Undersuit Experimentation

Discussion in 'Halo Soft Parts' started by FANGS, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. FANGS

    FANGS Commanding Officer Division Staff

    Undersuits are often the bane of a Halo costumers existence. Anything that is digitally drawn, is often difficult to recreate in real life. This is even worse with an undersuit for several reasons:

    1. You have to be able to wash it.
    2. You have to be able to move in it.
    3. It has to stand up to the armor that sits near it or on top of it.
    4. Bonus, although likely the hardest to attain, the heat factor needs to be considered.

    I have an event coming up where I want to be wearing a new costume - Shae Vizla from Star Wars: The Old Republic. Her undersuit is very detailed and in looking at it started to remind me very much of Olympia Vale's undersuit that I also will be tackling.

    So, let's look at Shae Vizla first. This isn't the greatest example as some drawings show the details to be more defined and less painted on looking.


    She's got a lot of detail, but not as defined as some of the Halo undersuits.

    Now let's look at Vale and Fangs:


    Definitely more depth but when it comes down to it very much the same.

    As some of you know, in Star Wars: A Force Awakens - the new Stormtroopers had gaskets as part of their undersuits. You can see these at all of the spaces between armor. Originally (and in the movie for that matter), the gaskets were rubber and difficult to move in (they couldn't even take off their own helmets!). And my understanding is they were unbearably hot. Gaskets in general now for 501st members are quilted using some kind of padding, like headliner foam. This gives you the look of the ribs without the inflexiblity of the rubber. Doesn't totally solve the heat issue but it is far better than the rubber.

    TFA Snowtroopers also have some funky undersuits that are done in a more traditional quilting way with batting in between two layers. Unfortunately, also very hot.

    With the TK's movement was restored. With the Snowies - movement was completely unhindered. The TK gaskets are hand washable and the Snowie suits are generally machine washable.

    With Vizla or Vale - their suits are very fitted. Normally an undersuit of that fit would be stretchy for ease of getting in and out and comfort when moving/wearing. So how do you get the look of the other kind, with the fit of a catsuit?

    Spidermonkey60 (and others) have developed EVA foam pieces that resemble the shapes we see in the renders for some amazing looking suits. Hopefully he can chime in with the long term wash and wear ability of these. The foam is attached in separate pieces to allow for movement.

    I would like to have my padding and detailing sandwiched so that means I need to figure out areas that can be left without to conserve the stretch. So I've started playing around.

    Test #1:


    The outer fabric is:
    Item Number 0451874 (Fabric.com)
    Contents 95% Polyester/5% Spandex
    Fabric Weight Lightweight
    Width 58''
    Description: lightweight stretch faux leather fabric
    four way stretch with 40% stretch across the grain and 5% vertical stretch
    Washing Instructions: Machine Wash/Tumble Dry Low

    The padded fabric is Pellon Flex Foam Stabilizer - it is also washable and dryable. I ordered it on Amazon.ca

    Other than my clearly eyeballing it attempt at a shape being screwy, I'm pretty happy with this. The Pellon Flex Foam is stretchy on the bias I've discovered so that has some potential, but would make cutting out large areas tricky (or impossible) due to the fact that it's only 20 inches wide. But I've been pulling on it for a couple of days now and it hasn't changed what it looks like.

    Next attempt will be to check out how using the Flex Foam on the bias changes things and if I can get in a second layer of padding once a pocket is created, to make a more defined look for the Halo suits. Wish me luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  2. Spidermonkey60

    Spidermonkey60

    Maintenance of my undersuits is possible, but any cleaning must be done by hand scrubing them primarily from the interior of the morphsuit. The arms, legs and upper back do not have the underuit pattern attached to them so they tend to breathe relatively well, but expect any section that has the foam attached to the morphsuit to get rather sweaty after extended use. Once the suit has dried I also like to spray it down with Lysol or a similar flowery disenfectant.

    The padding unfortuantely is not removable, however by handwashing as i described, my Master Chief undersuit has lasted about 3ish years so far and does not really smell.
     
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  3. Spidermonkey60

    Spidermonkey60

    Regarding range of motion, they are much more comfortable and movement friendly than the clamshell style midsections that have been popular for awhile now. Bending left, right, and backwards is close to if not just less than your range of motion without the EVA sections attached, but you will lose some mobility bending forward. however the ability to actually bend over to adjust say a shin piece or a boot is still there to an extent depending on how bulky the armor itself is.

    Shoulder flexibility is limited somewhat above a T pose, but forward shoulder flexion and abduction of the shoulder to 90 degrees is possible! as well as moving your arm across the front of your body (the size and bulkiness of your armor would limit this of course.)
     
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  4. FANGS

    FANGS Commanding Officer Division Staff

    Thank you, Spidermonkey60! That's all very helpful!

