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Cosplay Armor material i can spray on?Follow

#1 Jan 24 2013 at 9:04 AM Rating: Good
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I seem to be a bit of a pickle. I've made a giant (wearable) armour suit, however it is currently made from a thick paper (Hurray PepaKura) that will simply not endure the wear and tear of taking it somewhere, nor what the weather may bring.

I'm looking for something of a spray-able plastic or rubber that will leave a sturdy and hard layer on the outside of my armour, while at the same time hopefully waterproofing it. In the worst possible case, i'll settle for Poly-urethane foam on the in/outside, but i'm actively trying to avoid the cruel fate of having to sand down my armour for weeks after having applied the foam. I have used Acrylic Gesso in many many layers in the past to make masks sturdy, but i believe it would require too much of it to finish and would make it far too heavy in the end.

I think that fibreglass in a resin may be an option, since i have some on the shelve, but it would leave me with a very rough surface, not to mention it's quite tricky to work with. Unless someone can name a spray-on fibreglass.

If you have any suggestions for what i could use, i would love to hear about it.

Some criteria:

- Sprayed or brushed in a thick layer, lets say 5 mm to a cm.
- It has to make it more durable or hard. Enough to last through 3 days of hug tackles, shoulder pats and whatever the weather may bring. Flexible thick rubber as an outer layer seems ok too.

Much obliged,

Suri
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#2 Jan 24 2013 at 9:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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#3 Jan 24 2013 at 9:13 AM Rating: Good
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#4 Jan 24 2013 at 9:14 AM Rating: Good
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Maybe you should try a hobby forum.
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#5 Jan 24 2013 at 9:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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Cardboard.
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#6 Jan 24 2013 at 9:16 AM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:


With the chemical bonding it uses he/she'll never get it off without tearing out chunks of flesh.
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#7 Jan 24 2013 at 9:21 AM Rating: Decent
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Shaowstrike the Shady wrote:
TirithRR wrote:


With the chemical bonding it uses he/she'll never get it off without tearing out chunks of flesh.

I hardly think i want to use it to attach the armor to my body >_>; Just spray some over the paper so it can survive walking around in it a little.

Still, sounds like a decent suggestion. Most likely not available outside of the US, but i'll take a look. More suggestions would be welcome though.
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#8 Jan 24 2013 at 9:24 AM Rating: Good
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Always a chance that it will soak through the layers and retain it's moisture until you put it on.
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#9 Jan 24 2013 at 6:49 PM Rating: Good
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You could always just wear real armor.
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#10 Jan 24 2013 at 8:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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It would depend on what you are willing to accept for a finish. The easiest way to protect the cardboard would be to cover it in clear epoxy resin. Doing that much surface area though would be expensive. You could probably coat the lower impact areas with several coats of spray varnish to protect them from elements, then coat or rebuild the other areas. thats going to leave a glossy residue, and it may darken the cardboard. dunno if that is a concern or not.

You may want to consider re building the more impact prone portions. You can get heating duct aluminum sections for $2, maybe $3. one large tube or square section should be large enough to makearm and shouldar thingies out of i would imagine. You would basically just use your paper version as a template, then make the new ones exactly the same way, except out of metal. need some specialized cutting sheres and some files / sand paper to keep the edges dull so you don't cut yourself, but that would only add about $30 or so in tool costs assuming you don't already have something that will work. You might need a rivet popper and a drill too depending on how you plan to attach everything.

You could also build a DIY vaccume table if you are serious about making these things. That involves more work, but not very much more expense assuming you have a shop vac. This is a good place to start: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-good,-cheap,-upgradeable-sheet-plastic-vacu/ though for mine I went with a wire mesh top for better airflow. Your main size limit is going to be the size of your oven. You should be albe to make one for under $30 worth of parts. then you just make molds and make new parts. the styrene sheets are about $10 each for the really large ones, depending on thickness. I only make smaller thingies for my Mill with mine (pulley safety covers,, RC helecopter canopies, etc) so I'm not really sure. The only real trick is making sure you can make a good, smooth inner mold and use plenty of mold release.
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#11 Jan 25 2013 at 10:24 AM Rating: Good
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Duct tape.
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#12 Jan 25 2013 at 5:17 PM Rating: Good
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Are you just looking for waterproofing/sealant. or a more durable coating?
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#13 Jan 25 2013 at 5:18 PM Rating: Decent
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
You would basically just use your paper version as a template, then make the new ones exactly the same way, except out of metal. need some specialized cutting sheres and some files / sand paper to keep the edges dull so you don't cut yourself, but that would only add about $30 or so in tool costs assuming you don't already have something that will work.


