Posted by Admin On August - 14 - 2012 Comments Off

I get a lot of requests to make Vector costumes. Like, at least once a week. No joke. I thought I would do something that might help out some of you potential cosplayers (maybe even some of you existing Vector’s, who knows?) by writing a guide on how to acquire Vector’s tactical gear.

At first glance, it’s obvious that his mask, jacket and pants are going to have to be custom made. I’m not going to touch on those details, simply because they’re custom. That’s something I can make for you, or someone else can make for you, or you can learn to make for yourself. However you go about it, they’re custom. However, just about everything else for his costume can be bought online, and that’s what we’re going to look at.

Two Different Versions

The first thing you should know about Vector is that there are two versions of his costume. There is the version you see in-game, and then there is the much higher quality render of him made for the promotional videos and trailers. Surprisingly, there are a lot of differences between these two versions of the costume. Let’s take a look.

This is the version you see in promotional videos and trailers (click the images for stupid-big versions.)

Now have a look at the in-game version:

You should be able to see several differences, but in case you don’t, here they are:

  • The mouthpiece on his mask
  • The entire vest
  • The darkness of the fabric
  • The length of the jacket (and only the high quality one has visible pockets)
  • The straps on the legs
  • The belt, and the things on it
  • The boots

Really, the only similarities are the mask (sans mouthpiece), the gloves, and the elbow/knee pads. Which version you want to do is up to you.

Now the big question is, where can you get this stuff?

The Vest

The high-quality version of the vest is something you can buy. It will require some modifications, because the back of his vest (in both versions) has plate armor that doesn’t exist on the real vest. Check out the “Triple Impact” trailer to see several shots of the back of his vest, you’ll see what I mean:

The vest you can buy is this one:

That’s the 5.11 Tactical MOLLE Gear VTAC LBE Vest. This vest retails for about $80 – $100, a bit more than your usual airsoft vest, but trust me – the quality is unmatched. 5.11 is the top of the line in tactical gear. What’s ironic is that you can tell this very image was used as a reference in making Vector’s vest. You see in this image how in the v-neck (right above the zipper) there is a layer of material and a bit of webbing. That’s the back of the vest, seen here because the vest is laying flat. If you look up at the first image in this article, you will see that they mistakenly rendered that as part of the front of the vest.

Silly game designers.

Anyway, on the high quality version f the vest, Vector wears a four pieces of equipment. On the right chest is a triple pistol magazine pouch. There are a few different looks depending on the manufacturer. I suggest the CONDOR brand pouch:

On the left chest he wears a shotgun shell pouch. His has velcro on it. There are many shell pouches that do have veclro on the front, however these tend to be short and long, while Vector’s is tall and closer to being a square shape. The closest pouch (in shape) is the RAP4 shell pouch:

If you simply take some velcro and either sticky-back it or stitch in into place over the RAP4 logo, you’ll have a perfect shell pouch for your Vector costume. On the right abdomen, he wears a triple M4 magazine pouch, like this one:

And finally, on his left abdomen, Vector wears a crossdraw MOLLE pistol holster. The UTG brand MOLLE holster works great, because it sits at the perfect angle, has the buckle strap, and a pistol mag. pouch just like the one on Vector’s vest (although I would recommend removing the little logo at the bottom):

Now, while we’re still on the topic of the vest, let’s talk about the alternate one (i.e., the one you see in-game.) The vest in-game is made of a very similar fabric to Vector’s jacket and pants. However, the hexagons are smaller, darker (they don’t reflect light) and there is no checkerboard pattern like on his clothing. The in-game vest is a dark gray, similar to his clothing. You can tell it’s not a true black, because the webbing on the vest is black, and it looks significantly darker than his vest and clothing.

