didn’t have a lot of time for visor forming and dyeing so I wanted to have as many spares on hand in case everything went wrong or everything went right and I had options.

The same as usual, Rit DyeMore synthetic dye with a small bit of vinegar and dish soap in a big pot that is never allowed to be used for food ever again. The dish soap helps break surface tension on the water which will limit webbing or streak lines while the vinegar helps for colour intensity and dye penetration of the plastic.

When backed with Alclad Mirror Chrome and put into place on the Zvezda helmet under the DROCTULF attachment it makes for a pretty dang good one way mirror of vibrant blue.
Last edited:

Post 9: Flexibles and Soft Parts​

This section is for all those odds and ends pieces that can’t quite be called hard armour parts as well as the method of physically attaching everything to a wearable state.

Flexible Filament Gaskets​

As mentioned earlier Pepakura patterns for gaskets were made to allow for sewing or foamsmithing. I went the “try new things” route and tried out a flexible filament with a 85A shore hardness to see how it’d fare for armour pieces. Yes, I did make a set of foam gaskets but overall these provided a better fit to the chest plate with no major changes being required to my normal printing process.

For the FlexPLA I used my standard PLA+ profile at a slowed down printing speed with increased overhang angle support and connected a dry box to the filament path to help since it is much more hygroscopic than most materials I usually work with.

For finishing I used Leak Seal and wet sanded to 220 grit and 300 grit adding a coat of Leak Seal between as a filler. This method helps maintain flexibility and keeps the rubberized look of the MkVII undersuit.

Flexible Spine​

The spine was treated as the other gaskets and was connected using 1” non-roll elastic at four points to allow it to bend and flex further into the chest plate if needed which helps with waist mobility. Strips of 2mm EVA foam are used as cable guides inside the spine to protect the power and data lines from the controller in the thrusters to the belt and thigh.

This part wouldn’t be too difficult to make out of foam and do the vertebrae as printed detail parts but overall it might be more prone to tearing. I’m interested to see how well the flexible filament parts hold up over the life of the suit.

Paradise Rig Fabric Cover​

Using some simple Pepakura patterns and fabric that roughly looks like cordura I made the protective cover for the odd little box of the Paradise Rig that I’m still not sure what it’s supposed to be.

Fabric Coated Leg Gaskets​

The leg gaskets were constructed using a combination of 2mm high density EVA foam and black marine vinyl that was still on our shelf from the MkV SPARTAN builds.

The Pepakura patterns were extended to allow for seam allowance and overlap between the panels. Both a left and right set were made and checked multiple times over before glue was brought anywhere near anything.

To make sewing easier, Spray Super77 was used to keep the foam and marine vinyl together. The vinyl was then cut and sewn along the top seam. Using the slight overlap, a top stitch was used to secure the panels.

An EVA foam strip was added on the inside edge of the thigh plates and the front edge of the thigh gasket was secured to the thigh plate using E6000. The back and lower edges of the gasket was connected with non-roll elastic to give further range of motion when needed but still be able to pull back into the correct spot during regular movement.

Flexible Connections​

You’ll start to notice a theme here for connecting rigid parts that require an exact position on a game model but limit human movement in the real world. Non-roll elastic connected with E6000 to create a band between two parts was the new comfort hack that I wanted to embrace.


With the belt it really helps for the ability to dance. With everything connected to an internal belt with loops it’s almost comfortable as far as space diapers go. Shown here is the method of not getting a bunch of difficult to remove adhesive on the pads of our clamps. More tape for the tape ball.

Again, more elastic to make a little hinge for the latch covers on the chest connection point.

Last edited:


For the majority of the suit rigging parachute clips were used to make quick connections during suit up.

On the shins, 3/4” clips were used to allow for reusing other undersuits in my closet to give some time savings in the build. 3/4” webbing was then sewn to 2” webbing and epoxied to the internal walls of the armour pieces. Adjustment straps are included on the undersuit side to adjust the suspension height of the part.


The thigh is rigged in a similar manner with a loop running up to the belt which can adjust the height as needed.

For the biceps a Y was created that connects to a chest rig that is worn under the chest plate. The Y is created using a D ring and three webbing loops sewn over it as shown below. The loop that extends into the bicep then has two holes melted into it for fasteners to be mounted through.Washers are used to limit chance of damage to the webbing over time.


The bolts are then secured from the outside of the bicep with the two nuts that keep the shoulder UA in place.


Boot rigging has always been an interesting challenge and for this build I tried a few safety products that were already things I played with at work. The metatarsal plates and supplemental steel toes both were fitted for a work boot (the initial plan for the shoe inside the boot) to keep everything removable but as is a recurring theme in this build, something shiny caught my eye and they weren’t used. Maybe they’ll be incorporated into my non-sparkly SPARTAN build or end up in my toolbox.


