Introduction: Mjolnir Mk. V (Pepakura Halo Armour)

Picture of Mjolnir Mk. V (Pepakura Halo Armour)

This is my custom Spartan armour from Halo reach

Since there are so many pepakura tutorials out there, I'll try and keep the tutorial very basic, and instead add tips and shortcuts that I've found while creating the armour. To save space I won't detail the required materials (These can mostly be seen from the step descriptions and images), and a good understanding of the safety regarding fibreglassing is recommended.

The main ways to go about making hiqh quality armour are either pepakura or EVA foam. Pepakura is easier for beginners, but can end up taking longer and is typically less comfortable.

A much more comprehensive list of my photos is located HERE

Since I've spent so long on this project, it's hard for me to list everything that I did to accomplish it, so feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions, and I'll answer it as best as I can!

File Download links for the entire suit (+ Hammer and other props):

Mega (New link!) Never tried this site before, but they seem more public-download-link friendly than DropBox
Also includes an interactive scaling spreadsheet I just made.

Armour is scaled for a 182cm person (6.0ft for all ye Imperial Stormtroopers), so just use Pepakura Designer to scale the filles according to your height / stature. There are 2 files for the forearm, I used "Forearm", but "Forearm 2" looks like a better designed model.

Step 1: Scaling

Picture of Scaling

Getting the correct size for all your armour sections right first time will save you a lot of time. I developed a method that worked pretty much perfectly every time.

Determine your height in mm, then add about 20mm (For the helmet), then scale a reference picture of your spartan model so that the number of pixels = the height in mm

You can then use a measuring tool to draw lines against the individual pieces and see what length they should be, and you'll end up with a set of armour that is both proportionally accurate and fits like a glove. Just make sure that when taking measurements, the line of sight should be perpendicular to the section of armour you are viewing, for instance, the image I used below would be unsuitable for scaling the forearms (Better to use in-game screenshots).

If there's enough interest, I might make a chart (Or spreadsheet that you can enter your height in) to show the required scaling factor for each part.

UPDATE: Scaling spreadsheet made - Check download links on previous page

Step 2: Pepakura

Picture of Pepakura

160gsm card is a good compromise between ease of cutting, and strength. For beginners, the edge ID feature in pepakura viewer is very useful for telling which parts fit together.

There's always some tolerance to error when cutting the pieces, but the most important part is the fold lines. As long as the lines you score don't deviate from the printed line (About 0.3mm), you should be able to avoid warping. Superglue was the best method of gluing the pieces together, although only the more viscous brands seemed to work.

All tabs on pepakura models have fold lines at the edge, but there are some cases where it should actually be a smooth bend. Identifying these parts and not scoring them will save you from smoothing them out with isopon later on.

Aditionally, you'll get a feel for what makes a good model as you work. Something that looks game-accurate may not necessarily be the best one to use due to anthropometrice of the human body. The best models I've used have been by "ForgedReclaimer", "Rundown" and "L3X BLU3R1V3R". You can test the pieces' fit after completing them, but be careful not to damage them.

You won't be able to put the torso on when it's fibreglassed unless you cut some arm holes, or have it hinged at the top. I cut out the underarm sections prior to fibreglassing, which saved time, but led to them warping slightly.

Step 3: Fibreglassing

Picture of Fibreglassing

Apply a thin, even coat of resin to both the inside, and the outside of the armour pieces before adding any fibreglass. This prevents any soft spots forming where the card may not be backed up by fibreglass due to air bubbles. If they are large sections, try to avoid coating more than an A4 sized area at a time; If the resin adds too much weight while it is still damp, it may warp. Larger pieces may need bracing structures to keep them rigid as the resin cures (See helmet picture).

Use finer fibreglass for small pieces like hand plates or forearms (~50gsm), and coarser stuff for the large sections like the legs and torso (~100gsm). Small nooks and crannies are hard to get coarser fibreglass into, so either use finer fibreglass, or another few coats of resin, and fit the fibreglass as best as you can.

Fine fibreglass tends to fluff up, so use plenty of resin and dabble it down to stop it sticking to the brush. It helps to paint a quick coat of resin on the inside of the card to get the fibreglass to stick down.

If a piece might experience lots of movement while being worn (Shins, biceps, thighs, etc), It's a wise idea to add another layer of fibreglass to the edges. Once fibreglassing is complete, cut off any excess with a craft knife/dremel and file down the edges.

