Materials and tools in Australia

Discussion in 'Australian Regiment' started by Marves2142, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Marves2142

    Marves2142 Member

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    This thread is for the use of finding materials and tools in Australia that might help in making props and costumes, and so we begin...

    Materials for pep, foam and casting

    Finding the materials needed for your own costume or prop can be difficult when first starting out in Australia whether it be because the materials are rare or they are branded differently. This post is here to help sort out a few name differences and a few locations to acquire the materials for as cheap as I can possible find them, please if you have a cheaper place to purchase the materials please share them, any information to help your fellow builders is what drives this community.

    Tools and equipment:
    Starting off with the tools of the trade and making sure you have what's right to begin is crucial to a less stressful build, without further ado lets dive right in. Some of these may sound dumb to some but to be sure ill cover all topics. With all these ill have links in the appendix as examples and/or where you can buy all of the mentioned items.

    Scalpel: These can be purchased from an hobby store, art store, Bunnings or office works. Most scalpel blades are the No. 1 type (xacto sizing) but they are all pretty much the same size. Remember get lots of spare blades they dull easy

    Stanley knife: Bunnings or office works offer the cheapest and best products, when it comes to sizing and type it all comes down to personal preference.

    Hot Glue gun: Reject shops, Bunnings, art stores, eBay or hobby shops are your friends in this scenario, again any will work it all comes down to preference.

    Heat gun: Bunnings is the best and cheapest place to get these, I prefer the Ryobi brand because it's cheap, well built and has a great warranty though again preference.

    Hot Knife: Bunnings have a great one that's a wood burning kit with a knife attachment for foam work this is great for adding detail to your piece easily

    Rotary tool: A dremel will make your life a lot easier if it's either foam or hardened pep any brand would do though if you want a great piece of kit that will last you years then the actual brand of Dremel will never lead you astray. You can get one of these from Bunnings, or a tool store like trade tools or any really.
    Mouse sander : these are great for speeding up the smoothing portion of your pep and can with a bit of a delicate touch and the right grit sand paper be used on foam. Again hardware store like Bunnings will have them. I would recommend a Ryobi for quality and warranty.

    Files:Files are perfect for smoothing off really rough edges where sandpaper or a dremel just cant do the trick, there are a few different types of files, those being metal files, Wood rasps and mini files all have their uses but from my experience iv found the metal files and mini files are the best to use on that stubborn bit of bondo. The large metal files are perfect for cleaning large surfaces and getting nice even surfaces, while the mini files are ideal for adding detail and those tight corners. Remember when using files to always use pressure on the forward stroke and less on the pull back to minimize the chance of clogging, something else to remember keep your files clean with a steel brush and and to clean them only on the angle of the groves otherwise you risk dulling the teeth. If by some chance the file gets clogged then you may have to clean them using a blade such as a Stanley knife or a scalpel though another option would be to let the file sit in paint thinner to soften it up and hit it with a steel brush. Files you can pick up from any hardware, tool or auto store

    Mouse sander : these are great for speeding up the smoothing portion of your pep and can with a bit of a delicate touch and the right grit sand paper be used on foam. Again hardware store like Bunnings will have them. I would recommend a Ryobi for quality and warranty.

    Cutting mats:
    These can be a little pricey BUT worth it to have one so you don't ruin the surface you are working on but remember one thing DONT EVER use a hot knife on one . These can be picked up off eBay, at art stores, graphic supply stores or
    Office works. I would recommend an A2 for the shear cutting surface size but again preference and get what you need.

    Ceramic tiles: I can see it now you are going , what the hell do I need these for. Well these are useful for the Hot Knife, they don't cut through ceramic and the they don't absorb the measly heat from the knife or heat gun so win win. These can be picked up at Bunnings for cheap or a dedicated tile place as long as they are smooth, big and designed for the kitchen or bathroom you are good to go.

    Sand paper: This is a tricky one to cover as there is no real rule of thumb on what to use though the heavy grit like 60 grit the way to 1300 grit, 60 being rough for heavy sanding and 1300 for finishing of course. Any hardware or car shop will have sandpaper

    Respirators: These are a MUST for sanding back builders bog and fiber glass and resin why? well these turn into a fine particle that can be very damaging and the fumes they give off are toxic, I would recommend a proper half face respirator not a disposable one as they offer better protection. These can be purchased from any safety shop or hardware store.

    Safety glasses: Please use these, you don't want to lose an eye from chips of builders bog or fiber glass. again safety shops or hardware stores

    Gloves: the Best kind of gloves are the rubber type which you will find in the paint section of Bunnings or mechanics gloves at a auto stores. Most of the chemicals you will use have a habit of eating through latex and some people can get a rash from the powder used in them so rubber is always a better option.

    The rest are kind of obvious such as permanent markers for foam, pens for pep and a straight edge either a steel rule, square or something similar and lastly scissors get a good pair as that can actual have a dramatic affect on the quality of the cut on foam or the card stock.

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    Paper: Simplest start I guess, 200-250GSM paper or card stock as its commonly called on the 405th, simplest place to acquire said paper.. office works they have a very large selection, and remember this grade of paper is good for pep and foam templates.

    Bondo: or as it's known here in Aus Builders Bog this is a polymer filler that comes with a tin of material and a small tube or satchel of hardener this is not to be mixed up with car body filler which is a different material entirely. This is a builders product so hardware store, Bunnings, master or miter 10 of course.

