Custom Costume Builds

Mass Effect N7 Armor Build!

I will update this blog every few days with my build progress on the N7 Armor from Mass Effect 2. I am making a matching set, one male version and one female version.

Step one: Reference
I ended up installing the PC version of the game, even though I already have the 360 version because trying to get screen-shots off the Xbox is a complete pain in the ass. Posting the images I am going to use in case anyone else wants to use them.

    Male Version:

    Proposed Final Color Scheme:

Yes I used the “Obama” character code. 😆

    Female Version:

    Proposed Final Color Scheme:

(Note: Female color scheme may change numerous times prior to completion due to changes in mood, time of day, wind direction, etc. 😉 )

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Paper pattern for Male Chest plate and Cod piece completed. Now I’ll cut it up and start tracing it onto the foam pieces.

How I make my patterns:
First I take measurements to make sure that I have the proper scale for the pieces. To keep it as symmetrical as possible I only draw/sketch out one half of the pattern. I then fold the paper in half down the middle. Using a light table, I then trace the 2nd half of the pattern onto the other side. For areas where the foam will curve or wrap around the body I have to allow for that on the patterns and elongate or extend the pattern. For this I will sometimes draw the patterns distorted, but more often I cut the foam larger than the pattern trace lines to allow for the distance and size that will be lost on the curve. (this will be more easy to understand as I post more steps)

Image

Chest pieces cut out:
Note how the cod piece is cut larger than the pattern. This is to compensate for the size that will be lost when it is heated and rounded into shape. Also the mid section and abdomen have extra areas and length added where they will be overlapped and glued together.

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End of progress for day one,.. 5 hours. Basic parts of chest cut and basic pattern outlines burned in. Still a lot of polishing and refining to do. Parts are not yet glued into place, simply laid on top of one another for the photo.

Image

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Just a recap for the newcomers. I’m using EVA closed cell sheet foam. You can order this in different thicknesses and sizes (without the patterned surfaces) from http://www.mcmaster.com/#eva-foam/ and you can get the exact material I am using here from most automotive/hardware stores (also online but in store is always cheaper) It is sold as interlocking floor padding. Just search for “EVA sheet foam” or “EVA floor padding”.

Image

(note the padding in the photo has the “diamond plate” pattern on the back,.. I am using a different brand that has the rubber coated crosshatched pattern on the back)

I am using the back side as the surface to get the patterning on the armor. Some areas will be made smooth as per the design and some will be left with that pattern.

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Ok,.. so my goal is to make the Female breast-plate in one piece rather than putting multiple parts together. In order to do this I had to custom build a special form to stretch the foam over. I took a piece of wood and mounted 2 domed objects onto it.

Don’t ask me what those objects are because I have absolutely no idea what the hell they were originally. I was doing my weekly thrift store pillaging and found a bunch of these half round plastic objects for $1 each with funny faces painted on them. They were the perfect size and shape that I needed so it was just pure chance.

I then cut a piece of Plexiglas to use as a press on the lower half where the breast-plate needed the hard line definitions. I drilled guide holes along the bottom and mounted pegs into the wood base to slide the Plexiglas down over. Then I heated a sheet of foam in the oven using the broiler and when it was hot enough I slapped it onto the form and pressed the plexi down onto it.

This was just a test press to see how it would work. I’m pretty happy with how well it came out, but I’m going to try making a few more when I have someone else here to assist me with pressing and stretching. I think with another set of hands I can get a more well defined piece.

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Day 3
Female chest and abdomen pattern, parts rough cut. Rough outline of details drawn on in sharpie, still some alterations to do before cutting/burning in the patterns.

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29 responses

  1. Amelia

    Your work is extremely impressive. Wow, just wow. I’ll definitley be following the progress on these suits.
    I’m curious about the foam work- the forming and the indentations. Are you just sticking it in the oven until it becomes pliable enough to mold over something, and how rigid is it once it cools? Are all of the non-flat and curved pieces heated into their shape? What tools did you use to burn the indents in? And how well does the foam take to adhesives and paint?
    I apologize for the onslaught of questions! Good luck with future projects, and thanks in advance.

