My Dumb Projects
Thursday, November 03, 2005
  HaLO 2 Master Chief Armor: Helmet fans

After one night at Halloween, I discovered the helmet got hot FAST. The faceplate also fogged up.

Using instructions from I was able to install two 5v computer fans behind the "breather hoses".

I have next to no experience with wiring but this was very easy. The second night went much better as I could hit the fans for a few minutes to cool down!

I finished out the interior with fun foam to cover some of the less attractive construction and cable tubing to hide the wires.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
  HALO 2 Master Chief Armor: Final pics

After starting this in early August, I was done in time for Halloween. I'm pretty pleased with the final results although I KNOW I built everything the HARD way. The next armor I build will be vacuum formed.

Total build time: 240 hours
Cost: Approx $450
  HALO 2 Master Chief Armor: Belt and Guns!

All the belt pieces were simple box construction.

The belt itself was a $1 leather belt from a thrift store. I added a plastic buckle behind the belt buckle plate and heat curved the rest of the belt plates.

All plates were pop riveted to the leather belt. The boxes started out with snaps to attach them to the belt, but as I was building this for Halloween, I needed to attach them more securely. I used zip ties to make them impervious to drunken Yahoos.

The twin machine pistols needed to be light so I could attach them to the thighs. I used regular shelving pine to cut out the frame halves.

I wanted to have lights and sound for the guns so I bought two cheap ($5) toy space guns and stripped out the electronics.

Unfortunately the 2" speaker and the 3 "AA" battery compartments were too big for this gun. I replaced them with 1" speakers and a 2 "AAA" battery compartment.

I started shaping the gun frame and detached the butt plate from the gun. Had I more time I would have made the stock extend...Oh well.

I used my router and carved out room for the electronics. All light bulbs (5 or 6) were crammed in the barrel, the speaker sat behind two vents on the right side and the batteries were place in the butt.

The halves were glued together, some more putty and sanding and the front grip was formed.

Here is the final pistol. I used small round head nails for the studs on the grips, the front grip swivels up or down and the sights were made from styrene.

Here you can see the cell phone swivel I used to "holster" it to the thighs.

Not a lot of light but in the dark and with its multiple flashing bulbs it makes for a nice "muzzle flash".

The sad thing is that I wasn't able to take my guns into any of the Halloween parties I went to! Honestly I'm surprised it took so long for this to can't take a gun into a bar the other 364 days. Still, it sucks!
  HALO 2 Master Chief Armor: Legs

The thigh armor started out as one flat piece, heat curved to meet on the inside of the thigh.

Once glued, I cut out the two details over each knee and backed them with additional styrene.

Since the Master Chief uses two machine pistols but has place to stow them, I decided to incorporate holsters into the boxes on the outside of each thigh.

Each holster box was hulled and filled with expanding foam for strength.

To hold the guns, I decided to mount a cell phone pivot to each gun and make an appropriate slot on each box.

You can see how the pivot slides into the groove.

After the thigh piece was painted, I used "Foamies" fun foam to make the black inner thigh. this worked really well as it allowed my thighs to meet without scraping plastic.

Here the gun (details to come) fits into its slot. I later attached a small piece of industrial strength Veldro to the gun and the holster box at the vents to keep the gun from swinging around. It worked great!

The lower legs (or greaves) were perhaps the most difficult things to build. The shins curved both to the front and to the sides which prevented me from just heat bending this piece. I set up some shallow ribs and glued three pieces together. I later filled the length with expanding foam for strength.

The back of the clves were glued on with a similar technique. I decided to hinge the two inner calf plates so I could get the pieces on my leg.

The knee plate support was added at this time.

The ankle part of the greaves was a complex set of shapes that I first tried to build like the upper part. This turned out to be very weak and a complete pain in the ass to work with. After battling one into shape with less than stellar results, I scrapped this plan for a simpler approach.

As a base, I heat formed a strip around my ankle, open at the front. The boots are 1980's issue army boots from my high school ROTC days.

I then glued the ankle shapes onto the base. These were also filled with foam for strength.

Here are all the parts together. The ankle piece holds much of the weight from the calf plates and keeps the entire structure in place.

The knee pads consist of two plates: an upper plate that will be mounted to the greaves and a lower plate which will mount to the upper plate. The lower plates were made out of one piece of thick plastic with the edges heat bent. the pattern for the lower plate can be seen below them.

The lower plates are made from one piece of plastic with the side heat bent to form the distinctive box shape..

Here are both plates together.

Here are the greaves, assembled and painted. I later covered the interior foam with black fun foam.

The toes involved some radical heat forming over the toes of my boots. I just kept heating and squishing it until it took shape.

The top was notch out as well as the toe area. I heat formed a curved piece to fit within the toe notch and filed "vents" into it.

While the plastic was still hot I gave the toes a few dings to simulate battle damage. Weathering will eventually bring out these details. A curved piece was later heat formed to fit within the upper notch.

The instep is covered by a U-shaped plate. For this I heat bent pieces, backed up the holes with plastic and mounted the plate to the heel plate (not pictured). I used aluminum screw posts to mount them to the heels which allowed them to move as my foot did. Unfortunately, it also meant I had to remove the plate BEFORE I put on the boots.

Here are all the boot parts together.

At this point I noticed some of the laces were still exposed. I took some Foamies sheets, heated them and stretched them over 4 wooden dowels. I made a tool with 5 vertically mounted slats to push the foam between the dowels. The result is a flexible, ribbed "plate" to cover the laces. I later used this to make a ribbed collar (like the Stormtroopers)

Here is the final painted and weathered leg assembly. The thighs were later attched to the belt with a nylon strap to keep them off the knees.
These are all the dumb things I find myself obsessed with building when I SHOULD be doing something more productive.

As a kid I built lots of plastic model kits, never knowing that one day those skills would actually be of use.

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Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
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