I tried several techniques creating the armor. Some pieces I appended and molded into the shape needed. Others I masked out and Poly Grouped, or Extracted. I also used the Nano Mesh, Fiber Mesh, and Array Mesh just to get a basic understanding of how they worked. One lesson I learned the hard way was in the future build with the intent to pose the character. I used the Transpose tool to start posing him and a lot of the geometry started bending and stretching. Lesson learned, I need to make friends with some riggers for future projects.
Transparency was an issue come render time. I built the eyes with a pupil layer that I was trying to capture reflection of an HDR to give them more life. I finally figured out that you need to hit toggle the flatten button inside of BPR Render settings in order for it to work. My final renders for the class were taking an incredibly long time and I missed the mark for the eyes. I will revisit the project in the futer and pull out some cleaner renders with a pose.