TurboCharizard's Reach Army BDU - UO Sergeant

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Hey 405th, I'm back again with another self-titled thread!

My original plans for Halo Outpost Discovery this summer included bringing my previous build almost all the way across North America. After doing a local convention a three hour drive away with the costume in tow, nope, Daisy is not making the trip to Philadelphia. What does that mean exactly? It's time for another 405th group project!

I'm terrible at estimating packing space of armour so now along with PerniciousDuke we'll be streaming build sessions on the 405thHalo account and then uploading the recordings to the 405th YouTube channel so that everyone can follow along and interact in real time. Our main thread with announcements and links to videos will contain all the base patterns as well as links to some suggested products to help along the way. This thread will contain progress pictures, specific purchases and scaled templates that are used in my personal armour.

The best thing in my opinion about Halo: Reach is the number of permutations in armour and equipment and the Army and Marines are no exception.
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The build I'm going for is unsurprisingly focused around getting up close and personal (anyone notice a theme between two CQB SPARTANs). In the lineup above I'll be going for a blend of trooper #4 and #5 by having plenty of armour in grays and tan colouration.

The videos will focus on clothing and armour so figuring out props will be up to you fine folks but hopefully you join in on the fun!

Thread Index
Episode 1 - Character Concept
Episode 2 - Back
Episode 3 - Chest
Episode 3.5 - Abdominal Plate
Episode 4 - Knees and Thighs​
Episode 5 - Shoulders​
Episode 6 - Helmet​
Episode 7 - Shins​
Episode 8 - Soft Parts​
Episode 9 - Electronics​
Episode 10 - Painting​
Episode 11 - Suit Up​
Weapon Props​
Other Equipment Props​

Links to Resources
Links to Other Trooper Builds


Costs
Pre-purchased Items

Ultra-Wheels Cool-Tec Knee Pads (Current Equivalent)​
Half-Finger Gloves (Current Equivalent)​
Under Armour Heat Gear (Current Equivalent)​
Construction
Materials Consumed

10mm Black Isle EVA 90​
4mm Black Isle EVA 90​
2mm EVA Craft Foam​
eSun PLA+ Gray​
BSI InstaCure+​
BSI InstaSet​
SmoothOn 65D​
DevCon 5 Minute Epoxy​
Hot Glue​
Denim - Black​
Marne Vinyl - Black​
Gutterman Extra-Strong Thread​
Fusible Interfacing​
Eyelets​
Snaps​
2" Wide Adhesive Velcro​
1" Nylon Webbing Gray​
1" Nylon Webbing Black​
1.5" Web Belt with Grommets​
Belt Buckle​
Batters Helmet Chin Cup​
Rustoleum 2 in 1 Filler Primer Gray​
Krylon Fusion Matte Black​
Rustoleum 2x White Primer​
Rustoleum Painter's Choice Satin Espresso​
Vallejo Metal Color​
Vallejo Model Air​
Vallejo Game Color​
P3 Acrylic​
DecoArt Acrylic​
Expendable Materials Consumed
#11 X-acto Blades​
9mm Snap-Off Blades​
Painters Tape​
Plastic Wrap​
Consumables Consumed
Number of Coffees Consumed - Lots
Number of Energy Drinks Consumed - Too many
Rockstar Punched​
Monster Khaos​
Monster Pipeline Punch​
Volume of Alcohol Consumed - Yes
Fuggles & Warlock Kiwami Plum Sour​
Fuggles & Warlock Rei Boysenberry Sour​
Fuggles & Warlock Sakari Guava Sour​
Fuggles & Warlock Takara Cherry Sour​
Kraken Black Spiced Rum​
Red Arrow Kustom Kolsch​
Vancouver Island Brewing Dominion Dark Lager​
Whistler Brewing Co. Bear Paw Honey Lager​
 
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TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Character Concept
This post is primarily a collection of all of the pieces found useful throughout the course of Episode 1 of Bucket to Boots along with some other additions to make a fun character that is believable within the Halo Universe.

Backstory
By the time of the Human-Covenant War this Trooper has seen it all. Originally posted to the Eridanus System during The Insurrection this trooper participated as a special weapons operator throughout Operation: TREBUCHET specializing in urban warfare and tactical raids. His equipment shows the years of practice and efficiency he has developed, everything has a specific place and wherever something useful can be stowed it is there to be used quickly and with deadly precision.

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Thanks to the powers of the Halo Mythic RPG I could have a sanity check on my loadout options.
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Armour Components
Helmet
: Sergeants Cap/Helmet with Optical Attachment
Chest: Army BDU with Knife
Shoulder Left: Gungnir
Shoulder Right: U/A Base Security
Thighs: U/A NxRA
Knees: Gungnir
Shins: Army BDU

Prop Weapons
Primary Weapon
: M45 Tactical Shotgun
Secondry Weapon: M6G PDWS
Tertiary Weapon: C-12 Shaped Charge
Decorative: Knife

Many of the above listed and linked components are within The Armory already but some of them I have tweaked for sake of personal preference and any changes to the files will be listed in the specific section of the build log. Some of the objects have been designed personally and will be made available after the madness that is the lead up to Outpost Discovery.

