So I’m still alive, I just had some issues with school ( in other words it hit me in the face that I was taking 4 AP’s and I’m not that smart of a kid) but anywho, exams are over and I’ll be taking one less next year, so I’ll have more time. Anyways, armor! I have an attraction to cosplays that will involve forms of armor (and wings, but we’ll get to that later), and my Ven armor was my first. I primarily use craft foam; It comes in many colors, but you can paint it easily with a few (time consuming) steps. There are a few things to consider before you buy foam; sure it is cheap, but do you really need that much? I’d suggest drafting stuff out or else you’ll waste it, and also consider how thick you want the armor.
So these are a few scraps I found lying around, and here’s a width comparison: The white on top I got in a roll (which if you get coupons from Joann, are great for their price!), the blue is from those packs of like 8 sheets, and the thick one is a single sheet(the website only has them in packs though, but 6mm is what you’re looking for). Now the funny thing is, the one from the roll and the one from the pack look the same, right? Well the one from the roll is much sturdier. The blue sheet is really flimsy, well luckily when I started using it, I didn’t need it for sturdy pieces of armor, I just needed to make my shoes, and it heat formed REALLY nicely. It doesn’t hold shape too well even if backed with something, so go for the roll or sheets thicker than the 2mm.
Got that out of the way? Now onto making armor. I’m just going to go over the basics of building it up in this tutorial; painting and sealing will be done later but penwiper has a great tutorial on craft foam that covers it.
- Craft foam
- Florist wire
- Heat source (not really used in this tutorial nor pictured)
- Hot glue
- Pen/pencil (something with a dull-ish end)
- Something to cut the foam
- Something to cut the wire
Got those? Good, now let’s get started!
1.Cut out your foam, of course. What I would suggest with your pattern is only make half IF the object looks symmetrical on both sides, that way they look the same.
2. This is a detail I enjoy even if it’s time consuming. It makes your foam piece pop out and gives it dimension, even just a little bit. Take whatever you have with a blunt tip, and draw lines however thick you want the beveled edge to be, and when you hit a corner, connect the line to the actual edge of the piece (it’s easier to see the indents with flash on) I made a mistake and made the lines too low; as long as it’s not folded it won’t show up later.
4. Hot glue time! Put hot glue on your lines and fold them until they’re at the desired angle, and hold it till the glue cools off; timing is key but it’s better not to hold it long enough than too long or it might just stick together and get folded in half. My hot glue gun has been on for a few hours, so that stringy whitish stuff is normal.
5. This is optional, but for pieces like this (this is for knee armor) that needs to be bent to be pulled on and off, I like putting on wire. First, put hot glue on the fold, and then place the wire on top. Next you repeat the previous step: put hot glue on top of the wire and fold over until it hold shape. You can also heat form it by blow drying it, or pressing it under an iron, or over a heat source until it’s floppy and then mold around something but I’ll get to that in another tutorial as IMO that’s for things that don’t need to be bent to get on/off.
Part 1 is finished, the rest would be sealing and painting so I’ll get back to that later.
You can incorporate this into a lot of different pieces. It’s evident in my Ven armor, but now that I know what I’m actually doing it looks better like in the pauldrons for my friend’s Tron Aqua cosplay or my Gwen Leg armor:
Hope this helped; feel free to link me things you made with this technique, I’d love to see how people incorporate it!