Introduction: Halo ODST Armor: Arms - Part of ODST Armor Build

Halo 3 ODST Armor Project.

This is PART 3 of a 5 part series on a full ODST Armor you can wear.

The project is so large that I decided to break it down into five(5) Instructables:
1. Helmet
2. Torso
3. Arms
4. Legs
5. Weapons

To help unify all the instructables I also published aTable Of Contents (TOC) instructable for the Halo ODST Armor Build.

The Arm armor consist of two parts, the piece covering the shoulder and upper arm and the piece covering the forearm (aka, the gauntlet).

I will be deviating from the WETA model and will be using the arm models from the video game.

Credit for the 3D and Pepakura unfold goes to Kirrou.

Step 1: Software and Model

Same as step 1 and 2, you will need the following software and your choices of models...

We will be using the Pepakura software to print the 3D paper models for our parts.

the software is here:

There are many variants of the ODST armor. Which one you build depends on your taste.

Start with the files here:

For the upper arms I am deviating away from the Weta model and using the arm armor from the video game.  I am doing this because I like the look better and it covers more of the shoulder. Build will be trickier as the part is hinged.

Step 2: Materials and Tools

Materials are very similar to Part 2.

1. A stack of Card Stock - Letter or A4 size. the paper weight should be 110lbs.
2. Glue. I use Elmer's white glue.  Wood Glue works also. Others use superglue, gorilla glue, or hot glue
3. Resin - Epoxy, Polyester, or casting resin. Type used depends on budget and working environment.
4. Fiberglass mat or cloth - only if you go with epoxy or polyester resin. Not need if casting resin is used.
5. Bondo or similar vehicle body repair putty.
6. Putty spreader
7. Foam or other padding material
8. Nylon webbing - 1", 2", and 3" wide. Probably 2-3 yards of each size.
9. Masking tape
10. sand paper - course and fine.
11. Plastic buckles - the kinds that snap together.
12. Paints - Primer, silver, black, your prefered colors, and matte clear coat. This is supposed to be battle armor. It's not supposed to be shiny.
13. Ketchup, mustard or pudding. If you completed Part 1 & 2, you know what this is for.

1. Computer
2. Printer
3. Exacto knife
4. scissors
5. Ruler
6. ball point pen.
7. paint brushes
8. plastic cups
9. popsicle sticks
10. cutting mat or cutting board
11. Disposable gloves
12. Respirator
13. Safety Glasses

14 Dremel or other rotary tools.
15. Detail sander or a sanding block

paper towels, shop towels, wires, screws, sewing kit, rivets.

Specialty items (nice to have but may be beyond us): Things I wish I had...
Vacuum forming rig.

Step 3: Scale and Pep: Print, Cut, Fold, Glue, Cut, Fold, Glue, Cut...

You know the deal already by now. If not then that means you did not read/do Part 1 (helmet) or Part 2 (torso).  Do those first.

As before, scale the part according to your perticular height and build. Pep it and try it on. Pep one arm only first to make sure size is good. Once size is confirmed print and pep the other arm.

Fortunately, Part 3 does not have a lot of parts. We have four major pieces L/R upper arm and L/R gaunlet.

Using Elmers glue just like before. Watching TV on the couch and cutting, folding, gluing...

Step 4: Make It Strong

These armor parts will most likely take a lot of abuse. For this reason I have decided that the all the paper is going to stiffened with fiberglass resin for added strength.

I hate doing it this way because of the toxic fumes but I want the armor to last.

Best way to do this step is to tape the parts to a pvc pipe or a piece of wood. Stand the pipe/wood vertically by plunging the other end through a cardboard box. Do this OUTSIDE.. 
Mix only enough polyester  resin and catalyst that you can use in 15 minutes.
Paint the parts with resin using a paintbrush.

Give the parts 2-3 hours to cure.

Step 5: Make It Stronger - Casting Resin and Shoulder Armor

The resin on the outside is not enough. to make this part very durable. We need to make the wall thicker and stronger than paper.

Casting resin will be used to harden the shoulder pieces.

Do one piece at a time mixing just enough resin to cover the inside of one piece. Mix the resin thoroughly making sure to scrape the bottom and the sides of the mixing cup.

Pour the resin in the piece and move the piece around so that all the walls are coated. Keep moving the piece around until the resin hardens. Be careful, the casting resin gets hot as it cures. Make sure that you do not have a large pool of resin sitting in one place. Move it around so that you get an even layer. If you have a very large pool of resin sitting in one place the thing could go into thermal runaway.

Once the resin cures, set the piece to the side. Make sure that the pieces is supported in such a way that it does not loose its shape. The casting resin may be cured but it may also still be warm and maliable. Mix up more resin for the next piece. Continue in this manner until all shoulder pieces are hardened with casting resin.

