Building/Printing Costume Costs

XenTastic

New Member
How much would it typically cost to build/print a costume on average?

How much did your guys costume cost to build/print?

I believe building is cheaper than printing but I’d still like to know both as I’ve started getting interested in making one myself but I don’t really know where to start but cost could help me out more.
 

PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
Welcome to the 405th XenTastic. The question you're proposing is actually a lot more complex than you might expect. What method of building were you looking at - 3D printing, foam smithing, pepakura or another? And what kind of costume - marine, ODST, Spartan, or a different character?
 

PerniciousDuke

RCO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S128
Hi XenTastic ,

You'll find answers to these general questions in the Welcome Booklet!

 

Reclaimara

Sr Member
Member DIN
S713
If you have 3d printer yourself then just the cost of energy and materials (filament, potential printer parts to swap) wouldn't be very high - just bit higher because energy costs are more expensive now.
If you were to order a it 3d printed from someone - 3d printed rifle or helmet costs around 150-200$. So can imagine whole 3d printed armor will be much more expensive.

Foam is still the cheapest as big sheet of HD foam is quite cheap and other materials like glue, knife, rotary tool. You could do whole cosplay out of foam in about the price of a 3d printed rifle.
3d printer does most of the work for you however - it just prints the whole thing for yourself that you just only need to do pretty much last stage by yourself - the final clean up of sanding down the print lines, etc. Also in case some of the 3d printer armor fails or breaks you can just reprint it.
By doing the armor manually (foam, pepakura, etc.) you are doing the whole work yourself.
 
As others here might have stated, 3D printing is cheap, accurate, and easy... BUT that's only if you already have one. Printers are definitely an investment. They are becoming cheaper to get every year, but that still puts you in the 3-digit range just to get started. My build total has cost me somewhere around $1200, but that is because I went nuts with electronics, undersuit parts, rolls of filament, and I had to buy a bunch of tools and parts I didn't already have. Either route you choose to go, just know that it's an expensive hobby. I look forward to seeing whatever you make though. Make sure to make a build post!
 

DeltaAlphaZulu

Member
How much would it typically cost to build/print a costume on average?

How much did your guys costume cost to build/print?

I believe building is cheaper than printing but I’d still like to know both as I’ve started getting interested in making one myself but I don’t really know where to start but cost could help me out more.
Welcome to the 405th!

My suit in total minus my way to expensive under suit ran close to 800ish$. If you're just getting started I would do at least one suit by foamsmithing. It's substantially cheaper, I think it cost me like 250 - 300$ total for my foam suit, and you'll learn the basics of armor making. All these basics translate when/if you decide to do a 3d printed suit.

Whatever you choose to do I hope you have fun!
 

MaxImpactGaming

New Member
Hello everyone, can i get a list of parts and materials that i should get in order to start foamsmithing? I have zero experience in this area and I know the only way to find out is to start doing it, but i do not have any tools available nor materials as of yet. Basically, a shopping list. Its unfortunate that my nearest hobbyLobby shuttered during Covid or else i assume most of what i need would be a breeze to find all in one place.
 

Reclaimara

Sr Member
Member DIN
S713
Hello everyone, can i get a list of parts and materials that i should get in order to start foamsmithing? I have zero experience in this area and I know the only way to find out is to start doing it, but i do not have any tools available nor materials as of yet. Basically, a shopping list. Its unfortunate that my nearest hobbyLobby shuttered during Covid or else i assume most of what i need would be a breeze to find all in one place.


I'm not one of the foamsmithing masters and only doing my first costume out of eva foam but here is what I bought:
- self healing cutting mat - rather small 11" size cuz I don't have a big working space
- craft knife for foam cutting
- contact cement for gluing foam (many people prefer contact glue over hot glue as it's more durable and less messy)
- eva foam
- rotary tool - depending on budget can skip this one and just do all the cutting with a knife but I find rotary tool very useful in making bevels, edges and foam smooth

That's basically all the basic materials you need for making the costume. After that - all the paints and stuff you can buy later on when you've got at least few parts done or after you finished building the costume.
 

DeltaAlphaZulu

Member
Hello everyone, can i get a list of parts and materials that i should get in order to start foamsmithing? I have zero experience in this area and I know the only way to find out is to start doing it, but i do not have any tools available nor materials as of yet. Basically, a shopping list. Its unfortunate that my nearest hobbyLobby shuttered during Covid or else i assume most of what i need would be a breeze to find all in one place.
In addition to what Reclaimara listed I'd also get a heat gun and if you plan on using contact cement, a respirator. The heat gun is used to define cuts, clean up bevels, and separate parts if your using hot glue. You'll eventually want to get a respirator no matter what, in prop building you'll end up using a lot of chemicals, like contact cement, spray paint, bondo, and spot putty to name a few, that are really bad for your respiratory health, so protect your lungs.

Also one thing i just thought of is QwickSeal for getting rid of seams.

Have a fun time foamsmithing!
 

Reclaimara

Sr Member
Member DIN
S713
In addition to what Reclaimara listed I'd also get a heat gun and if you plan on using contact cement, a respirator. The heat gun is used to define cuts, clean up bevels, and separate parts if your using hot glue. You'll eventually want to get a respirator no matter what, in prop building you'll end up using a lot of chemicals, like contact cement, spray paint, bondo, and spot putty to name a few, that are really bad for your respiratory health, so protect your lungs.

Also one thing i just thought of is QwickSeal for getting rid of seams.

Have a fun time foamsmithing!
Oh you're right! I forgot to mention heat gun as well.
Foam clay as alternative to quick seal is great too.
 

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