Baby’s First Foam Build

tplaten2

New Member
Hello! I hope I’m posting this in the right thread; I made an account on here about a month ago, and I’ve finally been able to start on my armor project! This is my first build, and I’m currently trying to build a Mark VI Mjolnir from Halo 3. I have a friend who worked with foam and allowed me to do some mock up work with their leftover foam, and I think it’s looking pretty okay! (I am going to remake it, I just need to find a place on campus where I can actually use contact cement so it’s not all hot glue hell..) I just can’t tell if what I have thus far is sized correctly.. if there’s anyone who has made this type of armor before/ would know what it’s supposed to look like when sized correctly, please let me know!
 

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Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
I am not a professional maker, by any stretch, but if I were to critique your shin there, I would say it is a tiny bit too small.

Assuming you didn't use anything in thre way of special programs to size it, just regular old pepakura designer, you'll be able to fix that no problem. Just fine the measurement for the height, and increase it by about an inch or two. Any more and it'll be HUGE!

Another tip I found helpful is to obsess over your seams. If you match them up as flush as you can, you'll be in great shape.

You can use super glue, (the 5 second loctite professional liquid is best) and back it with hot glue on the inside if you are unable to use contact cement or other smelly adhesive. That will work great in a pinch if you need.

Looking really good, man. Keep up the work!
 

tplaten2

New Member
I am not a professional maker, by any stretch, but if I were to critique your shin there, I would say it is a tiny bit too small.

Assuming you didn't use anything in thre way of special programs to size it, just regular old pepakura designer, you'll be able to fix that no problem. Just fine the measurement for the height, and increase it by about an inch or two. Any more and it'll be HUGE!

Another tip I found helpful is to obsess over your seams. If you match them up as flush as you can, you'll be in great shape.

You can use super glue, (the 5 second loctite professional liquid is best) and back it with hot glue on the inside if you are unable to use contact cement or other smelly adhesive. That will work great in a pinch if you need.

Looking really good, man. Keep up the work!
Hello! Thank you so much for the advice! I am using pepakura, and i have since resized and re-cut the shin. I haven't been able to glue it together yet, but I have found a place on my campus where I can use contact cement, so I think I am good on that front! I might grab some super glue in case I can't access the space, though. Again, thank you so much for the advice!
 

tplaten2

New Member
Finished the first shin piece! I’m currently still deciding over whether I should reinforce the inside with shoe glue or hot glue and I need to add a piece to the inside of the empty square above the knee, but otherwise it’s good to go! It fits pretty well, too! (Mind the dinosaur socks lol) I’m pretty pleased w/ my progress thus far!
 

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Nice! The structure is coming along very well. I'd reinforce the seams with hot glue if you have enough, as it can never hurt. Oh, and groovy socks!
If you don't mind me asking, you say you need to find a spot on campus to use contact cement - does this mean you are building it in a college dorm room?
 

tplaten2

New Member
Nice! The structure is coming along very well. I'd reinforce the seams with hot glue if you have enough, as it can never hurt. Oh, and groovy socks!
If you don't mind me asking, you say you need to find a spot on campus to use contact cement - does this mean you are building it in a college dorm room?
Ok cool! I’ll get on that and thanks! I’m currently living on campus rn, and I’ve found a workspace on campus that has good ventilation so I can use contact cement there w/ o having to worry about fumigating my dorm room!
 
I was wondering about that, and I applaud your commitment to making awesome armour in such restricted conditions. Personally, I could never part with my tools and live in a dorm room, but glad to see that you're not gonna let that stop you!
 

tplaten2

New Member
I was wondering about that, and I applaud your commitment to making awesome armour in such restricted conditions. Personally, I could never part with my tools and live in a dorm room, but glad to see that you're not gonna let that stop you!
Thanks dude! It’s sort of a drag having to shuttle materials between the Makerspace and the dorms but I’m making do!
 

tplaten2

New Member
Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve updated, but progress is going really well! I’ve finished both of the shoes and the first thigh piece, and I’m pretty happy with how it’s all coming together! All of the pieces are a bit unpolished as of rn, but otherwise good! Also, some questions: would you guys recommend any specific type of supply I could get to fill gaps in the foam? And after heat sealing my armor, should I still plastidip it before I paint? One of my friends who works with foam told be that it’d be fine, but i want to know if it would affect the quality of the armor in any way. Thank you!
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Lookin' good! To eliminate seams, I usually use gap filler from a caulking gun (like this) or for bigger gaps, foam clay. You don't have to seal the foam after heat sealing it (such as with Flexbond or Plastidip), but it does help prevent the paint from soaking in. I met someone who only heat sealed and painted their Reach marine armour, and it still looked pretty good.
 

tplaten2

New Member
Lookin' good! To eliminate seams, I usually use gap filler from a caulking gun (like this) or for bigger gaps, foam clay. You don't have to seal the foam after heat sealing it (such as with Flexbond or Plastidip), but it does help prevent the paint from soaking in. I met someone who only heat sealed and painted their Reach marine armour, and it still looked pretty good.
Thank you! I’ll try and see if the Lowe’s nearby carries either of those! Gaps are pretty minimal, so I might be ok with forgoing- I think I’ll wait till painting to fully decide. I think I’m gonna take the safe route with sealing the armor and spring for the Rustoleum Leak Seal, since I’ve heard that that stuff works wonders for sealing foam armor! All depends on how the numbers turn out, though. Thanks so much for the advice and recommendations :D!
 
