What is the Bare minimum I need for a ODST cosplay to look decent?

you might be able to get away without making a helmet, however I think it would really complete you costume. Other than that I’d make the chest plate, and if you have time the thighs, gauntlets, and shins in that order.

Whatever you decide to build, post some pictures! We’d love to see it. Good luck!
 
I would definitely say the chest piece, like you mentioned, then the helmet. I would do the gauntlets if you have time, and then you can always buy something that looks close-ish for the knee pads. If you get some good tactical pants, the average joe likely wouldn't notice the lack of thigh pieces. Just my take on it though.

I look forward to seeing your work! Cheers!
 
Personally I think the shoulders and chestplate really pop as an ODST. Obviously the helmet helps, but at a recent convention even with this get up people were recognizing the ODST parts, for a few they at least guessed that it was Halo related.

This is what I was wearing, an unpainted and unfinished Sean Bradley kit. I do not have a helmet yet so in its place I ordered a Rothco 8 point black hat, roughed up in some gravel and I plan to get a Halo 3 UNSC pin to make is similar to Johnson's hat.
 

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Rosebud what do you think? You mentioned something abt not making a whole costume, just gauntlets and a helmet
It really depends on what you want your final look to be. I do helmets and gauntlets because I feel like those two parts are not only the easiest to make, but the fundamental building blocks of an armored look.

This means I don't rush to finish an entire ODST suit and I can still make "meme" builds. Both BadBoyHalo and Spartan Yule are just helmets and gauntlets with select clothing.
 

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I'm in agreement with everyone else that the helmet, shoulders, and chest are what really sell the ODST look, but I'd also like to contribute that the greaves could also be beneficial to the costume as well. Consider how the H2/H2A ODST doesn't have much in the way of forearm armor, but fills out the rest of the body with the shoulders, torso, and legs.
H2A_-_ODST_model.jpg

Even with an H3 ODST build, I think you could get away with it. Of course, the greaves are a much higher investment than the forearms are, but it's something I would still consider. Either way, I wish you luck in building your costume and am definitely interested in seeing photos of how it ultimately turns out!
 
Personally I think the shoulders and chestplate really pop as an ODST. Obviously the helmet helps, but at a recent convention even with this get up people were recognizing the ODST parts, for a few they at least guessed that it was Halo related.

This is what I was wearing, an unpainted and unfinished Sean Bradley kit. I do not have a helmet yet so in its place I ordered a Rothco 8 point black hat, roughed up in some gravel and I plan to get a Halo 3 UNSC pin to make is similar to Johnson's hat.
This looks nice! where did you get the pants?

And thank you to everyone for the suggestions!
 
This looks nice! where did you get the pants?

And thank you to everyone for the suggestions!
Thanks! I appreciate hearing that, it was a quick thing since I got the kit at the beginning of the month. The pants are from Amazon Emerson Airsoft Military bdu Tactical Suit Combat Gen3 Uniform Shirt Pants Amazon.com.

I removed the pouches on the sleeves because I wouldn’t be using them anyways when covered by the shoulders. Plus it was extra material that made it a little easier to move around after removing.

The pants have adjustment with elastic strapping for different lengths to lower or bring the knee pad area up or down. Hard to explain but I raised mine and they fit very good. The knee pads are removable and on their own look and feel good, but once removed a Velcro flap can be put in place so you don’t have a missing chunk of knee which is nice.
 
gona throw my opinion in here from personel experience and observation,
1. helmet
2. Chest (if you have a plate carrier under it with pouches you don't need the lower chest pieces.)
3. thighs of some type
4. wrists
5. shoulders (optional but recommended)
 
Thanks! I appreciate hearing that, it was a quick thing since I got the kit at the beginning of the month. The pants are from Amazon Emerson Airsoft Military bdu Tactical Suit Combat Gen3 Uniform Shirt Pants Amazon.com.

I removed the pouches on the sleeves because I wouldn’t be using them anyways when covered by the shoulders. Plus it was extra material that made it a little easier to move around after removing.

The pants have adjustment with elastic strapping for different lengths to lower or bring the knee pad area up or down. Hard to explain but I raised mine and they fit very good. The knee pads are removable and on their own look and feel good, but once removed a Velcro flap can be put in place so you don’t have a missing chunk of knee which is nice.
they look awesome, a bit out of my price range, so Ill try to thrift something from a military surplus or keep my eyes open for something a bit cheaper
 
they look awesome, a bit out of my price range, so Ill try to thrift something from a military surplus or keep my eyes open for something a bit cheaper
I found a similar pair of pants from Walmart but the pockets are on the side of the thighs instead of in front
 
they look awesome, a bit out of my price range, so Ill try to thrift something from a military surplus or keep my eyes open for something a bit cheaper
I think that's a fine idea, I went with these as my brother had them and I knew what size I would need and how they fit. Rather than trying to find something to work and spend the extra time, I paid more for convenience. I'm sure that will look just as good! With the look of the ODST I think there's a little more liberty at what is under the armor and depending on if you do any sort of camo color scheme I think it would look good to get it to match the fabric layer underneath.
 
For me, the joints take first priority. Shoulders, knees, elbows, and hip. That’s for bare necessities though. You could get away with a cool looking costume with just the joints, but if you want it to be odst, you have to do either the helmet or the torso. It’s just not an odst without one of those two. Oh and try to get a blood type med ref for your shoulder. It compliments ODSTs very well.
 

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