Building your own video game icons is just that easy

Have you ever wanted to see how you measure up in real life to Master Chief? How about the Arbiter? Well, Galactic Armory just made your dreams a reality. The prop builder debuted his completed life-size statues of Halo's Master Chief and Arbiter on Instagram after months of planning, printing, sanding, and painting.

We spoke with Aaron Hughes at Galactic Armory to learn more about the build, how it was made, how much it cost, and what’s next.

What is Galactic Armory?

Aaron Hughes, known online as Galactic Armory, is a 3D modeler, printer, and cosplayer. As per his Instagram profile, most of his projects are “about whatever strikes my fancy - usually Star Wars”. In fact, when asked what his very first large-scale project was, he said it was “a set of wearable Star Wars clone trooper armor.”

Hughes makes some incredibly detailed 3D printed props and figures. Recently, Helldivers 2 has been a major focus for the builder. The wide range of helmet designs is practically a 3D modelers dream.

However, his piece de resistance are these life-sized statues of Master Chief and the Arbiter in their iconic Halo 3 poses. The Arbiter is so hyper-realistic it seems like he's just about to say "blarg!"

Why Master Chief and the Arbiter?

Building the insanely detailed 1:1 scale characters is no easy feat. According to Hughes, the project was inspired by “definitely a love for Halo but also to push the boundaries of what people think is possible with desktop scale 3D printers.” 

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As for the specific poses they’re in, Hughes wanted the pair to look just as cool together as apart. 

“I knew I wanted to do a back to back shot of them together, mimicking the scene from Halo 3 where the flood betrays them but still being iconic on their own.”

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With the inspiration found and the poses picked, all there was to do now was print and build. Easy, right?

The building process: Challenges and surprises

A Spartan and an Elite are pretty big boys. Creating these statues to Halo's scale is a massive undertaking, even for a builder and creator as experienced as Aaron Hughes at Galactic Armory. The biggest concern for both builds was actually due to their size. Hughes explained, the “biggest challenge was making sure they were balanced and secure enough in their mounts to not tip over or become back/front heavy”. 

That challenge doesn’t seem so surprising when you consider that Master Chief took 30 kilograms of PLA filament to print and the Arbiter took 50. In fact, the biggest surprise Hughes ran into was simply how long it took, especially for the Arbiter.

Master Chief and the Arbiter. Master Chief took 2500 3D Printing Hours while the Arbiter had 4153 hours. (Image via Galactic Armory on Facebook)
Master Chief and the Arbiter. Master Chief took 2500 3D Printing Hours while the Arbiter had 4153 hours. (Image via Galactic Armory on Facebook)

To print just the Chief took “around 2500 3D printing hours” while the Arbiter took “4153 hours”. And those numbers are just for printing. To fully complete each character, Hughes said, “Chief took 6 months but Arbiter took 16 due to the level of detail and increased size.”

However, it was all worth it. For Hughes, there’s a pride in “knowing that we stuck with the project for all this time and didn't cut any corners throughout the build.”

Halo statues: Materials, printers, and cost

If you're especially curious about the details of 3D printing something this massive, then we’ve got you covered. According to Hughes, he used "CR-10v2 printers with standard PLA" to buildboth 1:1 figures. Right now on the Creality site, the CR-10V2 is $425 USD. If you don’t know 3D printers, then we’re here to tell you that’s actually a fairly budget printer. 

The massive amounts of PLA used do make these builds pretty expensive. According to a YouTube video, the total material cost was $2267 USD for just the Arbiter. That means if you too want a life-size Elite in your living room, it’ll only cost $2,692!

What's next for Galactic Armory?

The first question on everyone’s mind is what will Hughes at Galactic Armory build next. While some Instagram comments suggested a Warthog -which would be insanely cool- he may go for something a little scarier. “We've mentioned a few times making a flood form, possibly the infection form or an infected marine.” 

That Halo statue will certainly be something you don’t want to meet in a dark alley or library. If his model of a Spartan helmet infected by the Flood is anything to go off of, then the next build will be disgustingly detailed. 

A modeled Spartan EVA helmet infected by the Flood (Image via Galactic Armory on Facebook)
A modeled Spartan EVA helmet infected by the Flood (Image via Galactic Armory on Facebook)

As for what the Chief and the Arbiter are going to do now, Hughes said that for now, “they’ll decorate the workshop.” However, there’s a possibility that they’ll travel to conventions in the future too. No specific conventions have been confirmed, but you can check on Galactic Armory’s social media for updates.

For more interesting gaming builds and other esports news, check back on!

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