For a first build I have to say this is pretty clean. My first build was also a Halo 3 Mark VI suit. Mine was a little crunchy and the final paint finish was a little pebbly.

For your shin I think your first test was the right scale just a bit short. Pepakura is a great program for unfolding but it doesn't allow for precise scaling. You can only scale uniformly instead of single dimensions. If you can I would look into ArmorSmith, it is a fan made program that does a few things Pepakura doesn't do. One major thing in particular is the ability to place all models onto an adjustable digital mannequin.

For a first attempt your doing very well I look forward to seeing how you progress through the rest of the armour.
 
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tplaten2

New Member
For a first build I have to say this is pretty clean. My first build was also a Halo 3 Mark VI suit. Mine was a little crunchy and the final paint finish was a little pebbly.

For your shin I think your first test was the right scale just a bit short. Pepakura is a great program for unfolding but it doesn't allow for precise scaling. You can only scale uniformly instead of single dimensions. If you can I would look into ArmorSmith, it is a fan made program that does a few things Pepakura doesn't do. One major thing in particular is the ability to place all models onto an adjustable digital mannequin.

For a first attempt your doing very well I look forward to seeing how you progress through the rest of the armour.
Ah, thanks! That first test shin was a gloppy hot glue mess and I think it’s somewhere in the dump rn, ive since scaled it up and my current shin pieces fit me quite nicely! Pepakura is pretty trial and error though, so I’ll go check out ArmorSmith! Being able to see what armor looks like digitally onto an adjustable mannequin sounds like a dream.. Thank you for the advice!
 
Ah, thanks! That first test shin was a gloppy hot glue mess and I think it’s somewhere in the dump rn, ive since scaled it up and my current shin pieces fit me quite nicely! Pepakura is pretty trial and error though, so I’ll go check out ArmorSmith! Being able to see what armor looks like digitally onto an adjustable mannequin sounds like a dream.. Thank you for the advice!
If you haven't already I'd test every piece your making several times over in cardstock, thats if you have constant access to a printer. With my recent Halo Infinite build I have been scaling, testing, rescaling and then drawing all over cardstock mock-ups because buying that in bulk is cheaper then testing with foam. Here in Australia I buy 100 sheet packs of cardstock at my nearest office supplier (Officeworks), I had been buying smaller packs but I go through them too quickly with each piece being six or more sheets. In doing this it also has allowed me to find construction issues now before I'd be flummoxed with them in foam.
 

tplaten2

New Member
If you haven't already I'd test every piece your making several times over in cardstock, thats if you have constant access to a printer. With my recent Halo Infinite build I have been scaling, testing, rescaling and then drawing all over cardstock mock-ups because buying that in bulk is cheaper then testing with foam. Here in Australia I buy 100 sheet packs of cardstock at my nearest office supplier (Officeworks), I had been buying smaller packs but I go through them too quickly with each piece being six or more sheets. In doing this it also has allowed me to find construction issues now before I'd be flummoxed with them in foam.
Ooh yeah doing that has saved me a lot of foam! For each piece I’ve been scaling the paper mockups to my body as best I can using a scaling guide i found on here (i screenshotted it and have no idea how to find the source sadly, when I have time I’ll search around so I can credit the person properly bc their scaling guide has been a huge help) and then cutting the pieces out, putting them together w/ tape, and trying them on to make sure that each piece would fit me and look nice while also being made of a material that’s 10mm thicker on all sides. On my college campus we actually have a printing service abt a ten minutes walk from my dorm, so I just put my pepakura onto a flash drive and take it down to be printed on card stock! I don’t have the money to trash foam on armor that’s too small or big, so I’ve been considerably cautious when it comes to cutting my paper templates out on foam and making sure it fits me decently
 

tplaten2

New Member
Really quick update! Progress is still going good, and I have completed the second thigh! However, I have a couple of questions. For a guy, I have weirdly wider hips, so how exactly would I go about adjusting the codpiece in pepakura for a smaller person with larger hips? No matter how I seem to size it, the codpiece pepakura mockups never seem to fit! It’s frustrating :( will I just have to manually change the paper mock-up?
And then for the shoes, is there any type of material I could buy for the in between ribbing part between the toe and the heel? I’ve been using gardening tube materials, but the plastic is too rigid and digs into the top of my feet.
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xXDashIVXx

Sr Member
How does the mock up cod fit on you? It may be easier to build it with foam and add or cut away material after.

For the shoes, I am pretty sure ExCeLLuR8 used the shock covers of jeep/truck suspension coils? Something like that? It looks great nevertheless so I'll let him say
 

ExCeLLuR8

Well-Known Member
Yes, I use 4x4 off road shock absorber boot covers..they're rubber and super flexible. I wrap around the host shoe with a rubber strap made from a tire inner tube. I then glue the rubber strap to the rubber cover with 5 sec super glue, super glue bonds rubber to rubber extremely well.. this system allows the joint cover to be removable and replaceable and NOT permanently attached to you foam boot forever. You'll probably never need to replace them as they are super durable, but maybe you'll want to take them off to clean under there sometime or replace shoe laces! ;)

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