*Tutorial* Cardboard armor for less than 35$

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So with Halloween being four months away, I decided that now was as good a time as any to start working on this years costume. Seeing how I work at Trader Joes and we have a limitless supply of boxes, I decided to save a few bucks and make the entire thing out of cardboard. After three days I've managed to make the entire thing and thought I would share my progress.

So for now, everything has been crafted out of cardboard. The next step will be to use caulking to fill some rough spots and then coat everything with a mineral water/elmers glue combination. I'll take better pictures later, but heres at least an image of the helmet and the Assault Rifle:

I don't know when I'll post again, but I'll include some better shots. I just bought a full spandex body suit that covers everything including the head from a shady ebay retailer.

One of the things I noticed with other Halo costumes (like Madhoth's picture) they never show any battle damage. I want my costume to have plasma burns and chinks in the armor. To do this, I picked up some spackle putty and put it on the helmet like so:

After it was good and dry (took five hours), I started to sand it down. Next I added a coat of polyacrylic finish over everything so that it would be waterproof and be easier to paint later.

The last thing I did was spray the helmet with a rubber paint used on things like wrench handles and other places where you need a good grip. I used it because I liked the texture it gave and because it was a good base color for when I add more color and details.

It doesn't look like much now, but give me a little while and I post how I airbrush the details on. I found some LED's for the assualt Rifle and I'm looking forward to showing you guys how that turned out.

Ok, so I managed to get everything sanded down and sprayed with it's base color. All the peices feel much more sturdy now so I'm happy about that. Here's what the armor looks like now:

I'm really having fun with the assault rifle.

After all this, the costume still holds its title of being the poor mans Master Chief costume seeing how so far it's still only cost me less than $10 to do this.

When I look at the visor I still think that it's just right. I think the picture kind of made it look like it extends out much farther than it actually does. Next step is is painting in the green and other details.

So I think that I pretty much have the Assault Rifle right where I want it. Theres still a few things that could be cleaned up, but it's pretty much done to me. I painted it, added some gloss, and put in some LED's and a switch so I can turn everything on and off. I also made the ammo counter in Illustrator and printed it out on a transparency (seemed like the easiest and cleanest way to do it).

I also just got the spandex suit in from China a couple of days ago so I'll be working on that now putting the panels in under the fabric. The coolest part is is that it's all one solid piece of fabric making everything much easier, plus it was only $5.

Helmet is almost done, just need to play with the eye shield a little bit.

Hey all, just thought I would toss out a teaser of how the costume looks now.

Now I'm just working on the spacing between the different parts of armor (neon color things), and trying to make it easier to move around in. Almost done.

Sorry for the lack of updates everyone; I'm finding less and less time to work on this project. Everything is painted, now I'm trying to make sure everything will hold together. Running into a few problems here and there, but I think I'll be able to figure it all out.

Total cost is now in the ballpark of $26.00

Ok guys, this is it; I am done working on this project until September. There's a lot of touching up I would like to do; I'm started to see the problems with using cardboard but it's still holding together great. Here are the final shots I'm going to throw up for a while.

To all you guys that showed support, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I intended this project to be something I dabbled with just hear and there, but you guys made me want to work on it a lot more. Thanks again for all the help; I'm going to let this thread rest a bit and then I'll show what i've done in september.

So here's how it breaks down:

Cardboard: Free
Magnets (6): Free
Acrylic Paint: Free
Spray Grip Surface (3): 6.75
Craft Foam Paper: 8.00
LED's (3): 5.38
Spandex Suit: 5.00

Total: $25.13

Just a little bit cheaper than I thought it would be. Granted I had a lot of the paint already, this project still shouldn't cost more than $35 if I didn't already have some of the materials.

Full pics, and Credits : http://www.hlfallout.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=60746
Cool Leading, but since Tastybread is a member now, shouldn't you let him post it or edit the Topic to include his name?
This is some if the best cardboard armor I've seen, if not the best. But I don't quite see how it's a tutorial...it doesn't tell much about how he made it other than use cardboard.
Yes it is pretty impressive, very well done TastyBread

Hey what did you use for your visor (and the outline on it), it looks great!
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