Insignia and Emblems
UNSC Emblem
UNSC Army
Rank Insignia
405th Emblem
UNSC Bum Rush ship's crest.
Medical Reference

[Insert Character Sketch]
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Foamsmithing Techniques


Way back in "Episode 2 - Foamsmithing Techniques" we covered the basics of what we thought everyone would need to build the basics of a Halo Reach Army Trooper. On a standard Army Trooper or Marine the only standardized piece of equipment that every character model has is this chest piece and even then there's 8-10 variants with pouches, knives and other attachments. Being able to make the core armour of the character is essential to get the feel for the character and then it's just customization after that! If you don't want to have a helmet, shoulders, knees, shins or anything else in the way of hard armour that's totally canonically alright! Just look at Sargent Avery Johnson from Halo:CE Anniversary which uses the same models, chest armour, a hat and that's it!
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Onto the good stuff though. Since these videos and threads are meant to be one part tutorial, one part build thread and one part group fun we want to show you what we're using in the builds. The required materials as written for the people following along at home with the stream were pretty simple just to keep things accessible.
  • Floor mats and Craft foam
  • Knives and sharpeners
  • Glues and heat gun forming
For construction foam I used two different kinds, one for the mock-up/practice piece and one for the real deal fancy version. My mock-up was completed using the Walmart Mainstays 4-Way Connect-a-Mat which is a 12mm EVA with a +/- on thickness which usually works out closer to 10mm. Using just this foam alone will make you a costume that is recognizable and relatively durable but the big thing is it'll be very light and very flexible. If you'd like to add more details that I showcase later, consider picking up some 2mm craft foam to build up panels and features. The foam that I chose for my suit was Red Moon Cosplay Solutions Black Isle EVA 90 in three thicknesses, 10mm, 4mm and 2mm. This stuff is TOUGH. Like fine to run through a drill press, router, lathe whatever power tools you have tough. And it machines nicely. That being said your knife will be needing to be sharpened constantly which brings us to the next topic.

My knife that I use primarily was all of $2 from Walmart back in... 2016 when I first bought it. It's a small 9mm blade which is that perfect balance of sturdy enough to get through thick foam but flexible enough to go around corners. The blades are cheap enough that I don't feel bad if I mess one up but if I sharpen it well and don't go cutting though any uncured glue I can generally make one blade last for several costume parts. For the very fine details a #11 blade is king, these things are dirt cheap in the US so I usually get them off of Amazon and don't worry too much about sharpening them because of the relatively fragile and easy to mess up tip. For a sharpener I used to use the one from my knife block (yes actually) but then picked up something quicker and less dramatic.

To stick everything together is one of those things that everyone has a preference on and will argue about until they're blue in the face. Personally, I really like BSI InstaCure+ and BSI InstaSet for the amount of play time I have with a part before there's a permanent bond. Some people don't like the chemicals involved, some people find it expensive but to those I say 1. wear your PPE and 2. my local stores stock this stuff and have sales regularly so sorry I guess? If you'd like a more universal CA (cyanoacrylate) glue Gorilla Glue and Loctite have super glues that work very well but don't have an accelerator like the InstaSet that kicks instantly.

For this part specifically a heat gun isn't extremely necessary for form and fit, it's more for sealing the pores of the foam when you're done and ready to paint.

Materials List
Material LinkCost Estimate (CAD)
Walmart Mainstays 4-Way Connect-a-Mat$14 (per 16sq.ft.)
12"x18" 2mm Craft Foam$1 (per sheet)
Red Moon Cosplay Solutions FoamsVarious
9mm Snap-off Blades$4 (5 pack)
#11 Blades$20 (100 pack)
Two Step Knife Sharpener$10
BSI InstaCure+$12 (56g/8oz)
BSI InstaSet$20 (240mL)

Yes, if you do the math this comes out to a fair amount but consider that I'm also buying things in the best value per volume (usually a larger size) because I'm personally going to use ALL of it at some point likely in the near future since I'm building at least two of these suits at the same time and other costumes in the near future. If you're building just the single Army Trooper/Marine consider saving a few dollarydoos and buying smaller sizes.

