New to cosplay but want to try out EVA foam builds

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by FuKt, May 25, 2015.

  1. FuKt

    FuKt New Member

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    hey all.

    long time lurker here. decided to finally put my mind into doing a cosplay but i do not want to go into something too difficult and end up scrapping the project as i know it takes quite some time to finish a suit. i am asking for any help on where i should start on an easy build of anything really. just something to get my feet wet as i have never used EVA foam before. i do have 2 very large sheets (4 x 8 ft @ 7mm thickness) a heat gun, an expensive glue gun and glue and some very sharp knives ;)

    basically just looking for someone to point me in the right direction of something easy to build for a first timer

    any help would be greatly appreciated and i thank-you all for such an informative/helpful community.

    The Dave
     
  2. collinE83

    collinE83 Well-Known Member

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  3. harrisonp

    harrisonp Well-Known Member

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    Armor seems to be the go to for EVA builds, so maybe some kind of gauntlets/shin guards would be interesting to make and are a pretty natural shape that you can't really mess up too bad. My first foam project was making a Starlord blaster with so so results, just jump into something manageable and you'll definitely find your way through it!
     
  4. FuKt

    FuKt New Member

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    thank-you for the prompt reply both of you! any links to files or tutorials would also be greatly appreciated. i think i attempted that CA helmet once and gave up after a bad cut of the EVA foam. i will attempt again to see where i went wrong in the past. @Harrisomp do you have any templates for said gauntlets i could try. i was going to attempt the Iron Mark Mark III hand until i got to the "knuckle" build of Dancing_Fool's pep foamed by JF custom. i am using pep designer/viewer which i would normally use as a tutorial to see where parts go. unfortunately it doesn't provide that shortcut for me with foam. it just looks weird flat. i guess i should just go with trial and error but i am limited on where i can get foam from.

    once again. thank-you both!

    The Dave
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  5. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    As others will attest, cutting foam is all in the sharpness of the blade and steadiness of the hand. Firm even strokes are the ticket to success. If you have an odd shaped piece you need to cut, sometimes it's good to practice first on a "test" piece of foam. Once you feel increased resistance, change that blade.

    Good luck! Don't give up!
     
  6. harrisonp

    harrisonp Well-Known Member

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    I misspoke with the gauntlet suggestion and was actually thinking of bracers which are much simpler. I don't have any real templates as I tend to freehand or base shapes off of clothing which I will then trace onto posterboard to make a rough guide for cutting.

    completely understandable but I was just curious about what limits the availability of foam for you

    And I agree don't give up! It can only get better the more familiar you get with a material.
     
  7. FuKt

    FuKt New Member

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    Grimwood i do have some heavy duty knives that tend to stay sharp for awhile. will be testing them on foam to see how they hold up. and thank-you for the kind words :)
    harrisonp it's not that i cannot get foam it is just finding the proper thickness. i am only able to find 10mm+ in 24"x24" interlocking mats. from what i have been reading 10mm is too thick? the 4' x 8' sheets i was able to get seem to always be out of stock near me. i also do not drive so it i hard for me to get it from other places that could be considered a 20m drive away.

    i am back to work now but i will be trying this on my 4 days off. i will keep you all posted on how the CA helmet turns out.

    once again i thank-you all for being so considerate and helpful. should of been more active on this board a long time ago but hey you have to start somewhere right ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  8. Murdoch

    Murdoch Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Canadian tire sells rolls of anti fatigue foam rolls. $20.00 6mm. Walmart sells yoga foam mats 4-5mm I can't recall how much. Giant Tiger ect. ect. ect. I would start in the automotive section and check the entire store till you find it. I would also like to add for practice try making foam shapes, a sphere,a block, a pyramid, lastly an octagonal prism. This will beef up your skills for cutting angles as well as the hand-eye thingy. Good luck brother. ..GM
    Just one more. You will need a variety of thicknesses for most builds so I would also incorporate that also in your practice and please post some pics. Good or not, it's nice to have a record to show how your skill level has improved...GM
     
  9. collinE83

    collinE83 Well-Known Member

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    10mm+ is pretty thick for use on a helmet. Usually, it doesn't bend right for the contours you need.

    I like using 12mm 24x24 mats, but for larger or more angular pieces with flatter sides.
     
  10. cdkealey

    cdkealey New Member

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    I love very thin eva foam sheets- 2, 3, and 5mm thick, from Hobby Lobby and other similar craft stores, also online from an ebay seller named wandy-foam. And cut almost exclusively with scissors instead of knives, as I find scissors to be much easier to get nice smooth cuts with especially along tight curves.
    I made a tutorial for very simple batman gauntlets here with the first-time foam builder in mind that also includes a free template:
    http://www.thefoamcave.com/batman-gauntlets-build-tutorial-2/
     
  11. FuKt

    FuKt New Member

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    CT is where i got my 4' x 8' foam from. every time i check it is out of stock. i will make a better attempt to see what i can find in other departments. thanks for the tip on the basic shapes. i work 4 on 4 off shifts so i will definitely be searching for materials and attempting a few builds on my 4 days off so i will of course be posting some pics of what i have done. thank-you Murdoch!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  12. FuKt

    FuKt New Member

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    cdkealey thank-you for the batman gauntlet template i will be attempting this as well. i already cut out the template at work :D and your site is amazing and very helpful! one uestion tho. is it worth getting a hot knife to cut the foam. i already have a very good dremel with 50+ bits so that will finally come in handy.

    you all are more than amazing and i appreciate all that help you have given. thank-you all once again!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  13. Murdoch

    Murdoch Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    4 days on 4 days off what do you do for work? Sounds like something for me...GM
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  14. Lifeburn

    Lifeburn Active Member

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    Here is a tip, ditch the glue gun and get some contact cement. You are able to get much cleaner seams with contact cement than hot glue.
     
