WZ's ODST Buck Build Log

WZProps

New Member
Hi All,
I got encouraged to join this community by some 405th members from my area and to share my recent (and still in progress) ODST Buck build, so I figured I’d do just that!
A bit of background info before I get to the build itself. The main goal for this costume was mainly to work from an existing kit and see what I could do with it as I usually do my other projects from scratch. With that in mind, I opted to go with Sean Bradley’s kits for the Armor, Helmet, Visor and Gloves ( I do have to say that his kits are quite fantastic and easy to work with).
I’d also like to thank my very good friend CyberBen for helping me out a lot while making this.

Alright, with that out of the way, let’s dig into the build itself. Note that this post is a basic summary of the steps I took to make it happen and that I’ll go into more details for specific areas/pieces/techniques down the line.

Here’s a picture of where I am right now overall. (Its pretty much a basic ODST)

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Note that the Sniper present in this picture was generously given to me by CyberBen, although as to whom it originally belonged/was made by, I cannot say for sure…

First step I took was to cut out most excess material of the plastic pieces from the kit and assemble a few pieces that were supposed to be permanently attached to one another, such as the calves, shins/ankles, back pieces and ab plates.

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The Armor pieces before any real work was done to them.

Once that the base assembly was completed, Me and my buddy CyberBen added some fiberglass and resin to most of the armor pieces for increased durability. That took a little while, but was well worth it, its very solid and actually not too heavy. Before I could start putting the pieces together, I had to trim all the excess fiberglass/resin, witch was an itchy mess to say the least…

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Fiberglass funtime.

With that done, the fun and rewarding step was starting, assembling the pieces and strapping!
Most of it was done using parachute clips, nylon straps, custom foam pieces, Velcro and elastics. A plate carrier was also used for the chest to hold all the pieces together. Padding was also added to the forearms to keep them in place.
Once I was satisfied with how the pieces fitted together and the overall look, I disassembled the suit, prepped the pieces and primed them in black. For the painting, I started with a basecoat over all the pieces with a dark gray metallic spray paint. For most of them, all that was needed after that was some weathering, however some pieces needed a camo pattern in addition, notably the thigh plates and the forearms. I carefully masked the pieces that shouldn’t be painted over and proceeded to do an urban style camo using 3 different shades of gray and some custom stencils. Weathering was also applied to these afterward. Then all the pieces got a few good coats of matte varnish.

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Example of the Camo Pattern and the paintjob on other pieces.

For the helmet, after the fiberglass trimming, I cut out the holes for the visor and the vents. I also remodeled the front shin to give it a little more curve as well as filling any gaps between the visor and the helmet with bondo. After the dirty work was done, I added some padding and a ventilation system running on an 10000 mah battery bank (that thing lasts around 8 hours+ with 4 fans running non stop, its pretty impressive tbh). It then got the same painting treatment that the other pieces and voila! Suit was ready just in time for its first con.

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CyberBen pointing toward the future.


Cheers,

Update: Added links to posts.

 
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WZProps

New Member
Alright so, I'm going to start the in depth breakdowns with probably one of the last steps I did, but it's also one of the topics that's fresh in my mind. I'm talking about the overall paintjob, so here goes !

Once a piece was deemed ready for paint, I sanded the whole surface with 320 grit sandpaper so the primer would better adhere to the part. I would also mask any pieces that wasn't supposed to be painted, such as straps, padding, etc...
The sanded piece is then primed using a good old black primer spray can (any would do really, I’ve used Rustoleum, Krylon and some DeSerres brand ones with very similar results).

After it dried, I would start the basecoat with 2 coats of “Dupli-Color Perfect Match: Dark Shadow Gray” spray paint. Note that these can be a bit expensive for the amount, but the finish is well worth it. I used around 1 ½ cans for the whole build. ( I found mine at Canadian Tire in the Car section)

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This thing is magic in a can...

I then proceed to add a coat of matte Krylon Clearcoat to start building up the protective layer. If a piece requires some camo pattern applied to it, I made sure to do it before starting the weathering process.

