May 29, 2008, 3:17 AM - Foam for mascot costumes?/Carving foam?
The only kind of foam I can find easily is the kind they sell at fabric stores but I've read upholstery foam isn't good to use because it rots away over time, etc.
Is there a way to prevent that from happening by coating it with something?
Are there any websites on carving foam?
May 29, 2008, 10:39 AM - Re: Foam for mascot costumes?/Carving foam?
May 29, 2008, 11:01 AM - Re: Foam for mascot costumes?/Carving foam?
I went to my library and took out books from these people
It was pretty informative. And you can also look up the books listed as similar on the bottom.
May 29, 2008, 12:56 PM - Re: Foam for mascot costumes?/Carving foam?
May 29, 2008, 2:16 PM - Re: Foam for mascot costumes?/Carving foam?
ALL urethane foam degrades pretty quickly. I know of no "coating" that will prolong its life without making it impractical for someone in a suit to wear.
The biggest problem with making mascots of that upholstery foam is that it is closed cell foam, absolutely doesn't breathe, and will make your performer extremely uncomfortable very quickly (been there, done that).
The best foam to use for any kind of costuming where the person will be in it for long stretches of time is reticulated "scot" foam.
It is much more expensive than regular polyurethane, but is open-celled, meaning it allows air to pass through, and is more durable than upholstery foam. It is, unfortunately, harder to source.
If you absolutely need to make it from polyurethane, lining the whole thing with a breathable light fabric (like tricot) so that the foam is not against the skin of the performer is: A - necessary for their comfort; and B: will prolong the life of the foam.
Hope that is helpful.
PS - Big companies who do budget mascots often make a compromise between polyurethane and scot foam by using the cheaper polyurethane but punching a network of holes in it to make it semi breathable.
May 29, 2008, 3:48 PM - Re: Foam for mascot costumes?/Carving foam?
You can sculpt the foam also, by soaking it in water, freezing it, than attacking it with a coarse sanding block.
May 29, 2008, 6:47 PM - Re: Foam for mascot costumes?/Carving foam?
If you can afford the gallon size, pick up MSooth On's Foam It 8. It's for prototyping, and is very hard to break, as well as super, super light. I really like the stuff. Best of luck!
May 29, 2008, 7:45 PM - Re: Foam for mascot costumes?/Carving foam?
Let me be more specific - my references were to foam fundamentally for making the BODIES of mascots. I don't immediately think of foam for a head sculpt, if that's what you're planning. I think of heads as fiberglass, mostly.
L200 is a great foam for patterning heads. It's a dense micropore foam like UVA. It can also be sculpted to a degree, but it's best for flat patterning. Lots of mascot heads are made with it then covered with fabric or fake fur.
The Smooth On 8 referenced by Hotshot is a rigid cold casting urethane foam for casting in a mold. Wouldn't it be hard to use that to create a mascot head? Can you cast it in a mold with a core so it comes out hollow?
Oct 3, 2012, 2:48 PM - Re: Foam for mascot costumes?/Carving foam?
I have a similar question. I need to make a mascot costume and I'm not sure which type of foam to purchase. I will need a Full Sheet roughly 6'x8', it will need to hold it's shape pretty well, and I have a budget of $100 for foam. I found this site FoamFactory, where there's free shipping over $75, which is perfect. They have a lot of different options, anyone have a suggestion?
I was thinking 3" Charcoal foam, due to its firmness and wont degrade quickly.
Packaging, Padding, Foam Sheets, Open-Cell Foam - Charcoal Foam
I will need to bend the foam slightly at the top and bottom, is this a good option?
Any suggestions will help, thanks!
Oct 3, 2012, 4:49 PM - Re: Foam for mascot costumes?/Carving foam?
For just the bulky parts and rough shape, I recommend that you cut and stack sheets of 2" thick pink or blue high-density (not beaded!) polystyrene insulation foam into a block. You can get them from Lowes or Home Depot for about $22 per 4' x 8' x 2" thick sheet. Use gorilla glue and a clamp to glue as many sheets together as you need to get the size you need. A serrated drywall cutting knife will cut through it easily (I wasn't able to hold a hot wire cutter steadily enough to get anything resembling smooth cuts, but if you've got a steady hand, it might be worth a try), and once you've got a rough shape cut, you can use a medium/coarse grit sanding sponge and/or a rasping tool to smooth it. Also, once you start cutting, I recommend a dust mask to prevent breathing it in.
Last edited by Recognizer; Oct 3, 2012 at 4:57 PM.
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