TurboCharizard's Halo Reach CQB Build Log

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
While we're cleaning up after the chaos of PAX West I thought I'd attempt to tide you folks over with a thing that always fascinates me about cosplay. No two suits of armour are put on the same way and each have their own quirks.

CplYapFlip (Hanamaru Photography on the social media) thought it'd be fun to time lapse my suit up. Enjoy twelve minutes compressed down into one and some change.


Order of operations for getting Spartan S068 on

  1. Dance belt
  2. Under suit
  3. Thighs on
  4. Feed thigh power cables through under suit to back and clip thighs in place
  5. Shins on and clipped in place
  6. Under suit zipped halfway up and thigh cables brought to neck/shoulders
  7. Chest piece on
  8. Biceps on
  9. Feed bicep power cables through under suit to shoulders and connect inline connectors to main circuit
  10. Clip biceps in place
  11. Connect thigh inline connectors to main circuit
  12. Gloves on
  13. Gauntlets on
  14. Hand plates on
  15. Power bank inserted into chest piece shelf
  16. Spartan diaper on and clipped in place
  17. Boots on
  18. Helmet on and fan circuit connected to main circuit
  19. Grab prop
  20. Rock out
 

Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
DOUBLE POST OF SHAME!!!

But you guys took too long for me to wait for someone else to post, so deal with it I guess? Anyway.

I would dearly love more information regarding your undersuit build and such. Been ging through the pictures you took at the halo museum and some reference photos, and I wanna build my own. I just would like to know how you finished yours and a little more of the nitty gritty details.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
DOUBLE POST OF SHAME!!!

But you guys took too long for me to wait for someone else to post, so deal with it I guess? Anyway.

I would dearly love more information regarding your undersuit build and such. Been ging through the pictures you took at the halo museum and some reference photos, and I wanna build my own. I just would like to know how you finished yours and a little more of the nitty gritty details.
Ask and you shall receive good sir.

I'm not sure exactly how nitty gritty you want to get so I'll go as full ham as I can go with information so that if I miss anything you can always ping back if it's glaringly obvious that I missed it. I have done up copies of my patterns in CAD and they will work if you're exactly the same shape as I am (rugged, Canadian, bowlegged, modest and mildly athletic). I have included an SVG version so if you really really wanted you could download the pattern, break it up for banner printing and then go to town. That being said I highly recommend that you don't do that because although things will work together, they will not necessarily fit your body even when using stretch knit fabrics in your body suit. My legs are all sorts of weird from being naturally bow legged and years of hockey, lacrosse, skiing, long boarding and hiking have done no favours to the odd shape that I am.

Steps to producing a fancy bodysuit that'll guaranteed work for anyone as long as they're careful and follow their plan are as follows.
  1. Find a Reference
  2. Make a Pattern
  3. Buy materials that are conducive to this type of job
  4. Follow your pattern
  5. Dear god, follow your pattern
  6. Test fit along the way
1. Find a Reference

Luckily I went digging through the depths of the 405th, games and concept art to find my references so you don't have to. Even better I got the chance to double check my completed suit against the real scale statues at 343i. I've already included some of my best references in the previous posts for the patterning stage but it's good to link back in case things get buried in forum chatter.
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The fun part is weeding out inconsistencies between different sources and then hoping that everything works out in the end. I basically stuck to the in game model as best I could while referencing the McFarlane toys Spartan III models I have to make sure that things jived. Yes, I do go out and buy action figures and other things as reference for projects, it's a great way to get an idea of how to bring things into the real world and is most definitely my biggest sanity check when working on things.

For Spartan III's there's certain sections of the under suit that I've never seen because of all the armour and I'm honestly not certain that they were ever designed to begin with so that's why I have some large blank sections of similar materials that are completely obscured by plating.

