1st Build VoicingPanda158's First Build, Mk VII from Halo Infinite!

VoicingPanda158

New Member
Hi all, I've been snooping around the forum the last few days looking at all the really cool cosplay designs and I'm hoping to make my first ever piece of cosplay armour over the next few months. I've looked at some of the different types of armour in the Halo universe and I've settled on a mostly standard Mark VII armour with a Cavallino helmet (and maybe the cat ears as they do look kinda cool) all in the hazmat (yellow) paint scheme.

I've looked at some of the tutorials and the guides on the forum and I know I want to build it all (apart from the helmet 'cause that seems too difficult) out of foam. So, I bought a copy of armoursmith designer so that I'd be able to scale the pieces of the armour which I've gotten from 'The Armory' and I think I'm pretty happy with how the scaling has gone.

My main problem at the moment is that as I've just spent the last few hours staring at the same stick model I can't really tell whether or not the armour is actually the correct proportions relative to the other pieces (it all fits at the moment reasonably snugly). I was hoping that I could get some fresh eyes to have a look at it to point out which bits look a bit odd and need adjusting (I'll hopefully attach some screen shots from the designer to illustrate this)?

As a little side question, when I look on the patterns tab in armoursmith designer (for some of the patterns) they have a lot of overlapping lines, especially on the shin piece, and I was wondering how I could fix this? (I haven't spent much time researching this problem though as I haven't reached the stage of needing them yet so sorry if it's an obvious fix).

One last thing whilst I remember, my armoursmith window is weirdly low poly compared with what I've seen from others, is there a fix for this (I don't think it matters too much though as I've managed to get it done without)?

Lastly, thank you for reading my post (I know its a bit long winded) and I'm really looking forward to seeing what you all have to say!
 

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Welcome VoicingPanda, we're happy to have you here!

My main problem at the moment is that as I've just spent the last few hours staring at the same stick model I can't really tell whether or not the armour is actually the correct proportions relative to the other pieces (it all fits at the moment reasonably snugly). I was hoping that I could get some fresh eyes to have a look at it to point out which bits look a bit odd and need adjusting (I'll hopefully attach some screen shots from the designer to illustrate this)?

Your scaling looks good when altogether and compared to the rest of the armor, but the important thing to remember is that it needs to fit to your body; That being said, the thighs are looking a little big compared to your leg. It is your choice to decide if you want to go for game "accuracy" or scaling to fit based on yourself. A friendly reminder: none of us are actually Spartans, and sizing might need to be tweaked to fit each of us individually. What helped me scale my armor was getting a game-rip of my Spartan and adjusting it to my height. Click HERE for a tutorial on how to do this.

As a little side question, when I look on the patterns tab in armoursmith designer (for some of the patterns) they have a lot of overlapping lines, especially on the shin piece, and I was wondering how I could fix this? (I haven't spent much time researching this problem though as I haven't reached the stage of needing them yet so sorry if it's an obvious fix).
Can you please send a screenshot to what you are referring to? This would help us figure out what problem you are facing.

One last thing whilst I remember, my armoursmith window is weirdly low poly compared with what I've seen from others, is there a fix for this (I don't think it matters too much though as I've managed to get it done without)?
Please send information about your computer (specs, graphics card, CPU) and what version of Armorsmith you have installed.


Excited to see your build progress!
 
Welcome VoicingPanda, we're happy to have you here!



Your scaling looks good when altogether and compared to the rest of the armor, but the important thing to remember is that it needs to fit to your body; That being said, the thighs are looking a little big compared to your leg. It is your choice to decide if you want to go for game "accuracy" or scaling to fit based on yourself. A friendly reminder: none of us are actually Spartans, and sizing might need to be tweaked to fit each of us individually. What helped me scale my armor was getting a game-rip of my Spartan and adjusting it to my height. Click HERE for a tutorial on how to do this.


Can you please send a screenshot to what you are referring to? This would help us figure out what problem you are facing.


Please send information about your computer (specs, graphics card, CPU) and what version of Armorsmith you have installed.


Excited to see your build progress!
Thanks for your response, I'll have a look at changing the thigh size but you're right that I'd rather be comfortable in it that have it look 100% game accurate and I'll have a look at that tutorial.

