Replica Props Forum user eidylon has made several props but only recently made the jump to work on a full costume. He decided to make a replica of the Mass Effect and Dragon Age crossover Blood Dragon Armor. It’s an ambitious choice, but you’ll certainly learn a lot if you make a costume of this level first. Eidylon spent about a year making the armor, and he started with pepakura files (available here).
Eidylon broke down the build process by sections at The RPF, and the how-to is worth reading to see what kind or problems he encountered with his first cosplay and how he fixed them. For example, he started with the helmet and he tried making it from card stock and Bondo but didn’t like the method so he switched to foam:
I started in on a rebuild in foam, with hot glue. I hadn’t found the floor mats yet, so I was using some foam I had ordered online.
While I finished this one, it was over-scaled a bit, and the foam was pretty flimsy. I also wasn’t keen on how the seams came out.
BUT — I wanted to move on to other pieces and keep it moving along. So it stayed for the time being.
Once the rest of the build was pretty much done, I came back and rebuilt the helmet. By this time, I had found the Harbor Freight floor mats, with the nice carbon-fiber texture. I had also by this point switched from using hot glue to contact cement for building. For me personally, I find the contact cement works a lot better. I thought the “dry” time would be a problem, but if you plan right, it’s not.
He made the visor for the helmet’s faceplate from a translucent red vinyl folder.
Read about building the rest of the costume at The RPF.