2. Make a Pattern

Dirtdives was screaming about my butt in the original post so some of the value may have been lost. Basically get a friend to turn you into a duct tape mummy and transfer the reference images to your body. When I was a mummy there was a team of three helping out because we did it during a weekly crafting hangout so there was the ability for everyone to double check line placement, one of those three was my partner who isn't afraid of drawing on the less PG13 parts. Having a full length mirror for this stage is extremely handy since when you're coated in tape you lose flexibility and if you do bend you chance unsticking parts or stretching others. Be ready for a fun hour of standing still. Have water and cooling handy and your references all easily accessible so they can be checked.
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Before you start cutting make sure to add registration marks across seams such as the leg and arm attachment to the torso. Certain seams line up nicely and meet at corners, some are a pain and the less time you spend deciphering patterns the more time you have to sew. Make sure to take pictures from all angles to reference the pattern in it's assembled form later.

Once the tape pattern is removed from your body, transfer that to paper as soon as possible. Tensions in the tape and tight fitting clothing underneath will warp and change the shape of the surface. At this point you can clean up any shapes and using a measuring tape or a foam ruler you can check that the seams will be the same length. As promised, my paper patterns, apologies for the sock feet, I was taking photos on the floor so that I could get the grid reference for easy digitizing.
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Under Suit Layout 3.jpg


3. Buy materials that are conducive to this type of job

The fabric you use needs to look good and move with you. Sure you could make the whole suit out of leathers and look like a tank but then you'll need an active cooling vest. For my suit I included side vents out of three mesh layers that combine for an extremely breathable fabric that looks cool. The majority of the suit is a four way stretch fabric that is naturally breathable, for this one I checked three different fabric stores and did a bunch of abusive pulling on samples to make sure nothing would be too sheer when stretched to it's limit (see through under suits are probably frowned upon in most communities). The only thing that I chose for aesthetics alone was the two different vinyls for the tech-y armour panels on the suit. Vinyl doesn't breathe at all which is super fun when it's directly against your skin, if you can find something better that still looks like it could be a hard panel please let me know.

Because working with stretchy fabrics requires stretch friendly stitching you may need to do a bit of research into what your sewing machine can do. For this project I actually went and bought a serger/overlock machine to guarantee that no seams would tear when moving around. Two needles, four threads and cutting knives are an awesome way to get things done. It's also way faster at making strong stitches that are stretch friendly so I was able to assemble the whole under suit in under three evenings of sewing. I'm pretty slow and bad at sewing plus I had never used a serger before so that's saying something.

Do your research, find the right tools, crush it.

In this under suit I used
  • Black marine vinyl
  • Dark gray marine vinyl
  • Sports jersey fabric
  • Laundry hamper mesh fabric
  • Four way stretch fabric
  • 1/2" nylon webbing
  • 1/2" parachute clips
  • Non-roll elastic banding
  • Open-end zipper (all the closed-end zippers were not black or the wrong length)
4. Follow Your Pattern

Remember those registration marks from earlier? Attaching sleeves and funny shapes to a garment is never a fun time to begin with so any little bit of extra information you can give yourself is worth it's weight in gold. We're often crafting on deadlines in a sleep deprived state so making everything into a plain simple instruction that you can follow even under the most strenuous of situations is important. All of my pieces are kept in envelopes of similar sections, the leg bits with the leg bits, the back panels with the back panels, each are labelled for left and right side because right facing of fabric is important for texture on certain knits and reversing it will be extremely noticeable if certain pieces are backwards. If you have chalk or a similar means of marking your cut pieces use it wherever you can. Also use your images from earlier to make sure that things are connecting properly.

Work in manageable portions that are easy to sew individually and if you get tired/annoyed step away. For example I sewed all the detail pieces separately one evening, got angry at how the material was bunching on one section and came back the next day after lofi hip hop radio - beats to study/relax to and a cheeky beverage.
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From there I added the details to the large panels to make five sections, the two arms, two legs and the torso by slowly combining adjacent pieces. At this point I added on the armour mounting strapping and cut in slits for cable runs through the suit. Strips of 1/2" webbing were attached to vinyl pads and then these pads were sewn onto the suit panels for extra strength and to reduce the chance of armour being jostled during wear tearing out the stretch fabric.
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Once the legs were sewn into a leg shaped tube I added a loop of non-roll elastic at the cuff so that it'd stay tight around my ankle and then I added a loop for underneath the foot so that the leg would be unable to ride up my leg. On the arms I did a similar thing but added just a loop of rolled stretch fabric to hook around my middle finger and prevent the sleeve from moving. The zipper was added in once the torso was finished and checked correct for sizing. As is mandatory with all sewing projects, take a bathroom mirror selfie once everything is connected.
DSC_1507.JPG DSC_1511.JPG DSC_1512.JPG