My computer has 16GB of 3200 DDR4 RAM, a PNY RTX 3060 and an AMD Ryzen 5 2600X, I have the latest version of Armorsmith installed (I think its 1 4 1 8) on Windows 11, my PC can run lots of modern games fine which is why I thought it was a bit odd.

I'll send a screenshot to show the wierd patterns in the morning (It's really late here now). Thanks for your help!
 
Can you please send a screenshot to what you are referring to? This would help us figure out what problem you are facing.
Hi, I've gotten a screenshot of the patterns now. I realise that I can just move the individual pieces by hand, but if there's a way to get the computer to do it for me then I wouldn't say no.

Thanks.
 

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Unfortunately armoursmith has a bug where the 2D patterns get botched when scaled. This wasn’t always the case, but in the most recent version of the software it is certainly prevalent. To circumvent this, I just opened my pepakura files in pepakura designer and scaled them to match my scaling in armorsmith. Pepakura only lets you scale uniformly, but it’s better than nothing. You could try contacting the folks who make armorsmith, but they will probably tell you that this is a known issue that they are working on, despite the fact that it’s been broken for me for nearly a year.

Your scaling looks pretty good. Thighs may be a tad large, cod might be a tad small. In the second picture the shins look really small but in the other pictures they look completely fine. I’m not sure what’s going on there. Were the shins scaled non-uniformly? Overall, good job! I’m excited to see this build come together!
 
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Unfortunately armoursmith has a bug where the 2D patterns get botched when scaled. This wasn’t always the case, but in the most recent version of the software it is certainly prevalent. To circumvent this, I just opened my pepakura files in pepakura designer and scaled them to match my scaling in armorsmith. Pepakura only lets you scale uniformly, but it’s better than nothing. You could try contacting the folks who make armorsmith, but they will probably tell you that this is a known issue that they are working on, despite the fact that it’s been broken for me for nearly a year.

Your scaling looks pretty good. Thighs may be a tad large, cod might be a tad small. In the second picture the shins look really small but in the other pictures they look completely fine. I’m not sure what’s going on there. Were the shins scaled non-uniformly? Overall, good job! I’m excited to see this build come together!
Thanks, yes I did end up using non-uniform scaling which I think does make the proportions look a bit off. I agree that its probably not worth me contacting the devs, I've had a look on my gumroad account and I see that I can also download a legacy copy which is a much older version (1 3 3 5 I think) which I've just tried out and seems to fix almost all the problems I was having (the weirdly low graphics quality and the broken shrink fit - mostly) and it also seems to generate the patterns a bit more accurately.

If (or more likely, when) I decide to use Pepakura for making the patterns, is it relatively straight-forward to use? And is it better at knowing which pieces it should discard and which should be printed as that is something I've noticed wrong with Armoursmith (It seems to move some of the important parts that would need to be put into the pattern off to the side in a pile)?

Thanks.

Edit: Turns out I'd entered some values wrong whilst creating the avatar so fixing that has made the scaling better (I've attached a screenshot of the new scaling) but Armoursmith patterns are still v. broken.
 

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Looks like you have the same problem as me- tall and skinny. This is a common problem for us halo cosplayers. It makes the torso look really long, despite the fact that the torso section fits perfectly. What does it look like when the torso section is scaled up a bit?

When I scaled my armour, I made my cheat piece bit a bit larger than I thought I would need. I ended up slimming it up a bit after it was made, but the width and length stayed the same. If you’re a similar build to me (which it looks like you may be), it may help to see how I scaled my armour. (I’m 5’11”)
IMG_3385.png
The knees were adjusted after I took this screenshot, but the rest of the armour stayed pretty much the same.

Pepakura designer is quite easy to use! At least, what you can do with the free version is. I basically only use it to scale the files to match the armorsmith scaling, and then print them out. It’s not necessarily the program that “decides” what to keep and discard, rather pepakura reads the files correctly whereas armorsmith doesn’t read the file properly and gets errors which result in the bizarre 2D patterns that you get.
 
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Looks like you have the same problem as me- tall and skinny. This is a common problem for us halo cosplayers. It makes the torso look really long, despite the fact that the torso section fits perfectly. What does it look like when the torso section is scaled up a bit?