It is possible to alter the shape of warped or narrow pieces by heating them gently with a heat gun, or powerful hairdryer until slightly flexible, then holding it in the new position until cool (ie, between 2 heavy boxes).

Step 4: Isopon P38

Picture of Isopon P38

Similar to the resin, isopon requires an oxidising catalyst, and has a working time of around 5-10 minutes before it starts to harden.
Use a smooth flat object like a credit card to apply it, and remember that the smoother it is when it goes on, the less work you need to do when sanding it down. If you constructed the armour accurately, you should have minimal need for smoothing, as it is mainly to mask the joins between layers of card.

I only had a wooden block and sandpaper to work with, so the whole process took about 10-15 hours.

To save time, if there were any "Pits" in the isopon where it may have been scratched or some isopon pulled away before it cured, rather than re-filling them, I painted them silver at the end to make them look like batle damage (See torso on painting step).

Step 5: Finer Details

Picture of Finer Details

If the pepakura files miss certain features, or you think they're too fiddly to make from card, it's a great idea to substitute them for balsa wood, aluminium, or other applicable materials.

Depending on the nature of the feature, it may be necessary to do it before the isopon (Helmet grills), or after the painting stage (Shotgun shells). The shell bracket was the most intricate part of the whole design, constructed from an old sheet of 0.5mm aluminium cut out using metal shears (Some pieces sprayed black, or dark silver then sanded at the edges), rivets, epoxy and two strips of cotton webbing. The original file had this all made from card, but since the model was from a different designer, it may not have fitted well with the torso.

The visor was completed after sanding down the helmet, but required masking off and additional isopon being added to fill the gaps. I used a transparent template as a guide for the final 3mm acrylic version, bent it with a paint stripper (Heat gun) and etched it with a flat head screwdriver, with semi-reflective foil adhered to the inside (eBay link here).

Step 6: Supplementary Gadgets / Fixtures

Picture of Supplementary Gadgets / Fixtures

I used a motocross back protector to act as extra detail, and also to probide suppoty for the belt piece.

Although I have no images of them, I mounted a 40mm fan behind each of the helmet's air vents, to runn off dual 9v batteries.

Most sections of the armour are either held in place by the friction of the foam padding (Forearms, shins), with velcro (Biceps and shoulder pads), or with buckles and 40mm wide elastic/cotton webbing (Torso underarms, Belt, Thighs), most of which were done after painting.

Step 7: Painting

Picture of Painting

Mask off any key areas like the visor, and procees to spray the whole thing with at least 1 coat of primer.

Try and work from the lighter colours to the darker ones to avoid them showing up underneath, by masking off shapes then spraying over them (See images 1 & 2).

Some very fine details can be done faster by printing them onto paper, cutting them out and sticking them down (Foot warning symbols, shoulderpad emblems). If you need to apply a logo to a curved area, you can freehand it with acrylic paints (Thigh armour), or stencil it on (See blade on my gravity hammer instructable).

When the armour is fully painted, you may want to add "wear" to it. There are many tutorials, but I found that a 1:5 paint:water ratio worked well for a brown/black grime wash (Painting it in to recesses) wiping it down, allowing it to dry, and repeating ~5 times). As for metallic wear, don't apply it to all edges, just the most prominent corners. Apply multiple layers of silver acrylic in small amounts with a dry brush, gradually becoming fainter as you go further away from the corner.

If you're simulating chips/metal wear in the middle of flat armour sections (Like the light blue band on the right thigh), use a slightly larger patch of the primary colour first, rather than going straight to the silver (Looks as though it has worn from light blue, to the dark blue, then finally to the metal).

To finish it off, give it a light coat of matte lacquer (Or as much as you feel you can without it starting to turn shiny).

Step 8: Abdomen Details / Boot Sections

Picture of Abdomen Details / Boot Sections

The shirt that I used for the armour tends to bunch up, and look rather un-armour-like, so I created a foam wrap-around roughly based on the model from Halo Reach. I cut slots in the upper edges to give it a slightly conical form, and glued it all together with a hot glue gun.

I also attached the toe and heel sections of the boot with a rectangular piece of foam, with a length of string to hook under the laces and keep the toe section stuck down against the shoe.

Comments

Danilibe (author)2017-04-28

Hi, well done it looks great! Can I ask you a few questions please?

Does it get heavy?

Is there a chance that it'll break?

Thanks

The entire costume weighs in at just under 10kg, but with the weight distributed across your whole body it doesn't feel too heavy even after a whole day of wearing it. I used a fingle layer of 100gsm fibreglass across most of the pieces and it's strong enough to resist most hits, and round pieces such as the helmet are almost strong enough to stand on without cracking.