5. Dear God, Follow Your Pattern

If you're using a serger like I was, it sews a lot of stitches extremely quickly. If you attach seams incorrectly you're going to have a real bad time undoing stitches. If you have the trimming blades on when you messed up, you're possibly going to have to redo sections since you may have just cut a large section of fabric off. Pay attention and just follow your idiot-proof instructions you left yourself!

6. Test Fit Along the Way

Nothing sucks more than finding out a piece is the wrong size after finishing it off. Don't be afraid to do sanity checks along the way. I always buy way too much fabric because I know I'll mess up along the way. Luckily in this project I wrote myself so many helpful reminders that I didn't mess it up and now I have a bunch left over for Mk. II later on if I want to do that. Testing the torso is super fun and arms and legs are just awkward in general so just try your best and believe in yourself.

Don't be afraid of iteration either. This is my second under suit for this armour set. The first was admittedly a temporary setup using nothing more than a turtleneck and yoga pants to test rigging and improve upon clip locations but it showed me what needed to be done to make things work.

The biceps are held with one parachute clip each and a small section of upholstery foam to assist in friction fit. The thigh plates have one parachute clip each and my thighs flexing to keep them in the right spot. Inside the shins are an instep and outstep clip at the top of the calf and upholstery foam at the ankle to stop the plate from rotating. Overall it makes me feel like I could take on Scarlett Johansson for the role of Black Widow.
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Did I do it? Did I hit some of your queries Sean Anwalt?

View attachment g1383.png
 

Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
TurboCharizard Very well done, my friend. Thank you. That was so well presented that it almost earned a sticky request! There are not enough resources in here for just the under suit. Not that are easy to find anyway, you know?

I'm hoping to get my under suit looking pretty on point, and this post will go a long way to help!
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Hey guys, it's been like a month of neglect of this thread and I felt like I've worked a little more on the armour since the last post so it warranted a fun little cosmetics and personalization post. I found an awesome Deployment style photo photo which is awesome for reference of the different safety indicators and warning labels for the crews helping Spartans in and out of armour so I felt like it was time to make up some more bits to make my armour feel more "real world".

HR_Render_CQBStudy-4View.jpg


I do a lot of my normal stenciling with an airbrush and I think that I've shared my stencil sheet before but keeping everything in one place seems like the logical thing to do. All stencils are done on the cheapest vinyl available and are cut out using a Cricut Explore Air 2. They could be cut by hand but when the machine is available I might as well save myself some carpal tunnel. Once cut out, surrounding areas on the armour are masked off to protect from overspray and are then sealed with a clear coat once dry. If you're interested in the UNSC font that is closest to what's used on various armour etchings such as the ODST name tallyplates Denmark is your friend.
Detailing.png

Certain things can't be airbrushed on easily so we get to use waterslide decals! I used to use these a bunch for miniatures like Warhammer 40k and PerniciousDuke rekindled my love for them after showing me how well they worked on Young Jorge's armour. In the reference photo from the top of the post you can see five different warning labels, one on the power plant, one on each shin and one on each thigh. The only problem there is that you can't see what the hazard symbol or text is in the texture map because it's just a little too low resolution to make out the text. So I made my own along with a few coloured triangles to use as practice.
SafetyLabels.png

I think they went on alright. I'm not sure which method I prefer overall but they both have their merits. Hand painting on personal messages is also a good option too and really adds to the story of a costume. I'm still looking for that perfect mix of something that's been manufactured, lived in and then given that personal touch by the operator.
DSC_1913.JPG received_263748574426056.jpeg
 

xXDashIVXx

Well-Known Member
Hey guys, it's been like a month of neglect of this thread and I felt like I've worked a little more on the armour since the last post so it warranted a fun little cosmetics and personalization post. I found an awesome Deployment style photo photo which is awesome for reference of the different safety indicators and warning labels for the crews helping Spartans in and out of armour so I felt like it was time to make up some more bits to make my armour feel more "real world".

