Character reference: http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/callofduty/images/archive/9/97/20091202041929!Mw2_soap_runninggulag.PNG
*NOTE* UPDATES ARE LISTED CHRONOLOGICALLY; THE MOST RECENT AT THE BOTTOM!
Things to finish yet:
-UDT jacket(Underwater Demolition Team life preserver out of a modified standard, orange life vest)
-pouches(Soap has about 7 or 8 of them running along his belt)
-drop leg pouches(Soap has three magazine pouches on his left leg that attach to his belt and around his thigh, like a holster)
-Camelbak(bladder with drinkable water stored on the back and over the assault vest(this lets me wear my Wesker vest because it'll cover up the S.T.A.R.S. lettering painted on the back)
-knee pads(I'll probably have to get black ones and paint the padding around the pad itself olive drab)
-miscellaneous gear(things like the dive watch, SPIE clip, flares, radio, and snorkel tubing(all will be made out of cheap materials like cardboard, plastic, and for the last one, corrugated tubing)
-M4A1 carbine with M203 and red dot reflex sight(out of cardboard, PVC, and corrugated tubing, as if I'd do it out of anything else. ;D )
-M92F(assuming I have some time to, as that's what it looks like he carries on his hip)
In addition to this, I'll need to figure out how to fake the scar on Soap's left eye, probably with glue and makeup.
It sounds like more stuff than it actually is. Most of the stuff is cheap airsoft gear or dive gear I can get off of Amazon or EB Airsoft and the like. The other aspect is almost completely free, but just takes time to construct out of cardboard, glue, and paint.
Update - Dec 26: I've ordered everything except for the plateform leg holster off the internet. I've since received the dive hood(I got a small because it was super cheap and cut a slit up the back until I could fit it over my head. I just need it to fold at my neck like on a hoodie) and my neoprene dive gloves(which I've been wearing as winter gloves because they're toasty and very flexible). My OD hydration pack is floating somewhere over in Hong Kong, and in addition to that, I bought a fake radio with an antenna, since I didn't feel like building that thing accurately if I could buy it for a reasonable price. The kneepads should be here in the next few days.
Update - Jan 20th: All of my stuff from China has arrived and looks good. This includes the plateform holster(I bought one for an M1911 instead of an M92F), the hydration bag rocks, the knee pads are in and modified to the correct coloring, and I'm still working on modifying the chest rig so that the pouches are the correct color. I placed an order an hour ago for a MOLLE vest, since my S.T.A.R.S. vest just hasn't been looking correct under the chest rig. That means I'll be needing a radio pouch to fit on the back, which is probably for the best, since the pouch I was using on my S.T.A.R.S. vest was actually an ammo pouch, and was therefore on my side instead of behind me. The overall price of this costume is adding up, but, with my recent job, I can handle that, and happily, might I add, since I want this thing to rock(I owe it to Nick, our Ghost, since he's got that same level of commitment to this group), so rock it shall! That in mind, I may actually forego the harness for MOLLE pouches to save me time, and to make it look more perfect.
All that's really left to do is modify my life jackets into LPFCs(low-profile floatation collars(I had a really hard time trying to figure out what the heck these things were from the screen shots. It turns out that it's an LPFC on top of the shoulder padding for the BCD(Buoyancy Control Device), and though I'd love to get a good BCD for this, I can't spare several hundred on that, so I'm flaying open the life vest to make it one piece) and build the guns. Nick also wants to get a working radio channel to use, which will be awesome, so that'll be something else to take care of as well. Now, I know I still haven't posted up-to-date pictures yet, but fear not, as they're on the way sometime soon.
Update - Jan 23rd: I stripped the stitching off of a generic orange life preserver, slipped in some foam I cut down and modified to the shape of the BCD pad/LPFC, hot glued everything fairly tightly into place(the nylon exterior held the glue quite well), and hit it with a couple coats of thinned(so it won't crack when it bends) black acrylic. It's looking surprisingly nice!
I also placed an order for seven MOLLE pouches to match the ones that go around Soap's waist. My extensive time digging was rewarded with accurate pouches that are also really cheap as far as MOLLE pouches go, so the lot of them was about $70($10 a pouch isn't bad at all). I've become a little obsessed with detail on this costume, because I did some digging and found out that Soap's glow sticks(those tiny red and green tubes on his life jacket) are most likely Cyalume brand glowsticks, so I found 10 6" red and green ones, and placed an order of each, even though it's not necessary. On top of that, I put an order in for a cheap wrist compass boot. I'll wind up making a fake compass face for it with some Sculpey or something when it gets here. Finally, I ordered a radio pouch and a pair of MultiCam pants(my woodland camo was bothering me, since it looked just enough like it didn't match). At this point, I think I have everything either gathered or on the way in, with the sole exception of the M4 with the M203 and reflex sight.
