MK IV Foam Build

Discussion in 'Marvel Costumes and Props' started by KidCas5154, May 11, 2012.

  1. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    Just bought my cutting mat, EVA floor mats, X Acto Mat Cutter and printed out the Robo (Stealth modified) foam pep files for the MKIV chest and the MK IV / MK VI back. Got a hot glue gun gonna start cutting Monday. Its my first foam build and the only pep I have done was a MK III MJOLNIR Spartan Helmet which for my first pep came out really good. Anyways wish me luck guys. I have spent the last almost 2 months reading all the foam related posts and watching Stealth and X-Robots tutorials. I think I'm ready for this lol. Pics comin Monday and any advice you guys have along the way feel free to throw it out there.
     
  2. FWBulldog

    FWBulldog Member

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    Take your time, get it right before you glue it. It's hard to fix foam. With bondo you can just sand it down, add more bondo, sand it down, etc... You can't sand foam. Good luck!
     
  3. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    Soo I'm looking at these EVA foam floor mats again and they look kinda thick. For the chest and biceps and stuff I'm sure it's fine but for the the helmet or neck it just seems like it would be a bit thick. This is the only thing I haven't really read anything about. All I ever saw was "EVA Foam" or "EVA Floor mats" I think one time I saw 6mm thickness or something. Anywas what foam is the absolute best thickness or is what I have fine. I bought "Best-Step Anti-fatigue flooring interlocking mats" from Home Depot. I just wanna make sure I'm using the best materials I can before I spend hours putting this all together just to find out I gotta do it all over again. [​IMG]
     
  4. bak9799

    bak9799 Well-Known Member

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  5. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    Okay quick question as I'm starting my project on Monday. Is an X-acto knife gonna be enough to cut thought the foam? It looks like it would take a few passes to make a cut. Are you guys using X-acto's or are you guys using box cutter / carpet knives?
     
  6. bak9799

    bak9799 Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't matter. It is up to you and what your comfortable with using.
    Some people use x-acto knives some use utility knives. Scissors can be used too!
    I use an x-acto knife and a hot knife mainly. Like this one XACTO - Precision Soldering Iron and Hot Knife Tip - X-ACTO

    No matter what kind of blade you use, replace them often. You don't want to have any
    Rough or uneven cuts.
     
  7. nolatron

    nolatron New Member

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    I've seen this xacto cutter recommended a lot.

    XACTO - Cutting Foam Board | Mat Board Cutter | X-ACTO Foam Board Cutter

    It can do 90 and 45 degree cuts and made for cutting foam board. And as a bonus the blades are double sided.


    I'm wanting to do a MKIV foam build myself, so looking forward to seeing how yours comes together. Good luck!

    And bak9799, thanks for posting that link! I've got that bookmarked for a foam source now.
     
  8. nolatron

    nolatron New Member

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    Combined this into my first post.
     
  9. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    Yeah I just bought the X-acto mat cutter. It just doesn't seem ideal for making long curved cuts and things like that. I guess I won't know until I use it. Another big question. The 90 degree and 45 degree cuts, when and how would you actually use these?
     
  10. bak9799

    bak9799 Well-Known Member

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    No problem! I too have the 45° blade and it helps a lot
     
  11. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    Off to a good start. This is all the pieces for the MK IV Chest. Obviously some pieces are going to be flipped to do the opposite side.
     
  12. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    * its harder to get clean cuts with the foam then i thought :(
     
  13. Indigogyre

    Indigogyre Well-Known Member

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    As to when to make a 45 or 90 degree cut? After I have my templates cut out I will hold them together and look at the model and decide what angle would be best to fit them together. I try to make notes on the template to remind me about the type of cut per side. Of course those notes never get moved to foam so it's easy to forget sometimes.

    I alternate between an xacto and box cutter because I have beefy hands constantly using the xacto will hurt after awhile. There is some play in the foam so your angle doesn't need to be exactly but it always helps to have some sort of angle.

    Dean
     
  14. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    man this is a lot harder then i thought. I dont understand hot to glue everything together and have no seems. People like xrobots armor looks perfect when glued together. What am I missing? My cuts are clean, its just the gluing that seems to be a pain!
     
  15. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    Im looking for 0 imperfections and not seeing it. Are some of the gaps and stuff filled in during the sealing process and plasti-dipping? I'm gonna test seal and paint one of the 3 chest pieces I did to get an idea of what faults will still be visible and what won't.
     
  16. jamesrickards

    jamesrickards Member

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    Seems are tough to hide... I'm testing some hardcore PVA glue and standard filla--- it's looking good at the moment! I'm going to prime and paint mine on Saturday ! Look at my posts to see how. I get on! It's a hard one to get a seamless suite! Good luck
     
  17. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    This is my first attempt. I didn't complete it because I realized i was making a lot of extra cute that werent needed. In the pep files some pieces are broken into 3 parts that could easily be one. Anyway here is the first attempt
    [​IMG]

    Then attempt 2 using my knowledge of the mistakes I made on #1
    [​IMG]

    These were both made with the thick EVA floor mats that come in squares.

