Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some questions that we have been asked about costuming from other fans. Feel free to Email Us and ask us any questions you have about costuming in general. Even if we do not know the answer to your particular question, we might know someone that we can refer you to that might know the answer. We are here to help.
- Hi, I'm a cosplayer that needs some kind of advice or help. I'm dressing up as Nightmare from Soul Calibur 2, and I'm confused on what material to use to make his armor. Would you know what material to use? Because some people say to use papier-mache... but I'm not so sure. I thank you for your time.
If you are looking to do the Nightmare armor on the cheap, go with paper machie , overlaid ontop of a chickenwire mesh. 5 or 6 layers of paper machie can yield a very smooth metal like finish when sanded down.
The next level up would be fiberglass laid over a wire-mesh or carboard shape.
Vacuumforming would be best only if you were looking to make 5 or more of these armors to sell, trying recoup your costs.
- I am having some trouble with the casting part I use vaseline on my sculpture but when I brush on the ultracal 30, it won't take to the oily surface . Am I using to much vaseline? Its a very thin coat, or is my mixture wrong with the ultracal? Is this normal? I've made my first cast i am waiting for it to dry, but I feel it didnt get in the detail cracks because of this problem.
The dripping off of the ultracal/plaster is normal. You need to keep brushing it on until it starts to solidify, and keep it's form. Usually this takes about 30 minutes to get that first coat put on, but the second and third coat of plaster will be a lot faster, due to you not having to water down the plaster as much.
- I have a question. I have some air bubble holes and a small portion of my plaster cast chipped off during separtion from the demolding process (forgot to use vaseline on mold - lots of fun) can I patch and fill with clay for vacume molding part?
Yes, you can patch the hole with clay fror a temporary fill as you vacuumform the mold. I have done this on a number of occasions as I vacuumformed molds and the plaster chipped and cracked during the forming run.
I usually add a strip of masking tape over the clay too, if the patch area is in an inconspicuous area. The masking tape helps keep the clay from attaching itself to the hot plastic. But, it will leave a slight raised area where the tape is placed. I decide to use or not use the tape on a per-case basis.
- I'm curious about the Endor Leia Costume you show in one of your pictures in the Scout trooper section. [Mainly] How the camo material fabric was made/created? Thank you.
The "Endor Trooper" Leia poncho that my freind made in the picture was made from a poncho pattern that Butterick Patterns used to sell (and might still sell.) You'll want to make the hood 20% larger than the pattern suggests.
Make the poncho out of a nice cotton cloth, then spray paint the signature camo pattern onto the surfaces. Just a light dusting is all that is needed. You can then mildly wash the painted cloth to reduce the stiffness in the fabric.
There use to be some fabric spray paint at the craftsstores called SPRAY ART made by Westwater Enterprises, but I am not sure if they still make the stuff. I have a couple cans still in my stash left over from a project I did in 2002.
- Hi, I am trying to make my own stormtrooper suit but I am having trouble finding the plastic for vaccum molding. I would like it if you could tel me where I could get the plastic. Thank you very much!
www.sabicpolymershapes.com . If you find their website confusing, call their toll free 1-800 number.
- How do I do NEGATIVE vacuumforming?
Okay, here's a diagram for basic instructions for negative vacuumforming.
- Start off with your sculpture.
- Build walls around the sculpture to fill with your casting material (plaster or urethane.) Spray a mold release material on to the interior walls and the sculpture.
- Stand some very thin skewers on top of the sculpture less than 1/16 of an inch thick is recommended. Metal wire/rod works very well. These skewers will eventually be pulled out of the final mold. Saran wrap stretched across the top wall might help hold the skewers in place, I have not attempted this in years so you will have to experiment.
- Pour in the casting material and let it harden. Once hard - pull out the skewers, tear down the retaining walls and remove your sculpture from the mold.
- Add a rubber gasket to the bottom of the mold surrounding all the air holes that the skewers made. This gasketed area will be the area that you place the mold over the vacuum hole on your vacuumtable.
Hopefuly your vacuum machine will be strong enough to pull the details you are wanting.
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