Pros & Cons - Card/Fibre Glass/Bondo Vs Foam

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AdamJ

Member
Hey

I'm in the middle of building a card/Fibre Glass/Bondo mk4 IM suit but need it completed by July... 5 months so i'm thinking of starting a foam suit.

Whats the pros and cons of Card/Fibre Glass/Bondo suit Vs Foam suit ?

Cheers
Adam
 

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Surreal Studios

Well-Known Member
Fiberglass Suit

Pros -
Able to achieve a high level of detail
Suit will last a long time
Looks Great on display

Cons -
Takes alot more time to build
More expensive
Harder to wear

Foam Suit

Pros -
Easy to build
Cheaper
Easy to wear

Cons -
Will not last as long
Can damage easier
Not able to achieve the same level of detail that a fiberglass suit can

So both have their advantages and disadvantages, it really depends on the person and what they want the suit for .
 
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Kormier

Well-Known Member
Anyone ever tried to put fibreglass on the outside of a foam build? This way you get interior comfort of foam but a durable solid fb shell? Just wondering...
 

clonesix

Sr Member
fibergalss on the outside of anything defeats the purpose. You round off all the detail and give a rough texture that needs to be smoothed. What's the point?
Add to the Bondo Con side: Mess, time, itching.

I believe that foam is more durable than you might think. Take a look at the Iron Man for a 5 year old thread, and see. Kid tested.
 
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DragginBowtie

New Member
I'm doing a full fiberglass build. yes it is time consuming and tedious but I'm looking forward to achieving a very detailed suit. If you're just trying to throw one together for an event or something, use foam. If you want a high quality show piece, use fiberglass/bondo etc. Its really all up to personal preference. Good luck though and keep us posted!
 

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AdamJ

Member
Thanks guys.

I'm going to keep building the fibre glass/bondo suit as i want a detailed suit but not sure if its possible to build in 5 months hence why i might build a foam suit.

Cheers,
Adam
 

jayjayn

Well-Known Member
i'm going to start on a glass suit also the detail on the fiberglass build will never be the same on the foam build, it took me 3 months doing the foam build, actually could of done it faster but i procrastinated it lol, if there was a way to treat the foam so the paint would be the same on foam as it is in fiberglass i would stick with foam all the way, but in the end the cracks and bends in foam after paint and use really makes the foam look worn down =\
 

Grave

Well-Known Member
you can get just as much detail with foam. get a soldering iron and a dremil. look up Evilfx on here with his new skyrim sword. lots of detail in foam. you just have to be willing to do the work.

fiberglass cons:
- have to by too many products to finish (bondo to clear coat)
- doesnt work in colder climates or winter months
- breaks easily, specially if not done properly
- if not set up right when resin coating its out of shape and garbage.
- cant do indoors cause of the toxic and flammable fumes
- paint can scratch off easily
- if something breaks at a Con or party, you cant fix it on the spot.

foam pros:
- takes as long to hot glue together as someone gluing card stock.
- if broken at a Con or party, you can pull out a little glue gun and fix it
- airbrush paint soaks into the foam leaving permanent and no worries of scratches, cracks or chips.
- much more mobile
- ways less than half as much
 

DragginBowtie

New Member
you can get just as much detail with foam. get a soldering iron and a dremil. look up Evilfx on here with his new skyrim sword. lots of detail in foam. you just have to be willing to do the work.

fiberglass cons:
- have to by too many products to finish (bondo to clear coat)
- doesnt work in colder climates or winter months
- breaks easily, specially if not done properly
- if not set up right when resin coating its out of shape and garbage.
- cant do indoors cause of the toxic and flammable fumes
- paint can scratch off easily
- if something breaks at a Con or party, you cant fix it on the spot.

foam pros:
- takes as long to hot glue together as someone gluing card stock.
- if broken at a Con or party, you can pull out a little glue gun and fix it
- airbrush paint soaks into the foam leaving permanent and no worries of scratches, cracks or chips.
- much more mobile
- ways less than half as much
I'm doing a full glass/resin suit and I am using a not toxic resin that I can use indoors (Epoxamite by Smooth-On), also if the paint is done correctly then there will be no issue of chipping or scratching off easily. If you take your time and do it right (as with any project), the end result will be incredible. Each process has it ups and downs...its all personal preference.
 

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Gumbyack454

Member
So a Foam build won't look good for display? What if you wanted to do a foam build because it's quicker and then use the fiber glass so it looks good for display?
 

Theist17

Member
So a Foam build won't look good for display? What if you wanted to do a foam build because it's quicker and then use the fiber glass so it looks good for display?
Then you may want to consider making two suits; one to wear and one for display. However, that's not always an option for most of us, because of cost and effort concerns. So, you would not be remiss to evaluate what's more important to you--the display concept or wearing the suit--and act accordingly.
 

SickTag

New Member
I am working on building an Iron Man suit by May using stock/resin/bondo method. It is def more expensive. I have spent about 300 on my Trooper suit, more tools needed and resin and fiber glass goes pretty fast depending on the build and the paint isn't cheap either. For my Iron Man, I think 2 months is plenty of time to make the suit. I figure the longest time on the build is the cutting and gluing of the cardstock model. Helps if you can get someone to help with the cuts. The wait time for drying/curing doesn't really count in my book because you can work on other stuff while it sits for a day or two. Sanding is a pain, especially if you lack work space and the most annoying thing is the fumes from Resin, the clean up and messing with all the chemical stuff. However, nothing worth having is easy.
 

GoGators

New Member
What type of foam? I understand "card/fiberglass/bondo" but I am verry confused by the concept of making armor out of foam... Clearly we arent talking about shaving cream or sea foam. I am going to go fing a foam build now
 

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isusuperman

Active Member
There wasa guy that was on here once that actually put the Fibreglass on the outside of his build. Said he was a auto Mechanic. I looked for the thread all over and couldnt find it but his suit looked worthy of the movie. it was like grey and gold or something. I thought it was a prop. I have done them all. I dont like them on the interior. I am currently doing a fiberglass suit with foam core board. Using some of the foam patterns and adjusting as i need. I feel that the fiberglass cloth on the outside if properly layed down and glued is pretty good. Yes there is more sanding but if you put the cloth down and do maybe 2 or 3 coats of resin you usually only need on thing of bondo. I seeps into the texture. If anyone knows the Iron Man post i was talking about please post it.
 

SickTag

New Member
Hobby Lobby, Joanne Fabrics, etc... and you don't mess with the tabs etc from the pep files, you just stencil, cut and glue from what I can tell. I know it's great for costumes like Captain America, etc... Though in my opinion I would just use EVA for costumes that have a rubber type looks like Batman, or the Cap, but stick to the card/fiberglass/bondo method for hard armor. But again it depends on your budget, (how much your wife will let you spend lol), time you want to put into the build, etc... I hear you can do a full suit for about 48 bucks of EVA. Also you can combine the different types in one costume as well. Like if a pience needs to bend some, or give, example the iron man neck piece would be best made from foam then the other method. Also EVA foam is a great way to pad your armor to get the proper fit on loose pieces, like bicep Trooper piece. Best to be creative and share with others what you find works best ^_^
 

GoGators

New Member
It's called EVA Foam you can get it at craft stores. Its comes in different thicknesses.
I am so sorry if i offended any foam makers with my comment above! I looked into it a bit more and now understand the concept a lot more! Sorry I was so rude up above...
 

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