The biggest cause of damage is dropping pieces, because the resin is quite brittle and the thicker the layers, the heavier a piece gets. This means that even making it stronger won't necessarily give it added protection against fall damage.

That said, any cracks it sustains are usually quite minor, and easily repaired.

Blu dude 2004 (author)2016-12-04

is it for sale because I'm way too lazy too make the whole cosplay.....I don't even have a 3d printer

znordy (author)2016-09-24

Could't I just paper mache the armor instead of fiber glass?

RustyComedy (author)znordy2016-11-07

Try mod podge or aqua resin. They are both non-toxic and mod podge is cheap.

RustyComedy (author)RustyComedy2016-11-07

Mod podge doesn't work as well though.

RustyComedy (author)2016-11-06

Do you have the files for the thighs? I have everything else but the thighs.

Mjskate (author)2016-10-13

What did you use for the visit and how did you make it reflective?

Shadow Of Intent (author)Mjskate2016-10-14

That's covered at the end of step 5. How you decide to attach it depends on whether you're going to vac form the visor or bend it from a sheet of flat plastic / acrylic

TheBroSquad made it! (author)2016-06-01

Made the suit, and wore it to a mini maker faire! Great project! Tons of fun!

That's amazing! Great job on finishing it, these costumes take a lot of time and dedication but it's worth it when you have something everyone can appreciate in the end!

Being able to wear it at conventions and faires is a really rewarding experience too, so it's nice when there's somewhere you can go to be able to show it off among other creatively minded people!

alojzyhenryk (author)2014-09-11

How much did all the materials to make this cost you? Cuz this is freaking awesome!

In total, I'd say about £60 to £80. Some stuff like the card I already had, some parts I was able to get for free (Used shells), and other materials left me with spares for future projects (I had more than enough enough fibreglass and resin to make the Lego helmet and a Deathstroke mask)

How many dollars (Not pounds) didthis build cost...and where did you get the materials

Depends on the conversion rate for your currency. Most of the stuff I got from ebay

deus ex (author)2014-08-30

please make a guide on the gravity hammer

Shadow Of Intent (author)deus ex2014-08-31

I've already done so!

Awesome...How about a Plasma rifle or the Arbiter's armor from halo 5?

TheBroSquad made it! (author)2015-12-20

Looks Awesome! First pepekura build ive done, and it looks great. I dont have any good pictures but im brought it to my school's basketball game. Everybody freaked out! Very fun build.

delven (author)2015-12-16

how do you make this

Darkone99 (author)2015-06-14

Is the interactive scale spreadsheet still on the mega site? And do I need to be on a computer to actually see it?

Grandon (author)2015-05-18

how would you make a armor fo a person that is 5ft 6?

alojzyhenryk (author)2014-09-16

I will give you 200$ to make me a HALO Reach Emile suit and as shotgun?

Sorry, but I don't really have the time to make unique builds, and after subtracting the cost of materials, $200 would equate to about $0.40 / hour.

Best I can recommend is to look at the 405th forums for sales, where people have already made a master mould of Emile's suit, and would be able to cast it in a fraction of the time. That way they'd mostly just be charging for the material costs.

deus ex (author)2014-09-04

i know i saw it three minutes after i made the comment

MoFracka (author)2014-08-20

thats the most metal armor ive ever seen made

MoFracka (author)MoFracka2014-08-20

the problem is im 6 foot 3

Armour can be scaled to be both smaller and larger, you'd just need to use a size multiplier of 1.027 to convert it from 6ft

lwulfe (author)2014-07-10

using his calculations i figured out mine im 5'7" which is approx. 94% of his height which then i just multiplied all his number by 0.94 and go my calculations.

gschelter (author)2014-06-24

And I only mean the suit not the grav hammer

gschelter (author)2014-06-24

How much would it be to pay you to build and send one. I would also pay for shipping and handling.

sguzman7 (author)2014-06-20

You can now you tbag on them noobs in real life!!!

ALECIALLEY (author)2014-05-22

Tremendous... a GREAT Piece Of TALENT

Thanks!

The Mighty Squig (author)2014-04-21

Love the build looks spot on. Im in the process of starting a spartan and was wondering what you use for the under clothing? I was planing on using a base layer of some kind but i thought id ask your experience.