When I scaled my armour, I made my cheat piece bit a bit larger than I thought I would need. I ended up slimming it up a bit after it was made, but the width and length stayed the same. If you’re a similar build to me (which it looks like you may be), it may help to see how I scaled my armour. (I’m 5’11”)
View attachment 342114
The knees were adjusted after I took this screenshot, but the rest of the armour stayed pretty much the same.

Pepakura designer is quite easy to use! At least, what you can do with the free version is. I basically only use it to scale the files to match the armorsmith scaling, and then print them out. It’s not necessarily the program that “decides” what to keep and discard, rather pepakura reads the files correctly whereas armorsmith doesn’t read the file properly and gets errors which result in the bizarre 2D patterns that you get.
Thanks for sending an image of your scaling and clearing up what Pepakura does, I'm about 5'11" as well so hopefully might be able to use yours as a bit of a reference. Here's what it looks like when I scale the torso to 105, it was at about 97ish before.
Torso 105.png

I also tried scaling it to 110 to see what that would look like but it seemed to swamp the avatar so I didn't think it looked that good. I hadn't thought of tailoring the size a bit after it'd been made, sounds like a good idea as I was worried about the chest piece being too deep.

My knowledge of CAD/CAM software doesn't really extend past laser cutting/engraving for wood so my understanding of how Pepakura works is a bit spotty. When I downloaded the free version and imported the chest piece to test it out there was still a large section moved off the side which looked kinda important, did you have a similar thing with yours?
Bits off to the side.png

Thanks.
 
I think the scaling looks much better now!

The only important part of the file is what’s in the pages there. When a pepakura file is created, a 3D model is layed out in a 2D pattern and separated into usable pieces manually by a member of the community. They lay all the pieces out onto those pages and put the extra way off to the side so you don’t have to worry about it. The reason it highlights that blob when you click on the 3D model is because you’ve selected the part of the file they did not separate. The maker most likely did not work on that part of the mode because it is a mirror of the other side. Simply select the identical part of the model on the opposite side of the model to see the 2D template for that part. You can simply trace the template for one side, and then flip it upside down and trace to get the shape for the other side. It saves having to cut out the same template twice. It’s a bit of a shortcut for symmetrical armour pieces. Hope that makes sense! Lmk if it doesn’t, I’m not always the best at explaining
 
I think the scaling looks much better now!

The only important part of the file is what’s in the pages there. When a pepakura file is created, a 3D model is layed out in a 2D pattern and separated into usable pieces manually by a member of the community. They lay all the pieces out onto those pages and put the extra way off to the side so you don’t have to worry about it. The reason it highlights that blob when you click on the 3D model is because you’ve selected the part of the file they did not separate. The maker most likely did not work on that part of the mode because it is a mirror of the other side. Simply select the identical part of the model on the opposite side of the model to see the 2D template for that part. You can simply trace the template for one side, and then flip it upside down and trace to get the shape for the other side. It saves having to cut out the same template twice. It’s a bit of a shortcut for symmetrical armour pieces. Hope that makes sense! Lmk if it doesn’t, I’m not always the best at explaining
Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for explaining it, I was wondering if it was due to it being a double (glad it wasn't something I was doing). Next step for me then is to get printing the designs!
 
Hi, I've gotten a screenshot of the patterns now. I realise that I can just move the individual pieces by hand, but if there's a way to get the computer to do it for me then I wouldn't say no.

Thanks.
Like N8TEBB said, Armorsmith recently got an update that botched the unfolding process. You can manually unfold it yourself to fix this issue or use pepakura. I would like to mention that if you non-uniform scaled the pieces, you can export the model and import them into pepakura to hold its shape (sometimes it does not work, I've noticed my Armorsmith is inconsistent when doing this) To check and see if it exported correctly, compare the measurements in each program. You will need the purchased version of pepakura to modify patterns.
 
Like N8TEBB said, Armorsmith recently got an update that botched the unfolding process. You can manually unfold it yourself to fix this issue or use pepakura. I would like to mention that if you non-uniform scaled the pieces, you can export the model and import them into pepakura to hold its shape (sometimes it does not work, I've noticed my Armorsmith is inconsistent when doing this) To check and see if it exported correctly, compare the measurements in each program. You will need the purchased version of pepakura to modify patterns.
Thanks, I've gone with using uniform scaling at the moment and just using the free version of pepakura to print them for now and I'll test that out to see how a piece turns out but I'll keep this in mind if I need to retry with non-uniform scaling. Though, I don't think I have the patience or the skill required to be able to unfold one of those models in armorsmith.
 
