Quick question.


Plaer

New Member
Hey! I know there's probably a lot of threads about this already, but I've not been very successful in finding them. I hope me posting this isn't too big an issue.

Anyhow, I'm incredibly new to both halo cosplay and costume/propmaking in general. It's been something that's interested me for a long time, but I've never really gotten to do a whole lot with it due to a lack of proper tools and knowledge. Farthest I ever got was making a PAYDAY 2 mask out of what I think might have been Papier-mâché, which crumbled pretty quickly.

Brief tangent aside, I've been having trouble tracking down what sort of tools in particular I'll actually need to begin work on costumes, and having a list to go off of would be a huge help to me. I'm looking to at the very least begin with foam costumes, as 3D printing seems pretty out of my league in both required skill with modeling programs and, well, budget.

If anyone can point me in the right direction on where to go to find the necessary tools, I would really appreciate it! Thanks!
 

PlanetAlexander

Well-Known Member
Welcome Plaer ! Foamsmithing is a great way to get started with cosplay because it's such a mallaeable material. At the very least, all you need to get started foamsmithing is
-Foam (well, duh)
-A hobby/utility knife
-Hot glue
-Paints

That's really the bare minimum. There are many "upgrades" or additional tools I, and others, would highly recommend. The first would be to use contact adhesive instead of hot glue. It'll allow you to get much cleaner seams which can be sanded down (you can always reinforce the seams with hot glue too on the back).
A sharp knife is the most important thing for clean foam cuts. Therefore, a knife sharpener is extremely helpful to get these cuts and reduce the amount of blades you consume.
A crafting mat will stop you from tearing into the table you're cutting on, and also have less of an impact on your blades.
It's a bit of an investment, but a rotary tool, such as a Dremel, is a game changer. It'll allow you to smooth seams and add detail, which is a lot easier than hand sanding it. (I also recommend a flexible shaft).
Next would be a heat gun - not a hair dryer, as they usually don't get hot enough. A heat gun will seal the foam making paints and primers less likely to be absorbed, increasing surface quality. It can also be used to add detail when combined with a scalpel/X-acto knife.
Finally, not a tool but a material - sealers/primers. These include items such as PlastiDip or Mod Podge. These allow you to seal your foam, making it ready to accept paint.
Oh, and for safety reasons, a respirator. You don't want chemicals or foam dust to get into your air stomachs (lungs) so make sure to pick up a respirator and work in a well ventilated environment.

What I listed sounds like a lot, but if you put the effort in, even the basic materials can make a great suit!
 

Plaer

New Member
Welcome Plaer ! Foamsmithing is a great way to get started with cosplay because it's such a mallaeable material. At the very least, all you need to get started foamsmithing is
-Foam (well, duh)
-A hobby/utility knife
-Hot glue
-Paints

That's really the bare minimum. There are many "upgrades" or additional tools I, and others, would highly recommend. The first would be to use contact adhesive instead of hot glue. It'll allow you to get much cleaner seams which can be sanded down (you can always reinforce the seams with hot glue too on the back).
A sharp knife is the most important thing for clean foam cuts. Therefore, a knife sharpener is extremely helpful to get these cuts and reduce the amount of blades you consume.
A crafting mat will stop you from tearing into the table you're cutting on, and also have less of an impact on your blades.
It's a bit of an investment, but a rotary tool, such as a Dremel, is a game changer. It'll allow you to smooth seams and add detail, which is a lot easier than hand sanding it. (I also recommend a flexible shaft).
Next would be a heat gun - not a hair dryer, as they usually don't get hot enough. A heat gun will seal the foam making paints and primers less likely to be absorbed, increasing surface quality. It can also be used to add detail when combined with a scalpel/X-acto knife.
Finally, not a tool but a material - sealers/primers. These include items such as PlastiDip or Mod Podge. These allow you to seal your foam, making it ready to accept paint.
Oh, and for safety reasons, a respirator. You don't want chemicals or foam dust to get into your air stomachs (lungs) so make sure to pick up a respirator and work in a well ventilated environment.

What I listed sounds like a lot, but if you put the effort in, even the basic materials can make a great suit!
Thank you so much! I'll be sure to save this somewhere so I can easily refer to it when I get started.
 

PerniciousDuke

RCO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S128
Hi Plaer you can also check out the Tutorial Index scroll down to the Foam method and you'll have lots of resources there to help you get started.

You may find this starting out guide helpful as well:

 

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