Step 6: Make It Stronger - Fiberglass and Gauntlet

Unlike the other parts where casting resin was used, the gauntlets are going to get the fiberglass treatment inside. I have selected fiberglass cloth for this process. Fiberglass mat could have been used also but I don't get good results with mat. The weave of cloth makes proper lay-up and even distribution of fiberglass easier. 

Because the gauntlet is round, the fiberglassing is done in sections. That way no part of the fiberglass will be suspended upside down while it cures. Cut up the fiberglass mat into manageable pieces (3"x3" should be good).

Mix up enough resin to fiberglass two halves of the two gauntlets.  Paint a layer of resin on the inside on half of both gauntlets.

Dip the segments of fiberglass in the resin and lay them inside the gauntlet. have a small overlap with each piece.  Use a stiff brush to push out air bubbles. Let the resin cure for 2 hours.

Turn the gauntlets over and fiberglass the other half. Let cure for 2 hours.

Once cured mix up one final batch of resin. Paint on a layer of resin over the fiberglass to seal it in. Nothing worse than itchies due to fiberglass. Another option is to purchase marine gel coat. It is same as polyester resin except it is thick like gel. A third option is to make a rondo mix that is 3/4 Resin and the rest Bondo. Paint that on top of the fiberglass.

Step 7: Bondo

As with the Helmet and the Torso, Bondo is used to make the parts smooth and tough on the outside.

Sand all the pieces with medium grit sand paper. This will give the bondo something to grab onto. Brush off the pieces to remove sanding dust.

For the shoulders, just one or two layers of bondo was applied to remove low spots. Most of the surfaces are flat, so thin layers of bondo was enough to get a good degree of flat, even surface. Be sure not to cover up the details. The less we need to sand the better.

Parts of the shoulder are raised. The Rondo/Mud technique is used to create the raised areas.

For the guantlet, a thicker layer of bondo will be necessary.  The gauntlet is rounded and no matter how good the model and the pep unfold is, there will always be some parts that are too angular. The only way to remove these angular areas is to lay up layers of bondo and sand it into the shape we need. Three to four layers of bondo will need to be applied with lots of sanding and shaping done between layers. Take your time on the gauntlets. Making the gauntlets will probably take as long as making the helmet.

Step 8: Add Details.

The shoulder pieces will not need much detail work. Drill out pilot holes for the screw points. Put in the screws. Cut the screws down so that they barely poke out the back side. Lock the screws down with Locktite.

The gauntlets have a lot of detail in them. Same as the shoulder, sketch out all the groove lines with a pencil. Make all the needed corrections with pencil and eraser before getting out the dremel.  Once happy with the design, start cutting out the grooves with the dremel and cutting wheel. Work slow. And don't get upset if you make a mistake. Mistakes can be covered up with bondo and then resanded back to a smooth surface. 

The "control box" on top is cleaned up with small spots of bondo and spot putty. Small files and a dremel high speed cutter is used to shape the control box.

Step 9: Painting

Once all the detail work is done it is time to paint. Brush the parts with a stiff brush to remove bondo dust. Sand all the surfaces with 300 grit paper.

Paint all the parts with 2-3 thin layers of primer. Sand with 600 grit sand paper. Brush all the parts with a stiff brush to remove primer dust.

Now, are you a seasoned, battle-hardened ODST? Or did the veterans paint a big, bright, red cherry on your helmet? If you are a seasoned warrior, then in places where you want scrapes, chipped paint, dents, etc spray with silver paint. Let the paint dry and buff the silver. Lightly "dust" the silver with black paint to "age" it. This means hold the spray paint farther than normal and give the part a quick mist of paint.

Mask off the silver areas with condiment or desert of your choice (I normally use left over pudding). make the patern random.

If you are "cherry" skip the silver and dessert.

Paint the pieces with your choice of colors. 2-3 thin, even layers. Let each layer dry for 10 minutes before adding the next layer. After the final layer, let the parts dry for a couple of hours.

If your armor is battle scarred, wipe down everything with a damp rag to remove the paint over the "masking". Rinse the rag often or your armor will smell like food. If the silver areas are too shiny, dust the general area with black paint again.

If the armor is supposed to be new, buff the armor with a dry, soft cloth.

Spray the armor with a protective clear coat.

Step 10: Straps, Buckles and Foam

Half inch wide nylon webbing secures the upper arm plates to the shoulder strap. An elastic band around the arm keeps it in place.

Foam padding is added to the inside of the gauntlet. This will fill the gap between the arm and the inside wall of the gauntlet. An elastic cuff will keep the gauntlet from falling off.

Step 11: Lights, Decals and Other Details

Add any last details needed.

An ipod would be cool.

OK, on to Part 4, the legs.