In progress

Gold Halo Elite Costume

For DragonCon 2017 I had planned on making the Gold /zealot class Covenant Elite from the Halo 2-3 era. The goal was to have a mostly fiberglass costume with moving mandibles and the energy sword. I started in January and despite daily progress, I realized there wasn't a way to realistically finish him by September. I'm generally ok with this-stressing over a hobby isn't the healthiest way to be so I'm taking a more laid back approach.

I took photos of a halo toy I had and used those to generate drawings in illustrator. I also found many in game images to help as reference. The dotted line box is where i cut these out to fit in my opaque projector to project on a board, using the ruler markings to get accurate size. This was instrumental to getting correctly proportioned parts. I made some decisions to reduce certain parts to keep wearability  as less awkward as possible. Shoulders were reduced as was arm length.

Everything started as a foam skeleton, paper templates, then eva parts. Nothing is wearable because eventually I made molds and cast them in fiberglass

chest details. Some parts were made of wire, some were cast resin from elcheapo disposable latex molds

Most everything was built from a paper template then duplicated as a mirror image to build symmetrical parts, two at a time. Even being careful, mistakes happened. My early drawings weren't great and I had some misjudgments in size and shape but generally it turned out ok. 

The arms were tricky. Lots of weird shapes coming together. Generally , his arms were shortened to be more wearable. Some arm details were sculpted in clay then cast in resin( the bright white parts)

Not many in progress shots of these , sad to say. I had to do some serious tomfoolery to make a symmetry issue seem less awful.

The lower leg is the next largest piece after the chest. I made these a little too wide but it does match the character's proportions. Maybe a lot of scraping/chafing when I walk

Thighs. A generally fun part to make.

Huge ol clod hoppers. Thank god he's mostly symmetrical . I made one leg, one foot, one mold for each. This will be three separate molds eventually

The helmet alone will be  8 separate fiberglass parts not counting the actual rubber head with jaw pieces. This was a tricky booger to build

Breaking out the trusty head form. Foam,wadded newspaper, duct tape. I sculpted him out of WED clay. Fastest part of the whole project. I found tons of photos of the Arbiter from the Halo 2 remaster. His jaws don't quite look like the originals so i may have issues making the jaw bits look right.. anywho. The mold is done( ultracal) and just needs to be cast in latex.

Before making molds, I gave everything a coat of Kilz. Found some issues, caulked n such. I knew there'd be clean up later in the fiberglass copies. The Kilz stuck like crazy to the latex rubber. Yeah, I work for A LARGE MANUFACTURER OF SILICONE RUBBER and I use latex. Hey, a 5 gallon pail is only 125 bucks vs... selling a kidney. So latex shrinks over time . These were one time/two time max use molds then hello dumpster. I made mother molds from plaster bandages but even in the span of a month, the latex was barely registering in the mother molds..Already shrinking. 

Fiberglass is slow going. You can't just jam cloth down there into detailed spots and expect it to work. I mixed milled 1/8th" fibers with epoxy and microballoons. This was gooped in all the details. After 2 rounds of that, I moved up to 1/2 fibers and some cloth where needed. Eventually all the edges will be filled out with freeform air( an epoxy dough Smooth On sells that weighs next to nothing). Some bubbles occurred...pffft. I can live with that. 

Currently I have only half the parts  I need to finish this guy.  Not even counting moving mandible action, hands, undersuit, foam muscles, plasma sword, painting etc. I'm trying to avoid year-long projects and I thought I could do him in 8...nope. But I'm ok with postponing him until later this year or early next to finish him up. Financially speaking, I spent as much as I could spend on him this year and spending the amount needed to make all that happen is a no go. so I'll just pitch the ever- shrinking molds, bag up the fiberglass parts and move on to something else.