Important discovery in regards to EVA foam for Australian Foam armour builders

Dropbear

New Member
Disclaimer - I do not recommend taking me at my word completely as I could be wrong but this is what I think. This also really only applies to people buying foam from bunnings or if they find it at another store.
If you want to know the actual discovery skip the story. Read the TL;DR if you're that lazy.

I am new to this forum and prop building. I have wanted to make an ODST costume for a very long time and finally decided to take the leap. Did lots of research and eventually found Andrew DFT's ODST tutorials which gave me hope. So I went out to my local bunnings store (A hardware store in Australia, I live in Brisbane, Queensland). I brought some knives and tools from Bunnings Warehouse such as xacto knife, stanley knives, heat gun, knife sharpener etc. I was ready to leave when I saw they had foam for sale, foam floor mats! I was excited and they were pretty cheap 12$ for a pack of 4 (I hope that's cheap haha... :unsure)

I brought all the stuff home with me and began to follow the tutorial to make my first costume ever, of course as you accept I ran into hiccups and roadblocks but as TheEvilTedSmith says "Cosplay is problem solving" He said that right? I was having great difficulty cutting the foam nicely even with a sharp knife and was resorting to my pair of really good pair of scissors which funnily enough worked wonders for me and I managed to cut out a lot of the templates for the helmet. That being a little messy but I don't mind its my first costume.

Anyway I ran into problems when it came to beveling and couldn't really do it all that well :( which proved disheartening and really angered me. It comes to today when I decided to retry the helmet later and move to the chest piece which proved also problematic but no in the way of beveling. I go to the part where I would trace out the templates onto the foam and flip them to form the full front part of the chest plate only to discover.. THE FOAM IS TOO SMALL! I was absolutely annoyed at this point. But then I realized something....

The foam I am buying pictured here:
iW87yeI.jpg
Is obviously coloured foam compared to the black foam that everyone seems to use, which didn't bother me cause I was going to paint it anyway so oh well. But it was also smaller than the foam I see everyone using surface area wise so I couldn't fit the chest template mirrored only just one side. This got me thinking that maybe the foam I bought is different.. So I went into my cupboard and found I piece of EVA foam I used at school awhile ago. This piece of EVA was more akin to the ones I see everyone using and it was also slightly thicker. So I decided to cut and bevel it... what do ya know it worked fine I couldn't actually cut nicely and bevel decently...

So the important thing to take from this is this EVA foam from Bunnings called - Polytuf
Looks like this in its package -
lcjfyGe.jpg
Is don't buy it.. I had immense trouble with it. Maybe its denser or something I haven't a clue. I couldn't cut or bevel it nicely

TL;DR - Don't buy Polytuf EVA foam from Bunnings its **** and different to normal EVA foam somehow?
 
I'm glad to see you took my advice on Andrew DFT's tuts. I should have added that you can by slightly larger foam tiles from K-mart. Bunnings sells 500x500mm and K-mart sells 600x600. The difference is minimal, but for the exact same price, your saving money in the long run. Curious to know what glue your planning on using, hot glue is the normal go to but after prior experience (and a fair bit of money down the drain) I'd opt for contact cements. Sika is the one I am presently eyeing off as my next replacement for hot glue. If you haven't already you should also join the Australian 405th facebook group, we are quite welcome to share our thought process there as well as we are here.
 

Ashuraa

Judicial Officer
Division Staff
Hot glue is a no go. It has many cons to it. Those being it melts under high temp days and you just wearing it. It is not easy to fix a seam with Hot glue in it to make a smoother nicer seam.
Pros to Hot glue. Easy to use. Fast application / build time. Does Flex.
If you do use Hot glue make sure to always use the HIGH temp glue. and a High temp gun. Do NOT, I repeat never ever use, low tempature glue, or multitemp glue. They will melt on a normal summer day. It is heart breaking to see your workmanship melt into a puddle. I know. I have seen it happen.

Contact adhesives, such as Barge Cement, are over all a much better glue to use. It makes nice sharp seams. It holds no matter the temp after construction. The material of Foam will fail before the glue will. Seams are sandable. It does flex.
Con. Slower build time. You have to apply it to both sides of the seam cuts, and let dry to tacky before placing seams together.

Now to have some of the best seams you need to have clean smooth cuts. Some of the best ways is always have sharp blade. Sharpen your blade on a sharpening steel ever 8 to 12 inches. so about every 20 to 30 cm. Or use a hot knife. you will need to clean off the blade often with it.
 

Dropbear

New Member
I will most definitely join friend. Yeah I heard about the issues with hotglue and will be making the switch to sika (contact cement) and superglue.
 

Dropbear

New Member
Thankyou for the advice. I have to gey started soon but need foam, better glue and a new sharpener cause I can't find mine.. also not sure if my glue is low. Multi or high temp. It won't say.
 
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