Dec 11, 2012, 10:30 AM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
Finally last night (in 2010...) I "finished" the helmet. I still need to sew the padding (still haven't done this in 2012...), and do a little trimming of the interior visor (because it digs into my temple...)(*Edit-fixed that...)
but I think most of the rest of it turned out okay.
I decided to just grind the "close call" on the side of the helmet. It could be better, but it is what it is.
Ground off the moulded in screw heads and replaced them with black metal hex bolts. They seemed to work... even if they're not "screen accurate."
What I did the last couple days was get the visor fitted and mounted using two chicago post screws, one at each temple.
I also mounted the screens in the chin guard and the back (did 3 of them just last night) and weathered it yesterday afternoon.
The colored stripe on top is an OD Green/Italian Olive combo... because the OD didn't look like it was covering like I wanted it to.
It changes to some really weird grey-ish color under a flash, but looks perfectly green without the flash.
The exterior visor is blue, the interior is smoke and is held in place by 3 small strips of velcro. With the internal visor in place you totally can't be seen from the outside.
For the Halo 4 game launch I scavenged some cooling fans from my old airsoft/paintball
mask, but halfway though the event they failed. I don't know why. I need to investigate
further. Even with the built in screen mesh "venting," this thing is pretty toasty.
I imagine it's just like what all the Fett and Stormtrooper guys go though. This is
my first fully enclosed helmet (Space: Above and Beyond and Aliens USCM don't count)
so I'm encountering "new" costuming issues.
Last edited by Rook 3; Dec 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM.
Dec 11, 2012, 10:31 AM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
So... fast forward from September 2010 to August 2012. I missed the Halo: Reach game launch,
and the resin-ed, dusty, armor bits sat in the box in the basement. Like so many of my projects. *sigh*
Halo 4 was coming out in a couple months... Hmmm... I wonder...
Started trimming and sanding the edges. Sean Bradley does much of the basic trimming
for you, but there's still a fair amount left to do. I did the majority of the cutting and sanding with
a dremmel cutting disk, sanding drum, and a mouse sander with a 60 grit sanding pad.
After that... more procrastination. Frankly, unlike the USCM armor, this thing takes a lot more
planning for all the webbing and mounting. USCM armor is EASY by comparison, even accounting
for the floating shoulder parts.
So October arrives and I finally get enough courage to start assembling the thing.
Lots of drilling and pop rivets.
Truth be told, apprehension is the biggest enemy when building this suit. It's NOT as bad as I thought it was.
I started with the boot/leg armor like in the build guide. I had to reenforce the knees a bit more
from where I trimmed the plastic. I bent the edges over a bit as well. Could have done a better
job on it, but it is what it is.
The worst part was joining the two halves of the calf armor. Pain in the *****. I ended up
overlapping the edges instead of just edge butting like I probably should have. I used two
entire tubes of 2 part epoxy to glue the things togeather, including the internal reinforcement
After painting, it almost looks like a factory weld line. Kinda cool. The game armor did have a
seam there, so you don't need to sand it smooth. I still need to add some internal padding as it
doesn't fit quite as snug as the USCM shin armor does.
Now comes the BIGGEST TIME WASTE I put into this project.
I had this idea...
In the game, apparently holsters and slings on weapons are too 20th century, so they bond to
armor through some sort of magnetics.
So I thought... "Hey, the magnum pistol Isn't that heavy, I bet I can put some metal plates on
the side and have it stick to the armor leg with magnets!"
Well, if you know me at all by now, my projects rarely, ever, go THAT easy.
Turns out with a barrier (leg armor+resin) between them, the magnets weren't strong enough to
hold the pistol in place on their own.
Then, I get a deal on an ODST pistol from another RPF member (Thanks!), which I swap for the
magnum I was going to use... which added additional weight.
So, I ordered some more Neodymium magnets, pre-machined, and mounted those to the
sides of the pistol.
I had to add a trigger hook for stability. Without the hook it stayed on the thigh when walking,
but any kind of jump/run/bump and the thing would drop free... which explains why I had to
reattach the hand/trigger guard. Doh.
But now, with the trigger hook, the thing is ROCK SOLID and I can even literally sprint with
the thing in place.
Pretty cool I think.
Got around to painting it finally...
Base coat of silver, top coat of black, clear coat over that after some light weathering.
Also added white to the 3 dot iron sights.
Last edited by Rook 3; Dec 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM.
