FemShep N7 Armor, Valkyrie Rifle, + Omniblade (Mass Effect 3)

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by Freya Willia, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Gonna add to this as I go. This N7 armor is mainly vac-formed styrene and carbon fiber vinyl. For those who are doing similar close-fitting body-armor builds, check out the following pages.

    My N7 rifle is from a kit by Volpin Props - I am only installing LEDs, assembling the parts, and painting it!

    Build Index:
    General Sculpting...................p. 1-3
    Painting techniques................p. 5-6
    Carbon fiber vinyl...................p. 7 (w/ video)
    Omniblade heat forming........p. 15

    Update: the rifle is now off my workbench. 12/28/13
    [​IMG]

    Here is my costume next to my main reference. Original default-female Shepard concept art by Bioware.

    [​IMG]
    ________________________________________________________

    My build will be an assortment of different things. I've looked at a lot of n7 armor work with foam and the results are awesome and clean, but my issue was durability and thickness of the foam. DudeSheps don't mind looking bulkier, but at 5'3", I do - and I am also using the leaner appearance of the concept art as my target aesthetic.



    All of this would be hard without a 3D reference, so that is here for people who haven't found it already:
    Mass Effect 3, Female Shepard N7 Armour Reference


    [​IMG]

    This was my old wig. I'm wearing Ada wig - short wispy wig with side parted bangs from Amphigory, grungified with hairspray.


    I designed a repeatable graphic of the suit pattern in photoshop and had it custom printed by Dpi - Welcome to DPI on very breathable nylon spandex. I highly recommend them - they communicate, which is a big effing deal, if you bother to spend the time and money on custom stuff.

    [​IMG]

    I drew the templates freehand on my mannequin, occasionally holding them up to myself, as her torso is much longer than mine. Leg sections will probably be 9-13oz leather. I want to be able to sit, and I want those parts to be tough. Rest of the body, not sure yet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The shoulder pieces molded like this, but as it turns out - this failed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  2. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    It looks like you're wearing your heart on your sleeve (in the last picture).

    Looking forward to updates, neat costume.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  3. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Looks really good and we never see that many femsheps.
     
  4. Deelite

    Deelite Active Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    love it. would you mind sharing your repeatable pattern?
     
  5. Darth Mule

    Darth Mule Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Looking great so far. Can't wait to see more.
     
  6. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Just take lots of photos and then document it when you have the time or if someone has a specific question.
     
  7. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    View attachment 111530

    Here it is - keep in mind this was designed to be printed on dark gray spandex. Some darkening/contrast adjustment will probably be needed if the fabric printing service only uses white spandex. Also, beware, it can come out very blue-tinted on white, depending on your printing service:

    View attachment 111531


    Creds are appreciated, feel free to use it.




    That's what I hope to do, and I want to clarify for everyone - I'm certainly *willing* to explain, especially to anyone else making a Femshep costume.


    For now I am not as busy, the semester is still kinda starting.


    Also going to recap some things I already did in August:


    [​IMG]



    I followed an online body suit tutorial for this, it was my first time sewing spandex. Most of my costumes have been woven fabric until Shep.


    [​IMG]


    Most of my small details will be vac-formed, using apoxie sculpt there.


    [​IMG]



    There you can see some of the small finger pieces I started cutting out of the vac-formed styrene. Also made templates for the omniblade (clear because the bright orange acrylic I will use for the final version is expensive, and I've never tried heat-forming by hand, so that will be a learning experience). The pixel texture is an experiment at this point, may or may not get used in the final version. If it does, it will be less noticeable from a distance.
     
  8. flamingBurrito

    flamingBurrito New Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Looking good.

    Is that a cast of your actual hands?
     
  9. Blobfish

    Blobfish Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Looking good :) I love the undersuit, and the armour is off to a great start. I look forward to seeing how you do the * armour - I've made a set of male shep armour for someone but the chest puts me off making femshep armour =\
     
  10. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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  11. Fly4v

    Fly4v Sr Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Those boots look great and you really rock that red wig.

    I hate to admit that I had to look up N7.... So your puns are nowhere equal to my ignorance. ;)
     
  12. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Haha, thanks! It's ok I had to look up various versions of the Captain :)

    EvilFX's route is probably much faster than mine, and easier. I think he essentially heat formed foam over some half circle shapes.

