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Mass Effect – N7 Defender Armor

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Defender - Explodey

With DragonCon just around the corner, I needed a new costume in short order! With all of the Mass Effect EVA foam armor that I’ve been making for clients recently, I figured it was high time that made something for myself. I went with the N7 Defender, because it’s the armor that I used while playing Mass Effect 3 and it looks totally badass.

Photos by N8Zim.

The Phantom is my wife. Her costume build can be found here.

Defender - Back Side
Defender - Phantom

Most of the nuts and bolts of this build is the same EVA foam floor mat cut, shape, and glue method that I used on my default N7 armor builds.

I did not use any templates for this build, because none exist. Instead I made a plaster bandage life cast of myself and built most everything right off of that. A lot of guessing happened. Mistakes were made and later rectified. When using this method be sure to account for the thickness of the foam and make your pieces slightly bigger than the measurements you pull off of the torso.

Defender - Step 1

Over a period of two weeks I just kept carving foam pieces out and sticking them on myself. It was a bit of a trial and error method, but I ended up with parts that fit me perfectly. I didn’t take many photos, mostly just end of the day progress update shots. So here are some of those.

All of the small hardware bits were made using clay push molds and polyurethane plastic resin, like this.

Defender - Push Molds

You like my chest? No, it’s not real…

Defender - Step 2

Protect the goods!

Defender - Step 3

I was losing my sanity at this point.

Defender - Step 4

I’m a leg guy. Boots are rubber cement boots from the hardware store. $18 never felt so uncomfortable.

Defender - Step 5

All of the parts got a coat of blue and graphite colored metallic enamel paint with my air brush. The metal looking hardware bits were all hit with some Rub ‘n Buff and weathered with black acrylic paint.

Defender - Step 6

The arm stripe was done with red and white enamels. Boom.

Defender - Step 7

The parts are all held together with nylon webbing, elastic and Velcro. A lot of individual fitting had to be sussed out to get the feel right, but it is actually quite comfortable.

Defender - Done

2016 update! Now that we film video content, here is a video of how I wear this set of armor:

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