Dec 11, 2012, 10:31 AM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
I screwed up though. Instead of using my normal paint/clearcoat technique that I use for my
Indiana Jones Webley pistols, I used a rattlecan clearcoat... which does NOT give the same
results. Not entirely happy with the final finish on this thing, but heck with it, I'm not stripping
and redoing it at this point.
Maybe in the future. If I'm bored. And they stop making video games and movies that give
me ideas for additional projects.
Hey, it could happen.
You can't easily make it out, but I stamped 12.5mm (I KNOW It's wrong, I didn't
research the actual caliber before stamping it. Doh.) into the L/R sides of the
magazine base. I used some cheap letters/number punches you're supposed to use on
soft metals. It worked okay. It's not perfect, but it works.
So after waiting another week on the toys and magic tricks, back to the armor...
Legs are all assembled. Thighs sanded and ready for paint. I start with the forearm armor.
I started with the forearmor first because... there's only 3 pieces to it, and it's pretty
straight forward. Sand edges, match them up, rivet in the connector/bracing plastic, done deal.
Or it would be if I hadn't screwed things up while trimming. Back in 2010 I "started" trimming
the plastic of one forearm. In a nutshell, I made a mistake, and actually cut 1/2" off the back side
of one arm guard. Soooo... I had to make a new one. What I ended up doing was putting some
blue tape over the cut off end sealing it. Then i slush cast some resin in the missing end piece,
then after it cured I cut it to shape. It actually turned out okay in the end. It's still slightly
shorter than the other side is, but you wouldn't notice it if I didn't point it out to you.
So, riveted it all togeather... mis-drilled one side of the elbow armor which threw off the
alignment and introduced some gapping at the seam. Had to drill out the rivets and redrill
it in the proper location.
After sorting that out, steel wool, wash and painted it with 2 coats silver, 2 coats clear and 2
coats gunmetal... the last of which I apparently didn't take any pictures.
Last edited by Rook 3; Dec 11, 2012 at 11:18 AM.
Dec 11, 2012, 10:32 AM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
After the forearmor and boots, moved on to the abdominal/chest and then the yoke/back.
I had to cut/sand down the center plate some more after looking at the build pics again.
Now, in pretty much EVERY picture I've seen, everyone has what looks like some sort of
webbing on the L/R plates CAST or sculpted in place. Ever since I first got the kit I thought...
"How hard could it be to put real webbing in there?"
"How hard can it be..." is a curse phrase, like "This shouldn't take long..." or "It seemed
like a good idea at the time..." or if you're Spat, "This one time I was drunk off my ***** and..."
Actually, since you already had to drill the moulded in rivets on the bottom to put
real ones in to retain webbing and a fastex buckle on the INSIDE,
doing the top webbing shouldn't be that hard. For realz, yo.
I drilled out the top rivet points and put cuts above and below the cast in brackets.
The webbing will snake under the "brackets" starting at the bottom, going upwards
circumnavigating the armor plate in an optically fuzzy method. or maybe that's just
my camera phone. You make the call...
You like that? I used circumnavigating in a sentence. 'Cause the ODST are Marines.
Associated with the Navy. Is this thing on? Bueller... Bueller?
Anyhoo... Riveted the chest plate on and the mid section is done except for painting.
Did the same thing as everything else... all at the same time... steel wool, wash, 2 coats silver,
2 coats clear, 2 coats gunmetal, weather, clearcoat.
Then I masked off the chest plate and painted it OD Green and then spent an hour
hand cutting stencils...
Masked and painted and did some more weathering with steel wool that seemed to be one
grade away from being plain wire, because even with the minimal weathering it looked too clean.
Hmmm... that font seems familiar for some reason... Like maybe it belongs on the Aliens
Colonial Marine Armor?
For the paint I just mixed an equal amount of Testors battleship grey and white. Mixed them and
dabbed them on with a shop towel. Clearcoated after that. So it's stenciled... but not factory fresh.
I made my stencils all the same size, printed on cardstock appx. 3/4" high. The UNSC is perfect,
the Rook and MK117 slightly too large, but I'm not redoing it. I can live with it.
After that, clearcoated again, and went on to the thigh armor...
Last edited by Rook 3; Dec 11, 2012 at 11:01 AM.
Dec 11, 2012, 11:04 AM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
For the thigh armor I'd already predrilled all my holes for the webbing. For the Camo
pattern I fired up the game and played for a couple minutes in firefight to get a movie
file, which I saved.