Hi all, time for my first proper update on this project (still containing questions of course), in which something has actually gotten done!

Firstly, I've printed the patterns for the thigh pieces and spent the best part of yesterday afternoon and some of this morning cutting them out and taping the split pieces together to get a full set of stencils.
IMG_6755.jpeg
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I then traced them out fully onto my foam mats, first with a white pen which I though would be easier to see then quickly reverting to a sharpie when the white pen became too much if a pain. I think I was fairly accurate but this step was a lot more difficult to keep the lines straight that the last was. (The image below is missing a piece which needed to be cut twice as I hadn't realised it yet).
IMG_6759.jpeg

Finally, I've cut out all the pieces including the mirror version of the was I'd missed. I think this step went well but it's a bit hard to tell as I'm not sure how much some of my shoddy workmanship will show through on the final piece. I haven't cut out all the small detail pieces which aren't structural yet as I wanted to see how it would turn out first with the main part.
IMG_6760.jpeg

So thats where I've left it for now, I don't think I'm going to be able to make any more progress tonight and I have a few questions I'd like to ask before I can start on any glueing.

What finishing steps are recommended for the foam pieces before they can be glued together as I've got a few rough edges that need smoothing? I imagine good ol' sand paper is probably what I'll need to use but what grit is best for EVA foam? I've seen that people use caulk for filling in gaps between the foam pieces when its time to paint, but can this also be used to help smooth a few of the more jagged edges without having to sand too much material off and risk the parts becoming too thin? Lastly, I've found that I'm really bad at cutting vertical lines in the foam so I end up adding little bevels to parts that aren't meant to have any on them, so does anyone have any good techniques to cut more vertically (or is it just a skill issue)?

Sorry for such a large block of questions at the end, I just wrote them down as they came to me throughout the last couple of days so that I could ask them all at once. Thanks for reading.
 
Like N8TEBB said, Armorsmith recently got an update that botched the unfolding process. You can manually unfold it yourself to fix this issue or use pepakura. I would like to mention that if you non-uniform scaled the pieces, you can export the model and import them into pepakura to hold its shape (sometimes it does not work, I've noticed my Armorsmith is inconsistent when doing this) To check and see if it exported correctly, compare the measurements in each program. You will need the purchased version of pepakura to modify patterns.
Did not know this............... would have been very helpful to know 8 months ago :/
Oh well XD
 
What finishing steps are recommended for the foam pieces before they can be glued together as I've got a few rough edges that need smoothing? I imagine good ol' sand paper is probably what I'll need to use but what grit is best for EVA foam? I've seen that people use caulk for filling in gaps between the foam pieces when its time to paint, but can this also be used to help smooth a few of the more jagged edges without having to sand too much material off and risk the parts becoming too thin? Lastly, I've found that I'm really bad at cutting vertical lines in the foam so I end up adding little bevels to parts that aren't meant to have any on them, so does anyone have any good techniques to cut more vertically (or is it just a skill issue)?
I prefer to sand down all the edges of my foam pieces individually before gluing them together. I just use a drum sanding bit on a Dremel. I bought a set of a bunch of different grits on amazon. I didn't realize they were all different grits so I think I used 80 grit on accident. It worked, but I think 80 grit is a bit rough for foam. My armour is a bit rough where I sanded because of this, but it's not noticable until it's pointed out. I would experiment on a scrap piece and see which grit takes material off at a nice speed but doesn't chew up the foam. I get all of my edges nice and smooth so they glue together nicely.

After I sand the pieces I seal them with a heat gun. I just quickly aim the heat gun at each surface of the individual pieces for a few seconds. This should help close the pores on the foam. You don't need to heat them for very long. Just enough to melt the very outside a tad.

Then I glue the foam pieces together with contact cement. I fill in the gaps with kwik seal. If you have some really rough cuts, you can use kwik seal to fill those as well. If they're really bad, I would recommend just remaking that individual piece. If you do choose to use kwik seal to fill in jagged cuts, it's important you do that after the armour piece is glued together. The glue will rip the caulking off otherwise.

