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What is EVA foam?

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What is EVA foam?
Post By HikaruxKaoru. 14/06/13, 08:50 am

I've been interested in the prop-making and armour side of cosplay reccently, and this is where I came across the subject of what materials to use.

I was given a sample of Wonderflex to try out- it worked really well, but the issue was the cost. :/ I am not forking out that much any time soon. *sigh*

I was suggested to try EVA foam. I found out that the nearby Warehouse sells this, cheap too. I was told it was what most people made armour with. But I was slightly dubious.

Are you meant to use the sheets of colourful kiddie foam? It doesn't look all too stable. What happens when you heat it? Does it harden, because I don't see that flimsy stuff being hardly sturdy enough for gauntlets or anything?

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Re: What is EVA foam?
Post By iwuvanime. 14/06/13, 10:43 am

I haven't used Eva foam much but the stuff you find at the warehouse is what people are talking about. 
You can heat it to give it some shape but nothing really extreme ( like you can with wonder flex)

It becomes a bit more stable when when you seal it with a glue/water mix plus you can add a layer of fabric to the back as seen in this tutorial
http://entropyhouse.com/penwiper/costumes/helmsdeep.html
I also heard that some larpers who make foam armour like to back it with duct tape instead of fabric.
This video also shows someone making a pattern and shaping pieces
www.youtube.com/watch?v=B84iuJ2mFJU
The thing is a lot of armour is made with thicker foam ( often 6-10mm ), usually using things like sleeping mats for camping
Like these (these are still EVA foam)
http://www.kiwicamping.co.nz/kiwi_camping.cfm?product_id=1002&page_obj_id=121&prod_cat_id=137&prodlist=936,1002


I am going to be using the foam method for my next cosplay and there are quite a few tutorials out there when you look for the,.
Also there is a tradeMe seller who is getting rid of some bulk lots of foam in different size and thickness (may be a bit pricey with shipping but you get a lot)
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=601633457
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Re: What is EVA foam?
Post By neimhaille. 14/06/13, 11:47 am

Yeah, EVA is available in a range of thicknesses and densities and even different degrees of flex. I've met EvilFX and others who sort of paved the way in the West (it's used a lot in SEA- a lot, different brand names and often different methods) and you want a light but firm foam.

It's often bought easily in the US as floor mats. I've been told it's easy to find at Bunnings (but I have had bad luck- it depends on what store and what stock they have at the time) so when my local 2 Cheap store had a kids play mat (in pastel colours, sigh) I grabbed some right way. Also large sheets from Para Rubber (through their site as again I've had bad luck going in person.)

You can also layer it with the craft foam stuff and paint it as well as glue over fabric (foil for metallic look I hear.)
But yeah, not as easy to get here as elsewhere.
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Re: What is EVA foam?
Post By Fettman. 15/06/13, 11:19 am

I used EVA foam to make my Mass Effect armour that I wore to Wellygeddon recently.
Spoiler:
 

It's really easy to use, (I made that costume in 8 days working on it just in the evenings). It can be glued well with hotglue as the heat binds it to the foam quite well. It key to getting clean details with it is keeping your blade sharp.
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Re: What is EVA foam?
Post By Saltpeanut. 29/11/13, 12:05 am

Is it something that would be suitable for making a filgaree type belt and armguards, shown in Daenerys Quartheen Gown What is EVA foam? XMeawlK
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Re: What is EVA foam?
Post By Kicho. 01/12/13, 04:39 pm

I think you might be able to replicate the shape, but it might not hold it as firmly as metal would. And the holes might make it even weaker. You could try wearing something under the blue dress to give it the shape you need.
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Re: What is EVA foam?
Post By Deredere. 01/12/13, 11:34 pm

Saltpeanut wrote:
Is it something that would be suitable for making a filgaree type belt and armguards, shown in Daenerys Quartheen Gown
You might like to try stiffened leather. What I have used in the past to make armer parts is felt soacked in pva glue. Mix glue with a bit of water and a drop of dishwashing soap and soack the felt in. Place it in the right shape and let it dry. You can paint the mixture on it as well or make it out of more layers. When it is dry you can sand it and paint it. It will stay a bit flexible specially when it gets warm. So store it in the right shape.
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Re: What is EVA foam?
Post By Saltpeanut. 02/12/13, 12:50 am

That actually sounds a ot more sturdy for the shoulders, tyvm :)
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