    Fiber glass and fiber glass resin: fiber glass resin is a clear material that when a harder is introduced turns into a plastic composite there are 2 different types of fiberglass, there is woven and chopped strand sheets available again preference of what you would like to use, though I've always liked the woven sheets better then the strands. There are plenty of tutorials on the 405th of how to do this. This can be bought from car stores, marine stores, Hardware stores or the cheapest place is Barnes a special effects store. Please remember these materials are hazardous and toxic so safety is a must so remember gloved, respirator and safety glasses.

    EVA foam mats: EVA foam is useful in 2 ways, it's good for padding out pepped costumes and you can make costumes and props from scratch from it, most EVA foam mats are 10mm thick and are generally used for flooring in gyms or garages. They come in packs of 4 from most large retailers but the cheapest place is of course Bunnings, many people say go to Clark rubber but the prices are absurd. There are a few online retails as well that have them quite cheap and ill post one in the appendix below.

    Craft foam: this is useful for detailing the EVA foam or hiding seams and what not, they come in sizes of A4 and A3 at about 2mm thick. There are many types of craft foam, the type you are after are the harder type as they are easier to work with and aren't like a sponge and soft which is a pain to cut out easily. ill add a link of an example as well as a place to buy them.

    Self-Adhesive Foam Sheets: These sheets of foam are great for adding little details where hot glue can deform the standard craft foam sheets where the a concentration of the heat and to much glue can form bumps on the other side of the foam. These can be picked up at most art stores such as riot art or clever patch online, other places would be ebay of course.

    XPS Blue Board: This stuff is a Thermal insulation made from Extruded Polystyrene board that is great for making props, basically carving into it have a look at dafrontlinetrooper for tutorials on it he is a master at working with it.

    Tape: a good masking tape can help when assembling foam pieces as well as great for masking of areas for painting. Though masking tape isn't the only tape that could be of use when painting onto pep work painters tape is a better option. Blue scotch tape is the best and so far I've found the bear masking tape is surprisingly good at holding things together temporarily. Hardware stores like Bunnings or Masters have the largest range of masking tapes and the place I recommend you go.

    Plastidip: This is used to seal foam and can be purchased from Aussie auto or better yet Plastidip Australia.

    Putty/Primer: there are many different types you can buy spray putty separately or with primer from many places such as Bunnings, Master and the putty primer from Super cheap Auto or Repco. this is great for getting all those scratches and small dents out of your pep work after the builders bog smoothing process.

    Paints: This I'm not even really going to touch on though I will recommend Krylon paints which you can get from online retailers, but there are so many different paints out there that it all comes down to preference, though hardware store and auto stores have the best selection. There is Enamel and Acrylic paint take your pick. though always clear coat the paints afterwards with a matte finish coat, it will not only protect the paints but give it that real dull military look.

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    Stanley knife: knife

    Hot Glue gun:

    Heat gun: gun

    Hot Knife :

    Rotary tool:


    Mouse sander :

    Cutting mats:

    Ceramic tiles

    Sand paper:


    Safety glasses : glasses



    Bondo/ Builders bog: bog

    Fiber glass and fiber glass resin: fibreglass resin

    EVA foam mats:

    Craft foam:

    Self-Adhesive Foam Sheets

    XPS Blue Board:

    Tape: tape&facets=BrandName=Bear|3M™ Scotch™|3M™



    Primer primer

    have a look in a hardware or automotive store paint section
  2. C8lyn

    C8lyn Jr Member

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    I love this!
    Now I know where I can get craft foam!
    My best friend's parents own the Clark Rubber here so I might be able to get cheap stuff :p

    Does anybody know where to find a foam material with adhesive backing? I saw somebody use a similar product in a youtube video for building bondo details and it's just thrown out after
  3. Marves2142

    Marves2142 Member

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    Updated :) i forgot a few things and added in the Self-adhesive foam sheets
  4. tabris89

    tabris89 Member

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    Marves2142 likes this.
  5. Alkatraz

    Alkatraz Jr Member

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    Ive read on a few threads that you should use automotive body filler, not builders bog. Also isn't the Bondo normally used an automotive body filler anyway?
  6. Marves2142

    Marves2142 Member

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    Automotive body filler without the right clear coat over the paint will crack very easily from the heat, builders bog can expand and shrink a little with the heat meaning less chance of cracking and bondo is builders bog, body filler can also be called that but it uses a different base polymer
  7. Alkatraz

    Alkatraz Jr Member

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    That's actually the issue Ive heard about builders bog, the whole cracking and brittleness. I guess it would vary from brand to brand.
  8. Dull Blade

    Dull Blade New Member

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    While having bought EVA foam from Clark rubber and Bunnings, I have been looking for a foam that is flat on both sides for use in Helmet fins ect.
    Clark rubber has sheets 1mtr x 2mtrs x 10mm for $145 which seemed pretty expensive. After searching around online I found a place in WA that carries the same/similar for $50 + $30 shipping to Melbourne. I have ordered one and will let you know how this turns out.
    Where does everyone else get their eva foam thats flat on both sides from??
  9. Northern Dragon

    Northern Dragon Jr Member

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    The Hero Studio. All your foam needs and more

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