Cosplay New Zealand
Hi there! This forum has now moved over to Facebook. You can find us by searching for 'Cosplay New Zealand', or going to https://www.facebook.com/groups/cosplaynewzealand/

We'll see you there.



 
HomeHome  PortalPortal  GalleryGallery  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  RulesRules  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  


Foam VS Wonderflex

View previous topic View next topic Go down
MessageAuthor
Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Guest. 03/08/13, 12:43 pm

Very sorry if there is already a topic similar to this.

Hey I'm just unsure as I've been through a ton of tutorials online...is EVA/Craft Foam better/worse/more effective than Wonderflex? Should one be used for certain props? I've never used either, and I want to be sure before I begin making armour, weapons and assorted props. I am unsure of thickness too. I've heard that sometimes people wrap their foam in wonderflex too.

Is there anyone who is a bit of a veteran in both types? Any help/advice is super appreciated!

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Rolly. 04/08/13, 11:58 am

I think in the end it boils down to what you're making them for and what sort of wear and tear it will go through.
I've only ever used craft foam, and for small-ish pieces like adornments and accessories, mostly.

For craft foam the annoying thing is that you have to seal it (with glue, etc) before you paint it. But both Wonderflex and craft foam can be reheated and reshaped repeatedly. I think the other factor would be the price tag - wonderflex is more expensive than craft foam.
Craft foam comes in different thickness, and most commonly 1mm to 2mm thickness. I do recommend airing out your craft foam when you get it - some can come with a plasticy smell and personally it makes me feel sick. It's fine once it's dissipated though.

You can get pretty good quality craft foam from Para Rubber, they cut to size IIRC.

Wonderflex you can get from Trinity Treasures.

Some people like to use Wondyflex for armour because it's more durable and won't risk the paint cracking like craft foam sometimes does. So if you've got armour at a joint or somewhere where it creases often it would probably be better to use Wondyflex. Apparently you can get the surface finish to looking pretty damn sweet/smooth but if you know your craft foam you can get a pretty sick finish too.

Hope that helps. :)
avatar
Rolly
forum prisoner.

Number of posts : 2918
Age : 26
Location : Auckland!
Transforms into : a stylish shoe for the blind earthbender
Gender : Female
Registration date : 2008-03-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Guest. 05/08/13, 01:15 pm

Thank you for the advice. If foam is only that thin, how do people make such thick armour? Do they layer it?

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Rolly. 05/08/13, 01:27 pm

You can get foam in thicker thickness! I think I've seen it go up to 5mm, but yes, people do layer it for strength and some people have made armour out of the EVA mats you put down for babies (you know, the ones that have puzzle piece edges?).
avatar
Rolly
forum prisoner.

Number of posts : 2918
Age : 26
Location : Auckland!
Transforms into : a stylish shoe for the blind earthbender
Gender : Female
Registration date : 2008-03-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By JVCA. 06/08/13, 07:17 am

From what I recall, Kamui uses both craft foam and Worbla/Wonderflex - she coats a layer of Worbla/Wonderflex on each side of the craft foam. You can see her tutorials here: http://www.kamuicosplay.com/tutorials
_________________
The Biscuit Brigade
http://kevan.org/johari?name=jvca
♥ Midsummer-Snow - Nana to my Hachi ♥
avatar
JVCA
Pronounced "Jay-vee-ka"

Number of posts : 7122
Age : 26
Location : Howick, Auckland
Transforms into : a crotchety old woman
Gender : Female
Registration date : 2007-11-25

Back to top Go down
http://www.jvca.net.nz

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Guest. 06/08/13, 10:23 am

Thank you all! I had no idea that mat foam was moldable! Would yoga/sleeping mats work too? But anyway thanks a bunch for the help. ^^

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By JVCA. 07/08/13, 02:07 am

I've used camping mat in the past with a heat gun and that worked just fine - you could always just do a tester & see how well it works? So long as they're still EVA foam they're the same as craft foam, just thicker.
_________________
The Biscuit Brigade
http://kevan.org/johari?name=jvca
♥ Midsummer-Snow - Nana to my Hachi ♥
avatar
JVCA
Pronounced "Jay-vee-ka"