For these pieces, namely the thigh plates and the forearms, I masked all the details that needed to stay the same as the base color with some blue painter’s tape as to avoid getting the camo pattern all over them.
I used 3 different shades of Gray Spray paint, all from the “Sabotaz80” brand that I found at DeSerres, one of the craft store chain where I live.
Colors are:
  • Graphite Grey
  • Traffic Grey
  • Concrete Grey

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To achieve the pattern, I made 3 stencils out of paper that had the shape of.. “blobs” for lack of a better term.
I would start by applying a coat of the darker color, in this case, Graphite Grey and cover around 40% of the piece using the different stencils to avoid creating repetitiveness.
Then I’d do the same with the next lighter color, Traffic Grey, but this time, around 15-20% of the piece would be covered, allowing the basecoat and previous layer to show.
And once again using the Concrete Grey, covering 5% ish of the piece while still allowing previous coats to show.
Note that I also combined the stencils by putting them one on top of the other to create even more various shapes. I was also very careful and did my best to ensure that the stencils were properly placed on the surface and that no gaps between the surface and the edges of the stencil shapes were present to avoid spray splatter and blurry patterns. Given the shape of the pieces, it wasn’t always easy...

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Some spray splatter and fuzzy edges can be seen on this piece with the lighter color...

Then is would be on to the weathering process. I'd heavily drybrush black acrylic paint in the recesses instead of using a wash as the gray basecoat was already quite dark and it wouldn’t have benefited too much of the smoother transition a wash can bring.
I’d also apply black paint on certain surfaces as to mimic scorched marks and general wear. This also has the effect to break the uniform basecoat, making it look more realistic and visually interesting.
The black paint was lastly applied on edges that would later be complemented with silver highlights, as to simulate paint chips.

Once dry, I’d go over certain of the same areas that had the black paint applied to it and add small scratches to make it as if metal was underneath.
I repeated this process over the whole armor that I established was made of “metal”.

For pieces that would stay black, such as the abdomen parts or the neck seal pieces, I’d simply add highlights with a gray/charcoal color.

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Same Pic as above, Example of the Camo Pattern and the finished paintjob on different pieces.

Last but not least, I’d do another 2 coats of clearcoat for some more protection, given the rough environmental conventions can present.

And that's pretty much it for the paintjob. Very simple, doesn't take too long and I like to think it looks good enough haha.

Cheers,
 

WZProps

New Member
I'm curious about how you approached the strapping. Did you follow Sean's instructions or modify them at all?
I'd say, for the majority, I did my own setup as I was using a plate carrier as a platform to hold everything that was on my torso as well as the shoulders. If I recall, the instructions showed how to do it from scratch instead (but did mention you could use a plate carrier, which I did).
I'll do a more in-depth post about it hopefully soon.
 

xXDashIVXx

Sr Member
I'm curious about how you approached the strapping. Did you follow Sean's instructions or modify them at all?
In your thread you said you were part of the 501st, and being in the the clone trooper garrison, maybe you could take insperation from that gear and share to us what you have done there. I remember seeing in a rexingaround video, the guy used a really cool harness to support everything and distribute the weight. I dont know if you use something like this but maybe you could fit it through some BDUs or whatever you are using for the fabric undersuit. I built my suit out of foam, and have stuffed it with soft sofa foam so it gets held in place with friction. It holds everything up well, but is hard to get my undersuit through the armor peices. I dont think this would work for you, but it is something to consider
 

WZProps

New Member
Small update, recently finished making the Comm module for the helmet.
Made the 3D model from scratch and printed it on my printer. It has 3 pieces, the main body and the 2 antennas. The print got a good dose of sanding and gap filling with spot putty to make it smooth.
Primed all the pieces black and followed the same painting techniques outlined in my previous post to get it to look right.
I then proceeded to glue 2 green leds an 1 tiny microphone (that had wires already soldered to them) in the small holes I modeled for them.
To attach it to the helmet, I drilled 2 holes for screws and 1 for the electrical wires on the side of the helmet, near the ear. The screws were added from the inside and electrical wires pulled in the helmet to connect to the circuit leading to the battery.

