How to form foam shoulder bells or tops of helmets.

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by familyman, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. familyman

    familyman Sr Member

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    I have had a few people ask me if I would share how I was able to make a nice dome shape out of foam. I am using the dome shape for the top of a helmet and also maybe using the domes for shoulder pads/bells.
    Sorry for the amount of pictures but I like to show every step. It is an easy but (I think) very succesful way to make them, enjoy.

    This is what you will need... two plastic hard hats, I am using toy ones I picked up at a yard sale for 25c each. You will not that on one of them I have removed the little black clips that held the liner in, this is because they would of made marks on the foam. You will also need some tape.
    [​IMG]

    Step 1 has two parts to it, first and most important is make sure the wife is out before using the oven!!!!,, then heat up the foam.
    [​IMG]

    Step 2, place foam over one of the helmets. then place the other helmet on top and push them together, sandwiching the foam between the two.
    [​IMG]

    Step 3, tape the helmets together as tight as you can, you may need some help here. You can see my little helper in the backgroun, he was able to pick up the tape after I had dropped it.
    [​IMG]

    Step 4, wait for foam to cool, or put it in a cold place.
    [​IMG]

    Step 5, Once the foam has cooled take the tape off.
    [​IMG]

    Step 6, remove the two helmets, and trim the remaining foam off.
    [​IMG]


    Here is a dome getting ready to be used as the top of my batman cowl.
    [​IMG]
    Here it is on the batman cowl.
    [​IMG]
    Here is a dome I made for the top of an IronMan helmet.
    [​IMG]


    Hope this helps someone.

    J
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
    Guri likes this.
  2. Shades

    Shades Well-Known Member

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    AWESOME.

    NICE WORK! Simple and genius. Why didn't I think of this? Its a foam die!

    Anyway, what temp did you heat the oven too? I may use this tech to redue the bells on my desert storm batman. I had a hard time making the bells consistent the way I did it with a bowl and a heat gun.
     
  3. Shades

    Shades Well-Known Member

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    AWESOME.

    NICE WORK! Simple and genius. Why didn't I think of this? Its a foam die!

    Anyway, what temp did you heat the oven too? I may use this tech to redue the bells on my desert storm batman. I had a hard time making the bells consistent the way I did it with a bowl and a heat gun.
     
  4. familyman

    familyman Sr Member

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    thanks, I had the oven set for 375F the foam took about 1 minute to get soft enough.
     
  5. Blurr

    Blurr New Member

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    Thanks for the visuals! Helps a lot!
     
  6. Grit

    Grit New Member

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    What do you consider "soft enough"?
     
  7. omel

    omel Well-Known Member

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    yup, this will be perfect for making TDK parts ( shoulder bells and top of cowl), thanks again bro.
     
  8. familyman

    familyman Sr Member

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    Soft enough to me, is when the foam is very bendable. You want it sof enough that it will form well. I just did trial and error and luckily for me there was no error. And if it doesn't work well you can just reheat the foam again. Sorry I can not be any more help with regards to the softness of the foam.
     
  9. familyman

    familyman Sr Member

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    More then welcome. So glad I have finaly been able to help out on this forum, normaly I am just borrowing other peoples ideas lol.
     
  10. Al May

    Al May Well-Known Member

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    Great tip, thanks for posting, made me laugh with the fist step ,make sure the wife is out, I know where you are coming from.
     
  11. Lord Magneto

    Lord Magneto Well-Known Member

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    Haha my wife would flip if she saw that.

    Great tip by the way. Now to find some cheap helmets
     
  12. 3d-builder

    3d-builder Sr Member

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    Awesome thanks for sharing!
     
  13. G33k

    G33k Member

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    Nice! I'll have to gve that a shot sometime
     
  14. Mig407

    Mig407 Well-Known Member

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    thanx for sharing "foamtech" . this actually does help alot. thats awesome of you.
     
  15. Jessica

    Jessica Well-Known Member

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    Wow that's just awesome to know how to do that! Someday it will come in handy!!
     
  16. Sonjou

    Sonjou Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I saw this and was going to use it for my shoulder bells, but I was not allowed to go near the oven. =( well that and I didn't have two helmets.
     
  17. kangazang

    kangazang New Member

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    And this is your standard EVA foam sheet?
     
  18. SqueekinOrka

    SqueekinOrka Well-Known Member

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    Simple yet effective. Nice technique :)
     
  19. Groucher

    Groucher New Member

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    This is pure genius! Thanks for the quick tute, makes it really easy to follow :)
     
  20. Roadkiller

    Roadkiller New Member

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    Excellent method! Thanks for sharing.

    You've saved me a lot of trial and error on how to make shoulder bells (pauldrons) for my current project.

    Much appreciated :thumbsup
     
  21. ream

    ream New Member

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    Awesome! This is going to make my next build super easy. Thanks for the tutorial. :p
     
  22. familyman

    familyman Sr Member

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    Wow I can't believe how much feedback my tutorial has gained. I am so glad so many of you have found this usefull. I am so glad I have been able to contribute. And yes it is EVA foam.
     