    View attachment 111687

    That is the reference I am using specifically for the chest area, because it has "smooth" pieces with the carbon-fiber texture in the center. (Some people interpret all of the armor to have the texture, which is also accurate, depending on what you are using as source material). I like how Shep's armor looks natural, so I just molded my own chest with plaster.

    [​IMG]


    To answer someone else, yes those were casts of my hands. A few parts of this costume started with plaster-gauze things pulled off my body to help me with proportion.

    I applied lightweight plaster spackling to the gauze with a palette knife (you can see the knife in the bottom picture) and brush, to get rid of the bra seams and texture. Then it was lots of sanding.

    [​IMG]


    I filled in some of the cleavage to make it more abstract and armor-looking. I kinda felt topless when I put it on and looked in a mirror haha.

    This will be vac-formed ultimately, so that piece also has a few layers of fiberglass underneath to keep it solid. If I didn't have access to one, I'd consider using the cast itself and coat the top with resin, and just use a single layer of fiberglass on the inside.
     
  13. treymcd

    treymcd New Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    so maybe I missed it, but what are you actually going to be making the main armor out of? Sintra? Fiberglass? Good luck! it looks awesome so far!
     
  14. Emii

    Emii New Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    LOVE the shoes!!
     
  15. Eveningarwen

    Eveningarwen Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    This is looking awesome! I wish I was good at understanding how to do armor builds but whenever I see them being done (even step by step) I'm still completely flabbergasted lol!
     
  16. steamshovel

    steamshovel Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    BRAVO! I love this.
     
  17. Weaselhammer

    Weaselhammer Sr Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    You are off to such a great start, and mixing together different media and techniques like a pro! Good luck with the build and I look forward to seeing it finished !
     
  18. Tarchinoko

    Tarchinoko Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    wow youre looking to have one of the best fem sheps ive seen :p
    im currently working on full shepard armor with helmet but i didnt want to spend that much cash on custom printed lycra with the armor pattern, i was actually thinking of just buying a normal black undersuit then making a stamp to stamp on the pattern with fabric paint
     
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  19. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Thanks so much everyone!

    No you didn't miss it :) I'm not exactly sure yet what a lot of the things will be made out of. Probably a lot of styrene, leather, and acrylic.

    It often depends on how well my attempts various materials go, for instance:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    That mold sucked, for reasons I don't understand. The acrylic primer stuck to the silicone. I've never had that happen before, but there has been a 500% humidity average here. There is also some deformity and cracking in the cast I made, which I think is from the clay getting smushed under the weight of the silicone/plaster. Originally I wanted to slush-cast both shoulder pieces in urethane resin and be done with them, but I think I'm going to clean up this one piece and try vac-forming it. The clay original was destroyed, so I'd have to make a completely new mold; really hoping I won't have to do that.


    I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a race to get the main parts of this armor built before I totally lose track of my schemes. I feel like I've done so much work but I can't even "wear" any of these parts yet to see how they are supposed to fit and come together. When I finally get to that point, I'll put everything on either myself or my mannequin and take a picture, and it should make more sense.

    There's probably a way you could have a stamp laser-cut in a broad square to relieve some of that tedium. But there really aren't that many places where the pattern shows up with the full armor on so doing it by hand is still reasonable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  20. Talisen

    Talisen Sr Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    For the suits I made with my Girlfriend, we made a stencil of the weave pattern (ME2) then painted the lycra through that.
     
  21. Fly4v

    Fly4v Sr Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Now you need to cast just a little bit more and add a digital recording. Robo-Freya!

    Are you going to do a nerf build for your rifle?
     
  22. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Haha. Armaments, that's still up in the air. If I have a rifle, it will likely either be a cast by Volpin Props that I paint myself, or I may just do a photoshoot with one of his when this costume is done, which would be less work for both of us.

    Until then, this will be my primary weapon. My very first omniblade print (that is totally a mannequin arm, btw guys). That was in June or July. It has since had some details added to the vector file and changes in angling on the wrist bands.

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Or do EDI. That would be cool...

    I can't wait to see how you do the omniblade. It looks cool just in that form.
     
