Foam or Fiberglass suits, THAT is the question!

Discussion in 'Marvel Costumes and Props' started by sarussell1977, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. sarussell1977

    sarussell1977 New Member

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    Hello everyone!


    I'm battling a question: To Foam or Not to Foam". Long story short, and a little background on myself:


    I used to build fiberglass cars as a living. Everything from a '23 T bucket to a '51 Mercury, I also repaired boats and jet skies. Fast forward 20 years in the future and I have decided to try my hand at building fiberglass armor. My current build is Iron Man MK 7, I'm using Darkside's files. I'm STRUGGLING with fiberglass pepakura, mainly on the helmet. I'm sure there have been plenty of threads about this, but unfortunately I haven't been able to find any answers, and now I'm debating on if i should go back to a foam suit. The only issue I have with that is the durability and details the foam patterns are lacking in. I built a suit from Jfcustom files I got 3 years ago from the RPF. I was pleased at the overall ease and quickness the suit went together, but 3 years later, and actually, the night I took the suit off I am displeased with how fragile the suit is. The issue I'm having with the fiberglass helmet is that it's at least an inch bigger all around than my fiberglass build, but the fiberglass one is so tight on my ears it hurts. The foam helmet is much thicker, so I'm questioning did I get the proportions wrong on my foam build or am I just not thinking right about this build. I'll upload some pics of my foam build and my current fiberglass build.
     

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  2. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Brother...you have not done yourself any good waiting to reach out here. Lots of knowledge to aid in your quest. Both mediums have their strengths....and weakness. Foam is cheap and can be manipulated, but fiberglass is real life and can take a beating. We all have a medium that we are comfortable with. Sometimes in a costume, it takes multiple mediums to get it right.

    Fabric for an undersuit, rubber cast hands, fiberglass main armor pieces and foam joints. You get the point. The original Robocop suit is a good example as multiple building techiques were used. All of the real IM suits have different build materials. Your perfect suit might be a mix of bought and made parts.

    Good luck, Hope I helped.

    PS, the helmet is a big focal point. Find a maker who does a great job out of the box. Marvel Legends?
     
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  3. sarussell1977

    sarussell1977 New Member

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    Actually, that did help and give me some other avenues to consider. I still have the chest pep’ed and have the back printed out, I think I’m going to still finish those (I have an extremely hard time giving up) and do a little more research and planning. I’m stuck on the fiberglass because of it’s durability, but also because I’m wanting to make the helmet functional. Thanks for the encouragement and the welcome!
     
  4. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You are welcome. I would go with fiberglass as well. Im older so its what I know....not this new fangled Pep and 3D printing hahaha
     
  5. sarussell1977

    sarussell1977 New Member

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    I’m older as well, I worked on the fiberglass cars in the 90’s haha! Yeah, fiberglass is what I know as well, I think the problem I’m having is the fine line between perfect fit and too small.
     
  6. sarussell1977

    sarussell1977 New Member

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    So it’s been awhile, I have decided to use Lear60man advice and incorporate different mediums into my second attempt at a decent iron man suit. I’m going with a fiberglass COD, foam arms, legs, chest, and back, and um totally going to cheat on hands and helmet and go with cast parts from another builder. As my skill level increases I’ll attempt to make my own in another build , but for now this is the path I choose. I will give some updates with pictures so with my progress, hopefully with feedback and input from the community!
     
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