    Have you tried spraying down your suit with cheap vodka? It's a trick that theatre people/historical costumers/etc. use to disinfect their stuff without the harsh chemicals. It works really well. And the cheaper the vodka, the better!

    I was thinking last night about the whole "pocket" idea, which I like. But in some instances the detailing really is shaped and you certainly can more easily achieve that as you have done with EVA foam. I'm thinking that perhaps a combination between the two might work well. Although then I'm completely eliminating the ability to machine wash. Certainly not the end of the world but I am trying to see what can be done to maintain it first. I will try layering the Flex Foam in a pocket and see what I achieve...but....HOLY SNAPPERDOODLE I just got an idea. Potentially.

    What if there was an inside pocket that allowed you to slide in the EVA foam inserts? For something like Shae where not much of her detailing would need to be doubled it might be do-able. For a Spartan though....hmmm....might be a lot of unnecessary engineering but I'll give it a shot! Drawback also would be that it might need that bottom sandwich layer that I'm sort of trying to avoid. But the EVA foam would need to go on top of the Flex Foam to maintain the detail from it. So then hmmmm.....perhaps in those areas I don't bother with the Flex Foam at all, create the pocket out of another layer of the outer fabric. ARGH! I want to go home right now and test it out!

    I'm also going to cheat and not do the padding in areas that are covered by armor. So that will definitely require some strategic planning. But it will help with keeping more areas with stretch and mobility, well, as much mobility as you can have with the armor on.
     
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  5. Spartan Primer

    Spartan Primer New Member

    I'm making a spartan suit, and I have an under suit I just need to know what the best way to detail it with hexagons are. Any Ideas?
     
  6. FANGS

    FANGS Commanding Officer Division Staff

    Hello @Spartan Primer!

    CommanderPalmer
    - I believe she has a really great tutorial on how she painted hers on. I know there is some hex fabric as part of the Yaya Han collection at Jo Ann's stores in the US but I believe the hex size is too big. There is also the option of getting a design made and printed by a company like Spoonflower, which may have been done already so give that a search and see if you can find a suitable hex pattern there. And then there are the ones made for you out of sub dyed fabric. Those a lovely, but tend to be pricey. Any other options anyone can add?
     
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  7. Spartan Primer

    Spartan Primer New Member

    I will take a look at that! Thanks so much.

    "This is not your grave... but you are welcome in it." -Cortana
     
  8. Spidermonkey60

    Spidermonkey60

    FANGS that seems like a waste of perfectly good vodka lol

    The only piece I bothered doing that isn’t entirely seen would be the sternum and the majority of the chest. This was mainly done for the small section of chest next to the armpit that sticks out and to properly line up the abpiece/shoulder pieces.

    As for the internal pockets, you could try that for your trooper but I would definitely just attach the foam directly to the suit for the spartan.
     
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  9. mblackwell1002

    mblackwell1002

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  10. FANGS

    FANGS Commanding Officer Division Staff

    Pssssssst...... mblackwell1002 - I mentioned that fabric a couple of posts ago..... :p

    As I said I've heard that the hexs are too large but having not seen it myself (and not having any Jo-Anns here in Canada and them no longer shipping to us) I haven't had the chance to personally check it out. I might get a friend to pick some up for me and send it up so I can play.
     
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  11. Dirtdives

    Dirtdives

    mblackwell1002...missed a posting by our fearless leader? How dare you!! For shame. I think he deserves 15 lashes w/ the wet noodle giphy-downsized (27).gif
     
  12. Spidermonkey60

    Spidermonkey60

    Seeing as the only visible pieces on the H5 undersuit with hex are the bicep shoulder and upper chest, I would say try toying around with skinning foam pieces tightly with the hex and then either attach them to the morph suit with e6000 glue or sewing it to the morphsuit
     
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  13. FANGS

    FANGS Commanding Officer Division Staff

    You're my favourite. You know that right? ;)
     
  14. Dirtdives

    Dirtdives

    I always was a suck up at school......that way I got away w/ a lot of other things that other kids didn't........:D:D:D:D....
     
  15. mblackwell1002

    mblackwell1002

    No gif.gif
    You know when you read half of a post and have an idea pop in your head? And then you quickly scroll to the bottom of a page and spurt it out immediately? Yeah...this is one of those times.

    I think the Yaya han had two different versions. One had larger hexagons with a sort of outline on each of the hexagons. It was discontinued, and they released a new line, which is shown above. i might need to fact check that.
     
  16. Spidermonkey60

    Spidermonkey60

    From what I remember seeing the large one was closer to the correct size but the smaller one was the correct texture. If only she made an in between happy medium version, it would severely help us halo faithful
     

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