As you can see below, both allow for free movement of the hinged connection of the SPARTAN metatarsal plate and the toe plate by just connecting the decorative cover to the functional protective plate.


Last edited:

Post 10: Electronics​

Arguably, the electronics setup on the suit is very simple and can be broken into five separate zones.

  1. Helmet - power for four fans, a scary death laser eye and vision augmentation.
  2. Torso - main controller, power distribution and lighting (front and back)
  3. Belt - funny tail light
  4. Thigh - shield emitters stylishly on one side
  5. Boots - pretending I’m back in grade school

To make keyed connections for power and data lines between the individual suit parts, waterproof plug connectors were used as overkill for limiting the chance of incorrect connections during suit up and bad times during outdoor events.


Helmet Fans​

Two inlet fans and two outlet fans to keep air fresh and the cosplayer unworried about the claustrophobia of being trapped in a plastic bucket. The inlets were located and the cheek mounted ducts of the Zvezda helmet and the outlets were added into the top-rear of the DROCTULF attachment in two added recesses. The outlet fans are a higher CFM rating which creates a negative pressure to help with cooling and moisture.

Helmet Supplementary Camera​

Going into this build I was concerned about the DROCTULF blocking the majority of my vision and controllers were purchased to build two different types of supplemental vision tools to help negate some of the blind spots. An ESP32 Cam and a PiCam build are ready to be thrown into the helmet if I ever feel the need to add further utility to the helmet.


WS2812B Lighting and Control​

All suit lights are controlled using an Adafruit Trinket 5V allowing for colour, brightness and animation control over each of the 26 LEDs.

Everything is controlled with the FastLED library but if you are scared of jumping into the Arduino IDE, there’s several wizards that can generate code for you.

For the lenses of the shield emitters I used excess PETG from the visor cut to shape, lightly sanded on one side and then two layers of LD40 packing foam to help as diffuse material between the LEDs. On the inside of the armour black foam was used to cover seams and prevent internal light leak.

LED Filament​

3V flexible LED filament in pink was purchased to add to the underside of the boot armour. Was it used? Nah, ya boi got LED sneaks. They’re fun as heck and I wish that I had these as a kid. It also simplified the cable run and a need to route power down through the thighs, shins and into the boots which is a huge bonus. The other bonus is just how bright these are compared to a 3V LED filament.
Last edited:

Post 11: Otafest Glamour Shots​

I made it to Otafest, got to do a trial run, encountered a few problems but overall had a great time. The majority of the repairs could all be done with my toolbox supplies on the AirBnB deck after hours.

Duke spying on us from the skywalk and possibly the first photo of the Luka and IA suits.


Photo by PerniciousDuke

Catboy 2023


Photo by Hanamaru Photography



Photo by Hanamaru Photography

Catboys and Catmaids, natural friends


Photo by Hanamaru Photography

Cool dudes rocking new suits


Photo by Hanamaru Photography

Indoors our lights are violent

Photo by LobbsterCosplay
Last edited:

Post 12: Future Additions and Longevity​

This post is reserved as an editable reference and index for future updates as needed.

Post Otafest Patch Notes

  • Connection latch between back and front of the chest has been replaced with parachute clips.
  • Metatarsal plate has been destructively tested and subsequently been repositioned for comfort.
  • Adhesive for adhesion of flexibles was not adhering, we stopped asking politely and used stronger stuff.
Last edited:
You really outdid yourself with this one! I have a question, though. Are you gonna put the files up anywhere to buy or just for free? Because I will definitely want to swap out some of the parts of the suit I'm making with some of these (Particularly the belt!) :p
Wow - This thread took me hours to get through (between doing other things and really wanting to soak up every ounce of knowledge you poured into it) and it was totally worth it.

Hands down this will be the top of my bookmarks and I know I will reference this thread many many times in the future. (And now I promise to harass you with fewer questions about my pending MKVII project).

This suit turned out amazing and I really hope to be able to come see it in person someday/somehow (Why did OtaFest have to be on Mother's day weekend next year?)

For anyone else reading this - I promise you that the files that Turbo made for this suit are simply amazing *chef's kiss*

The color you used on your chest looks awesome. Just to confirm it was this:
(not the Vallejo Gunmetal - right?)

If anyone else has had success with TurboDork through either an airbrush or HVLP, I’d love to know your steps
I'm a bit bummed to hear you didn't have luck with their paint. I had tremendous luck with my Color Shift Command and have a pending project using some of their other paints.... (shh)

I really just followed their instructions for thinning the paint and going with their recommended base coats. I wonder if part of it could be that those specific colors just don't pop as much.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.