My Red Vs Blue Caboose Armor (Halo Mark V)

CadetTK2386

Well-Known Member
I won’t call it 100% done, since as we all know no costume is ever truly finished, just abandoned, and I still have a laundry list of upgrades, tweaks, and fine tuning planning, but after 3 years of work, here is my Season 2 Caboose from Red Vs Blue (The armor itself technically being classic Halo: Combat Evolved MOLJNR Mark V), as worn to Dragon*Con 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Front:

Side:

Back:

Important detail:



This costume has gone through two total overhauls and rebuilds. It started life as a set of fiberglass pepakura based armor. Pep’s a pretty cool way to make a costume, but I was never really happy with the fiberglass armor. To get the strength need you have to do several layers of fiberglass. To smooth it, and sculpt in the details, you have to use a fair amount of bondo or other automotive body filler. This means that the armor ended up being heavy. It was cumbersome. Fiberglass can leave sharp edges that you don’t notice until you put on the armor and it slices through your under suit and leaves nice gashes along the back of your knees. Overall, I just kind of wished the costume was better.





Now I have lots of experience with vacuum formed plastic costumes through my time in the 501st. I knew vac-formed pieces would be light, have a fair amount of give, and be more comfortable. I’d put together vac-formed costume kits for myself and helped other people with theirs, but I had never actually done the vacuum forming process myself. However, this summer my cousin informed me that he had built a small vac table to work on some projects of his own. That was one of my biggest hurdles in the past; I did not have access to a vac table. So, I decided to kill two birds with one stone by learning to vacuum form by remaking my Caboose armor.


I had also sort of gone through a kind of painful break up, and it was a nice distraction to just kind of pour myself into a project that would take my mind off of stuff and give me something else to focus on. Caboose had always been my favorite character, and he had always never failed to make me laugh even when I was depressed. So re-watching a lot of Red Vs Blue for reference on both the costume and for mannerisms and how to hold and carry myself in the armor was good for my mental health. Plus just being able to lose myself in the character while in costume, to act goofy and naïve, simultaneous entertaining people and letting me forget about my problems for a while, was nice.


Anyway, as everyone knows, to vac-form you need bucks or molds. In this case, I kind of cheated. I sacrificed my old fiberglass armor on the altar of upgrades and cut it up to serve as the vacuum form molds. My new armor was pulled directly over top of the old, for most of the parts. There were a few pieces that I was just never satisfied with, but I got another stroke of luck.


Way back in like 2004, my brother and I first wanted to do Halo armor. He set out to sculpt the armor first in pink insulation foam so that we could then use that as a mold. He sculpted several pieces then the project sort of fell apart and we moved onto other things. As luck would have it, his sculpts were stored in our attic, we still had them, and they were the parts I was not happy with in my original costume!


I sealed the foam by brushing on a nice layer of modge podge, and then brushed on several coats of resin to strengthen it. After that we first pulled the pieces in a very thin styrene over the reinforced foam pieces. The thinner styrene allowed us to use less heat and less suction, thereby avoiding complete destruction of the foam pieces. Then, the styrene pieces were used as the bucks for the thicker plastic for the final part, that required heat and vacuum that we knew the foam wouldn’t have good odds of standing up to.


So using those as the replacements, I was able to pull an entire set of Halo MOLJNR Mark V armor. Here you can see some of the raw pulls, roughly trimmed parts, and pieces prepped for assembly:




For detailed info you can see here:
The TK-Bear Crew - ( Costume Details )
or
Vacuum formed plastic rebuild thread on the 405th:
Vacuum Formed Combat Evolved Mark V
 

CadetTK2386

Well-Known Member
Here’s the vac table set up I had to work with:

All of these parts were pulled with a shop vac and cookie sheet sized forming area.

The shoulders were one of the parts that the foam sculpts were used for. On the left is the thin styrene pulled over the reinforced foam sculpt, and on the right is the thicker ABS pull over the styrene shoulder:


Untrimmed parts, in the background you can see one of the foam shin sculpts in the styrene pull:


Assorted rough trimmed pulls:

 

Striker

Member
Wow Cadet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats awesome :). I hope to acquire one of these so that we can troop together some more. I think all of the MANY suits/armors that I seen you put of are great, especially since you kind of just jump in it and stick to it. I mena just checking out the TKBear Crew site and seen your work here is cool The TK-Bear Crew

Congrats bro............

Take Care
Striker
 

MrGzilla

Well-Known Member
Awesome suit! I saw you at momocon a few weeks ago and the armor looked even better in person!
 

CadetTK2386

Well-Known Member
Might be a bit of a Necro-Post, but it is my thread ;)

I just finished my second set of Armor using these vacuum form molds, a Donut for my friend.







 

Redtogusa

Well-Known Member
Looking good dude. I always liked your stuff. Nice to see a familiar face from the good old days of the 405th. :)
 
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