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Unread 03-19-2017, 09:04 AM   #1
Xsanaty
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Questions about Crafting Foam (for robot arm)

Hello

So a couple of weeks ago, I got a sudden urge to sew and craft. So I decided to create a Cosplay of Gaige the Mechromancer from Borderlands 2. I have most of the cosplay nailed down, but the one thing I have been working on most is her Robot arm.

My first iteration was just sewing gray patches of cloth directly onto a black long sleeved glove. I wasn't happy with it, so I tired to make some thin cardboard parts that I would clue onto some of the grey patches. I couldn't get it to form correctly, so I scratched that too.

Currently, with my third iteration, I made the metal parts out of plastic bottles and spray paint, which works for the most part. The problem is that the clue i'm using(Discount universal glue) isn't good at sticking plastic and cloth. My temporary solution was to tape the plastic parts on, but that looks stupid.

So now I have plans for the Forth iteration, which I will make with crafting foam, but before I start gathering the materials I need, I have a few questions about working with crafting foam, which I hope someone can help me with.

Here is my plan with the Forth iteration of the arm.


The metal parts on the fingers(Marked with Red) , I have planned to sew on grey patches of cloth, and clue the crafting foam parts onto them. The rest of the arm (Marked with Green), I will cut out the parts, and sew on some Velcro strip to the black glove and clue the matching strip to the crafting form part. This way I can just attach them easily.

Now here are my questions:
First, Is is a viable idea with cluing the crafting foam parts to cloth? Does it stick well? (Planning on using super clue this time)

Second, I have looked over some tutorials of working with craft foam. In order to shape it, you need to heat it up somehow(They used a heat gun, which I don't have). Can I use my stove on low heat? Does it generate enough heat to shape the foam?

Third, Some tutorials painted their parts with clue. This was so it would keep the shape better. Is this something that has to be done? Can it hold its shape without being painted with clue? Keep in mind, that the parts is just one part cut from the crafting foam, and not multiple parts clued together.

Hope you have a great day
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Unread 03-21-2017, 02:26 PM   #2
Scunosi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xsanaty View Post
Now here are my questions:
First, Is is a viable idea with cluing the crafting foam parts to cloth? Does it stick well? (Planning on using super clue this time)
I'm assuming you're talking about glue since you keep talking about "clue" and "clueing" throughout your post.

Yes, this is viable. I glued the hand and finger parts of my Lunara gauntlet directly to the glove, and haven't had any issues with them. The best pic I have of that area is this one. You do have to make sure your glove is filled out so they glue correctly; I managed this by simply wearing the glove rather than dealing with stuffing it. This adds an extra layer of protection you'll need though either from toxins or heat. I used contact cement because it's what I had handy and it's strong, but it's pretty toxic. So I wore a latex glove on my hand first, then put the cosplay glove over that to fill it out and glue the bits on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xsanaty View Post
Second, I have looked over some tutorials of working with craft foam. In order to shape it, you need to heat it up somehow(They used a heat gun, which I don't have). Can I use my stove on low heat? Does it generate enough heat to shape the foam?
I bought a heat gun for cosplay use but haven't actually used it on craft foam, only on EVA foam which is much thicker. Craft foam is so thin you may not even need to heat shape it. If you do though a stove top should be plenty of heat, again due to it being so thin. You do have to be extra careful crafting around a hot stove though rather than a directed heat gun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xsanaty View Post
Third, Some tutorials painted their parts with clue. This was so it would keep the shape better. Is this something that has to be done? Can it hold its shape without being painted with clue? Keep in mind, that the parts is just one part cut from the crafting foam, and not multiple parts clued together.

Hope you have a great day
White Elmer's glue (I believe the generic is called PVA glue?) or Mod Podge is frequently used to seal craft foam, yes. I believe it may add a bit of rigidity but not so much that it'll support itself all of a sudden if it wasn't strong enough before. If you need the craft foam to hold a specific shape you should really put some sort of structure under it, such as thin cardboard (the kind cereal boxes are made out of) and then put the craft foam over that.
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Unread 03-22-2017, 12:47 PM   #3
Xsanaty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scunosi View Post
I'm assuming you're talking about glue since you keep talking about "clue" and "clueing" throughout your post.

Yes, this is viable. I glued the hand and finger parts of my Lunara gauntlet directly to the glove, and haven't had any issues with them. The best pic I have of that area is this one. You do have to make sure your glove is filled out so they glue correctly; I managed this by simply wearing the glove rather than dealing with stuffing it. This adds an extra layer of protection you'll need though either from toxins or heat. I used contact cement because it's what I had handy and it's strong, but it's pretty toxic. So I wore a latex glove on my hand first, then put the cosplay glove over that to fill it out and glue the bits on.


I bought a heat gun for cosplay use but haven't actually used it on craft foam, only on EVA foam which is much thicker. Craft foam is so thin you may not even need to heat shape it. If you do though a stove top should be plenty of heat, again due to it being so thin. You do have to be extra careful crafting around a hot stove though rather than a directed heat gun.


White Elmer's glue (I believe the generic is called PVA glue?) or Mod Podge is frequently used to seal craft foam, yes. I believe it may add a bit of rigidity but not so much that it'll support itself all of a sudden if it wasn't strong enough before. If you need the craft foam to hold a specific shape you should really put some sort of structure under it, such as thin cardboard (the kind cereal boxes are made out of) and then put the craft foam over that.
I see, thanks a lot

The way i attached the crafting foam parts to the fingers, was first sewing some small patches of cloth onto the glove, then gluing the parts onto them. It seems to work just fine.
The velcro also seems to stick fairly well to the glove, however I am very careful when pulling the parts off the arm, because i'm afraid the velcro glue will give in before the velcro itself :P
I had an idea when working on shaping the crafting foam, and that was to use my radiator. Since its just single pieces cut out, I just pushed the parts on the radiator for a few seconds and shaped it that way. That seemed to work fine.
I didn't use clue to make it keep its shape since, again, its simple pieces, and it looks like it keeps its shape.

Thanks again for the help
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Unread 03-24-2017, 10:12 AM   #4
Xsanaty
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Thought I would post a few photoes of the finished product.


Here it is split up. The fingers are glued on, while the rest of the parts can be attached with velcro.




And here are two picture of the arm(and my foot :P). It turned out really well, and im kinda proud of myself, considering its the first time ever I try making something like this.

Hope you all have a great day

P.S., If anyone is interested in seeing the rest of the cosplay so far, just tell me. Ill be glad to share
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Unread 03-24-2017, 03:55 PM   #5
Scunosi
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Wow that looks great! Way better than my first (and so far only) time.
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