The vest is a total custom build, and has the same armor plating on the back as the high-quality vest. The pouches are also custom, and made out of the same hexagon fabric as the vest. High on his chest sit a set of triple-grenade pouches, which are very small and probably intended for miniature hand-grenades (they exist, look ‘em up). He has a double M4 mag pouch, and the only thing you can buy for his custom vest: the MOLLE pistol holster. In this case, the best holster for the job is the Elite Survival Systems MOLLE Pistol Light Holster:

This holster has all the details, and sits at the perfect angle for the in-game vest. Now, to finish the vest off, I will supply you with pictures of the Vector action figure, which is a direct copy of the in-game version. You can clearly see the detailing of the armor plating and the radio on the back of his vest. This is custom stuff, so you can’t buy it anywhere, but here you go anyway:

My best guess for this is that it’s a removable piece. It appears to have a thick base layer made of the same fabric as the vest, with some lines of webbing at the top where you can attach the radio. Then of course there are the 8 metal plates that you will need to custom build, because stuff like that doesn’t exist.

That about covers both versions of the vest. I hope you have a better understanding of just how different the two vests are now. The only thing they share is the armored back, but past that they are totally different.

Accessories

Now that the big part is out of the way, let’s look at his accessories.

His gloves are hard-knuckle motorcycle gloves with a wrist-support. There are tons of these on the market, and if his exact gloves exist, I haven’t seen them yet. However, if you Google “hard knuckle motorcycle gloves” you’re sure to find something to your liking. The closest thing I’ve seen are the REV’IT! Summit Gloves, seen here:

Remove that white logo on the cuff and these would be pretty close to Vector’s.

For the boots, we’re pretty much in the same boat. His boots (in both versions) are definitely based off of motorcycle boots, but I’m yet to find the perfect model. I haven’t even found any that are particularly close, but here are some very similar ones, the Dainese Longbow Boots:

His elbow pads are nothing special, just basic “no fancy crap” tactical elbow pads, like these ones:

His knee pads are a different story. The armor plate on the knee pads is more curved and streamlined, like on sports knee pads, instead of tactical knee pads. I’m hoping to find some similar, and will update this post if and when I do. In the meantime, we’re without accurate knee pads.

Now, we still have the belt(s) to consider. In the high quality render, although the modelers seem to have got a bit carried away with the buckle, I believe Vector wears the BLACKHAWK Cordura Ballistic Padded Police Duty Belt. BLACKHAWK makes some of the most stupidly durable belts on the market, so I’d say it’s a worthy investment:

In this version, he has no pouches anywhere on the belt.

For the in-game version, a simple military web belt works (the kind with the metal eyelets). It should be noted that in-game, Vector has a polished metal buckle. These belts usually come with a flat black buckle, but you can easily find polished metal parachute buckles online, or just give it a paint-job:

He has a few pouches on his in-game belt. In-game, he has a single mini grenade pouch on his front right hip, much like the three seen on his in-game vest. On the back, there are two strange looking custom boxes that appear to be a hard material, and these can be seen on the action figure shot above.

Lastly, Vector has straps on his legs that appear to be the straps of a thigh holster. These would be made of a single piece of 1.5″ webbing with a parachute buckle to secure them (it should be noted that there is no holster or pouch on his legs, so these straps seem to serve no purpose.) In-game, he has one strap on his right thigh, and two on his left thigh. In the high quality render, he has two on his right thigh, and none on his left.

Final Thoughts

Whichever version of Vector you’re going for, I hope this guide has been helpful. That said, the only thing’s I will make for this costume are the mask, the jacket, the pants, and the vest (if you’re going with the high quality render, I will make the armor plate for the back if you wish. If you’re going for the in-game style, I’ll make the entire vest, including the armor and pouches, but not the holster, because it can be bought.)

As you can see, the majority of the gear can be bought. Of course you can always take liberties (that’s half the fun of cosplay in my book) but I hope this guide has served you well.

Also, for an excellent HD cutscene depicting the in-game model, I suggest you view the following video:

For other in-game references, look at the action figure. They did a great job capturing the details. For the high-quality ones, just look up any of the promotional trailers on YouTube, and search for HD only.

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