    August 20, 2010 at 3:43 pm

  2. Angela Z

    I am making the female Shepard costume out of foam play mats, the aegis vest and n7 standard for the rest. At what temperature did you heat the foam at? I don’t want to burn the place down.
    If it has to be at a SUPER high temperature, could you recommend an alternative idea to making the breast area
    AZ

    January 18, 2011 at 6:24 am

  3. Alex

    Hey I love your work. Can you please make a template for the BACK piece. I have got the front allready. Tnkx i appreciate it!

    May 24, 2011 at 10:20 pm

  4. Camille

    I’d love to make myself one of those! Could I use a iron to heat the foam (if I cover it with a towel). Could I use water steam over a boiling pot of water?
    Does the painting stick to the foam? I might end-up using yellow/red/blue/green kid mat so… I really need to know!
    Finally, your costumes look awesome! =D

    May 27, 2011 at 11:11 am

  5. Ed

    got a question for you, what thickness did you use for all the pieces of armor?

    October 12, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    • It varies depending on the part, but most of it is 1/2 inch thickness.

      December 30, 2011 at 10:33 am

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  7. Carlos

    Hello, I’ve visited this site several times. I love your work so much and I’d like to make my own N7 armor (we are two, so we’d like to make the two versions, male and female).

    Would it be much trouble for you to give some directions, sketches, or things like that?
    I guess so much people have asked you for this, so it must be irritating for you to read another post like this, but I’d really appreciate it if you could give me something to begin.

    Thank you so much for reading this.

    Carlos. (Seville, Spain).

    November 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm

  8. Andrea Camacho

    Hi, your work is really impressive! I was just wondering, do you take commissions for these?

    November 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    • Yes I do commission work,.. that is when I’m not too busy playing video games.

      December 30, 2011 at 10:28 am

  9. felix

    i would like to commission you for work can you give me a price for this armor

    January 6, 2012 at 6:37 am

  10. emptimynd

    ive been scrolling further and further back on your blog, like everyone else, i am just amazed by the work youve done, im thinking about making an n7 suit someday and im sure your progress will be helpful to me, youre a beast good job man

    February 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

  11. Ed

    Hey I know you get this a lot but could I get templates for the armor from you cause my drawing skills pretty much suck ha ha ha

    February 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    • DanicusRex

      Yeah, I’d also like copies!

      August 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm

  12. Aaron

    Hello, I just wanted to check and see if you know if the children’s play room multi-colored foam flooring will work. Thanks!

    February 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    • Yes its the same foam, but it will cause certain issues when it comes to painting or coloring the final project.

      February 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      • Aaron

        I actually found a perfect foam just like you found. I created all my templates and am already about half done. I joined the n7 elite armor group and have been posting updates in there. This is so cool. Thanks for the inspiration!

        February 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm

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  14. I’m jealous of your boob-moulds. Seriously, it’s hard to find perfect domes like those! Styrofoam balls, here I come….

    February 22, 2012 at 12:51 am

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  16. anthony

    First. Love ur work the armors lookin good. Also if u had my measurments could u draw up the templates for the armor for me i could make it but cant draw.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:09 am

  17. Ed

    I’ve got a question about the back for the male armor. Could I use the female back picture on here as a template for the male back piece?

    March 3, 2012 at 8:22 pm

  18. Joe Mariani

    Do u take commissions?

    March 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    • Yes contact via bioweapons.com

      March 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm

  19. Michaela

    How did you “bend” the EVA foam? I heard that some people just use chicken wire behind it. What is your best recommendation?

    March 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    • To bend the foam you heat it and hold it in the shape you want as it cools.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    • islanderboi

      you can use a heat gun to help heat it up instead of an oven.. and use some heat resistant gloves or gloves to help handle the hot surface (leather riding gloves work great) to run your hand over it as you bend and work it.

      September 4, 2012 at 11:41 pm

  20. Miguel rodriguez

    I’m a big fan of your art i wish i had and armor like that but sally i can to expensive 😦

    July 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm

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