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WZProps

New Member
Got myself a Vinyl cutter (Silhouette Cameo 3) on black friday and decided to try it with something rather simple, armor decals.
Cut out all the decals for the chest plate on a piece of matte white vinyl and applied it to the armor plate. Was surprisingly quite easy to apply.
For good measure, I clearcoated it with matte varnish and added some weathering to them so they fit with the rest of the armor.

Can't wait to try it out on other projects :)

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Freshly applied, without weathering.

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Drop Ready.
 

WZProps

New Member
Hey folks,

Here’s a view inside my 95% finished helmet. (95% cause I still have to cover the interior with something to hide the wires so they’re not pulled by accident).

I’ll start this breakdown with the electrical circuit found within the helmet and its different components.
I had a few constraints to be mindful of when designing this circuit. I wanted to be able to remove components freely (as much as possible) if necessary, which meant gluing the least amount of things and using something else to keep everything in place. I also needed to remove the battery to be able to charge it in-between uses. Lastly, all components needed to be able to work separately from one another.
In order to do that, everything ended up being mostly held in place with 2 sided Velcro, and Dupont connectors for the wires.
Hook Velcro glued to the inside of the helmet would catch on the hoops side of the 2-sided Velcro holding the wires, preventing them from moving around and be loose.

There are 4 main components to this circuit, the battery/power supply, the ventilation system, the LEDs and the sound amplification setup.

1. The Battery I used is a power bank to charge phones (10000 mAh). I used this model because it was compact enough to fit inside my helmet.
To provide power to the different other components, I had to make myself a custom usb cable (power pins only, no need for data) that ended in a female JST SM Plug that would connect to a 1-to-4 splitter providing power to the LEDS, the Sound Amp system and another splitter (separated by a switch) that would give power to the 4 fans. That’s mostly it for the heart of the circuit.
Note that after some field testing, I found out that the battery would be able to last close to 8-10h, running non-stop with all components active, which is amazing. Depending on how often the helmet is on/you take breaks, you can easily do 2 con days without the need to recharge the battery.

2. For the ventilation system, I used a combination of 2 small fans for intake and 2 blower fans for exhaust. For the exhaust fans, I first attempted to recreate a similar setup that Elcorio did using a ducting system, however, it didn’t work very well for me as my head was squishing the airway, leaving my visor fogging. I instead moved them in front of my mouth/nose, taking the hot air I exhale directly and blowing it outside the helmet, toward my neck. For the intake fans, I cut some holes on the side where helmet vents are actually located (If I’m not mistaken). I then put some meshing in the holes and glued a frame made out of foam inside the helmet to house the fans. I also screwed the fans to plates of plastic so they wouldn’t fall in the hole, while keeping them removable if needed.
All the fans were wired to a male JST SM Plug that would then be plugged to the splitter.

3. Nothing too fancy for the LEDs, they are located in the Comm Antenna and the wires connect to a simple switch that connects back to the power supply. There’s a resistor for each LEDs to prevent them from burning.

4. Probably the most challenging part was the sound amplification system. I based the setup on PatchBOTS’ video tutorial that he did for his Star Wars Commander Bow costume. I ended up using the same components he listed in the video’s description.
For each ears, its basically a MAX9814 amp board that is hooked up to the power supply, a mic and a speaker. The VCC and Gain pins of the board are hooked to the positive current, GND goes to Ground (negative) and OUT goes to a capacitor hooked to a small speaker. The preinstalled microphone on the board is carefully removed and the small EARS mic is soldered to it instead.
During the whole process I managed to fry 2 boards. The first one was by accident as the JST SM plug it connected to had an inverted polarity indicator and I didn’t notice, so when I plugged it in, it took 1 second for a small spark and some smoke to appear from a component on the board. Second time was just carelessness as I repeated the same mistake…So yeah, need to be extra careful with these things.
Lastly, the circuits for each ears connects to a switch that is connected to the power supply.


Padding:
For the padding, I mostly used a helmet padding kit from amazon, some packing foam pieces and a leftover FAST Tactical helmet padding piece (for the forehead). All attached with Velcro to allow for adjustments to be made.

And that’s pretty much it for what the helmet looks like inside and the different components it holds.