You always want to roll the edges of any metal parts. Anything else and the edges will be sharp. You might get away with this with sufficient padding/protection, but if you wear this for any length of time, you will eventually cut yourself if you don't. There are some tools you can use for this, but a pair of pliers and a small hammer will work just fine for this kind of material.
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#15 Jan 27 2013 at 1:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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Fiberglass resin is good for it to not fall apart but not the best for long term. You should also use something on the outside like bondo for added strength but the downside is you do need to do a lot of sanding. There are tons of websites that will give you tips on how to make a sturdy armor. 405th's website has a ton of good info, it is for people into making halo armor but the techniques can be used on other types. If you don't want to go the route of making armor with fiberglass Styrene is another option. You can do the vacuum-forming route Kao mentioned or just cut and heat-shape to what you want. Decent for looks, cant be used for play fighting but good enough for cosplay.

I have made a few different sets of armor and have helped a friend of mine finish off his clone trooper suit using different methods, Personally I prefer the way the "hard" way looks but you can get some pretty cool effects the cheaper way.

Oh another way you can do it if you can get enough is melt down a ton of glue sticks in a pot you will end up tossing.. or using again for same thing.. and brush it on, keep a hair dryer or heat gun on a lower setting on it when you brush to avoid it cooling fast. You will still likely need to sand it but it will hold up a bit better. bulk it out with paper mache and seal it if you need to.

Edited, Jan 27th 2013 2:47am by Tyrrant
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#16 Jan 28 2013 at 5:11 PM Rating: Decent
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I larp and for some of our flatblade, and mostly shield, tech we do plastidip and use through the roof. At work so when I get a minute will find a few images to post. I know some SCA members use plastidip on their rattan weapons and it holds up pretty well. One of the girls in a neighboring kingdom to mine cosplays and made her armor out of camp pad using pd and ttr.

Edit: As the girl has her cosplay pics on her personal fb, she said she would move them to her alt so they can be shared. Look up Plastidip Artist group on fb. They can help if you want to try it out.

Edited, Jan 28th 2013 8:18pm by Zymunn
#17 Feb 02 2013 at 12:39 AM Rating: Decent
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#18 Feb 12 2013 at 8:14 AM Rating: Decent
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Zymunn wrote:
I larp and for some of our flatblade, and mostly shield, tech we do plastidip and use through the roof. At work so when I get a minute will find a few images to post. I know some SCA members use plastidip on their rattan weapons and it holds up pretty well. One of the girls in a neighboring kingdom to mine cosplays and made her armor out of camp pad using pd and ttr.

Edit: As the girl has her cosplay pics on her personal fb, she said she would move them to her alt so they can be shared. Look up Plastidip Artist group on fb. They can help if you want to try it out.

Edited, Jan 28th 2013 8:18pm by Zymunn

Found the Plastidip Artists page, those things are absolutely amazing looking. Already tried spraying my paper base-models with it, it looks good, not quite as sturdy yet as i had hoped, but an extra layer or two-three should probably make it a lot better.

Really amazing, thank you guys.
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#19 Feb 12 2013 at 6:32 PM Rating: Decent
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Keep in mind that many of the members there have worked with plastidip and ttr for years now. There is a foam staff in there I thought was a real staff first ten glances. Everyone is helpful and having differing experiences and methods will help you find your way.

I have been working on Dynasty Warrior weapons for my brother. Intricate damned designs are a nightmare for a novice like me. On a personal note, Lance is a great guy, met him on two occasion. I am having him make me samurai armor for my larping/cosplay/bs'ing once I save up some. Fair pricing from him which is a great bonus.
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