ALRIGHT

Preface of materials done! That means we can actually talk about the build itself! The goal of the first "hands on episode" was to get a universal piece out of the way and have some fun. The goal, as much of the chest in one go as possible within three hours.
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I'm not sure if other folks are weird like me and lay out their pieces so they can figure out how they fit together easily. I do it to help me build quickly and then document everything by exporting it to a CAD file later. It helps with speed building, I dunno, maybe I'm just weird.
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Off stream I completed a mock up of the back plate which is the pieces that are selected in Armorsmith.
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Parts were mirrored across the center-line by simply flipping the pattern along the pattern edge, this helps reduce the number of pieces to assemble and makes seam cleanup later easier. For easy assembly in the expected shape I've highlighted some extra bevels that need to be added for foam assembly and an approximate angle in increments of 15° is given, if no angle is given assume cut is 90° perpendicular to your cutting surface. Each section is separate for quick reference. Dotted lines as seen on the PDOs downloaded from The Armory are valley cuts where you cut
Chest-UnfoldBack.png


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Just taped onto the mannequin it doesn't look amazing so please enjoy something a little more dazzling, the full chest along with other mock ups.
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For some extra fun I may or may not have gone diving face first into reference images to see what extra details I could add. So you can follow along I made sure to take a picture of each edited section of the PDO and put it alongside the extra so you can also edit it if you're feeling brave. For this I used several in game screen shots to get an idea of what paneling I was adding to the plate.
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For the upper greeblie I cut a strip of 4mm foam approximately 30mm across or half the distance of the two shoulder straps on the final piece and 75mm long. The top was rounded and a notch for venting was cut from the base. Using the tip of my smallest drum sanding bit for my Dremel two rivets were added in. Narrow stips of 2mm foam were cut to size and stacked to make a grating.
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For the lower spinal attachment the shape is created from two of the back panel PDO patterns and then horizontal lines using the halfway point of the highlighted triangle and the tip of the highlighted triangle are created as assembly lines. Following the outside edge create a line parallel 10mm between your two construction lines and then create another parallel line 10mm from the first. This will give you your recessed panel. From the point where your lower horizontal line meets your second parallel line, draw a vertical line to the top of the pattern. Then split everything apart as shown and transfer the lower section to 4mm foam and the two upper sections to 2mm foam.
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The last two pieces are an adjustment of the highlighted piece. Using the seam and the intersection where the valley cut is indicated, create a parallel line to the seam extending from the intersection toward the top seam. Create an internal offset of 2-3mm and trim the excess to make a cool raised section.
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Glue it all together and we have a more interesting back plate!
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Attachments

Harri51

Well-Known Member
Glorious!!!!! so much reference and attention to detail. Defiantly helps teach the newcomers how to make something simple and go to the next level
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Glorious!!!!! so much reference and attention to detail. Defiantly helps teach the newcomers how to make something simple and go to the next level
Part of the reason for the delay between posting this and the original build stream is the layout of graphics and references. I'm hoping to get the remainder of these episode recaps posted before I leave for Outpost Philly. PerniciousDuke is planning on doing a variant to this build as well so you'll be able to compare both of our approaches and hopefully everyone will be able to find a method that suits them best.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
EPISODE 3 RECAP
CHEST AND SHOULDERS


Over the course of Episode 3 we built the iconic Army Trooper/Marine chest base piece. In the .pdo version that is in The Armory a very basic version that still looks awesome is available and can be prepped and built in the course of about three hours. Since we're going for the fanciest version possible to wear to Outpost Discovery the basic version for the stream was nice but slightly lacking for my tastes. The stream is great for seeing the process and following along, this post is supplemental to get your armour looking fresh out of the game.

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Stream version for reference, simple, quick and gets the point across!
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The selection in Armorsmith Designer for the main section of the chest plate.
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Annotation of extra bevels to be made to make assembly easier.
Chest Unfold Front.png