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1. Intake fans 2. Exhaust fans 3. Fans Switch 4. Speakers inside padding 5. Sound Amp Switch 6. LED Switch 7. Battery

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Back of the Helmet

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Side of the Helmet
 

Dirtdives

Division Scheduler and Keeper of Con Lists
Division Staff
Community Staff
WZProps, dude.....that is an impressive amount of work. Well done!!! Going to keep this as reference for my next helmet......next several helmets even.
 

he4thbar

Well-Known Member
Awesome job! I do something similar, however I only have 2 fans(I can only imagine how loud 4 is..) And I just pointed them at my visor from my cheaks and it acted as more of an intake. No exaust but I was pretty comfortable most of the day and only had to put the fans on a few times :) I ove what you did and it looks much cleaner. I also used a small power pack int he back of my helmet!
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not to make this about me ;) just thought it was cool the similar but different ideas one can approach this!
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Awesome job! I do something similar, however I only have 2 fans(I can only imagine how loud 4 is..) And I just pointed them at my visor from my cheaks and it acted as more of an intake. No exaust but I was pretty comfortable most of the day and only had to put the fans on a few times :) I ove what you did and it looks much cleaner. I also used a small power pack int he back of my helmet!
View attachment 282007
not to make this about me ;) just thought it was cool the similar but different ideas one can approach this!
I just like that there's a bunch of us using blower fans all in the cheeks of helmets that are roughly the same shape :D
 

WZProps

New Member
WZProps, dude.....that is an impressive amount of work. Well done!!! Going to keep this as reference for my next helmet......next several helmets even.
Thanks Man, glad this can be useful to someone :)

Awesome job! I do something similar, however I only have 2 fans(I can only imagine how loud 4 is..) And I just pointed them at my visor from my cheaks and it acted as more of an intake. No exaust but I was pretty comfortable most of the day and only had to put the fans on a few times :) I ove what you did and it looks much cleaner. I also used a small power pack int he back of my helmet!
View attachment 282007
not to make this about me ;) just thought it was cool the similar but different ideas one can approach this!
No worries mate, I like seeing what other people come up with, often gets my idea engine running :p
I gotta say, if it were only the 2 exhaust fans in the front, it would probably not be too much of an issue sound wise, but, like you said, with 4, its quite loud, especially since the intake fans are aimed straight below my ears. That’s one of the reasons why I needed a sound amp system haha. Although it also acts as a white noise machine to block out the ambient sound in a con if you need to relax a bit or are tired of earing someone (allowing you to just nod and wave lol)
 

WZProps

New Member
Not a breakdown this time, but more of a WIP/Current focus for this costume, making myself a M7S SMG (Halo 2 Anniversary Ver.) Even though it's not the one from H3:ODST, I'm going with this one as I just love its design.
1200px-H2A_M7S-SMG.png


It's been a little while since I worked on an actual prop, so figured I'd jump feet first with a Halo one. To challenge myself a bit, I decided to integrate a bunch of features, such as: a retractable stock, fake trigger with a spring, picatinny rail, removable mag, removable silencer/muzzle, functional red dot, laser pointer and a foldable hand grip. (Yup, I foresee a bunch of headaches trying to figure all that stuff out)

So far, here's what I got.

M7S_smg_wip_01.png

Orange/yellow means it's pretty much finished, needs to be reviewed when the other pieces are done.
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Not a breakdown this time, but more of a WIP/Current focus for this costume, making myself a M7S SMG (Halo 2 Anniversary Ver.) Even though it's not the one from H3:ODST, I'm going with this one as I just love its design.
View attachment 282040

It's been a little while since I worked on an actual prop, so figured I'd jump feet first with a Halo one. To challenge myself a bit, I decided to integrate a bunch of features, such as: a retractable stock, fake trigger with a spring, picatinny rail, removable mag, removable silencer/muzzle, functional red dot, laser pointer and a foldable hand grip. (Yup, I foresee a bunch of headaches trying to figure all that stuff out)

So far, here's what I got.

View attachment 282041
Orange/yellow means it's pretty much finished, needs to be reviewed when the other pieces are done.
If you model in an AutoDesk suite I can toss a NATO Accessory Rail element your way that I use on pretty much all my props now.
 
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