ODST interview article at the 405th Infantry

Today an  interview that I did about my ODST costume was posted at the 405th Infantry Division website.  In the article I explain the challenges and intentions for the ODST costumes that I made. I hope you enjoy the read. 

First published 01-31-2011 at the 405th Infantry Division forums

Creator: Sean Bradley
Email Address: sean@costumedork.com
Description: Halo ODST and Backpack
Forum Thread: Sean Bradley ODST Armor

Sean Bradley’s ODST armor took the 405th by storm in the fall of 2009. It was an epic feat of manpower and determination when Sean worked non-stop through the coming months to provide other 405th members with the superb armor that he created. After the debut at Dragoncon in early September, Sean toured his costume at many regional events promoting the release of Halo 3: ODST. When Sean released his armor to the public, members immediately took notice. The convenience of vacuumformed pieces and availability of the pre-made, self-assemble kits had many members lining up to order, often ordering multiple kits at a time. Demand was high for the first run, and by the time it had ended, Sean had amassed an enormous amount work for himself, so much fact, that it took until February of 2010 to fill every order. After many unexpected hiccups, the first run was over, and Sean took a much needed break!

The achievement of this project lies in Sean’s delivery. After spending countless hours to produce this armor for himself, he then spent an enormous amount of time to make the armor available to the 405th affordably. The detail in many vacuumformed suits is often less than stellar, but his ODST armor is highly detailed, pulled from thick plastic, and delivered with a thorough set of photo illustrated instructions for assembly. What other prop maker can say that? Countless members of the 405th already have worn SB ODST armor to conventions around the world, some as far away as Hawaii, Australia, and Singapore. Sean’s hard work and dedication to the 405th are epitomized in this project. He created a high-quality suit and made it available to the 405th, often at little to no personal gain.

I got to ask Sean a few questions about his epic ODST project. Here’s how the maker responded:

· Sean, what was your inspiration to start on this ODST project?

A few weeks before Dragoncon 2009 I was scrambling to have a new costume ready for the convention. I had just completed building a very rudimentary homemade vacuum former for my Energy Sword project and wanted to experiment with using the process to make a costume. At the time everyone (including me) was eagerly awaiting the release of Halo 3: ODST, so it was an easy decision.

· How did you go about making this suit? Was your original goal to mass produce it?

The costume is a mixture of vacuum formed and cast elements.. I couldn’t find game accurate models of everything I needed, so I had to ‘Frankenstein’ it all together. Some of the original forms are based in pepakura but were heavily modified. A few of them were sculpted in clay and cast in resin, and others are carved out of medium density fiberboard. I made rough versions of all the forms in about a week, then went back later and improved on them.

My goal wasn’t to mass produce the costume parts, but rather to make them affordably. I’ve always felt very strongly that the high entry cost is what keeps most people out of this hobby, and that if we could work together to make Halo costuming more affordable that our community would grow exponentially. In short, my goal was to make a high quality but inexpensive costume, I never expected an overwhelming response.

· Were there any problems that arose with the Vacuumforming process? If so, how did they affect your ability to complete the first run?

Still being a novice at this process, there were many challenges when I first made some costumes for fellow 405thers. I had to re-build all of my equipment several times, had to get an electrician re-wire my garage studio for high voltage, and to teach myself the entire process. Each armor form is kind of a puzzle to perfect when vacuforming. You have to re-do every piece until they all perform perfectly on the table. The visors were a major hurdle, there was much more trial and error than I was expecting which caused some unfortunate delays. I knew my heart was in the right place and that I was making everything the best I could and that eventually I could catch up. It was pretty stressful all around though.

· Looking back, would you have made any changes to the way you produced the armor?

I think if I could turn the clock back I would have asked for help earlier when I needed it. I have a tendency to just keep my nose to the grindstone and learn the hard way even when I know that I can go to the 405th and ask for help. Once I broke down and asked some friends for help, the project became much more manageable.

· Regarding this project, would you like to make any shout outs to the members who supported you along the way?

Oh man, there’s so many people to thank! I owe a debt of gratitude to this entire community for the inspiration to do this and for always pushing me to go farther. I need to thank the Pep file modelers of the 405th that posted the early ODST parts for everyone to use (Rundown, Nightshade, and SkullCandy Girl). Thanks to Rube for sending me a form to use for the visor, Link for answering many anxious questions about vacuum forming when I was having technical problems, and Magnum for coming over to my shop to help on many occasions.

Lastly I want to thank Adam for his service to this community and Devin White for setting the bar higher. You guys inspire us all to work harder and to make this community better.



3 Responses to “ODST interview article at the 405th Infantry”
  1. dylan says:

    whats the price

  2. dylan says:

    that costume is awsome!

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