One of the features that is missing from the .pdo that would drive me batty personally is the lack of buckles for the webbing that keeps everything in place. On stream we simply called this realization "STRAP :(". The first major modification that we'll do to our pattern is to add a simple cutout rectangle that will accommodate a strap of 1" nylon webbing to pass through to the front side from the shoulder strapping. This cutout is approximately 1.25" by 0.25" and centered on the upper section of the assembled plate running parallel to the upper edge.
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For the central plate that sits on the wearers sternum all troopers seem to have three chevron details regardless of rank, unit or specialization. These were created as a supplementary pattern based on 10mm increments for the 1.00 scale factor that I used. Each chevron is 10mm thick and is spaced from the other by 10mm. Each chevron was cut out of 2mm foam. A rectangle half the width of the sternum plate and 6mm tall was scored into the plate and heated to cause the score to appear larger. The upper section was cut from 4mm foam, a bevel of approximately 30° was cut and two rivets were carved in using the tip of a rotary tool bit.
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Continuing with scoring in details, a panel line that runs from the top of the chest plate and roughly follows the sternum plate is created by copying the template for the main section of the foam, tracing it and trimming down to make a cut template. The template is used to transfer a cut line that is scored and heated. This score line will cross over multiple trench/valley cuts on the reverse side of the piece so make sure to not dig too deep into the foam.
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From here it's just a case of slapping pieces together with CA glue, backing the seams with hot glue and a bit of cleanup with sanding. Nice and simple!
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To mount this plate to the chest and the shoulder straps, a base plate is used. This is where Velcro will be placed to make the front, shoulders and back separable and easy to transport. Two halves that are mirror symmetric and no special bevels, just a bunch of trench/valley cuts on the reverse side.
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As mentioned previously, WE NEED BUCKLES. The two shoulder buckles that hold the strapping from the shoulder make very little sense, the best I can guess is that it's some sort of cam buckle that can be ratcheted down to lock the chest plate to the correct size for the wearer. This doesn't really work since the strap is loose at one end but, hey. The lower two buckles between the abdominal plating are some sort of bar slide buckle that appear to be more decoration than anything since they're right next to each other. These buckles were modeled in Fusion 360 and printed on my Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2.1. Files will be made available in the big resource dump once tested for strength over the course of a weekend of wear.
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For the shoulder and underarm straps we're going to be following the patterns fairly closely. For the underarm section I extended the cutouts at the end to leave room for Velcro but otherwise followed all trench/valley cut instructions for the angular look that Reach has. For the shoulder straps I ignored the cuts on the reverse side to reduce the amount of filling with foam clay to be done later and keep a nice smooth edge on a place that is highly visible.
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To add the raised paneling that is visible in the game I created a copy of the pattern and offset by 5mm on all sides. The shoulder blade interior has a panel line that extends to the center of the back plate, this was added in by removing the 5mm offset and extending it to the outer edge of the strap. On the lower back section of the strap there is also a silver clasp, this was added in as a 1" by 1.5" rectangle made from stacked 2mm and 4mm foam.
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Edges of the shoulder straps were filleted using a cylindrical aluminum oxide grinding stone on my rotary tool and leaving the raised panels at a sharp 90° angle.

Next up is a half-episode that I did things off stream mostly, so stay tuned for the abdominals!
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
EPISODE 3.5 RECAP
AKA THE LOST TAPES


Having an exposed tummy is never great in cosplay, it's just another thing to think about when you're getting your photo taken. No sucking it in for poses when it's covered with multiple layers of foam and fabric :p
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A lot of the stuff going on here doesn't really make sense in my opinion but we're going for accuracy and light functionality over actual protective value so we're just going to ignore the sections covered only by the flak jacket like the kidneys or the protective [?] bar slide buckle in the center of the chest that doesn't really serve any strapping purpose.
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Since this one wan't on stream I'm going to be showing as much of my work as possible so that you can follow along an hopefully kick butt in outer space with me. Thanks to our mixed materials approach to costuming, much of the foam unfold is actually unnecessary since we'll be using actual strapping and sewn sections, this also gets rid of the majority of the tiny pieces that are a pain to deal with.
Chest Unfold Abdominals.png

We build up the basic shape and apply all the trench/valley cuts to make sure there's some flexibility to the piece when there's a belt pulling it into shape. Also added is a cutout for webbing to pass through as seen in the in game reference.
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To add the raised details, trace the main sections of the part and create a 3-5mm offset for the raised panel that will be built from 4mm EVA, also make sure to transfer the location of your cutout for the webbing. The central panel will be another layer of 4mm EVA, for this layer however the cutout for the webbing is a simple cut flap that will grip the webbing and will need extra care when painting so that it doesn't seal closed.
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The central section of the belt is based on the thickness of the belt you intend to use, I have a 1.5" belt with eyelets/grommets already installed as my belt so the section between the lower was increased to 1.75" to allow for space to the belt to slide through the built guides (which I totally took a picture of before painting...). The guides are just simple boxes built with 4mm EVA cut to fold twice at 90° to form an arch and then 2mm EVA details were added on top to match the in game reference.
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From there it's just extra details for the chest plate. I wanted to have a knife on my trooper as well as a ships crest to add to the story of my character. For the knife I scaled down one that I designed for my SPARTAN-III, 3D printed it and then made a sheath using two layers of 4mm EVA and a butt-load of googly eyes for rivets. The ships crest is a fun bit of naval heraldry that didn't really exist, the ship I chose to be a part of is only mentioned in Contact Harvest and isn't given a hull number so I got a bit creative and made something that I think is fitting. After all the stencils were planned out I was rapidly running out of places to stick the crest and plopped it in the only place left on the armour.
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There we have it, the torso is done. Too easy, right?

Unfortunately I didn't finish up all the write ups before Outpost Philly so it'll likely be a week until the next big update. Outpost and The Protomen/TWRP for me, see you planetside!
 
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