Half-Life HEV Suit Cosplay- Part 4

Please check out my other blogs on this project for more info and helpful stuff! Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Also do not forget to check out my YouTube channel where I will have more videos and info on this project.

Another massive update blog! I know I find these really useful when I’m trying to do a cosplay, so I hope this will help you in some way. A LOT has happened since the last post. A lot. Tons. Let’s just get right into it.

Click on any of the images for a larger version!

Chest Piece

Final chest piece with a coat of glue drying.

Final chest piece with a coat of glue drying.

Instead of doing Pepakura or Foam for the chest piece, I wanted to try my hand at Worbla. Because I have a lot of info to convey, we’re bullet pointing the heck out of this post. Why use Worbla?

– I was nervous about how heavy the final Pep version would be, and that it would be hard to get on and off since it would be ridged
– Foam seemed too complicated since I’d have to glue pieces and hold them together for so long.
– I’d always wanted to try Worbla, and its thermoplastic features made it seem like an easy way to do a complicated piece.

IMG_1410

Pros of doing it with Worbla?
– It was pretty easy to shape the pieces I wanted.
– Strong but lightweight, won’t weigh me down at conventions.
– Easy to bend pieces to exactly the shape you want.
– No glue involved.

Figuring out the back on the left. On right, the final base of the back.

Figuring out the back on the left. On right, the final base of the back.

Cons of Worbla
– EXPENSIVE. This stuff ain’t cheap, and when you’re sandwiching craft foam between two layers it gets outrageously expensive.

I roughly used the Pepakura files to create patterns for my chest piece. I then cut them out in a Worbla/Craft foam/ Worbla shape and melded those pieces together. From there you heat the entire thing and shape it how you want, then heat the edge it is going to be attached to, and hold it until it hardens.

Worbla/Craft foam/ Worbla sandwich. Conserve as much Worbla as you can.

Worbla/Craft foam/ Worbla sandwich. Conserve as much Worbla as you can.

Tips
– USE PATTERNS. Cut out paper patterns and roughly piece them together before cutting Worbla. Never EVER cut your Worbla until you are totally confident you’re cutting the right shape since it is so expensive.
– A $20 heat gun will do a far better and faster job than a hair dryer.
– Worbla gets super hot, be careful. The surface you heat it on may be damaged as well.
– Beware of air bubbles, it will look bad on your final product. Try smoothing those out as you sandwich layers together.

After I pieced everything together, I used L200 then craft foam to create the details of the chest piece. I then applied two layers of wood glue to the entire thing to help smooth it out a bit. From there, three coats of Plastidip for strength and to further smooth it out. I am currently in the process of spray painting it.

Thigh Pieces

Final build on the thigh pieces. These have been sealed with Mod Podge, then a few coats of PlastiDip.

Final build on the thigh pieces. These have been sealed with Mod Podge, then a few coats of PlastiDip.

These have been a nightmare, but at least it is one that is almost over. I made these out of L200 foam. Instead of using ModPodge like I normally do to seal foam, I used wood glue. Bad choice. The wood glue is very brittle. It cracks easily. I kept thinking it would be okay and proceeded to PlastiDip and paint these suckers. Once I was done, I realized what a bad choice it all was and am remaking. The cracks looked terrible and were only going to get worse.

Cutting out the thigh pieces.

Cutting out the thigh pieces.

Tips for the Thigh Pieces
– Easy to make them out of L200 foam.
– Use Contact Cement instead of hot glue or super glue. Very toxic, use in well ventilated area.
– Run a heat gun over it quickly to start sealing the foam, then put 3-4 coats of ModPodge.
– 2-3 coats of PlastiDip.
– Lots of spray paint.

This stuff is the best!

This stuff is the best!

Shin Pieces

The shin pieces with a few coats of Mod Podge drying.

The shin pieces with a few coats of Mod Podge drying.

Freehanded my own pattern and made these out of foam. I followed the same process for sealing and painting these as I did the thigh pieces.

Shoulder Pieces
These were easy. Just made them out of foam, sealed them, and painted them with silver. (Sorry, no pics of these at the moment!)

Forearm guardsIMG_1429
What’s amazing is I actually did the Pepakura version for both the right and left forearms, and even got to the resin part, but knew I wouldn’t be able to finish them in time so I went with foam. They won’t have as much detail, but they work. Freehanded a pattern, then followed all the same processes for how I treat foam. In the photo above, I sealed off the beveled part and am painting the outer part silver.

Body shell & Other Sewing stuff
He has that body shell kind of thing under his armor on his torso. I’m going to make that out of fabric. Don’t have much done on that yet. I have the red fabric for the lining on his suit, but haven’t thought about it too much either. Lots to do!

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About Eloise J. Knapp

Eloise J. Knapp hails from Seattle and never complains about the rain. She works in the videogame industry by day and is a post-apocalyptic horror author by night. Knapp's work includes The Undead Situation trilogy, ANAMNESIS, and the Anisakis Nova series. When not writing you'll find her hiking the Pacific Northwest.
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3 Responses to Half-Life HEV Suit Cosplay- Part 4

  1. Raybiker73 says:

    Lookin’ good, Ms. Knapp! I’ve been following your posts on the progress of this project, and I can’t wait to see this when it’s completed (which will probably be years before the release of Half Life 3).

    • Thank you for the comment! Happy to know someone is following along. And yes, my suit will be done many years before HL3 (fingers crossed that there will, some day, be a HL3!)

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

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