View attachment 261942

I do a lot of my normal stenciling with an airbrush and I think that I've shared my stencil sheet before but keeping everything in one place seems like the logical thing to do. All stencils are done on the cheapest vinyl available and are cut out using a Cricut Explore Air 2. They could be cut by hand but when the machine is available I might as well save myself some carpal tunnel. Once cut out, surrounding areas on the armour are masked off to protect from overspray and are then sealed with a clear coat once dry. If you're interested in the UNSC font that is closest to what's used on various armour etchings such as the ODST name tallyplates Denmark is your friend.
View attachment 261944
Certain things can't be airbrushed on easily so we get to use waterslide decals! I used to use these a bunch for miniatures like Warhammer 40k and PerniciousDuke rekindled my love for them after showing me how well they worked on Young Jorge's armour. In the reference photo from the top of the post you can see five different warning labels, one on the power plant, one on each shin and one on each thigh. The only problem there is that you can't see what the hazard symbol or text is in the texture map because it's just a little too low resolution to make out the text. So I made my own along with a few coloured triangles to use as practice.
View attachment 261943
I think they went on alright. I'm not sure which method I prefer overall but they both have their merits. Hand painting on personal messages is also a good option too and really adds to the story of a costume. I'm still looking for that perfect mix of something that's been manufactured, lived in and then given that personal touch by the operator.
View attachment 261947 View attachment 261948
Oh jeez... those hot stuff decals. What power has gone to your head?!
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Oh jeez... those hot stuff decals. What power has gone to your head?!
#SpartanThighsSaveLives

I've only been saying it since the suit was in wear test state in June, I'm amazed more people haven't caught on sooner to be honest. If you'd like the scalable vector file of those decals I can share them through a Google Drive link!
 

xXDashIVXx

Well-Known Member
#SpartanThighsSaveLives

I've only been saying it since the suit was in wear test state in June, I'm amazed more people haven't caught on sooner to be honest. If you'd like the scalable vector file of those decals I can share them through a Google Drive link!
Lol, I'm not sure I'd want a #thicc on my armor, but we will see... XD
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Update to this thread because of another new prop and an addition that I acquired this weekend.

Over the course of Wednesday and Thursday I threw together an Energy Sword because entertaining use of shop scraps and the first convention of my season was this weekend.
IMG_20190223_233604_341.jpg

Yes, one caught mid dab as well thanks to Rinzlerr with his fast camera work.
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All of my panels that I run have a promo image that I share out through social media and it always features intentionally poorly photoshopped cats into thematic costumes. I'm also a fan of swish swish stab. This decal is going somewhere on the Spartan but I'm not yet sure where. Maybe the Tacpad screen to represent some next level 26th Century lol cats.
DSC_0514.JPG
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Dead thread is not dead. No sir.

I'm being a complete goofball and adding updates to the armour for this weekend, some for comfort, some for style, some for aesthetic.

Comfort
I always hate having to have a handler to pass out business cards or to check on my phone when I'm in armour. No longer will I have to be a pain in the keister because I'm adding pockets. Tactical pockets! Thanks to MoeSizzlac I've got a brand new Hardcase to strap onto my leg for easy access to all the important things.
DSC_0563.JPGDSC_0577.JPG

Style
Swish swish stabbing was... fun, but the prop felt only half finished without a proper handle. I've designed a quick cover to go over the top of the battery pack that I have installed currently. It's currently printing and will be test fit tomorrow.
received_543022942875621.png

Aesthetic
Nothing says CQB like quick access to maximum damage output. Ages ago I printed and prepared six 3D printed 8Ga M45 brass sections and found the image to print onto paper for the shell casing but just never got around to it. Now with a convention on the horizon, I might as well do the thing!
DSC_1712.JPG8GA Wrapper.PNG

Also, nothing says door kicker like a C-12 Shaped Charge! I'm currently bashing this together but will do a proper build thread for the individual piece as well as a parts list and pattern once I've made sure that everything works out as planned.
DSC_0585.JPG

Wish me luck friends!
 
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