Number of posts : 7122
Age : 26
Location : Howick, Auckland
Transforms into : a crotchety old woman
Gender : Female
Registration date : 2007-11-25

Back to top Go down
http://www.jvca.net.nz

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Highlander. 07/08/13, 08:16 am

You can see the range of EVA foam available by looking at foam.co.nz And they will cut it for you. But it still costs. In ChCh we are lucky because we can get $1-2 sheets, industrial offcuts, at the eco shop. Davence Young has EVA foam tutorials on face book, and example of absolutely amazing work from entire armour and large props to detail work. Although recently he seems to have started doing moulding. And there are heaps of tutorials online. But it does require time and money in sealing sanding and painting too.

Wonderflex is thin, flexible but reasonably strong and does cost. It does stick to itself with very little effort. So making a cone shape, cylinder etc., you just cut to shape roll, and stick the edge to the other edge, no glue required. It is not 100% smooth, and I would guess will need to be coated and sanded before being painted?

So most peoples armour is quite thick and I would assume made of craft foam. It is more available, cheap, people have more experience in it, etc. Wonderflex and Worbola and alternatives (eg. foss shape) are being more used now. There is a thread on CNZ about an Australian firm starting to import Worbola, and they will ship to NZ. Read up on that, IDK a lot about it. Trinity treasures do wonderflex and foss shape. Foss shape is able to be used like felt, but can be heat shrunk to harden to keep it's shape. There are even Worbola alternatives too. Wood, metal (various), leather (including hardened), interfacing and other stiffening fabrics, clay, resins, ABS plastic (for vacuum forming) and Friendly plastic (low temperature thermoplastic which is $ for very little.)

So read up, pick what you think suits what you are doing, you can source, afford and have the ability to use. There is no right answer.
avatar
Highlander
dark CHii

Number of posts : 4033
Age : 45
Location : Christchurch
Transforms into : This stylish saffron shirt.
Gender : Male
Registration date : 2009-05-02

Back to top Go down
http://skydrive.live.com/#cid=23D41AFD1F51E1F4

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Guest. 08/08/13, 01:49 pm

I tried using some of the cheap thin EVA foam, but its extremely soft and bounces around even after I've heated/cooled it into shape. I've looked up a ton of tutorials but no one actually seems to say how they get their armour/props solid enough. Is it the sealing/painting which makes it solid(er)?

Also, to make thicker armour, do I glue them together, then mould them? Or the other way around?

Sorry for noob. :/

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Rolly. 08/08/13, 02:30 pm

Yes, after sealing (typically with glue) it gets a little solider. Some people even glue a layer of thin gauzsey fabric on (like really thin/almost see through loose cotton) or strength. I would suggest you glue your foam pieces together (hot glue works fine) before sealing it as it'll stick better.
Personally I find the cheapest (Home Brand lol) hairspray speeds the sealing process up as it dries relatively fast, and gives a even-ish coating, because I really don't like brushing glue on with a paintbrush, lol (tedious).
I saw a tutorial somewhere that ironing the foam also helps to seal it. Haven't tried it though.

Usually you can mould the foam first before glueing it, however depending on what the piece is/how you do it you can also reverse it.
avatar
Rolly
forum prisoner.