Update - Jan 30th: The BCD/LPFC is completely finished. My glowsticks came in and are now glued together with some 1" olive drab webbing, which is, together, glued onto the surface of the jacket, so I don't have to worry about it at all, since I won't be removing the glowsticks during the convention anyway(no, I don't go to any raves or dances at cons, even though it would be perfect for that). My MOLLE pouches arrived, and I found out that for the larger black ones, there's no MOLLE on the front(there should be three rows), as I thought, and for the olive drab ones, they sent me two triple-mag pouches, like I ordered, but instead of a third, I received a double-mag pouch. I wouldn't have complained if it looked the same as the others, but there's a clasp instead of a buckle and looks quite different, so they're sending me another when it comes back into stock. To fix the MOLLE problem on the black pouches, I bought a spool of 1" black webbing(standard size for MOLLE), and made my own by measuring out strips and gluing them in instead of sewing them. It looks quite believable, though I wouldn't trust my gear to that bond. My MOLLE vest is also in, and looks great with the jacket and the pouches. My dive compass boot arrived yesterday, so my new task is to build a fake dive computer out of Sculpey, bake it, paint it, and, assuming it's not tight enough, glue it in. Other than that, I just need to get a few more things in, like my MultiCam pants, radio pouch, and my drop-leg triple pistol mag pouch. I still have to build and tweak a couple things, such as expanding the velcro on my kneepads(my legs are apparently so huge that when I bend my knees, I stress the seams on the pads), sewing a velcro patch onto both biceps for my Union Jack patches to stick to, and to build that confounded M4A1 Carbine.
Update - Feb 24th: The dive computer's built and affixed. I received my MultiCam pants and radio pouch, but the people sending me my drop-leg pouch are dragging their feet. I'm going to have to start hassling them about getting their butts in gear or I'll have to cancel my order. Other than that, I have to secure the LPFC(yeah, I know I said it was done in my last post) to the MOLLE vest to keep it flush to my chest like in the game. I'll be doing that with nylon webbing and snaps(assuming I can find the ones I bought but lost somehow...). Other than that, I just need to finish the M4A1(I have Ghost's just about finished(I just need to add the final details with paint)), and then shave my head into the dreaded mohawk.
Update - Mar 11th: Patches are on. I didn't want to mess with sewing the velcro pad onto the compression shirt, so I bought something called Liquid Stitch, which is supposed to bond two fabrics together. I'm hoping it works enough to hold the pad on. I'll be bringing needle and thread to C2E2 in the event that it does come undone. As far as I can tell, though, it's holding together fairly well. Other than that, I took my Metal Gear Solid 4 bluetooth earpiece and painted it completely black. I'm hoping I can track the charger down before we leave for the con on Thursday, as it'd be awesome to be able to receive calls while still being completely in-character, since it's a costume element, but even if I can't, it still looks right.
The LPFC is, yes, for real this time, finished, I swear. It secures nice and tightly to the MOLLE vest, so I won't have to worry about it looking clunky. I built the radio and SPIE clip for it as well, which add to the awesomeness that is that thing. In addition to that, I bought a giant coil of corrugated tubing from Menards to build a...I think it's called a 'diving regulator'. It's the tube, apparatus, and mouthpiece that hooks up to the oxygen tank for SCUBA diving. I still have to figure out how I'll be attaching it to the LPFC. It's supposed to coil around and tuck under the back by the neck. I might crimp it, slit open the underside of the LPFC, and hot glue it in there. Regardless, the vest alone looks like a beast. Seriously, of all the stuff on the costume, THAT has required the most work, which kind of makes me sad.
Appalachian Tactical, who I ordered the triple pistol mag drop-leg pouch from, hasn't contacted me back regarding my order, in spite of me sending them a couple e-mails regarding the order, so I'm telling you all NOT to order anything with them, yes, this is me boycotting their company, based on my poor experience with their customer service, or lack thereof. I'll have to give them a call and ask them to refund my fifty bucks, since e-mail's like talking to a wall...made out of internet. In its stead, as Blackhawk Tactical is apparently the only company that makes the drop-leg variant of the triple pistol mag pouch that I can find, which they recently stopped producing, according to the company I ordered it from back at the beginning of January(yeah, that's how long I've been trying to get this thing), I ordered a drop-leg variant of a triple SMG mag pouch. It's about the right size, even if it's a little taller than the pistol one, and has buckles instead of velcro. Cest la vie. The M4A1 Carbine with the M203 and reflex sight is completely finished, and looks freakin' awesome.
Tomorrow I'm getting my hair shaved into a mohawk and dyed the proper dark brown. ...yay.
So I guess I'm saying that this costume is about 99% done. I just have to get the hair and makeup for C2E2. It's been a tedious project, but it's definitely an accomplishment. At least it wasn't as monotonous as my Alistair armor. So many plates. I digress.
Pictures will be up soon. Likely this weekend, since I have to head over to Nick's house(he's going as Ghost) so we can practice our skit for the Masquerade. I'll bring my Canon for some photos like the last photo I took.
Judge's Award and Journeyman Craftsmanship Award at C2E2 2011
2nd Place in Master Craftsmanship at Daisho Con 2012