View Full Version : Amor Help Please?

Big Sister
07-31-2009, 10:43 AM
So I looked up the tuts for armor - and I'm not sure that my budget is incredibly big, but I do have a question.

Is foam-armor rigid?

If not, I want to get a base for it, so that I can wrap it around it or something. The reason being that I want the armor to appear thick, and I honestly have no idea how many foam sheets I'm going to need in the first place.

For referance, this is what I am going to try to cosplay as:

BioShock Cosplay (http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/action/bioshock2/images/0/25/?tag=thumbs_below;thumb;25)

07-31-2009, 01:05 PM
It depends on the foam you use. In general, insulation foam is rigid, but it's brittle when hit with a blunt force. In other words, you punch a sheet of insulation foam with your fist, it will break apart. Options include fiberglass resin over foam which results in a stiff and rigid armor.

Foams come in different thicknesses, so if you're looking for a thicker armor, use a thicker foam. However, with thickness comes hinderance of movement to an extent. Thinner foams allow more movement, and also they can be layered to achieve a thicker look. Other considerations include how certain adhesives react to foam (since certain chemicals will literalkly destroy the foam itself), whether or not to use fiberglass resin, and the thickness of foams you want to use.

Big Sister
07-31-2009, 04:58 PM
That is very helpful, thanks!

I haven't managed to prod my mom into moving very far into the project quite yet (as I cannot apparently do it on my own), so I'm still in the process of deciding how much foam I'm going to have to buy, or whether or not my mom'll let me go with the foam project at all.

(Darn Mothers.)

But in any case, that does sound like something I'd consider. I'd probably go with a thicker foam, layered and whatnot to achieve a thicker look. I don't mind being restricted of movement.

With awesome costumes comes awesome sacrifice.


07-31-2009, 09:02 PM
A trick to reinforce foams, even if you don't use resin or anything on top of them is fiberglass tape aka drywall tape. It will make it essentially rip proof!

Here's an idea for a base for your armor that is rather cheap and easy to do. Get a piece of posterboard they run like 30 or 40 cents at China-Mart.. I mean Wal-Mart. You are also going to need a roll of drywall tape, you can get this at just about any hardware store, I usually get mine at Menards because they offer very large rolls and those go a very long ways. A can of spray adhesive (glue aisle) and a can of clear enamel (clear lid in spray paint aisle)

You will cut the posterboard to the pattern you want to make. IF you are say doing gauntlets, unroll them so they are flat, there will be a point near the top middle which is the part that stays above your hand, it will come around and go under your wrist. You will want to leave at least 1 1/2 inches of overlap unless you are going to use lace/string to hold it togather. You will now want to start applying the fiberglass tape, you will want to cover the whole pattern and make it 3 or 4 layers thick.

When you are done, I would suggest spraying clear enamel on it, this is found in the spray paint aisle. Nice part about this is you can spray it in your garage or outside on the floor/cement without making a mess since it's completely clear. A couple of coats will make sure the drywall tape doesn't come loose. I would spray a little heavy so it can seep in and around the fiberglass fibers. When you are done you can use spray adhesive or contact cement on an identical copy of the pattern you just used and sandwich the fiberglass in the middle. Lightly go around the outside edge with a hot glue gun to seal it all togather.

You now have a very strong, very light and very cheap armor substitute. If you want to go with a thicker approach, you can use the spray adhesive to layer 2 or 3 layers of craft foam on top of it. You can find craft foam at hobby lobby or even in China-Mart.. oops... Its fairly cheap very large sheets might cost you 1 or 2$, small ones like 30 or 40 cents. Craft foam comes in a large variety of colors. You may even be able to find a brown one to match the color of the armor you are planning on making.

If you wish to color stripes or fine details into the armor, I would suggest using paint markers or perm. ink markers. The paint markers will seep into the foam and won't damage it, the perm. ink markers might not overpower the color as well.

If you wish to lace the armor up kind of like your shoes... I would suggest adding a couple more layers of fiberglass tape or a gromet that you can buy cheaply in the sewing section.

I like using industrial velcro to attach a good share of my pieces. I use enough of it I buy the large rolls of it. They have small packs that have a total of 4 pieces in it, 2 of the soft felt material and 2 of the hard plastic grippers. Once you use the industrial stuff, you will never want to go back. For large pieces, I just apply a strip of the velcro. You can cut it in 1/2 if you need to as its like 1 1/2 inches wide. If you goto Wal-Mart (hey I got it right) its in the sewing aisle