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Unread 02-15-2013, 10:51 PM   #1
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Question Spraying liquid latex on foam armor?? (See video around 4:42)


Can anyone tell me what are the pros and cons of using liquid latex on foam like what this guy did for his sci fi armor? Does it last long? Is it easy to damage/wrinkle?

Any info is much appreciated

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Unread 02-16-2013, 01:20 AM   #2
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Liquid latex tends to go slightly brittle after a couple years, depending on your environment. It's nice in that it's really flexible. You either want to use it on a porous foam or spray all sides of the prop (creating a complete shell) or it might not stick that well. They sorta skipped the fact that it takes something like 5-6 coats to get good durable coverage. Liquid latex tends to dry tacky, so once the final coat dries, you need to powder it with something like talcum powder or cabosil.

Also, you need to be careful when using it with sprayguns. In most spraygun models, if you don't clean the gun out completely before the latex dries, it is a huge pain to completely disassemble it and clean all the dried latex out. After spraying, you switch it for a bottle of water and spray until it runs clean.

Also, you don't need to use true liquid latex. For most purposes, latex-based housepaint works nearly as well, plus it's easier to get ahold of. Latex is only needed when it needs a lot of flex.

Here's another great vid demonstrating its use: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q1DPtL6iwU
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Unread 02-16-2013, 04:10 AM   #3
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another option is plastidip, very similar idea
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Unread 02-16-2013, 12:42 PM   #4
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Thanks guys .

In your opinion, which is better, using latex paint or plastidip. I want my armor to last as long as possible.

Also, can either be used on those foam floor mats the mass effect cosplayers use without problems? Or do I need to use porous craft foam?

I've been talking to the guy on the video and he says either rubber, urethane, or balloon latex would work. Any experience with this stuff?

What kind of care is needed with these types of latex/plastidip? What kind of paint is acceptable/best to use?
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Unread 02-17-2013, 03:19 AM   #5
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I'm not for sure what kind of foam he is using in the video, but plasti-dip can be safely applied to craft foam without it melting. I'm not for sure what kind of armor you are making, but I'll tell you what I know about plasti-dip.

First off, its a spray on rubber. Its different than latex, and I feel like it seals much better. The latex paint I use is sprayed on foam board to seal it before I finish it with plasti-dip. Plasti-dip takes both matte and metallic spray paints well. I made a mini-tutorial on plasti dip that might help you out: http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=307906
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Unread 02-18-2013, 01:35 AM   #6
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It's really cool that he took the time to answer some of your questions. I think by "rubber" he means natural liquid latex.

By urethane, he means polyurethane rubber (people are always calling "polyurethane" "urethane" it's technically inaccurate, but no matter). Every polyurethane rubber I've seen is a two component mixture that kicks over from liquid to a solid rubber in 5 minutes to a couple hours, depending on formulation and ambient temperature.

Balloon latex is some combination of natural and artificial rubbers that is formulated to have an extremely high tear strength, so it can stretch quite a bit before it rips/pops.

You'll probably not notice any difference at all between liquid latex and balloon latex. But urethane is a different animal. You only want to mix as much as you can apply before it kicks over, and again, you want to clean it out of any spraygun equipment before it kicks over. The properties it has completely depends on the formulation. I say, the stuff is great for casting, but for now, probably not worth you getting into for a flexible coating.

Acrylic paints are fine for a latex surface. If you want to use spraypaints, you want to first paint the latex surface with a water based primer, like gesso.

I'm afraid I don't have personal experience with plastidip yet, so I can't say much about how it compares. All I know is I've seen some really slick temporary/peel-away automotive painjobs using the stuff. But that's slightly unrelated.
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