My very first build for my 4 year old son (Batman)

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
How many coats should it take to seal the foam? I like that it was very flexible after the 4th coat. had a little toughness to it as well. I think I like the plastidip method for small pieces.

If you heat sealed the foam before the PlastiDip coating you're most likely golden with four coats. The manufacturer recommended is 3-5 coats for all purposes and if you have a surface finish that you're happy with it's probably a good place to stop.
 

Private Jenkins

Jr Member
If you heat sealed the foam before the PlastiDip coating you're most likely golden with four coats. The manufacturer recommended is 3-5 coats for all purposes and if you have a surface finish that you're happy with it's probably a good place to stop.

so this brings up a very VERY important question Turbo, how long do you hold the heat on the pieces and what temperature do you run the heat gun to properly "seal" the foam? I have read conflicting reports on this subject when I do my forum searches. Is just a little bit of heat enough to seal I? I have heard others say you need to make sure the first layer is very warm in order to close off the cells and melt that very top layer... is this more of an art than it is science?

my heat gun is really nice and I can set the temperature ranges and diffusion of each level so I could break it down and test it out scientifically if someone already had a "ball park" I could start with.

also along these lines, the "back" side of the foam mats have this cool "woven" pattern in it. this would appear to have been already sealed from the factory in order to achieve this "pattern", would that be safe to say?

thanks again for your help man, you've been a great help!
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
so this brings up a very VERY important question Turbo, how long do you hold the heat on the pieces and what temperature do you run the heat gun to properly "seal" the foam? I have read conflicting reports on this subject when I do my forum searches. Is just a little bit of heat enough to seal I? I have heard others say you need to make sure the first layer is very warm in order to close off the cells and melt that very top layer... is this more of an art than it is science?

my heat gun is really nice and I can set the temperature ranges and diffusion of each level so I could break it down and test it out scientifically if someone already had a "ball park" I could start with.

also along these lines, the "back" side of the foam mats have this cool "woven" pattern in it. this would appear to have been already sealed from the factory in order to achieve this "pattern", would that be safe to say?

thanks again for your help man, you've been a great help!

It's hard to explain but it's one of those "you'll know it when you see it" situations. If you've ever scored foam for detail and heated it you're probably familiar with the temperature and time required but the visual of a glossy finish is what you're aiming for. My heat gun is the Mastercraft special so it only has two settings of high and low also known as "use this for foam" and "the foam is now liquid hot magma" so using the low setting it's less than a three second pass over a section to achieve your desired surface temperature. You want the outermost layers heated and melted but not enough of the material warmed to the point of everything being malleable, from a generic EVA foam data sheet this range should be a surface temperature of 65C-70C.

If you have a flat bladed nozzle attachment for your heat gun it's probably a quick pass over the surface since it's that much better at directing heated air.

The patterned side being pre-treated seems to be a thing that varies between manufacturers from what I've seen. I've had a pack from Canadian Tire that was pre-treated and several from Walmart that weren't so it's a coin toss really but I mean hitting it with a heat gun for a few seconds will make sure you're good to go.
 

Jme

Well-Known Member
My heat gun only has low and high. I always use high to seal foam. Just run the heat gun back and forth over the foam (don't hold it in one place as it can melt the glue or warp the foam). As you pass over the foam with the gun you should see a slight change in the colour of the foam, that is the cells heating up and closing.

I believe that you are right with the back side. Just remember, if you are glueing to the inside of the foam, it is best to rough it up a bit with some sand paper.


"I don't know what is weirder - that you're fighting a stuffed animal, or that you seem to be losing." - Suzie
 

Private Jenkins

Jr Member
It's hard to explain but it's one of those "you'll know it when you see it" situations. If you've ever scored foam for detail and heated it you're probably familiar with the temperature and time required but the visual of a glossy finish is what you're aiming for. My heat gun is the Mastercraft special so it only has two settings of high and low also known as "use this for foam" and "the foam is now liquid hot magma" so using the low setting it's less than a three second pass over a section to achieve your desired surface temperature. You want the outermost layers heated and melted but not enough of the material warmed to the point of everything being malleable, from a generic EVA foam data sheet this range should be a surface temperature of 65C-70C.

If you have a flat bladed nozzle attachment for your heat gun it's probably a quick pass over the surface since it's that much better at directing heated air.

