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24 Jan 2009 - 00:1110020
Craft Foam/styrene/plasticard questions - Ashlotte
Just so we don't all hijack Dani's thread >.<

I've looked into all this stuff about craft foam, so I'm quite sure I know how to use it to get the best effects, HOWEVER, because I've never used it before, and it doesn't look like anything like this has been made before, I've got a few worries approaching this project.

What i'm aiming for (and it may well be a long, slow process) is Ashlotte, from Soul Caliber 4.

I know the general basics, make a template, use craft foam, have a material base. And I was considering using styrene (plasticard) to strengthen it, also.

But I have a few questions. Will the dress even HOLD itself up like that? The only projects I can find made of craft foam are armour that wraps around the body, so it's not free standing like a skirt is. If not, I'll look into putting some wire inbetween the layers (which I may do anyway) but I'm making it in three sections, with the bodice and behind skirt as one, and the two side pieces seperate.

Also, what thickness plasticard would be best? I've found a guide that says 0.5mm is what's usually used, but I would think I might need it thicker for the skirt to support itself, but then if it's too thick, it doesn't bend and it might be too heavy? I'll do some experimenting, but if anyone could point me in the right direction?

Any help is appreciated ^^ I'm really hoping this'll work, and I wanna go in knowing as much as I can, first.I know it's a bit ambitious, but I'm gonna take a lot of time to get each bit right

24 Jan 2009 - 00:1710021
If you look at the way the dress works it's actually the outer steel cage which holds the shape of the armour. So build the frame first, then treat the armour plates like a lining. You should get away with a thin foam then.


24 Jan 2009 - 00:5410023
I worried about a way to attatch the frame to the craft foam without it ripping whenever I moved funny. Also, how would I get it off? But i can see if i make the loops strong enough,the dress should slide around the, and i should be able to climb out xD

24 Jan 2009 - 09:3010029
Treat it like one big dress so that when you unzip the back you can pull it over your head.

Though the method you use to make it does depend a lot on how you'll be getting it to conventions- what kind of transport do you have?


24 Jan 2009 - 16:4510034
That's also one of the reasons i wanted to make in three parts xD

I SHOULD be driving by kitacon, but if I'm not, with a bit of struggling, it'll survive the london underground and other train journies, if I can take it in three parts to carry in a seperate bag

I'd love to make it as a whole piece, but it's just not practical :/

24 Jan 2009 - 17:0010035
You may have a lot of problems with things like the length of the panels. And well, things like the weapon will be almost impossible for the london underground (trust me, I took seras victoria's gun in the underground last expo. It got very broken).

So unless you're sure you can get a car I would put the costume on hold for a bit. Or rethink how you're going to make it because you won't be able to use solid materials for the dress panels


24 Jan 2009 - 17:2010037
Haha! I'm not making the weapon for that very reason! If i did though, I'd probably make it detatchable. I know it's a bit like half a costume without a weapon, but again, practicality >.<

I'm honestly not too worried about transporting it. There's always ways! And after seeing a couple of friends carry ridiculously huge plush costumes that have had special bags made for them, i think it's possible to transport anything if you're careful enough.

24 Jan 2009 - 18:0110040
Maybe approach the skirt as something made of cloth instead of foam? You can still paint it to look like metal, or maybe latex it, but you'd get the flexibility of it being able to fold down better.

You'd pretty much have to make it in 3 layers- the lining, a frame work underneath and the outer "metal" layer.

It all depends on what materials you're comfortable with though. Being best on a sewing machine and with paint myself, I would look for a way to sew it and then give it a finish. But if you prefer to build up from foam, then that's up to you. I'm sure you'll figure out a way that will work for you.


24 Jan 2009 - 22:1510048
i've only ever used fabric, and polycotton at that :/ I was hoping to start branching out a bit. maybe I need to have a play around with some of the ideas you've suggested, see what works best. I might come across a way by chance.

Thanks for all the advice! I never quite realised how many mistakes i could make with this purely because i don't have the experience with the materials. I'll report back when i've had a play ^^

26 Jan 2009 - 11:4210096
I'd suggest buckram for the paneling. You can get some really stiff stuff from fabric shops (I've just bought some that's so nice and solid you'd think it was a sheet of 1cm acrylic, but sews beautifully - as there are little holes in it so that it can be sewn without compromising the structure!)

How you'd make it metallic looking is another question, possibly spray paint (I don't know how that would stick though) or cover it it shiny metallic material?

Alternatively use s slightly thinner grade buckram to back your foam (which can then be painted!) it will make it nice and stiff but still with some flexibility!

There is always room for cake
26 Jan 2009 - 20:2110108
I've totally scrapped the foam idea now. It would've been harder than it needed to be.

I found some really great lurex (I think it's called that?) that gives such a nice metallic finish (part of the reason I've decided to use material instead) and I was going to use heavy interfacing instead of buckram. I don't think it needs to be too stiff, if I use the metal frame to hold it up, and it'll work best because I can iron it to the inner lining (because I'm not sure how the lurex'll react to heat).

I have a sad lacking in good fabric shops in my area. There's two I know of and the biggest one doesn't even stock anything like jersey or buckram. Silk, satin, brocade or polycotton for me. I buy most of my material online.

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