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Unread 06-02-2005, 07:55 PM   #1
Elemental
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Talking Wonderflex (Armor and Props)

More info on what Wonderflex is exactly can be found here

There are detailed Tutorials on Dani's website
FAQ here
One by me and one by Amythest Angel. Please read these before sending me a PM.


DO NOT PM ME if you are going to ask:
How much you need for X item
Where to buy (cosplaysupplies and cosworx)
How much it costs
Or How to make X item.

If you have a question, please post it here before PMing me. I will try to answer for you if I can tell a) you've read the faq and b) you've tried to ask people who are more awesome than me. I don't use Wonderflex often these days, and many of the wonderful people here are awesome help.

-------------------------------------------

To summerize, Wonderflex is a type of thermoplastic that is shaped with heat. Unlike other forms of thermoplastic, however, you don't need to put this in your oven, and it doesn't smell like burning DEATH! when you work with it. (It's non-toxic too, which cosplayers tend to ignore for their hobby, but is a nice side bonus anyway).

You can shape wonderflex with just hot water, but if you want to be able to to join pieces together, you need a $20 dollar heatgun/paintstripper from your local hardware store.

Wonderflex has the ability to make complex curves and bell shapes, unlike fun foam or Sintra.

To give you some examples, I used wonderflex to create a Automail Arm from Fullmetal Alchemist
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=352704
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=352703

And my friend Jen used it to make all of Seshoumoru's armor.
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=353880

Please check the FAQ before asking your question. If it isn't answered in the FAQ (or you are confused) feel free to post here for advice. Several Cosplay.com members are now working with this material, and can offer their own point of view.

~Amanda

Last edited by Elemental : 05-03-2009 at 08:30 PM.
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Unread 06-02-2005, 09:24 PM   #2
fightstar
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That would be most excellent! I personally would benefit from your knowledge. I am new to the whole cosplay experince and wouldn't mind learning a thing or two from a pro. I would like to make some gauntlets, like Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox, for a ninja some day. Any infomation or links to other sites with information would be most appreciated.
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Unread 06-02-2005, 09:30 PM   #3
Elemental
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Gauntlets would be quite easy with wonderflex. Unfortunatley there isn't a lot of information available on its use, which is why I started the thread- to answer basic questions, and help where I can.
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Unread 06-04-2005, 03:49 PM   #4
Hoshikaji
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WHAT BEAUTIFUL AUTOMAIL. My God. You are a wonderful crafts(wo)/man. Thank you for posting about Wonderflex, it sounds like amazing material! I would love to look into it.
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Unread 06-04-2005, 07:31 PM   #5
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Thanks! I'm already remaking the parts that didn't work out, and overall Wonderflex has just been godly to work with. It's damn forgiving, which is probably my favourite thing. ^^

If you decide to buy some, mention me! Dani's giving me a credit for anyone I refer, and hey, I need all the help I can get. ^^
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Unread 06-04-2005, 07:46 PM   #6
Kai_Kogashiwa
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Oh my goodness, this answers a lot of the questions I was having with my Kamen Rider Costume. I can make the gauntlets, and the other parts with this, maybe even the whole chest piece! Now I need to get that helmet...
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Unread 06-04-2005, 07:57 PM   #7
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Can you use it to make weapons, such as a sword?
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Unread 06-04-2005, 08:02 PM   #8
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*grins* Yup! and a Kamen rider cosplayer! *loves*

For the chestplate, I highly suggest making a duct tape dressform to mould the thermoplastic to. You get a lot of control, and don't have the 'searing your own flesh' worry. Instructions on how to make them are all over the net, but here's a few links:
http://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/.../DuctDummy.htm
http://www.taunton.com/threads/pages/t00002_p2.asp
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Unread 06-04-2005, 08:10 PM   #9
Angel Tifa
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That's nice! I'd like to get some for a Cloud Strife sword I'll have to make. But where can you get such a heatgun? Wherever I get it, what kind of heat gun should I ask for? Also, what kind of paints should I use?
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Unread 06-04-2005, 08:13 PM   #10
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Zirofax: yes, and my next project will be a sword and shield to go with my Dark Link costume.

To make a traditional sword, I'd measure out the width of the blade, then the length, and cut two long strips slightly wider than needed. I'd score them very lightly down the middle, then heat and bend them to V shapes. I'd put them together with something to support them in the middle (Plastic tubing or something similar, just so that while heating and fusing the sides I don't accidentially bend down my V's) and then heat and fuse the sides together. The hilt can be built over that, and is left up to your imagination. ^^

One of the bonuses of this is the fact that you will have an incredibly lightweight sword, that is VERY durable. And though it won't hold up to an acutal dual- you can pose, playfight, and walk around con without worrying about prop regulations. ^^
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Unread 06-04-2005, 08:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel Tifa
That's nice! I'd like to get some for a Cloud Strife sword I'll have to make. But where can you get such a heatgun? Wherever I get it, what kind of heat gun should I ask for? Also, what kind of paints should I use?
Heh, things I can answer!