The patterned side being pre-treated seems to be a thing that varies between manufacturers from what I've seen. I've had a pack from Canadian Tire that was pre-treated and several from Walmart that weren't so it's a coin toss really but I mean hitting it with a heat gun for a few seconds will make sure you're good to go.

Turbo, you were exactly correct, once I applied some heat to it between 650 and 750 it certainly changed "color" almost like a spray paint, the shade went a little darker and I could tell it was sealed.

also another lessons learned don't press on the foam when its hot... left a nice finger print in the first layer of foam lol oh well the plastidip will cover that up!

good call on applying the heat because I could tell the softer pieces were not sealed. and of course I found that the thinner foam is closed cell, not EVA, but a softer grade? I have never seen that but again it worked well under heat...
 

Private Jenkins

Jr Member
My heat gun only has low and high. I always use high to seal foam. Just run the heat gun back and forth over the foam (don't hold it in one place as it can melt the glue or warp the foam). As you pass over the foam with the gun you should see a slight change in the colour of the foam, that is the cells heating up and closing.

I believe that you are right with the back side. Just remember, if you are glueing to the inside of the foam, it is best to rough it up a bit with some sand paper.


"I don't know what is weirder - that you're fighting a stuffed animal, or that you seem to be losing." - Suzie

two lessons learned here, your observation of the color change was spot on... I hit it with the heat gun and it changed the shade clearly, and also I confirmed that the back side of the foam was heat treated/ melted into that shape... so that little tid bit you mentioned about roughing up the back side before gluing anything to it... man that helped a lot with adhering some strapping to the foam. where were you with that tip when I started strapping :)
I probably went a little over board with 500-600 grit but I'm sure it was enough as it worked a lot easier.

Thanks again!
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
I probably went a little over board with 500-600 grit but I'm sure it was enough as it worked a lot easier.

Just a little :p

I usually just rough things up with 80 grit sanding pads on an orbital sander or a bit higher with the rotary tool. The rougher the finish the better off you'll be for adhesion of glue, contact cement you might be right though going for a silky smooth surface.
 

Private Jenkins

Jr Member
Just a little :p

I usually just rough things up with 80 grit sanding pads on an orbital sander or a bit higher with the rotary tool. The rougher the finish the better off you'll be for adhesion of glue, contact cement you might be right though going for a silky smooth surface.

A new lessons learned, Styrofoam melts when hit with over spray from plastidip! YIKES!
Knee pads and others.jpg

horrible taping job but it will do for now!
gauntlets with tape.jpg
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
A new lessons learned, Styrofoam melts when hit with over spray from plastidip!

This is one of those things I discovered making terrain pieces for miniatures games. Aerosols in general I just test on a surface for things like adhesion and absorption before going gung ho on the actual piece. Hopefully the damage is recoverable.
 

Private Jenkins

Jr Member
This is one of those things I discovered making terrain pieces for miniatures games. Aerosols in general I just test on a surface for things like adhesion and absorption before going gung ho on the actual piece. Hopefully the damage is recoverable.

yeah... no damage to the pieces thankfully. but when i saw what the aerosol did to Styrofoam i was shocked... luckily it was just from the over-spraw. so now i paint either hanging or on the plywood as you can see. :)

Man I could write a book on just what I've learned from you, Dirt, and JME alone, much less the things i have picked up over the last 4 weeks... lol

so you made terrain pieces for miniature games? which games? do share!!!
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Man I could write a book on just what I've learned from you, Dirt, and JME alone, much less the things i have picked up over the last 4 weeks... lol

The 405th, a haven for nerds, dorks and geeks who hate having free time and crush it by building things.

I used to play 40K around the time 3rd Edition was just being phased out, then it was LotR Fantasy Battles so I have a bunch of mixed pieces of sci-fi and historical. Right now it's Kings of War and Guildball so sci-fi is for costumes and miniatures are all historical/fantasy.

On the build list of costumes is a Tau Fire Warrior so GW still has their claws in me slightly.
 

