Mass Effect 3 : Ashley Williams and M8 Avenger finished (pics on page 2)

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Laika

Active Member
Wore my armour to the Mass Effect Cosplay Rally at MCM expo in London on Saturday, it was a blast and got to meet Mark Meer the voice of Male Shepard and Rana McAnear the model for Samara.




Armour held up mostly and got a few complements, but a couple of notes, don't rely on velcro if you have to save the galaxy from the Reapers (or walk around a con) and walking up stairs with a fixed abdomen piece is a complete nightmare. Also after all that work I forgot to turn on my LEDs, doh.

Armour got a few knocks, but its still mostly serviceable, so will be able to wear it again. Might replace the velcro with buckles though,

Right better get on with the next project, Power Girl.....
 

Inexist

New Member
Really nice Ashley Williams Build nice one! I live in the UK too and I am doing an N7 Male Build at the moment and as things are quite *limited* in the UK I just wanted to know your technique on how you painted and sealed it? You said you used PlastiDip, did you use a Primer also or? How many coats of PlastiDip did you use and what kind of Paint you used also? Thanks in advance! :3
 

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Laika

Active Member
No didn't use PlastiDip as its rather toxic and I had to work in a small flat, I actually used PVA glue (easy and cheap to get in the UK) to seal the foam, 3 coats watered down and maybe one or two coats of undiluted PVA on top to help fill gaps etc. After PVA'ing I gave it a light sand, then 2 coats of grey acrylic primer, sanding in between coats, I used several brands of primer, think Halfords own brand grey acrylic primer worked out best, but poundland stuff also worked (it smelt a bit funny though). For the top coat I used Rustoleoum gloss spray paint (got from B&Q) for the blue area's and Humbrol acrylic sprays for the white and metalic bits, Humbrol paint can be got from most model shops, for details I brush painted with Tamyia acrylic model paints. Most paint seemed to work on the foam, just make sure to test first, the only stuff I wouldn't recommend is Plasti-kote gloss.

Good luck with your build:)
 

Inexist

New Member
My apologies! I'm on my phone so its really hard to see all the forum posts and pictures etc! Yeah I heard about PlastiDip being all toxic but I hear its worth it. How did the PVA method turn out? Someone used the PVA method and one of his gauntlets from his Iron Man started to crack, I guess he didn't coat it enough? I have always wondered if Halfords Primer would do the job may have to give it a go. I am going for the Black Steel primary and Dark Green stripe on mine so I definitely need to give it that Plastic Steel feel so thanks for the recommendations. Thanks for the luck! You planning to go to MCM London Expo in October? Me and Geemeister <-- Prop Maker* will hopefully be going, should be fun!
 

Laika

Active Member
I'm told PlastiDip gives a good finish, but PVA worked for me and its cheap and non toxic, just dilute it with water to about the consistency/colour of milk and brush it on to the EVA, try to avoud bubbles, it should dry quite quickly in the current warm weather. Do at least 3 coats, you should see the surface of the foam sort of change after that. It shouldn't crack, what you are doing with thinned PVA is just filling up the tiny air gaps in the foam with PVA so when you paint it, the paint doesn't just soak in. Using PVA and normal paints you will be able to flex the finished armour a little without trouble (enough for an N7 suit IMHO) , but bend it to far and you will get cracks etc, also you can get cracks if you use chemically incompatible paints and primers (always test first :( ) .

There are posts on this forum about using plasti dip or liquid electrical tape and various flexible paints that can give you a great finish and still leave the foam very flexible, but I think the materials they use are a bit difficult to get in the UK, but if you want to try, have a search.

I plan to be the October MCM expo, but not in Mass Effect cosplay.
 
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Morgenes

Member
Very nice work! I know the original Ashley model that you posted, and I feel you both did an awesome job with this.

How are you keeping your hip armor on? Velcro? That was one of my major issues with my N7 armor last year at DCon, and I'm still struggling with how to fix it. To triage at DragonCon, I ended up putting velcro on my undersuit and on the hip piece to try and hold it up. It helped, but it was far from perfect.
 

Laika

Active Member
Hi Morgenes, thanks for the compliment :) The black and yellow straps around my thigh plates are held on with Velcro, but I could never get them tight or secure enough to survive a day at a con, in fact they got loose just walking around my flat. Actually the lower strap did come loose at the con, but since I had a fixed abdomen plate I was unable to bend over and reattach it :( I don’t like or trust Velcro anymore, it tends to fail at awkward moments and it tends to damage spandex.

So to actually secure the thigh plates I bought some narrow webbing and matching push buckles (the sort of thing you get on light rucksacks) off ebay and attached a small length of webbing and a buckle on the inside of my thigh plates so I had something to secure a strap to. After that I cut small holes just wide enough for the webbing in my undersuit just below where the top of the thigh plates would sit, and sewed around them like a button hole to prevent fraying. Then I could run some more webbing with the other end of the buckle attached though the hole and clip the thigh plate to it. I secured the top of the webbing inside my suit to my bra strap, so in the end my thigh plates where actually suspended invisibly from my bra and the visible velcroed straps merely had to hold the plates against my legs.

It’s a rather unusual arrangement but did work and felt secure and comfortable walking around in. The armour in Mass Effect is just designed for looks IMHO and isn’t actually very practical in the real world
 

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Morgenes

Member
Great idea. I'd thought of running something from the chest down to the hips, but didn't want the strap to show. Obvious now that I think about it to run it underneath the undersuit. Thanks!
 

blf

Active Member
Hi, first off, nice build. Secondly, I have seen a few ME cosplayers reference templates by Julian Beek. Unfortunately, I am unable to find them anywhere. All links are broken. Do you still have these templates by chance?
 

Laika

Active Member
Sorry for the late reply, I’ve been on Holiday, I redrew the Julian Beek templates quite extensively for my project, to suit my size, the character and my own ideas how it should go together. But I’ve checked my hard drive and I don’t appear to still have the originals, sorry.
 

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