If you're having trouble making perpendicular cuts, or making smooth cuts in general, I would recommend changing or sharpening your blade. You'd be surprised just how quickly EVA foam can dull a new blade. For reference, I replace my blade every armour piece, and sharpen my blade every 3-5 cuts. Yes, that means I sharpen my knife about 100 times for every piece of armour, but a sharp blade really makes a world of difference. It only takes 2 seconds to sharpen if you have a simple knife sharpener. I use this one from amazon:
1708442870580.png

DO NOT BUY ONE THAT LOOKS LIKE THIS! THEY ARE UTTER GARBAGE
1708443155235.png
 
I use 120 grit or higher on a dremel sanding bit. Maybe try using a ruler or straight edge to help cut the straight lines. Also, I use a ball point blue pen to trace my shapes as its a finer line and easier to trace the shapes ,Other than that your pieces are looking really good mate.
 
I use 120 grit or higher on a dremel sanding bit. Maybe try using a ruler or straight edge to help cut the straight lines. Also, I use a ball point blue pen to trace my shapes as its a finer line and easier to trace the shapes ,Other than that your pieces are looking really good mate.
Thanks, I'll give 120 a go and then work up. I've noticed that a lot of the ones where I didn't cut all that well I actually made the pieces bigger so I can recover that with the sanding. On the next piece I trace out I'll give using a ball point pen a go then I can compare it with this to work out which works best for me.
 
I prefer to sand down all the edges of my foam pieces individually before gluing them together. I just use a drum sanding bit on a Dremel. I bought a set of a bunch of different grits on amazon. I didn't realize they were all different grits so I think I used 80 grit on accident. It worked, but I think 80 grit is a bit rough for foam. My armour is a bit rough where I sanded because of this, but it's not noticable until it's pointed out. I would experiment on a scrap piece and see which grit takes material off at a nice speed but doesn't chew up the foam. I get all of my edges nice and smooth so they glue together nicely.

After I sand the pieces I seal them with a heat gun. I just quickly aim the heat gun at each surface of the individual pieces for a few seconds. This should help close the pores on the foam. You don't need to heat them for very long. Just enough to melt the very outside a tad.

Then I glue the foam pieces together with contact cement. I fill in the gaps with kwik seal. If you have some really rough cuts, you can use kwik seal to fill those as well. If they're really bad, I would recommend just remaking that individual piece. If you do choose to use kwik seal to fill in jagged cuts, it's important you do that after the armour piece is glued together. The glue will rip the caulking off otherwise.

If you're having trouble making perpendicular cuts, or making smooth cuts in general, I would recommend changing or sharpening your blade. You'd be surprised just how quickly EVA foam can dull a new blade. For reference, I replace my blade every armour piece, and sharpen my blade every 3-5 cuts. Yes, that means I sharpen my knife about 100 times for every piece of armour, but a sharp blade really makes a world of difference. It only takes 2 seconds to sharpen if you have a simple knife sharpener.
Thanks, I've just been looking and I think that my uni has some Dremels that I can use so I should be able to give that a go, I reckon I'll start from 120 like Legend 113 recommended and work up. I've already gotten a heat gun so I'll have to give that some tests to see how much heat/time they need. It sounds like using kwik seal to fix any bad cuts would be a bit of a faff so I think that once I've sanded all the cuts down I'll probably just remake any bad pieces. Thanks for the tips for the knife sharpener, I did buy snap-off knives but I never actually snapped any of the ends off so I'll give that a go for the next piece, though I can see me burning through snap off knives so I might switch to a different type when these run out.
 
I did buy snap-off knives but I never actually snapped any of the ends off so I'll give that a go for the next piece, though I can see me burning through snap off knives so I might switch to a different type when these run out.
Snapping off the ends of those knives only gives you a new sharp tip. The rest of the blade can still be dull. I use snap-off blades as well but found it easier to just sharpen them instead of constantly snapping them off. I would recommend a knife sharpener even with snap off blades
 
Snapping off the ends of those knives only gives you a new sharp tip. The rest of the blade can still be dull. I use snap-off blades as well but found it easier to just sharpen them instead of constantly snapping them off. I would recommend a knife sharpener even with snap off blades
Ok then I'll have a look on amazon for a sharpener, thanks.
 

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