Private Jenkins

Jr Member
Chest piece tapping... man is this a pain in the bum... looks ugly but it seemed to hold up nicely... forgot to "seal the bat" oh well... we will see how it goes.
chest taped.jpg

and no utility belt would be complete without some pouches!!! (finally used that DAP cement JME! thanks again for the recommendation! Stuff holds really really well!
pouches.jpg

that is all for now as far as updates... any suggestions please feel free to post em up! hopefully I can make better progress this week... almost done painting, and i hoping to finish up the fitment and strapping this week. then the test comes! :)
 

Dirtdives2424

Division Scheduler and Keeper of Con Lists
Division Staff
Community Staff
The 405th, a haven for nerds, dorks and geeks who hate having free time and crush it by building things.

I used to play 40K around the time 3rd Edition was just being phased out, then it was LotR Fantasy Battles so I have a bunch of mixed pieces of sci-fi and historical. Right now it's Kings of War and Guildball so sci-fi is for costumes and miniatures are all historical/fantasy.

On the build list of costumes is a Tau Fire Warrior so GW still has their claws in me slightly.

Costume is coming along Fantastical Private Jenkins! DAP has MANY great uses....just be sure that the one use use is the paintable type......otherwise you might have a runny paint job. You could always hit it w/ some Plata-dip spray after......then painting is a breeze. Another thing about Plata-dip, it will seal up Styrofoam. If you paint a coat on it, you can then spray paint over that. I've used foamboad for several costumes in my time, and always sealed the edges w/ plata-dip and was able to spraypaint right on to the foamboad w/o incident. Foamboard is a thin slice of Styrofoam sandwiched between 2 pieces of laminated paper.Here was my last Foamboard build....LINK and that was 100% Foamboard armor. Mostly.......

I have you beat by the way TurboCharizard........Fantasy Warriors by Nick Lund........This was when miniaturing was at it's height back in the 80's........dam I'm old..........I still do the scenery stuff though. If you have the time, check out Hirst Arts. Wish I had this stuff back in the day.
 

Private Jenkins

Jr Member
Costume is coming along Fantastical Private Jenkins! DAP has MANY great uses....just be sure that the one use use is the paintable type......otherwise you might have a runny paint job. You could always hit it w/ some Plata-dip spray after......then painting is a breeze. Another thing about Plata-dip, it will seal up Styrofoam. If you paint a coat on it, you can then spray paint over that. I've used foamboad for several costumes in my time, and always sealed the edges w/ plata-dip and was able to spraypaint right on to the foamboad w/o incident. Foamboard is a thin slice of Styrofoam sandwiched between 2 pieces of laminated paper.Here was my last Foamboard build....LINK and that was 100% Foamboard armor. Mostly.......

I have you beat by the way TurboCharizard........Fantasy Warriors by Nick Lund........This was when miniaturing was at it's height back in the 80's........dam I'm old..........I still do the scenery stuff though. If you have the time, check out Hirst Arts. Wish I had this stuff back in the day.

thanks! that does help, i found that the plastidip will seal even unsealed foam. a couple of layers and it was fine! next up i need to paint the pouches and then we can start fitting things together. i still have to fix the face mask...

had an issue, my Achilles tendon swelled up like a balloon over the weekend, i did some demo work on my downstairs bathroom, and after i dry walled it, and tiled it i couldn't even walk... so i took the rest of the weekend off... now i have to finish it up and get it done for his costume day at school :) hopefully i can bang all of this out by Thursday! thanks for the tips! and the links it was helpful NOT to have to use the search function to see what someone was saying for a change :)
 

KIsmay

New Member
That's a great Batman suit! I'm sure you're son will be thrilled to wear it soon!

I have a friend down the road from here that made himself a Batman suit.
 

Private Jenkins

Jr Member
WELL

he couldn't wait to try it on yesterday, as soon as he woke up he wanted to try it on.
please ignore the green lantern undies.
finished product.jpg


And then this morning my wife calls me to tell me that he said he didn't want to wear this for this years Halloween, he wanted to wear it next year... so there is that...

lesson learned... kids change their minds about as often as the weather changes in Chicago :)

all that work HAHA... and i don't even have the pouches added to it yet...

that is all for now. hopefully i can re-use this thing next year for my daughters costume. i can paint it pink if she wants LOL
 

Jme

Well-Known Member
Still awesome dude.


"I don't know what is weirder - that you're fighting a stuffed animal, or that you seem to be losing." - Suzie
 
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