Fan Creation Feature: Garm the Krogan Battlemaster

Remember Garm, the Krogan Battlemaster from Mass Effect 2? Inspired by his reputation as the tough-as-nails leader of Omega’s Blood Pack, prop maker Matthew Walther built a full-scale wearable Garm suit. We sat down with Matthew to see what it takes to put together such an ambitious build, and it turns out creating the warrior Garrus called a “freak of nature” takes a lot of work. And red paint.

DSC_1038

What inspired you to create Garm?

I’ve always wanted to build a Krogan, so I looked at all the different suits in the game and decided which one I wanted to make. You see people create Wrex or Grunt, but not really any others. I really liked the design of the Battlemaster armor, so I went with him!

How did you make the suit?

I put a 3D model of Garm into a program called Pepakura Designer that “unfolds” the model by flattening the parts to paper so you can make printable patterns. Once printed, I cut out the parts, traced them onto foam floor mats, and cut those into pieces to assemble like a gigantic puzzle.

DSC_1096

DSC_1150

I used floor mats because they’re light and really cheap. I cut all the parts with a hobby knife, glued everything together with contact cement, built a frame with PVC pipe and an old camping backpack, then sealed it all up with white glue so the paint wouldn’t seep into the foam. I brushed on the main colors and lightly dusted other colors to add some realism, added straps and foam tubes to hold parts together, and covered the open areas with black cloth to really sell the illusion of a massive Krogan.

DSC_0997

DSC_1029

How long did it take you to make Garm?

It took me between 250 and 300 hours, over a couple months. The hardest part was his head, because of the bone crests, but even that didn’t take long. Good results come with practice—and trial and error—but working with foam is easier than it may seem. That’s why I love the stuff.

300 hours is a lot of time! How did you learn the skills to pull this off?

Trial and error, mostly! There are hundreds of resources online to learn things like this. When I first started, I learned from my fellow self-made prop makers, gleaning what information I could and applying it to what I was doing. You can find prop makers all over Facebook, YouTube, and their websites.

What’s it like inside the suit?

Hot. Very, very hot. The suit is no more than 30 pounds, but the foam doesn’t breathe at all and it gets hot inside very quickly.  The hardest part, though, is seeing where I’m going! I need a handler with me because I can only see through the mouth.

DSC_0861

Any plans to do another Mass Effect build?

I’ll definitely have to do something from Andromeda once we start seeing more.

Walk

You can find more of Matthew’s work on his website. Matthew has created other cool Mass Effect builds, including Threshy the Thresher Maw.

If you’ve spotted a community creation that you think we should highlight, tweet us!

Fan Creation Feature: M-6 Carnifex Rubber Band Gun

The BioWare community sends us the coolest things.

Travis Ng, an industrial design graduate from San Jose State University, created this one-of-a-kind rubber band gun based off the M-6 Carnifex heavy pistol from Mass Effect. Using sheets of birch wood and a laser cutter, Travis designed the pistol from the ground up, layer by layer. Complete with a loading mechanism, the model is actually semi-automatic! See it in action:

 

We took a moment to talk to Travis about his creation.

What inspired you to make the Carnifex?

I was inspired to make the Carnifex after successfully making a test prototype of the M-3 Predator. I decided to go full detail with the Carnifex, as it’s one of the most iconic weapons in the Mass Effect universe. It is a weapon most gamers and cosplayers would easily recognize.

How long did it take you to build it?

Although designing the laser-cut pattern did not take too long, it was the test fit of the firing mechanism that took the most time. The firing mechanism was designed based off another rubber band gun that a YouTube user had originally designed (RBguns). All in all, adding up all the time it took to design, test fit, and fully finish: 2-3 months total. It was truly a labor of love.

Want to make a Carnifex yourself? Travis has created an instructables page with all the necessary materials and steps to get you started. Thanks Travis!

You can find more of Travis’ work on his personal website.

Safety disclaimer: This is not a toy and is not intended for use by children. Never shoot rubber bands at other people, pets, and do not shoot it at yourself. Eye protection is recommended when using the rubber band gun.

N7 Day Recap

This year’s N7 Day was one to remember. Fans across the globe came together to celebrate the friendships, alliances, loves, and stories we’ve all built as a part of the Mass Effect universe. We are constantly inspired by your energy and enthusiasm, and N7 Day is a testament to the strength of the community. Thank you for being a part of the celebration.

Here are some highlights from N7 Day:

A tribute to exploration and a look at the future:

Because we are all explorers.

A selection of new eye candy to feast your peepers on:

144691518573814469151860651446915186929

In the spirit of exploration and N7 Day, we created these travel-themed posters:

ExplorersWanted-02

We’re looking for the daring, the brave, and the adventurous. Explorers Wanted.

Download the posters here.

 

Fans showed off their N7 pride and favorite Mass Effect moments:

And last but not least, a thank you from the Mass Effect team:

Thank you for celebrating N7 Day with us this year. Your support is invaluable to us—it keeps us doing what we do. We’re excited about what’s to come.