  24. oysteinhole

    oysteinhole Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Nice project :)
     
  25. Lord Magneto

    Lord Magneto Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    I'm very interested in seeing that omni blade. Very very cool
     
  26. darkestknight

    darkestknight Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    This is awesome work, I want to see how this looks when finished cos it already looks great. I played thru the ME games with a female Shepard so I love seeing real world builds like this :)
     
  27. CafeUlg

    CafeUlg Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    I'm going to be starting on a version two Mass Effect 3 femshep build soon, I'm loving the work you've done here. May I borrow some of techniques you've used on your build? For the carbon fiber parts of the costume since you seem to be steering away from a EVA foam build are you going to use 3d effect carbon fibre vinyl for cars or real carbon fibre? XD
     
  28. treymcd

    treymcd New Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Awesome work on that blade! That is one piece that has always baffled me conceptually
     
  29. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Thanks everyone, your encouragement means a lot right now. I may attempt heat forming the omniblade sooner than planned since everyone seems to be curious. I'm curious, too.

    Sure, and as far as the carbon fiber parts - I am still trying to decide. Right now I've used yoga mats for the shoe details, but specifically for the ab-plates (my reference shows the carbon texture there), I'm not sure that's a material I want to use. It doesn't seem strong enough. I may do something... absurd, like mold the surface of the yoga mat so that the texture is the same, but the cast material is resin or a sturdier rubber. Everywhere else the mat would probably work fine on its own with good primer. Since I am so happy with my shoes, I don't really want to change the textural appearance on the rest of the suit.

    Still trying to get the shoulder piece fixed up. I keep sanding and running into bubble voids. Annoying, not a big deal, though fixing this thing is getting extremely dull.

    [​IMG]


    Also ran some things through the vac former, with 1/16" styrene and some thinner stuff for the hands. I keep having issues with webbing, since there isn't any option but an "on" button for the vacuum, and I'm not familiar with the machine in general. Repositioning things makes a huge difference.

    The little wrinkle on the side of the chest piece is probably going to be cropped off, so I will probably use this one.

    [​IMG]
     
  30. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Sewing update: gloves.

    The finger tips have conductive stretch nylon so I can use my touchscreen phone while in costume. Siri exists now, so that is useful when you want to text something completely awkward regarding bisexual waffles to the wrong person - but before that, when I wore a costume with gloves (every one I've made with a single exception) ...I used the tip of my nose to call people. Very often the people with me were wearing gloves and just as helpless.

    [​IMG]



    I put an end to that. These work and they are totally awesome. The material must touch your finger inside the glove in order to complete a circuit with the touch screen. They have a tutorial on Instructables for those interested, but their website is down right now, so I'll put the link up here later.
     
  31. Hamsterstyle

    Hamsterstyle Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    The ability to use a phone in a costume is worth every penny. Not all of mine have been that comfortable.
     
  32. steamshovel

    steamshovel Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Where are you putting your phone on or in your costume?
     
  33. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    I've been thinking about that a lot. Mainly because I'm also not sure how I will be attaching the armor parts to the under-suit. It would be awesome if I could stick it in the forearm/bicep guard, but my arm is way too skinny. The boots are too tight.

    I wonder where other FemSheps put those things?
     
  34. Jaedena

    Jaedena Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    I have contemplated sewing an invisible zipper pocket in the undersuit so I can slip my phone, debit/credit cards and money. After wearing the suit, I theorize the pocket could go in the seam in the side of the undersuit and either stash things under my ab plate or my back plate. I"m thinking ab plate, but that would count out my phone.

    Until I get that implemented, I 'indoctrinate' a minion to carry my stuff and be on hand for any issues.
     
  35. Tastyburger

    Tastyburger Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Ahh, minions..
    Everyone should have a few. XD
     
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  36. hammer326

    hammer326 New Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Very cool stuff here.
     
  37. Fly4v

    Fly4v Sr Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    As you know, I am not familiar with the character so don't know if you are wearing any, but how about putting the phone in an ammo pouch and have a blue tooth earpiece.
     
  38. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    I was excited about this idea of a secret pouch in the undersuit, and since mine has a center seam it could also go under the ab plate (minus phone as well)... but when I got home, I realized my zipper goes all the way down to the stomach. So no room for invisible pockets :(

    That would be a cool idea if I got around to making headgear for this costume (I really, really, really want to). I'm fond of the N7 helmet and the Sentry Interface.