  15. FuKt

    FuKt New Member

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    lol. i work for a logistics company processing trucks/trailers for loblaws at the facility here in Ajax, Ontario. Believe me when i say you do not want to work here. The stupidity of some of these drivers will drive you insane :p but yes the 4 on 4 off is nice and pay is decent :D
     
  16. FuKt

    FuKt New Member

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    thanks man will try that for sure, any specific brand i shoudl look for? now i really cant wait til my 4 days off :D thanks again everyone!
     
  17. Lifeburn

    Lifeburn Active Member

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    A lot of people use the brand Barge, but I use Dap because it's easier to get.
     
  18. FuKt

    FuKt New Member

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    cool i will see if i can find that here in Canada. thanks man!
     
  19. Murdoch

    Murdoch Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    A decent pay is always good, I'm looking at 20 PH myself...GM
     
  20. cdkealey

    cdkealey New Member

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    Sure thing man. I wouldn't bother with a hot knife for now. Just a good pair of scissors and a very sharp knife.
     
  21. FuKt

    FuKt New Member

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    hello everyone. i am finally on my 4 days off. well i am at home after my 12hr shift and thought i would start work on the captain america helmet. i am about to cut out the templates and i am noticing that the template has "valley" fold guidelines. i know in papercrafting you would score those for a valley fold am i doing this with foam as well? it doesnt really make sense as foam is a thicker medium. am i supposed to just ignore those and just cut out around the grey area and ignore any dotted/dashed lines? man i'm just beginning and i am already confused...
     
  22. Snow Builder

    Snow Builder Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Good luck on your build. I just finished my first Pepakura project. Lesson learned? The first project is going to be far from perfect -you have to get past the learning curve. Take it in stride and treat it as a practice run.
     
  23. collinE83

    collinE83 Well-Known Member

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    If you have the settings so that you see every mountain and valley line, then you'll probably want to change it so most go away. It's too much for a beginner to worry about. Maybe have it set so you only see angles under 150 degrees or something.

    Once you've done that, or if the file already loaded with most of the angles gone, then pull up a reference photo of a completed helmet. If it's a round curve, then don't worry about it. The files are already designed so the foam will do a mountain or valley curve on its own when everything is put together. If the reference picture of the helmet that you have pulled up shows a place where there's a hard angle, that's where you're going to do a single undercut to allow for the foam to do a hard valley fold. Or you'll take out a V chunk on the underside if it's a mountain fold, again only if it's a hard angle you want. Hope that helps.

    ---
    Oh, and if you haven't already, go ahead to JFcustom's foam file thread and scroll down to the pictures where he's describing how to handle mountain and valley folds. It definitely helped me on my first go.

    http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=148889
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  24. FuKt

    FuKt New Member

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    @Snowbuilder any chance on seeing this pepakura project. you have poked my interest (yes poked) as you said it is your first and i would just like to see what you have come up with. i do know what it is like beginning something total out of the norm. i myself am a traditional artist. i like the pencil and paper. well tbh i just love any paper altogether. my norm is art but i like to try something new once in awhile. try a different skill set per se.

    as for everyone that has helped me get to this point i went out and bought some very sharp scissors (thanks for the tip @cdkealey ) and several types of contact cement (props to @Lifeburn for that tip). still sticking with the blade i have atm that i bought when i was first trying to get into this hobby. i do have a normal xacto handle and 9 new blades. will be using this for the thinner stuff i suppose and the bigger one for thicker pieces 10mm+ i am thinking?

    anyways here is a pic of my tools for a better understanding :)

    http://imgur.com/f4mDDdM
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  25. FuKt

    FuKt New Member

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    @collinE83 so what you are saying is i shouldn't see mountain/valley fold lines in a foam template but foam still has these properties? i'm thinking JFcustom left them there as a guideline for the more complex pieces and as he said the CA helmet was a speed foam build? i think i just need to get my hands dirty and see how it pans out. i am so used to seeing flat and cutting flat and then building a 3d whatever out of paper..foam is a new possibility to me. something i want to invest time in as i am afraid of fiberglass/bondo and don't have an area to continuously work in. foam is clean and from what i have researched seems to be a better alternative for someone who wants to build something quickly. but it seems it has it's own difficulties much like FB/B. trial and error i suppose.... i just know i am a one-time get it done kind of guy and i think i need to change that factor about me if i want to get into this hobby.

    if it wasnt for you guys or gals? i wouldn't be at this point right now. and i will continuously thank you for the advice and support!

    qatlho (yes i googled that)
     

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