View Full Version : Build a Spartan!

12-10-2009, 01:21 PM
So, I went to October 09's London MCM Expo as a blue Mk VI Spartan from the Halo series. Unfortunately, half my armour didn't make the trip home, so I said to myself that I'd rebuild the parts that had broken, but then I had a thought. Why not go one better? Why not make a set of armour that's more detailed and will probably take even more time and money to make, and why not make sure it's ready for a convention months before I actually wear it?

I present you with my high detail build. Now, a lot of people asked me how I build my last set of armour, so I'm going to post a mini tutorial up with this. Each time I hit a new stage in the build, I'll post a tutorial on how it was done.

Please bear in mind that I don't have much in the way of free time or disposable income right now so progress will be slow.

First of all, here's the newly made helmet, built from a 3D model by FlyingSquirrel.


Now, before we start with the tutorial phase I must make somethign absolutely clear:

If you are under 18, make sure to get your parent's/ guardian's permission to do this, and make sure they help you. If you are over 18, you understand that you attempt this at your own risk.

If anyone tries this and slices themselves open or gets intoxicated by fumes (we'll be using fiberglass resin further down the line), I am not, in any way, shape, or form, laible. You do this at your own damned risk.

Now, before we begin, we're going to need to make sure we have the following:
- Cutting knife (no not use scissors)
- Cutting mat
- Glue gun
- Cardstock, at least 200gsm
- Blue pen
- Black pen
- Pepakura (program)
- Printer

Starting in Pepakura
First of all, you'll need Pepakura Designer, which you can find here:

Next, you'll need 3D models of the armour, in Pepakura format, which you can get here:

Now, open Pepakura and load a model, for this example, we'll be using a helmet by a 405th member known as FlyingSquirrel.


Note that the 3D model displays on the left, and on the right, you can see pages which various origami styled pieces. This is where you should be able to figure out what Pepakura does, it takes a 3D model and cuts it up so you can print it out and build it in a physical space.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you're using the right kind of paper.

Go to Settings> Print and Paper Settings, then select either A4 or Letter, depending on what size paper you're using.

Now we're going to want to make sure that the piece of armour will fit you. Go to "D Pattern Window> Change the Scale of Development> Specify the Scale.

You'll now be able to enter the size you want the object to be in milimeters. Hopefully you know your measurements or have a measuring device handy. Fiddle with the numbers until the height, width and depth sound like they'd fit your body. Remember to add a little room to actual get your body in there though!

Next, it's more than likely that changing the size of the object and the paper size has made your pieces fall off the edges of pages. Not to worry, you can simply click them to drag them around and rearrange them until they all fit onto as amny pages as you require.

Finally, you're ready to print. Load your 200gsm cardstock into the printer, make sure your printer is connected and hit CTRL+P to print!

Buidling the cardstock base


This is possibly the hardest and longest part of making armour in this fashion. Take it one sheet at a time, and remember to breathe! This will be worth it!

First, you'll want to score your folds. ----- ----- ----- are mountain folds, and these - - - are valley folds. Score all your mountain folds with your blue pen and all your valley folds in black. Not only does this make it easier to see your folds, but it also scores the fold, so it'll be easier to fold later.

Some more tricky folds may require you to score them with your cutting knife, gently press the blade along the fold, being very careful not to cut through the page, and it'll fold like a charm!

Now, cut out each piece (I'd recommend using a metal rule for this, for safety reasons and accuracy. I'm an artist so I'm quite comfortable to do my cutting freehand, but unless you're very confident and have a steady hand I'd advise against it) and fold all the tabs.


Move on to the next page, and the one after that, until you have all your pieces.

Using Pepakura, look at where each piece goes and start to arrange them in front of you so you have a plan as to what you're going to do next and what piece fits where.

Start to glue small, seperate sections together. Each tab has a number on it, this number corresponds to a mtaching number along an edge of another piece. So tab 306 should be glued onto edge 306.


You are using a glue gun so be careful. You will burn your fingers and you will swear. I have a scar on oen of my fingers from a partciularly bad burn where I burnt myself, then dropped the glue gun and foolishly tried to catch it again in mid-air.

After a while you should be able to put these small sections together to form some very large and recognisbale sections, like so.


Glue these together (which can be either very easy or very tricky, depending on how much you've planned ahead during construction) and you have yourself your cardstock base for your armour!


General Tips

Many pieces will have tabs that glue to edges on the same piece as itself. This forms the smaller shapes and details in the build. Remember to glue these tabs and edges together before gluing that piece to another piece, or the results can be disastrous!

For high detail peps, there are usually a lot of tabs to get a smooth edge, particularly in any pep unfolded by one Mr Oreo. I find it best to glue a tab at one end, a couple along it, one of which should be around the middle, and one at the end, rather than gluing every individual tab in that line or curve as I find it makes me more accurate and saves time. You can glue the rest down afterwards by smoothing glue over the tabs from the inside of the piece (if that makes sense).

Some high detail peps come with additional ridges with no numbered tabs. These form detailed raised areas, such as the ridges by the side of Chief's visor. These glue directly on top of the existing structure and are usually supplied together on one sheet. use Pepakura to see where these pieces go. They'll have a red outline on the 3D model.

Some peps also come with supports to help the object retain it's structural integrity and general shape. Use these! They're invaluable later on.

Start with something easy and work your way up when yuo feel confident enough to! It's not a race!

In Future Tutorials

Later down the line you'll be resinning the outside of the armour with fiberglass resin, then strengthening the inside with fiberglass resin and fiberglass matt cloth. These chemicals are dangerous and you must wear a respirator whilst using them!

Here's a shot of mine and my best friend's old suits to show you what you can end up with:


12-10-2009, 05:13 PM
Very nice tut you got here. Should be good for anyone wanting to get started on this type of project. Also looked at your pep helmet. Good, clean folds, nicely done. Although one thing you might want to put different is this http://halocostuming.wikia.com/wiki/Pepakura_File_Index. The link to the costume wiki that has a good majority of the halo armor pieces in pep. I know the 405th is where most of the pep files began and are but it can be tricky to navigate and find stuff. So the wiki would nice. Other wise very nicely done.

04-29-2010, 04:56 PM
How would you suggest properly sizing a piece down? Like the helmet for instance. MasterChief is really tall, and I'm only 5'5'' with probably a much smaller noggin'.

04-29-2010, 08:19 PM
Id like to know how to size the pieces down too. I'm pretty small (4' 11" here :P) and I'm sure no Spartan is as petite as I am XP

05-02-2010, 07:59 PM
great setup!! Now I just need to start the build