Mass Effect N7 foam build - Successfull armour, unsuccessfull paint

Angel Virus

New Member
Greetings RPF. First time poster, long time reader.

This past Halloween, I did myself up a set of N7 armour out of EVA interlocking foam. Having spent just about a full month of 3 hours a night working time, I came out with something I was quite proud of:

I was most certainly inspired by Volpin's and EvilFX's suits. You guys have made some great suits. So I decided to try my hand at it.

Shoulders and forearms were done as per Mass Effect 3 styling, while the rest is ME 2. Of course I didn't do everything to ME 3, but I feel I made something quite good with a mix of the two.

Short of people not entirely recongnizing me on Halloween night, my biggest issue was the paint I applied to it. It looks great just sitting there on my dummy, but minutes after I have it on, I'm already flexing or rubbing paint off. I used Krylon Fusion paints and a couple coats of clear gloss, but due to the flexibility of the foam, I had sometimes 1 inch sections of paint just fall off.

I'm clearly doing something different from everyone here and should I decide to wear the armour again, I need to get the paint right. Can anyone recommend a more appropriate paint or simply what I did wrong in the process?

Any advice would be much appriciated. Thanks!
Are you heat-sealing the foam before you paint it? Use a heat gun and run it over the foam to lightly melt the top layer so that it isn't so porous? Are you using plastidip as a primer coat?
Each pieces was passed over with the heat gun at least once. I found that the back of the foam melted nicely, evening out the ripples in the material. But on the "carbon fibre" looking side, it didn't melt down at all. Probably just the type of foam I was using.

I had thought about using plastidip, but I didn't realize that the paint would end up being such an issue. I realized that it was flaking a week before Halloween, so I wouldn't have much time to order some plastidip.

Using that as a primer, will it allow for the paint to be more durable under flexing conditions?
If you use a latex-based paint, it should. I haven't had much experience with bending parts, but it should work. Just in case, test it.
The paint can only be as flexibile as the sealing layer, so yes plasti dip would help out with that. Having a flexibile paint is also a good idea.
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