    I've also thought about making a small iphone-shaped void in the inside of the neck guard, parallel to those vertebrae designs. I'd make a black fabric case, and attach it to the nook with velcro. It looks just high enough to fit in there, and it is easily reachable (which it would not be in the back-gear area, though that is a possible plan B).
    View attachment 113264
     
  39. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    :lol


    Why don't you just make an ammo pouch for your thigh or arm? It's one of the armor addons you can get in ME2 and 3. That would be perfect for a phone and not look out of place.
     
  40. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Thats another possibility. I am actually only playing through the first game right now (I NEVER have time, sigh), so I'm not as intimately familiar with all the gear possibilities of the 2nd and 3rd games - I watched my brother play those.

    I'll warn you guys in advance - I've already scrapped some stuff and I am redoing it. Mainly the bicep pieces and belt details (didn't have the right curvature when I put it on myself).

    So, I think the Halloween deadline is a joke.
     
  41. Satxer

    Satxer Sr Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Looking great! Actually in the process of cutting my pieces out of the foam now. How soon I get that done, is another story.

    That's a great idea...until someone requests a copy of that mold... :behave

    There are a lot of different things you can add. Which is kinda good, as it changes your stats. But ultimately, some have a cooler look compared to the straight up N7 armor. I think if you go to the ME wiki, they have pics of all the different suits. Each piece can be crossed over to the suits. So, that is one way to do it.
     
  42. streetsoul

    streetsoul Sr Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    wow this build is awsome :) looking forward to the finished product :D
     
  43. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Once put into armor shapes, it doesn't look so personal. :)

    [​IMG]

    It looks really good when I put it on; like me but android-sexy. I wish my roomates were around so I could duct tape this to myself, make a theatrical living room entrance, and ask for iphone pictures. For now you'll have to look at it on her. Her lack of ribcage and torpedo-* make it hover in a frustrating manner, I will probably switch to working off my dressform.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  44. treymcd

    treymcd New Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Awesome progress! I'm fighting an idea on how to texture my undersuit without buying fabric
     
  45. Jaedena

    Jaedena Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    The beautiful thing about making an invisible zipper is that you can just cut in to the fabric beside the zipper and add a second zipper in. To explain, if your zipper goes down to just below your hips (like mine does) you can cut a 4" slit a few inches to the left or right of the zipper and add in a simple pocket.

    I've played all three of the Mass Effect games and the only ammo increasing gear you can get is the Armax stuff and I wasn't very keen on the look of the armor. Honestly, I like the Serrice Council gear second to the plain jane N7 armor. For comfort, I suppose you could build a pouch or two and hang them off your thigh plate support structure, but to stay true to the game models you'd want to go with a hidden pocket.
     
  46. Guri

    Guri Sr Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    I'm so glad you pointed over here! This is a great costume and you're tackling it with such patience and detail. Lots to learn here.

    I'm subscribing for sure and looking forward to more!!
     
  47. steamshovel

    steamshovel Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    This has to be one of the coolest costumes for a girl that's around the universe. And you're doing it, so it makes it even cooler.
     
  48. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Here are a few screen captures. I had to switch to white so they would show up. I use blue normally.
    http://i.imgur.com/Q4p1q.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/0QARI.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/2Vx6u.jpg
    The thigh pouch might be the way to go because the bicep pouches don't look that big. Any kind of military looking pouch would work, I don't think anyone is going to say "That's not how it looks in the game!"
     
  49. Freya Willia

    Freya Willia Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Omg thanks brahhh!


    Wow, sweet. Thanks for grabbing those. I see what you mean, the arm pouch would be really small on me. I could put lipsticks in there, and that's about it (<---sooper important provishens).

    I'd definitely consider making those if I plan on wearing the costume for long periods of time. Right now I have no events on the horizon since I've mostly ruled out Halloween - I don't want rush this costume. I've never been to NYCC, might hit that up 2013. I went to DragonCon '10 wearing Twilight Princess Zelda and dodged splashing drinks the entire time, and it made me wonder if I'm too high-maintenance for convention costumes.

    But Shep is less dainty. A lot of people have told me the N7 armor is horrible to wear, but, if I'm not wearing a gown - that sounds effing fantastic.
     
  50. Hacksaw44

    Hacksaw44 Well-Known Member

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    Re: FemShep n7 Armor: SYNTHESIS (ME3)

    Wow, great job !!
     

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