Then I fired up the theater mode and used the free flying camera look to pick out
details of the camo scheme.
For paint I used Bondo flat black primer, a Rustoleum "satin" Antique Bronze (I dunno, it
kind of looked green to me...) and an Ace Hardware dark grey primer.
I took a couple of those red shop towels and cut a rough, double ended "Y" shape on
and a couple smaller semi-abstract shapes with the other. I sprayed the grey "Y"
vertical, then did a horizontal "Y" in black.
Added a couple greenish-whatever shapes to the top corners and bottom edges.
I had to add a bit more grey to cover up some large areas of gunmetal after the fact,
just used the cutout towels where apppropriate and used a couple more towels to
"mask" off areas I didn't want painted.
After that I touched up the "buckles" on the sides with some silver paint, dabbing it
on with a shop towel like I did on the stencils. Instant weathering!
Clearcoated after that and they're pretty much done! I still have to permanently mount
the magnets on the inside of the right leg, but other than that and adding the
webbing/buckles they are done.
For all the armor I also did a bit of acrylic black paint "dirty" to it with a wet towel,
which knocked down the clean, shiny aspect a bit. Doesn't look so factory new now.
For the yoke and back plates I did much the same as above, steel wool, wash, paint, etc.
Then I had to add all the webbing. Really wasn't looking forward to that project. It's kind of involved.
Dec 11, 2012, 11:09 AM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
So, to conclude my journey of ODST building...
I didn't have the cash left after buying a million feet of 1" webbing (slight exaggeration)
so I used some cordura nylon I had on hand for the under shoulder armor mount plates
I had a black cordura top layer and a dark grey under layer. It seemed to work okay.
Added velcro to the under arm straps and added a scrap velcro circle to the top end
so it would attach to my undershirt.
Test fit... yep, it works.
Spent another weekend before game launch sewing. The shoulder pads/straps were a
bear to do. I didn't use the utility belts as suggested by Sean's instructions, instead I
made my top straps completely from scratch using 2" and 1" webbing. I left unsewn
spaces at the ends to allow for the "buckle" attachment.
I also added fuzzy side velcro to each end of the long connection straps for "ease" of
removal, and placed self adhesive "industrial" hook side velcro inside the armor. Didn't
have a problem with it releasing at all during the event.
I used the machine to create a false edge for definition, then cut each adjacent "facet"
of the pads apart, flipped it inside out, and stitched them together. Sadly, I was soo
ticked at these things, and how LONG they were taking to make... that I really didn't
take ANY pics of the sewing process. After getting the main body done, I
had to then hand sew the undersides... because you can't use the machine for that. Or
if you can... I don't know how. Oh come on, how much sewing have YOU done lately?
Was running out of time, so I didn't...
A) "permanently" attach the buckles to the chest plate.
B) Sew the rear buckles to the straps. That will have to come later.
The buckles are CNCed Aluminum. While seriously cool (I mean, come on, they're
METAL!), they lack the round "ears" at the bottom that are required to attach them to
the chest plate in Sean's plans. I plan on drilling the inner tabs and adding at least one
"ear" at a later date.
I did the majority of the finish sewing on the straps only a couple hours before game launch.
Hand sewing takes FOREVER! I suggest paying someone else to do it. Okay, do it yourself.
It builds character. Yeah, that's it.
So, I was getting seriously tired of sewing at this point, took a break and assembled all
the parts that need the "D ring" straps. Now, in Sean's plans he suggests hand sewing everything.
That takes too long in my opinion. If you have access to a sewing machine, use it. I
pre-sewed the straps, folding over the ends of each strap and sewing a straight line
across the end, leaving a loop. It took all of like 10 minutes to do all 6 straps.
Then I bent the D rings apart, put them into the loop and crimped them tight with the pliers.
After all the straps were made (they're pretty much identical), you feed a zip tie from
the back side of the armor plates, loop it over the strap in front, run it THROUGH
the webbing loop on the back side of the armor plate, and pull it tight. Easy. Done.
I neglected to take pics of ALL the finished plates, but here's the completed hip armor...
So since I was having fun with webbing (sarcasm), I decided to try my hand at finishing
the custom abdominal armor.
I'd already test fit the 1" webbing so I knew how much I'd need to complete the thing.
