Half-Life HEV Suit Cosplay- Part 1


I love Half-Life. When I was a girl, I’d watch my uncle play Half-Life and be mesmerized by it. Later, we’d play Half-Life 2 together. Then I played it myself, and all the episodes. I believe it to be an extremely important videogame in gaming history, aesthetically and conceptually beautiful, and downright amazing to play.

Naturally my love for it means I need to do a cosplay of Gordon Freeman. I debated on this for a few reasons. One, for some reason, a lot of people aren’t familiar with Half-Life. It’s bizarre to me, but often when I bring it up people only know about it in a secondhand kind of way. Doing a cosplay of a character not easily recognizable by most isn’t a crowd pleaser. Why not do a League of Legends or WoW character? A female comic book character would certainly do well. People just don’t cosplay Freeman very much.

Second, the HEV suit will be difficult. It is a relatively intricate piece of armor, and having never done armor it seemed intimidating.

Obviously cosplaying a dude isn’t an issue for me, because I’ve never cosplayed a female character before anyway.


Then I paused and came to a realization: I will cosplay whatever I want. I love Gordon Freeman. I love Half-Life. I think the HEV suit is really cool. So I’m going to do it, and have it done by PAX Prime 2014. I want to blog the entire process so that if you, dear reader, ever want to do it too, these posts might help you somehow. Or at the very least you’ll be amused somewhat by my epic fails.

Right now I’m in the research phase. There aren’t a million tutorials out there on how to make an HEV suit like there are, say, to make a Link cosplay. But I found some good resources and I’m going to share.

This blog is by the guys that made that amazing Half-Life fan video a while ago. They have a ton of great info on how they made their suit. I’m basically going to follow that as best as I can. I’m also going to make step by step videos of the entire process.

This is the link to Pepakura, which (I didn’t know about it until now) gives you the patterns to create paper versions of armor. This link is a direct link to the HEV suit pattern. You have to have Pepakura installed to view it.

I’ll be using the L-200 foam they said they used in the blog once I’ve worked over the paper pattern. I found this website that sells it, but I also found a local foam retailer that offers the same product under a different name: Y-20. I’m going to get a small piece soon to see what it is like and to familiarize myself with it.

I plan on getting the Grav Gun from thinkgeek.com because I know there is no way I can build one for that cost that looks as good. No shame! A lot of cosplayers are into building everything themselves, but I’m in it for fun, not to win any competitions. :p

That’s where I’m at! Can’t wait to get started on this and hope you enjoy the journey with me.


About Eloise J. Knapp

Eloise J. Knapp is an author and designer living in the Pacific Northwest.
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8 Responses to Half-Life HEV Suit Cosplay- Part 1

  1. Ray says:

    Glad to hear you’re including the Grav Gun instead of just the crowbar. Sure, the crowbar is iconic, but the Grav Gun is awesome. I’d love to do a Gordon Freeman costume, but unfortunately, I have more of a natural Father Grigori vibe going, and we don’t go to Ravenholm. 🙂

  2. Ryan Sirna says:

    I plan to do a Gordon Freeman Cosplay. Our stories sound similar. I am from Kansas City and what we have here every year is called Naka-kon. This will be my first cosplay ever. I hope to see you continue in this. I will check back often.

  3. Pingback: Half-Life HEV Suit Cosplay- Part 3 | Zomblog

  4. Pingback: Half-Life HEV Suit Cosplay- Part 4 | Zomblog

  5. Pingback: Half-Life HEV Suit Cosplay- Part 5 (Painting) | Zomblog

  6. Pingback: Half-Life HEV Suit Cosplay- Part 6 | knapocalypse

  7. MissPhyre says:

    I’m about to start my own HEV suit!!! I’m so excited, it will be my first attempt at armor as well. Can’t wait to read through your posts and see how yours turned out!

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