So... trying not to set myself on fire. Foam questions!

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by hydin, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Got an idea floating around in my head for a nifty piece, and well, like the title says I am trying not to set myself on fire.

    I want to make an etched looking gauntlet out of foamies or craft foam, and then paint it. Perhaps paint it before assembling it, if I am feeling particularly sane :)

    I thought to etch it, the best bet would be something like a soldering iron.

    Now, normally I would run off and see about finding all sorts of patterns and whatnot and going all GUNG HO! (or SALLY FORTH!) on the project, but I have to actually go buy a soldering iron.

    This makes me have a bit of a delay, and this delay is making me think "Man, safety is awesome. I hate being on fire!"

    So, on a scale of 1 to burn ward, how bad of a plan is it to paint craft foam, and then etch it with a hot metal rod?

    The idea is to make it out of the thin craft foam (not the giant mats I see people using for armor, etc). Wasn't sure if the paint was going to melt it, but then I realized I probably need to worry about the iron melting it too.

    I shouldn't even have to admit this, but I WASN'T PLANNING ON WEARING IT AT THE TIME OF THE ENGRAVING. I may be a little slow on the uptake, but I am not that bad :behave

    I mainly just don't want to burn down my house/lose my eyebrows.

    Any advice is welcome!
    Chris
     
  2. greatzombiehunt

    greatzombiehunt New Member

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    Might you be able to carve the foam to get that etched look you want with out risking the "Burning Flaming Foam of Doom that's on Fire!"



    -GZH
     
  3. Contec

    Contec Master Member

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    The fumes released could be toxic so do it outside or in a well ventalated area but burning it with a solder iron works. Paint the gauntlet after you have etched it, The paint could release even dangerues fumes and when etching it after you painted it would destroy your paintwork.
     
  4. Jathoris

    Jathoris Well-Known Member

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    The iron will burn right through the craft foam instantly upon contact. You'd actually be surprised what you can do with with some clay carving tools and a ball point pen believe it or not. I've done a bunch of detail work and achieved it all through pens and small objects like that. You can shape it by putting pressure and rounding pieces and heck, if you go over the same place with a pen too many times, you'll also go right through it. The foamies are truly great to work with but they have their +/-s. If it was the super thick foam I'd say wear a breather and head outside and you'd be fine but craft foam, no need for an iron. It's too hot and the foam is too thin, try a pen.
     
  5. EyeofSauron

    EyeofSauron Master Member

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    i missread the thread title as in ignoring the not, and was wondering how you would do that and if it was funny ;)
     
  6. Sean Hebein

    Sean Hebein Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You couldn't get an engraving bit for a dremel and accomplish the same thing?
     
  7. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nah, while I have many skills, some even brag worthy... engraving is not one of them. I would either end up engraving my hand, the table, the cat, or destroying the prop in the process.

    Did not know that a soldering iron would make the foam go poof though, that kinda sets me back. I thought it'd be a quick/easy thing to doodle out a design and then just sorta tape the paper down to the gauntlet and start tapping out the etching. Didn't think it'd melt anything severely in the process.

    Hmmm... might not be so quick or easy.

    Thanks for the advice so far :)
    Chris
     
  8. Jathoris

    Jathoris Well-Known Member

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    Sure it is :0) Boromir Costume
     
    hydin likes this.
  9. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow!

    Now that is cool. I have clay tools, and I think I can get the etched effect I was going for by squishing the foam with a flathead screwdriver laid sideways.

    Even managed to find my rivets last night, so all I gotta do now is figure out a pattern, buy a hot glue gun and some glue sticks, and some elastic and I can get this show on the road :)

    Thanks!!!!
    Chris
     
  10. Jathoris

    Jathoris Well-Known Member

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    No problem. I've personally used this method numerous times and have achieved some incredible looks and there's tons of tools you can work with. Post some pics when you're finished, would love to see how it turns out. :)
     
  11. Jaedena

    Jaedena Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    We used a combination of bits on our dremel tool and a soldering iron to get the patterns on our ME armour. It helped to have a stand for the dremel so we could adjust how deep the bit went in to the foam.

    We did use the thick floor mat foam though, so had some depth to play with.
     
  12. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Cool. Swung by and got my glue, elastic and glue gun today.

    Did some digging and managed to find some copper rivets I had as well, so that's a nice bonus.

    Hopefully will have something to show off towards the weekend :)

    Chris
     

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