June 11, 2015

Adventures in Foam - Just the Beginning

Alright, so if you've kept up with my cosplay facebook page (karmada cosplay), you might have noticed some new pictures on it! *insert dramatic reverb here*

One of the things I've longed to figure out how to make is armor out of EVA foam. And not just any EVA foam, but those huge floor mats everybody seems to make Commander Shepard armor out of (yes, this costume is on my 'someday' list, if I can figure out what I want my Shepard to look like...)

So what's EVA? It's Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate, and it's in a bunch of things. You probably know them from something like this:

photo from Walmart
(I don't really shop there, though. I prefer Michael's)

Most often they're found in craft stores in the kids area - it's those spongey sheets you can cut and glue and make all sorts of decorative things out of it. Usually used for kid's crafts, or holiday things. But that's not the only size or shape they come in!

EVA foam comes in much larger sheets, but you won't find them at any craft store - they'll be in your hardware stores (I go to Home Depot or Lowe's)! They're actually those huge floor mats that look like puzzle pieces.

They come in colors, or in dark grey!

So why am I talking about foam armor?

WELP, I happen to actually be working on a set of armor for myself and my husband (it's really a joint effort, I can't take full credit here).

...for Gencon. WHICH, by the way, is happening earlier than usual here. Which is the end of July, start of August.

Yeah, yeah, I hear you now: "But karmada! That's CRAZY TALK!"

It probably is crazy. BUT, I've always wanted to make space armor, and I've finally got a little bit of the know-how to do it. We've spent the past couple of weeks working on prototypes and finished pieces.

You see, I happened to have gotten inspired by a really awesome thing I forgot about but recently re-discovered (THANK YOU NETFLIX), and well... the cosplay gods shone down and said "YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS" (*whispers* in two months). Then we did some research and found that there are people who have already mapped all sorts of armor pieces, and they go PLEASE. USE OUR PATTERNS FOR THIS, and it's great. No, seriously, it's awesome because otherwise I would have NO IDEA what to do.

So this is a "pre-thank-you-for-being-crazy-and-making-cad-of-armor-for-us"! I'm hoping I can get brave enough to talk to people after it's done. (I'm seriously anxiety ridden right now!) According to the Husband, the forums all seem pretty nice, and everybody's really positive and stuff (which is a huge change in my experiences with other forums/hobbies). So here's hoping I don't hide in the corner for the entire show once we make the costumes.

But just what am I making, you ask? WELL. That's a little secret for now. I'm currently giving in process pics, mostly because I like to make y'all wonder.

....and I like the surprise. :) Don't worry, I'll actually reveal it once I've got some good production pieces ready and wearable (and once I'm not having huge anxiety attacks about it). We're still amassing all the proper clothing and such to wear under it, as well as adjusting parts of it to fit on my scrawny arms.

Meanwhile, I'm just gonna leave some of my hints here! :)

I'll give you one big hint - it's armor from a video game!

Prototype #2
Pardon the graininess, it was taken late at night....

And an almost-ready-to-paint piece!

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