For my first convention I used black tracksuit leggings and a long sleeved black top. Thje issue was theey were both quite baggy, so they bunched up a lot at the joints between armour sections, and made putting the shin pieces on very difficult.

At my second con, I used the same top, but skinny black jeans underneath, which worked slightly better.

I'd been looking for things like "running gear" and "undersuits", and never actually realised "base layers" would have been perfect for this. I'd recommend something that's a snug fit and slightly elasticated to prevent it bunching up, is dark and has a mostly matte finish (Some may look black in photos but actually be dark grey, or reflective from some angles), and ideally have some sort of texture or subtle pattern to them so they don't just look completely plain. My black top was both baggy and plain, which is why I made the foam abdomen section.

Hard to tell without seeing it, but this looks like it ticks all the right boxes, it even has a bit of a raised collar

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mens-Compression-Sports-To...

Another thing to consider is a balaclava. The worst thing about the photos taken of me during conventions was the amount of skin that could be seen around my neck. In the photo above I'm wearing one, but I didn't take it to the cons due to the extra heating effect, so if you're able to check how breathable the material is, it'll greatly help you to stay cool, and you can afford a bit of extra neck insulation.

jlee36 (author)2014-03-05

Did you ever make that chart/spreadsheet to help scale one's armor? I'm 5'2" and needing to downsize the measurements.

Shadow Of Intent (author)jlee362014-03-06

Aaaand it's done. Link added to the downloads (Spreadsheet on the Mega host site)

Shadow Of Intent (author)jlee362014-03-06

I haven't made one yet, mainly because there's a lot of variation between the sizes of different armour pieces depending on who made them (I.e., If someone made a gauntlet with narrower wrist holes, you'd need to scale it based on that, moreso than length).

I'll try and make one now, bear in mind it'll be mainly applicable to the armour pieces I used (Which I'll also try and sort out an alternate download for).

SomeponyLovesYou (author)2014-02-11

The DropBox link fot the Pepakura files doesn't work anymore. Can you please replace it with a working one?

It had a copyright claim filed against it yesterday. I don't think the claim was valid, but I'm hesitant to put them back up just yet.

If you want, you can PM me your email and I'll email them to you? (3.8mb)

hedgesvt (author)2014-02-01

Please, make the spreadsheet

poofrabbit (author)2013-11-22

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween costume contest! Can’t wait to see if you win good luck!

Thanks so much! I can't wait to see the results =D

CryoFireProductions (author)2013-10-18

Yup, you win. XD

spot on in every way. I'm trying to get into pepakura armor/prop making but i have no idea where to find resin or fiberglass. great work, and seeing as i cant find a single other entry that even compares to yours, enjoy the camera set ;) lol I'm sure you're gonna win it.

Thanks! I'd be so happy to win even one of the runner up prizes; It's not often that my work wins prizes or gets recognition of some sort, but even if this doesn't win, it's comments like yours that make it all worthwhile.

As for fibreglass and resin, it should be easily available in home improvement or automobile parts shops, but for 3+ litres of resin and 2-3 sq m of fibreglass, you may end up spending over £50 in those sort of shops. Best solution to save money is to see if there are any garages nearby that do car repairs, because they'll usually have huge amounts in stock, and should be able to tap off small quantities for you. It doesn't have to be car repairs either, it could be swimming pools, garden water features, artificial fireplaces, bathtubs... anywhere that makes/repairs things made from fibreglass! If there's nothing like that around, it's slightly cheaper than shops to get it online (Ebay/Amazon).

Thank you for the tips, My current project is The Hylian shield From Zelda, and i wanted it to look as good as possible so Pepakura is the path I'm choosing.

Now I have a question about The Hammer. Was it made with the same method and if so how did you get the Pepakura file and how did you reinforce it?

The papercraft method was the same, but seeing as you can't fibreglass the inside of enclosed volumes, I used a metal skeleton and expanding polyurethane foam. Here's the full tutorial.

I resined it first before using the expanding foam to give it some rigidity, and add hardness to the cardstock. For a shield, you wouldn't even need a frame, just a couple of layers of 100gsm fibreglass, with ribs if necessary. The back of the shield would not ve so easily seen, so there's no need to enclose it fully, just have a "lip" going around the edge that curves back on itself by about 1cm, like this.

Ah ok. Thank you. Too late for Halloween ;_; but at least i have a start on AnimateMiami 2014 and Florida SuperCon 2014. thanks again for all your help and keep up the awesome work. ;)

voted, faved and followed

Just noticed the cutie mark

:D

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