At 5’6” we don’t think Brittani is too short to be Master Chief at all, especially given the costume is pretty damned fantastic. The helmets are 3D printed, and given how awesome they look, I think I now actually have a justifiable reason for getting one of those printer thingies! To find out more about the brilliant Burt, read on….
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi there! My name is Brittani, everyone calls me Burt. I’m born and raised in Florida. I’ve been cosplaying for a year this month. I’m an artist by trade, I love video games, computers, and working with my hands.
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
When Halo CE first came out in 2001 (I was 12!) I really wanted a suit just like Master Chief. I played the heck out of that game with my siblings growing up. A few years ago I came across the 405th forums (405th.com), where it showed folks making their own Spartan suits. I read almost every thread on that site trying to learn, but thought it was a bit out of my budget and time as a college student. Once I finished college, I took another look at it and just said “you know what, let’s try!” and the rest is history.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
I prefer armoured and masked characters. I enjoy wearing and crafting armor and masks. To see these armors and designs in a video game that you know isn’t real, and to bring them to reality and actually be able to wear them is the allure to me. It’s fun to be the character from your favourite movie or video game. I’m currently working on a few Overwatch costumes (Reaper and Soldier 76).
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Master Chief was probably the most challenging. It was my first cosplay project and took me around a month to make with the Pepakura method (starts as paper, then hardened with fiberglass resin). When wearing it, I can’t sit down, I can’t bend over and I have limited movement everywhere. It’s very hot too.
It was a challenge to bring Master Chief’s armor to life and to my own proportions (I’m 5’6″ compared to his 7’+!).
My most enjoyable costumes are tied between my most recent suit, a Custom ODST from Halo, and my Genderbend Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain. My Custom ODST has many improvements from my first suit. The helmet is 3D printed and has much more detail. The suit is more comfortable, cooler and I have much more movement in it (I can sit down!).
My Big Boss costume is easy to wear, except for the eye patch.
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
My first suit was made with the Pepakura method, card stock paper hardened with fiberglass resin (or other hardening materials). It’s a lot of work and very messy. My most recent creations have been a mix of EVA foam creations and 3D printing applications. I like to use EVA foam for armor so that the parts are light, quiet and resistant to wear and tear. I use 3D printing for my helmets, masks and props so that they are strong and very accurate to detail.
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
I just recently attended Megacon 2016 for the first time in May. It was the biggest convention I’ve attended so far. I got to meet a lot of other members of the 405th while I was there as well. I met a lot of local builders that I admire, and got to take a lot of pictures with them too. Not to mention I learned so much from everyone from the short time I got to speak with them.
My favorite convention has to have been the 2050Events in Daytona, in October 2015. I had just upgraded several parts on my Master Chief suit and it was my first convention to meet other 405th members. We had a great time for the entire weekend, got to take tons of pictures, talk shop and be Spartans! If you’re at all into Halo or costuming, I highly suggest joining the 405th. They are a fantastic group of people!
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
I love the kids reactions to my suit! I mentioned I’m 5’6″ and I get comments sometimes from people that I’m too short to be Chief, but to these young kids I’m larger than life! Their jaws drop to the floor. I love when they come up for pictures with me, and their parents have to keep telling them to turn around and look at the camera because they are too busy looking at my suit.
A question about photographers. Obviously cosplayers are a dream come true for photographers, great outfits and poses, does it ever get a bit tiring having to pose endlessly for them, and how do you prefer to be approached by a photographer?
It never gets tiring for me, I love it! Just come right up and say hi!
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
It’s had a huge affect on my life. I’ve finally found my passion. Growing up, I always knew I’d be an ‘artist’ but I never knew what kind. I always wanted to work with my hands and make physical things. Costume creation, and prop fabrication hit all the notes that I enjoy. Every project is different and challenges me to learn new things.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
My biggest piece of advice for aspiring foam-smithers: Keep a sharp blade!
Other than that, do your research. Look at all kinds of costume builds, you never know what you could learn. Read the Replica Prop Forums (therpf.com), follow other builders on social media, see what they do and learn from others mistakes, it will save you time and money in the long run. I’m always learning and reading about builds trying to learn new tricks.