Debate: Foam or Fiberglass

Which option would you choose?


  • Total voters
    8

valkyrjacosplay

New Member
Hey guys! So I am a very big noob for any armor made from either foam alone or fiberglass.

I want to start building my first Spartan armor and let me tell you, I am VERY picky. I made multiple armors in the past using foam covered in Worbla and I am aware that this is really not the best option to make a Spartan armor. I'd also like to point out that I consider myself an experienced armor maker. So any basic stuff, I might already know. I'm not talking about the general build, more of a finishing side of it.

Exemples of what I already made in the past (with foam covered in worbla):
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Here are my problems that keeps haunting me:

1-If I go with foam only(first of all I've always had issues with trying to ONLY use foam before but I want to maybe try again), I would hate for it to have cracks. I've always hated how foam is easy to gain cracks or wrinckles even with plastidip. Sure it's an easy fix with heat, but I just hate how it looks overall.

My idea was to maybe cover the full foam armor with latex (spray on) like Bill Doran did? But I'm not sure if it's a really good idea, or not.

2-If I go with fiberglass, I'm most likely scared that it will take a huge amount of time to finish and that it will be too uncomfortable and painful to wear in the end.

So, what do you guys think? I really want opinions here because I've been hurting my heart trying to figure it out on my own... It's stressing me more than you might know, considering I don't want to make 10000 tries and for it to take me 3 years. I normally make a lot of costumes a year and I know I'll become angry fast if I hate what my costume looks like...
 

he4thbar

Sr Member
If you are worried about details, Maybe pep the helmet? As that will be the item that gets the most attention. Foam armor is highly suggested because it's a lot more comfortable (imo) so I vote make it foam. I don't know what thickness of foam you are use to, but spartan armor can usually get away with 6-10mm (i did 10 as a lot of people do), this and 2-4mm foam for details kind of negate the use for worbla which may help with the issues.

Also, using a high quality sealer such as Rustoleam Leakseal rather then plastidip can make a big difference in appearance. A few of us swear by it due to its durability and how smooth a finish it leaves. ExCeLLuR8 made probably the best master chief i've ever seen and that build is 100% foam built. We also are big fans of using shoe goo to reinforce your interior seams so nothing falls apart. just be sure to use PPE for anything toxic.

To follow this, my ODST was my first ever build/cosplay and turned out good out of foam, so I know you can do it!! Though there are things I know I could stand to upgrade it turned out well thanks to the knowledge base on this forum.
 

valkyrjacosplay

New Member
If you are worried about details, Maybe pep the helmet? As that will be the item that gets the most attention. Foam armor is highly suggested because it's a lot more comfortable (imo) so I vote make it foam. I don't know what thickness of foam you are use to, but spartan armor can usually get away with 6-10mm (i did 10 as a lot of people do), this and 2-4mm foam for details kind of negate the use for worbla which may help with the issues.

Also, using a high quality sealer such as Rustoleam Leakseal rather then plastidip can make a big difference in appearance. A few of us swear by it due to its durability and how smooth a finish it leaves. ExCeLLuR8 made probably the best master chief i've ever seen and that build is 100% foam built. We also are big fans of using shoe goo to reinforce your interior seams so nothing falls apart. just be sure to use PPE for anything toxic.
I forgot to mention it, but I already have my resin helmet I bought from Impact props. So that is done, just need to edit it how I want and make it wearable.

For foam, I'm used to 5mm and 2mm most likely. I would rather not use thicker foam for the base but MAYBE get thicker foam for some details. Don't worry I also really don't plan on using worbla cauz I know it would be dumb XD

Rustoleam Leakseal? I never heard of that product before :O Will check it out! Never used shoe goo either. Which I think would be a clever idea^^ Thank you so much! And YES always safety first with toxic products :)

I'm most likely debating because my favorite Halo armor I've ever seen is in fiberglass.... I think he's a member here but I don't know what's his user. Even him told me to make mine out of foam but I'm so scared to not like the finished look :( It's a lot of: I'm terrified that it won't look like I want it to look. I know that I won't know before I try but still. I should probably start with a small piece like a shoulder or a bracer to test and not feel bad about redoing it from scratch if I don't like it but yeah I know I'm a big chicken for this project XD
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Lieutenant Jaku

Well-Known Member
I forgot to mention it, but I already have my resin helmet I bought from Impact props. So that is done, just need to edit it how I want and make it wearable.

For foam, I'm used to 5mm and 2mm most likely. I would rather not use thicker foam for the base but MAYBE get thicker foam for some details. Don't worry I also really don't plan on using worbla cauz I know it would be dumb XD

Rustoleam Leakseal? I never heard of that product before :O Will check it out! Never used shoe goo either. Which I think would be a clever idea^^ Thank you so much! And YES always safety first with toxic products :)