Cloud's sword would be possible- though I would suggest getting a very lightweight pvc pipe (or even a cardboard tube) to base your handle and the majority of the sword off of, so that the plastic of the handle isn't trying to support the whole weight of the Blade. That much weight, with actual posing and use (which you will be able to do. ) will probably force the handle to seperate from the blade unless they're one solid piece, which would be difficult. ^^

Heat guns are bought in hardware stores. Anywhere that sells house paint, in fact. They're commonly called paint strippers, you should be able to find one for about 20 bucks, 30 at most. ^^ They're all standard, but onw with two settings (hot and super hot ) is what I use, which helps me control what I'm doing.

Wonderflex has a slightly textured finish, so I use gesso to smooth it out (it works like bondo (apparently), without being toxic, and rather less expensive). Gesso can be bought in Wallmart's art department, and most art supply stores. it's also available online, and I'd suggest picking up a large container if possible, since you'll need a fair amount for a Buster Sword, and it's less expensive to buy in bulk.

Layer a coat on, sand it smooth, and repeat until you have a perfecly smooth surface. (Metallic paint picks up every bump and dent, so this part takes time, but is really well worth it.) As for paint, anything that's made for plastic works. I use Tremclad Rust paint for my Automail, for the 'hammered metal' look, and for a really shiny look (like the top of my friend's Seshoumoru armor) we used Krylon Short Cuts Craft Enamel in silver.
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Unread 06-04-2005, 08:42 PM   #12
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wow! am i glad i found this thread...i was just about to start one asking the easiest way to make armor plates for a trinity blood costume...looks like i found my item to order. for a lightly leveled breast plate that extends from bust to groin, how much of the wonderflex do you think i'd need?
what i'm wondering is: do you think you could use wonderflex to make the posture collar here ? or would the foss shape be better to get a truer cast of the neck? i actually have a collar already made from the hearty air drying clay and it's rather rigid...would that work with the wonderflex, or would it not be able to withstand the heat?
sorry for the twenty questions...you know your stuff, so i thought i'd ask the expert...
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Unread 06-04-2005, 08:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a-tastic
wow! am i glad i found this thread...i was just about to start one asking the easiest way to make armor plates for a trinity blood costume...looks like i found my item to order. for a lightly leveled breast plate that extends from bust to groin, how much of the wonderflex do you think i'd need?
what i'm wondering is: do you think you could use wonderflex to make the posture collar here ? or would the foss shape be better to get a truer cast of the neck? i actually have a collar already made from the hearty air drying clay and it's rather rigid...would that work with the wonderflex, or would it not be able to withstand the heat?
sorry for the twenty questions...you know your stuff, so i thought i'd ask the expert...
No, please ask away! I know I'm one of the first cosplayers to work with Wonderflex and Frosshape, and since I think they're pretty shibby (especially Wonderflex- I mean, GOODBYE Papier mache! ) I'm doing what I can to inform/help the community. ^^

Depending on your size, and the shape of the breastplate- as well as if it goes around the back or not- I would estimate approximatley half a sheet. one of the great things is you can pattern your piece out on paper, and then just lay the pieces out on the floor like a jigsaw until you have a good idea of how they'd be cut out of a sheet. Then you can see how much of a sheet you'll need. ^^ I'd suggest getting 1/4 more than you need, just for first time expierience and the worry of mistakes. Also, save all your scraps, since you and use them for patches and small projects later. ^^

I've yet to have true success with frosshape because I haven't gotten my hands on a hot enough steamer, but the wonderflex would likely be a better bet nontheless. It would make a rigid collar as in the picture, though you'd have to make a form for it. ^^ I don't know how a clay neckpiece would react to the heat. The only suggestion I'd have is to try on a scrap of the clay first, but something tells me you run the risk of it cracking.

Do you have any other pictures of the costume? I'm not familliar with it.
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Unread 06-05-2005, 12:50 AM   #14
daguru
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You said it becomes malleable under hot water. What are the chances of a finished prop coming apart or bending in the blazing 110 degree weather in Arizona?
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Unread 06-05-2005, 01:04 AM   #15
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Well, Wonderflex does NOT do well kept in the back of a car and in direct sunlight, and I'm not sure what the temprature is there- we've also noticed that items painted black and left out in direct sunlight will become soft, (which quickkly fades once out of the heat source.)

I can't honestly say, not having tried, but I wouldn't expect to see much trouble unless you intend to wear the costume outdoors for long periods of time, seeing as convention centres and hotels are air conditioned. At a con, you wouldn't be outside long enough for there to be an adverse effect. But if you were planning on wearing it to a gathering, I can't be certain. Sorry I don't have a more specific answer.

And I love your Sig.
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