    This is the last one I just finished and its the thinner EVA that comes rolled up. Man it was hard to not get hot glue overflow with the thinner foam, its way easier to work with though.

    [​IMG]

    I don't know if I'm just being to critical of these pieces or if my expectations are too high. I understand guys like Stealth and Xrobot set the bar high but I just feel like im falling kinda short.
     
  18. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    Man I'm really starting to get frustrated. I still am not understanding how some of you guys are getting cuts so clean and nearly seamless lines. I have made 3 chest pieces none of which I am happy with. It doesnt help that between work and school I never really have enough time to dedicate to my project either. Anyways I think I am gonna start a 4th and just do everything super super slow. Well that's my project for this week. Hopefully next time you see me I will have one bad * piece of foam chest armor. hopefully 4th time is a charm
     
  19. digital509

    digital509 Active Member

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    Don't get frustrated Kid. Look at what you have accomplished for your first attempts and think about what you've learned already. Slow and steady, and replace your blades often. Read and re-read all the great tips some of these foam masters have posted. Then, take a deep breath, and have another go at it. You may even want to start on a smaller piece than the chest to begin with, just to get a feel for the foam.
     
  20. Xtremismrk7

    Xtremismrk7 New Member

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    Looks great I need help do you guys know where to buy that kinda of foam
     
  21. TKSteve

    TKSteve Well-Known Member

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    What scares the hell out of me is the sizing. I don't have a PC, so I can't really work most of the files I'd like to, but to work on something then have it turn out too small or big is an outcome I fear facing when I have so many razor blades handy.
     
  22. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    I got my foam at Sears. its the same kind of EVA foam stealth uses. If you use Stealths modified files the default scaling is for someone average sized
     
  23. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    what piece do you reccomend starting with?
     
  24. bustermedic

    bustermedic Active Member

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    I started with a forearm on my build that I'm still working on... after a couple of times building the easier pieces, it drives you to tackle the harder ones. Looks great what you've done so far. Remember, sealing and painting will hide a lot of the imperfections, but the most important part is having a good time doing it!
     
  25. smcguiga

    smcguiga New Member

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    I use a fresh xacto blade for each piece (chest, back, abs, etc) I make. I look at the pep model and determine if I need to cut the pieces at a slight angle or not. For small angles I cut one piece square and the joining piece at a slight angle. For larger angles, both pieces are cut at an angle. When gluing, use the gun tip to smooth/thin the glue out on the outside edge, then put the outside edges together first, hold for a few seconds, then roll the pieces together and let the excess glue come out on the insides. If any glue pops out on the outside, take your finger and rub the seam. This will cause the glue to clump and also help join that seam tight. Also, only glue about 2 inches at a time.

    For each piece of armor, I cut out all my foam pieces first, then use a heat gun and mold them into the shape they need to be before gluing them together. Don't get in a hurry...it would take me multiple days, working a couple hours a night, just to get one part done.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  26. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    thanks for all the advice. Yeah I think I may invest in a heat gun and thanks for your gluing techniques.
     
  27. dabiddabird

    dabiddabird Well-Known Member

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    I just use scissors to cut my foam.I will use an xacto knife for parts where scissors won't work. I use the same foam as you so I know it'll work. You just got to make sure they are a nice pair of sharp scissors, like fabric ones.
     
  28. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    fabric scissors huh? And what is the benefit of using these?
     
  29. Dancin_Fool

    Dancin_Fool Well-Known Member

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    Fabric scissors are generally a lot sharper and sturdier than your average pair of scissors.
     
  30. msleeper

    msleeper Sr Member

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    If you're using the 1/2" foam, you're going to have a real nightmare of a time. It really is just too thick, it's hard to flex when you need to heat and curve it. Most places that sell EVA interlocking mats sell the 1/2" thick stuff. You're looking for the 1/4" thick foam. I've seen it at Sears in rolls and (very rarely, I don't think the ones near me carry it any more) in sheets. The 1/2" will have 4 pieces to a pack, the 1/4" will have 6 tiles.

    I use an Xacto knife, I don't think scissors are going to be precise enough, especially when you're wanting it to be as clean as possible.

    As far as gluing techniques, check out this thread: http://www.therpf.com/f24/speed-building-filesntricks-foam-iron-man-mkvii-148889/

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  31. KidCas5154

    KidCas5154 Active Member

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    Man props to everyone who has built any Ironman armors. It's real hard. I pretty much gave up on it just don't have the time and because I always have little time
    I find that I also have little patience and something the precise requires a lot. You guys all make it look so easy. Props to you :)
     

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