I'm most likely debating because my favorite Halo armor I've ever seen is in fiberglass.... I think he's a member here but I don't know what's his user. Even him told me to make mine out of foam but I'm so scared to not like the finished look :( It's a lot of: I'm terrified that it won't look like I want it to look. I know that I won't know before I try but still. I should probably start with a small piece like a shoulder or a bracer to test and not feel bad about redoing it from scratch if I don't like it but yeah I know I'm a big chicken for this project XD
View attachment 281612
The materials both have their ups and downs, but if its final look you're worried about both can look fantastic... or terrible. it's all about patience and attention to detail. here's my pro con list that others with more experience can add too im sure
Pep:
pros: more durable, can achieve lots of detail through carving the bondo on top into perfect shape
cons: heavy, not flexible (also means it takes more space), can be uncomfortable
Foam:
pros: light, more comfortable, wont crack on hard impact, flexible
cons: easy to rush and be sloppy, less durable, less time consuming to build (usually)

thats all i can think of but just remember, there's no definite better method. both are great and you can use different methods for different pieces.
 

valkyrjacosplay

New Member
The materials both have their ups and downs, but if its final look you're worried about both can look fantastic... or terrible. it's all about patience and attention to detail. here's my pro con list that others with more experience can add too im sure
Pep:
pros: more durable, can achieve lots of detail through carving the bondo on top into perfect shape
cons: heavy, not flexible (also means it takes more space), can be uncomfortable
Foam:
pros: light, more comfortable, wont crack on hard impact, flexible
cons: easy to rush and be sloppy, less durable, less time consuming to build (usually)

thats all i can think of but just remember, there's no definite better method. both are great and you can use different methods for different pieces.
Thank you :)
 

valkyrjacosplay

New Member
valkyrjacosplay, that is very impressive work you posted. Thing is, building either w/ foam or pep or even 3D print is an undertaking. Each has its own merits and down sides......and it's a commitment. The amount of time put in reflects the look of the final product.
Thank you :) Yeah I totally get that. I'm trying to just have a better idea of what I'd rather choose depending on people's experience :) So far foam does seem like the best option. I think it's all about how you work it and how you finish it. Painting does a good difference too and is a very important step. Always was. I'm probablyyyy going to be working slowly on it. Also, I feel like the undersuit is often overlooked? To me it's very important to have a good one and I'll take the time to make it look sick <3 I'm so picky and it's not always a good thing XD
 

valkyrjacosplay

New Member
Where was that picture taken? Maybe we can help you :)

Your suit will turn out as good as you want it to. Dont rush it and get picky with the detail. Make it as perfect as possible in early steps so it isnt a pain later. Both methods have their advantages but I am definatly biased twards foam.
Thanks man! Oh I know the Master Chief in the photo actually^^ He's a friend of mine. I was just saying how his is the best suit I've ever seen and it's in fiberglass. BUT he keeps telling me he wish he made his in foam for comfort XD
 

master_colt_117

Well-Known Member
If you are worried about details, Maybe pep the helmet? As that will be the item that gets the most attention. Foam armor is highly suggested because it's a lot more comfortable (imo) so I vote make it foam. I don't know what thickness of foam you are use to, but spartan armor can usually get away with 6-10mm (i did 10 as a lot of people do), this and 2-4mm foam for details kind of negate the use for worbla which may help with the issues.

Also, using a high quality sealer such as Rustoleam Leakseal rather then plastidip can make a big difference in appearance. A few of us swear by it due to its durability and how smooth a finish it leaves. ExCeLLuR8 made probably the best master chief i've ever seen and that build is 100% foam built. We also are big fans of using shoe goo to reinforce your interior seams so nothing falls apart. just be sure to use PPE for anything toxic.

To follow this, my ODST was my first ever build/cosplay and turned out good out of foam, so I know you can do it!! Though there are things I know I could stand to upgrade it turned out well thanks to the knowledge base on this forum.
ANYTHING can be achieved with foam and mob proof durability is made possible with shoe goo! My last suit up at a local Renn Fest I traversed miles of rocky wooded trails for about 8 hours and even had a drunk dude jump on my back, with no damage at all sustained. I definitely started a new cult with coating the interior of my entire armor with shoe goo and anchoring buckles, strapping, and boot soles with it. It reinforces seams and also helps foam hold its shape. I honestly could not imagine trusting armor durability without it. Thanks Heathbar for the shout out man! I can't wait to debut my new more game accurate torso here soon once I get it finished!

IMG-20191031-WA0028.jpg 20191130_165629.jpg 20191019_104343.jpg 20191019_211311.jpg
 

master_colt_117

Well-Known Member
The entire interior? wow I only did the seams, what a fool I am :lol:
It's all really based on your budget. Yes just backing seams is perfectly fine. I found that I liked the results of coating most on the inside of the armor just because of how well it makes formed foam hold its shape. Makes the armor rigid, but still remain flexible enough for comfort.
 

valkyrjacosplay

New Member
ANYTHING can be achieved with foam and mob proof durability is made possible with shoe goo! My last suit up at a local Renn Fest I traversed miles of rocky wooded trails for about 8 hours and even had a drunk dude jump on my back, with no damage at all sustained. I definitely started a new cult with coating the interior of my entire armor with shoe goo and anchoring buckles, strapping, and boot soles with it. It reinforces seams and also helps foam hold its shape. I honestly could not imagine trusting armor durability without it. Thanks Heathbar for the shout out man! I can't wait to debut my new more game accurate torso here soon once I get it finished!

View attachment 281615 View attachment 281616 View attachment 281617 View attachment 281624
Your armor looks soo good :eek:
 
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