Good Thinking

World's coolest dad builds his son a Halo Hallowe'en costume

World's coolest dad builds his...
Brandon Sobchyshyn in his one-of-a-kind Emile costume, alongside an image of the actual Halo character
Brandon Sobchyshyn in his one-of-a-kind Emile costume, alongside an image of the actual Halo character
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Some of the many card stock costume parts that Steve had to print off, cut out, and glue together
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Some of the many card stock costume parts that Steve had to print off, cut out, and glue together
The Pepakura Designer file for Steve's son's costume
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The Pepakura Designer file for Steve's son's costume
The chestpiece takes form
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The chestpiece takes form
The chestpiece takes form
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The chestpiece takes form
Some of the costume components, after being coated with fiberglass resin
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Some of the costume components, after being coated with fiberglass resin
One of the costume components, after being coated with fiberglass resin
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One of the costume components, after being coated with fiberglass resin
The resin-coating process takes place
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The resin-coating process takes place
The resin-coating process takes place
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The resin-coating process takes place
Some of the costume components, after receiving a coat of primer
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Some of the costume components, after receiving a coat of primer
Some of the costume components, after receiving a coat of primer
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Some of the costume components, after receiving a coat of primer
Some of the costume components, after receiving a coat of primer
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Some of the costume components, after receiving a coat of primer
Some of the costume components, after receiving the final paint job
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Some of the costume components, after receiving the final paint job
Some of the costume components, after receiving the final paint job
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Some of the costume components, after receiving the final paint job
Some of the costume components, after receiving the final paint job
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Some of the costume components, after receiving the final paint job
The helmet takes form
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The helmet takes form
The finished helmet
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The finished helmet
The finished helmet
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The finished helmet
The finished helmet
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The finished helmet
A model of the Emile character (center)
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A model of the Emile character (center)
Brandon Sobchyshyn, on the prowl last night
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Brandon Sobchyshyn, on the prowl last night
Brandon Sobchyshyn in his one-of-a-kind Emile costume, alongside an image of the actual Halo character
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Brandon Sobchyshyn in his one-of-a-kind Emile costume, alongside an image of the actual Halo character
Some of the many card stock costume parts that Steve had to print off, cut out, and glue together
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Some of the many card stock costume parts that Steve had to print off, cut out, and glue together
Steve Sobchyshyn, dressed in a home-made Vampire Lestat costume
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Steve Sobchyshyn, dressed in a home-made Vampire Lestat costume
Steve Sobchyshyn, dressed in a home-made Captain Jack Sparrow costume
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Steve Sobchyshyn, dressed in a home-made Captain Jack Sparrow costume
Steve Sobchyshyn (right), dressed in a home-made Wolverine costume
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Steve Sobchyshyn (right), dressed in a home-made Wolverine costume

What would you do if your 12 year-old son announced that he’d like to dress up as the armor-clad Emile character from the game Halo: Reach for Hallowe’en? While many parents might just take a cursory look for a cheap, ready-made costume, that’s not what Steve Sobchyshyn did. Instead, he spent an estimated 150 hours and a couple of hundred bucks building his own from scratch. The end result, we’re sure you’ll agree, was well worth it.

Sobchyshyn works as a video editor in Edmonton, Canada, and has no formal training in design or the fine arts. He is, however, a skilled tinkerer, and has previously created some very impressive costumes for himself – these have included characters such as Wolverine, Captain Jack Sparrow, and the Vampire Lestat.

For the Emile costume, his son Brandon told him about a Japanese computer program known as Pepakura Designer. “Video games and CAD drawings are all 3D models based on polygons, and those are always flat,” Steve explained to us. “What the program does is it takes those flat polygons and unwraps them, so you can print them out on your computer. It puts little glue tabs and fold markers on the paper ... It’s like a giant arts and crafts project.”

Some of the many card stock costume parts that Steve had to print off, cut out, and glue together
Some of the many card stock costume parts that Steve had to print off, cut out, and glue together

Sobchyshyn downloaded an image of Emile from 405th.com, a website set up specifically for hobbyists who create such costumes. In the case of some characters, already-unwrapped models are available on the site, and can be downloaded for immediate printing. Emile, however, had to be unwrapped on Steve’s computer, using Pepakura.

The Pepakura Designer file for Steve's son's costume
The Pepakura Designer file for Steve's son's costume

After printing out the plethora of actual-size polygons on heavy card stock paper, Steve then had to cut them all out and glue them together. For tear- and water-resistance, he subsequently added an exterior coat of automotive fiberglass resin.

Some of the costume components, after being coated with fiberglass resin
Some of the costume components, after being coated with fiberglass resin

This left the armor tough, but still too floppy. In order to add some structural integrity, the inside of the paper/resin shell was then coated with a liquid plastic compound that dried hard. Finally, an exterior paint job was added.

Brandon Sobchyshyn, on the prowl last night
Brandon Sobchyshyn, on the prowl last night

Brandon wore the completed costume while trick-or-treating last night (despite Edmonton’s unseasonably cold Hallowe’en this year), and it received rave reviews. For Steve, however, it wasn't the promise of praise that motivated him to build it.

"How many times in our adult lives have we had to tell our kids we are too busy to do something for them? I'm too busy with work. I can't." he said. "This time, I decided that whatever it took to do this, I was going to be too busy with my son to worry about all of the other stuff."

6 comments
Jason Pope
Cool... but Baby Ripley and the Powerloader still trump it hardcore.
Laura Ward
What an awesome Dad!
Martin Charles Hutton
That is superb stuff. 10/10 for the effort and the thought that went into this. As a father myself I understand where he is coming from, wanting to do whatever it took to make something special. I'm really pleased for the lad, that his own father took so much time to do this for him. It's moments like this that you'll both be talking about in decades to come.
MG48
This is awesome in every way! This dad should be awarded with a 3D printer. I would love to see what he does with that! Good job guys.
Tito
Brandon, actions like this help forge a better member of the human race!
Richard Handel
Rock onn !!!!!You have a dad that all young boys wish they could have!!! I wish I had that when I was young, all those years ago, I would have lived in it.... PS;; can he build an Iron Man suit ???