Number of posts : 2918
Age : 26
Location : Auckland!
Transforms into : a stylish shoe for the blind earthbender
Gender : Female
Registration date : 2008-03-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Highlander. 08/08/13, 03:03 pm

I would shape then glue if practical. I guess it's more important with thicker stuff. Wonderflex may help stiffen it up, as would glueing buckram/etc. on, but at a cost. But not sure that will set the shape though. Never worked in armour like this. Foss shape does heat set. But it is a felt texture, at least until heat set. Of course vacuum moulded ABS holds it's shape too, although 1mm ABS is still somewhat flexible.
avatar
Highlander
dark CHii

Number of posts : 4033
Age : 45
Location : Christchurch
Transforms into : This stylish saffron shirt.
Gender : Male
Registration date : 2009-05-02

Back to top Go down
http://skydrive.live.com/#cid=23D41AFD1F51E1F4

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By azeria. 09/08/13, 12:08 am

Ravin wrote:
I tried using some of the cheap thin EVA foam, but its extremely soft and bounces around even after I've heated/cooled it into shape. I've looked up a ton of tutorials but no one actually seems to say how they get their armour/props solid enough. Is it the sealing/painting which makes it solid(er)?

Also, to make thicker armour, do I glue them together, then mould them? Or the other way around?

Sorry for noob. :/
When I did my Meiko armour, I used those cheap 3 packs of craft foam. TO make them stiff I glued on some backing fabric, it kept the shape really well and made my armour quite solid.
avatar
azeria
ACB Queen '10

Number of posts : 3226
Age : 24
Location : Wellington~
Transforms into : Rinatron
Gender : Female
Registration date : 2008-05-20

Back to top Go down
http://azeriacosplay.tumblr.com/

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Guest. 09/08/13, 04:09 am

azeria wrote:
Ravin wrote:
I tried using some of the cheap thin EVA foam, but its extremely soft and bounces around even after I've heated/cooled it into shape. I've looked up a ton of tutorials but no one actually seems to say how they get their armour/props solid enough. Is it the sealing/painting which makes it solid(er)?

Also, to make thicker armour, do I glue them together, then mould them? Or the other way around?

Sorry for noob. :/
When I did my Meiko armour, I used those cheap 3 packs of craft foam. TO make them stiff I glued on some backing fabric, it kept the shape really well and made my armour quite solid.
Do you glue before or after moulding? XD

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By neimhaille. 09/08/13, 01:30 pm

Ravin wrote:
I tried using some of the cheap thin EVA foam, but its extremely soft and bounces around even after I've heated/cooled it into shape. I've looked up a ton of tutorials but no one actually seems to say how they get their armour/props solid enough. Is it the sealing/painting which makes it solid(er)?
Ah the secret is.. photos do not tell the whole truth and often a visual effect on camera does not reflect the reality. Foam does crease and tear over time- even if well supported though well supported does help! And a lot of what you see online is when the armour is fresh and new. Foam started as a cheap alternative that had a really good look but could be replaced. We pay more for foam so we wind up expecting more.. if that makes sense?

Ravin wrote:
Also, to make thicker armour, do I glue them together, then mould them? Or the other way around?
Floor mats are what a lot of the US sci-fi cosplayers use as it is the most readily available- we have them here at The Warehouse (camping section) or Bunnings (which I have not been able to find). I believe in SE Asia it is easier to find it in sheets? More direct to cosplayer suppliers I think. Here, Para Rubber sells EVA in different weights and flex and thickness. I've used a camping *bed* mat and it was very soft and springy so it wound up lining my mold shelves instead. Currently I have two puzzle matts from one of the cheap stores local to me. It's a little lighter than the camp floor mats at The Warehouse, cheaper too.

Ravin wrote:
Sorry for noob. :/
If we had no noobs we'd not be able to keep the hobby going :) Noobs is fine :)
avatar
neimhaille
Armageddon Cosplay Contest Judge

Number of posts : 661
Age : 41
Registration date : 2007-12-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Guest. 09/08/13, 02:48 pm

neimhaille wrote:
Ravin wrote:
I tried using some of the cheap thin EVA foam, but its extremely soft and bounces around even after I've heated/cooled it into shape. I've looked up a ton of tutorials but no one actually seems to say how they get their armour/props solid enough. Is it the sealing/painting which makes it solid(er)?
Ah the secret is.. photos do not tell the whole truth and often a visual effect on camera does not reflect the reality. Foam does crease and tear over time- even if well supported though well supported does help! And a lot of what you see online is when the armour is fresh and new. Foam started as a cheap alternative that had a really good look but could be replaced. We pay more for foam so we wind up expecting more.. if that makes sense?
What I meant was that it was so floppy and weak that barely held its shape at all - gravity kicks it ass. D:

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By azeria. 09/08/13, 04:45 pm

Ravin wrote:
azeria wrote:
Ravin wrote:
I tried using some of the cheap thin EVA foam, but its extremely soft and bounces around even after I've heated/cooled it into shape. I've looked up a ton of tutorials but no one actually seems to say how they get their armour/props solid enough. Is it the sealing/painting which makes it solid(er)?