  23. Dung0beetle

    Dung0beetle Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget to leave the excess foam until it is formed. It has less tendency to leave wrinkles this way. You can trim it back later. This applies when wet forming leather as well.
     
  24. pwrofbauer

    pwrofbauer Active Member

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    Great trick! Now to just find some hard hats.
     
  25. rockeagle2001

    rockeagle2001 Well-Known Member

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    this is so helpful! 10 thumbs up!
     
  26. 466

    466 New Member

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    Thanks!!!
     
  27. ream

    ream New Member

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    This was super useful. Had some extra foam around and tested it between two muffin pans. Works super good.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. ashholroyd

    ashholroyd New Member

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    This is a fantastic idea. I'm gonna redo my shoulder bells tonight now! Lol
     
  29. Obsidiank

    Obsidiank New Member

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    in case anyone is wondering, the toy helmet he uses are called bump caps. You can find them on amazon for $6. Search for pyramex bump cap.
     
  30. Rider Kabuto

    Rider Kabuto New Member

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    This is an awesome technique, Obsidiank thanks for the heads up on the bump caps. Going to order a set myself, and wow Ream that muffin tin take looks great. It sure has a carbon fiber look to it doesn't it?
     
  31. kfh99m

    kfh99m New Member

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    im going to try this method
     
  32. AbsoluteZero300

    AbsoluteZero300 New Member

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    Awesome! Wish I wouldve seen this last week before I got rid of my old oven that still worked perfectly. The wife def wont let me do it in the new one haha
     
  33. Gareee

    Gareee Well-Known Member

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    Just tried this with a pyrex mixing bowl and a smaller metal kitchen bowl, and it worked perfectly! Great tip!
     
  34. Gareee

    Gareee Well-Known Member

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    Annnd I followed that up today making some armor shoulder guards, using a toy baseball cap, and a toy army helmet insert. (It was smaller, and more round)

    Again, the results were perfect! For the thinner foam mats, 375 x 1 minute seems a bit harsh.. I think 325 or 350 might be a better choice.
     
  35. Pyrotechx

    Pyrotechx Active Member

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    Can you re-up the pics?
     
  36. Gareee

    Gareee Well-Known Member

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    I saved them locally for reference, so I'll repost his original post with his pics in place hosted here:

    I have had a few people ask me if I would share how I was able to make a nice dome shape out of foam. I am using the dome shape for the top of a helmet and also maybe using the domes for shoulder pads/bells.

    Sorry for the amount of pictures but I like to show every step. It is an easy but (I think) very successful way to make them, enjoy.

    This is what you will need... two plastic hard hats, I am using toy ones I picked up at a yard sale for 25c each. You will not that on one of them I have removed the little black clips that held the liner in, this is because they would of made marks on the foam. You will also need some tape.
    DSCF5196.jpg

    Step 1 has two parts to it, first and most important is make sure the wife is out before using the oven!!!!,, then heat up the foam.
    DSCF5197.jpg

    Step 2, place foam over one of the helmets. then place the other helmet on top and push them together, sandwiching the foam between the two.
    DSCF5198.jpg

    Step 3, tape the helmets together as tight as you can, you may need some help here. You can see my little helper in the backgroun, he was able to pick up the tape after I had dropped it.
    DSCF5199.jpg

    Step 4, wait for foam to cool, or put it in a cold place.
    DSCF5200.jpg

    Step 5, Once the foam has cooled take the tape off.
    DSCF5201.jpg

    Step 6, remove the two helmets, and trim the remaining foam off.
    DSCF5202.jpg


    Here is a dome getting ready to be used as the top of my batman cowl.
    DSCF5195.jpg
    Here it is on the batman cowl.
    DSCF5287.jpg
    Here is a dome I made for the top of an IronMan helmet.
    DSCF8025.jpg


    Hope this helps someone.


    Note: I ignored the step with the tape. I just held them together firmly in place, and have a small fan running during the molding. I just let the fan blow the cool air into the helmets, and the foam cools off within a minute or two. Also he recommended using 375 for a minute.. for the thinner rolled foam, reduce this to 300-340 for a minute.. and keep an eye on the foam.. it'll flatten, and then start to bow up as it heats.. when it starts to bow up, it has become moldable.

    Run long beads of hotglue on the inside of the domed part to help them retain their shape in the future, and repeat that at a 90 degree angle so you have a checkerboard or fence kind of look to the hot glue beads. when the foam heats up, it can try to go back to its original shape. If you've skinned the foam with plastidip pva glue, or used the inside hot glue trick, it'll be more prone to retain its new molded form over time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
    familyman likes this.
  37. familyman

    familyman Sr Member

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    Thank you for reposting them.
     
  38. Gareee

    Gareee Well-Known Member

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    My pleasure! Maybe you can quote and use the links in my post to replace them on the first original post?
     

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