I cut a couple pieces of scrap plastic that came with the kit to retain the webbing at
I started by feeding the "Y" shaped piece at the bottom, under the cast in brackets,
over the top, looped it around the back and up the front and under the "Y" shaped
piece, through the same hole.
You need to leave enough slack so that the webbing hugs the shape of the plate
At this point I also added the lower fastex buckle which will attach to the side plates on
the rear torso armor.
I heated the top plastic retaining plates slightly and bent them to conform to the shape
of the interior.
Because I was running out of time, I didn't paint the "brackets" on the outside. I
may touch them up with silver in the future.
And since chaos always pops up in a crisis situation, my new package of elastic went
missing, so I had to use webbing for my other boot armor. Grrr...
And 15 minutes AFTER I finished the replacement boot strapping... the elastic
mysteriously reappears in EXACTLY THE SPOT I LOOKED FIVE TIMES.
I blame the pixies. The supernatural creatures, not the music group.
Some last minute testing and adding of padding to the leg armor and forearms.
So, finally, here it is at 10:30 Monday night. I hustled and got it all ready to go out the door...
For my undersuit I went with plain black Poly-cotton BDU trousers and a black waffle pattern thermal underwear top. I added a collar (turtleneck) extension to the thermal
shirt made from a stretch t-shirt type fabric and I wore a generic Underarmor Heat gear
style shirt under the thermal to help keep me cool.
Now, keep in mind regarding the armor... I hadn't actually WORN any of these things
together at the same time.
This was going to be a true trial by fire...
Dec 11, 2012, 11:13 AM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
Parked the car a short distance away from Gamestop at about 10:40. With a friend's
help spent 5 minutes gearing up in the freezing sleet/snow... boots, belt, thigh armor,
torso, forearms, pistol holstered, helmet on... and headed to game launch!
Actually got a cheer out of the crowd lined up outside the entrance.
So, in the end, all the hours and hours of work was worth it.
A couple things I did discover while wearing the suit. I need to add straps to the bottom
of the L/R torso armor to keep the chest plate from rising. It did want to climb vertical
and one picture actually had the chin of my helmet behind the chest plate. Whoops.
I need to readjust the torso armor a little more as well to tighten the strapping but also
get it situated so it doesn't move.
I also want to see if I can trim the armor a little more. I seem to be getting "hits"
between the elbow, shoulder and possibly the back plate. I'd like to minimize that,
tighten it up to be more like "real" body armor that doesn't impede movement. Also need
to possibly trim the thigh armor and add higher belt placement so the armor doesn't
"sag" after being worn for a while. It looks fine, but starts
to hit at the knees as it droops about 3/4".
Also need to make the inner thigh flexible "armor" panel, the boot "toe" armor plates (ran
out of time) and possibly paint the camo pattern on the forearms and some custom
"damage" painting for the back plate.
Still also want to get an ODST SMG. Someday.
Other than that, pretty happy with how it all turned out!
Edit: Forgot this...
If you put your thumb over the right side of the barcode, the separated part, and scan
the left side at a retail store like Gamestop... you get a surprise.
And in case you're wondering, I'm apparently worth $5 trade-in credit.
Dec 11, 2012, 11:30 AM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
fantastic work Rook!!! Are you going to weather it out, or keep it fresh?
Dec 11, 2012, 11:37 AM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
It's actually not as minty-fresh in reality as it looks in the final pics. I did lightly edge weather the hard edges, and also did a dirtying down acrylic paint top coat (similar to what one could do with the USCM armor).
I did a little more aggressive weathering on the chest plate.
I still need to finish off the shoulder straps by adding the rear metal buckles, and figure out a way to attach the straps more securely to the chest plate.
I also need to assemble/paint/etc. the boot toe covers. I put so many hours in at crunch time I don't want to look at it.
Oct 11, 2013, 11:00 AM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
Wow, that's a really awesome costume! I've always wanted to build a ODST for myself, how do you get in contact with Sean Bradley? I'd really like to get myself one of those kits!
Oct 11, 2013, 5:40 PM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
I believe Sean's a member here.
If you're interested, mine is for sale.
Includes helmet and weapon, but not under suit or boots.
Dec 30, 2013, 3:02 PM - Re: Rook's Sean Bradley ODST kit... finished!
Did you like the SB kit? I'm really thinking of picking one up right now. How was the assembly for you? Did you strengthen it like he says you can? Your suit looks freaking great.
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