Also, to make thicker armour, do I glue them together, then mould them? Or the other way around?

Sorry for noob. :/
When I did my Meiko armour, I used those cheap 3 packs of craft foam. TO make them stiff I glued on some backing fabric, it kept the shape really well and made my armour quite solid.
Do you glue before or after moulding? XD
After moulding. I heated it up, got it into shape, then let it cool and it kept it. Then glue on fabric to strengthen it a bit, seal the outer layer and paint it up.

http://entropyhouse.com/penwiper/costumes/helmsdeep.html
This is pretty much the tutorial I used, I assume you've seen it before though, its the only one that ever gets linked in relation to craft foam armour Razz
avatar
azeria
ACB Queen '10

Number of posts : 3226
Age : 24
Location : Wellington~
Transforms into : Rinatron
Gender : Female
Registration date : 2008-05-20

Back to top Go down
http://azeriacosplay.tumblr.com/

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By thewolfsbane. 16/10/13, 09:17 am

Ravin wrote:
I tried using some of the cheap thin EVA foam, but its extremely soft and bounces around even after I've heated/cooled it into shape. I've looked up a ton of tutorials but no one actually seems to say how they get their armour/props solid enough. Is it the sealing/painting which makes it solid(er)?

Also, to make thicker armour, do I glue them together, then mould them? Or the other way around?

Sorry for noob. :/
When I did my armour with EVA foam, I layered it with 7 coats of glue and then I put a thin layer of this gauzey type fabric you can get from spotlight for like 5$ a metre. It's rather splendid. My friend coated her cosplay foam armour in fibreglass which you can get from like Super Cheap Auto etc. It is really good too. :)

Also, I am beginning trying Worbla and it works wonders. Literally.
avatar
thewolfsbane
Banana

Number of posts : 109
Age : 20
Location : Tauranga
Transforms into : a dumb zombie
Gender : Female
Registration date : 2013-03-17

Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Guest. 16/10/13, 10:26 am

Seven coats! SEVEN. Ugh.

I am thinking about trying out stuff with worbla, but I dislike ordering stuff online when I'm not sure if I'll be able to work with it.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By thewolfsbane. 16/10/13, 03:52 pm

Order a small from here. Shouldn't break the bank too much. The shop may be empty for the rest of the week because they are and Armageddon in AUS and can't ship but they are more than friendly when I asked them questions about Worbla on facebook. They are gems.
avatar
thewolfsbane
Banana

Number of posts : 109
Age : 20
Location : Tauranga
Transforms into : a dumb zombie
Gender : Female
Registration date : 2013-03-17

Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Guest. 27/11/13, 08:35 am

Another question now! What kind of glue do you use for craft foam that doesn't melt when moulding?

E.g. on fragments that need to be glued into a shape before being moulded.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Highlander. 27/11/13, 12:27 pm

PVA. Avoid the hotter form of hot glue.
avatar
Highlander
dark CHii

Number of posts : 4033
Age : 45
Location : Christchurch
Transforms into : This stylish saffron shirt.
Gender : Male
Registration date : 2009-05-02

Back to top Go down
http://skydrive.live.com/#cid=23D41AFD1F51E1F4

Re: Foam VS Wonderflex
Post By Sponsored content.


Sponsored content



Back to top Go down

Foam VS Wonderflex

View previous topic View next topic Back to top
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Cosplay New Zealand :: Cosplay :: Props & Performance-