The Nightmare Project - Armor question!

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#1 linuxfingers on 8 years ago

Hello all,

I'm new to these forums, and I have to say there is a lot of great information! I needed some help regarding my first costume. I am making Nightmare from Soul Calibur II. I will be using fiberglass resin for the armor, but I have no idea what to make his mutated arm out of! I was thinking something light, and soft to the touch. Kind of like flesh, really. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks in advance!

#2 verdatum on 8 years ago

Presuming you don't want to spend the cash needed to go with cast foam-latex, I would suggest furniture foam painted with latex house paint. Look to the band GWAR for inspiration.

#3 linuxfingers on 8 years ago

I was expecting to spend $250-$300 at least for this costume, so that's not really an issue. I'm looking for something that isn't exactly too heavy, since the fiberglass armor will weight enough as is. :) The latex option was suggested to me via PM. I'm actually considering it, but I am unsure of how it would deal in heat.

#4 verdatum on 8 years ago

The cost of molding and casting a foam latex piece in that size could easily be around $1k. To give you a rundown of costs, you need a sculpt (meaning lots of clay), a gypsum cement mold, a custom made oven, a rudimentary lifecast, a large electric mixer, an apparatus to inject the foam, lots of misc tools, and enough foam latex components to make two or three pours, as foam latex can be a bit persnickety.

If heat is any concern, you'll want to install at least one PC fan in your armor and/or invest in a cooling vest. The difference in the heat of a furniture foam arm and a foam latex arm are pretty trivial. Plus, insulative things on your arms and legs are not nearly as discomforting as things on your core and your head.

#5 linuxfingers on 8 years ago

Oh my gosh, that's expensive. I could handle maybe $400 at most. I am still a poor college student, after all. :toothy:

There's got to be something I could do for a filler, with some sort of latex-y type material over the top. I could easily construct the base in the same manor as I would with the armor, with fiberglass. It just wouldn't be very flexible, or feasible with a mass that size. Would an expanding foam shaped and then coated with some type of rubbery type material even work? I wonder what the chemical reactions would be.

I wonder what I've gotten myself into! I've already started making the maille for the left side, so I can't stop now....

#6 linuxfingers on 8 years ago

[QUOTE=verdatum;4109432]Presuming you don't want to spend the cash needed to go with cast foam-latex, I would suggest furniture foam painted with latex house paint. Look to the band GWAR for inspiration.[/QUOTE]

I did see that earlier, I promise! Is furniture foam able to be sculpted? Is that the expanding foam I mentioned earlier? Sorry for so many questions, this is my first time doing anything of this size. :)

#7 verdatum on 8 years ago

Heh, I knew you'd catch on eventually ;)

I think by "sculpt" you mean "carve". While it is easier to carve higher densities of foam, yes, you can carve furniture foam to some extent. It's a little difficult because it's so flexible. However, for this prosthetic, much of what you will be doing is cutting darts (think pie wedges) into the foam and then joining the two portions together with spray-glue to give it dimension. You are left with a lightweight, flexible, hollow form.

To cut, you use utility knives extended all the way, or scissors. To carve details, you a Dremel with sanding attachments, but you gotta hold it in place.

"Expanding foam" is a bit generic. It can refer to any foam that expands. Here people often use it when referring to products like "Great Stuff" which is a one-part rigid polyurethane foam. Another variant are the two-part polyurethane casting foams. They start as a pourable liquid that soon expands to form the shape of whatever container/mold it is in. There are two varieties, rigid and flexible. The flexible one gives you something very similar to furniture foam, only the expanding foam forms it's own "skin" which really just means a thin non-porous layer on the outside.

You probably wouldn't want to use a casting foam, because as with the foam latex, it would require you to go through all the extra steps of making a mold.

The skin created by brushing furniture foam with latex housepaint is really pretty nice. When you bend it too far, it wrinkles a bit weird, but otherwise, it has a good "monster skin" feeling to it.

#8 linuxfingers on 8 years ago

Thank you so much! That seems a lot more within my budget constraint. Who knows later on though! Since I'm going to be using the Pepakura method, I'm wondering if making a base out of craft foam from the diagram and then using the foam on top would work. I've got to say, this whole project really helps my day job go by a lot faster...which is nice because selling gas cards on the phone is a drag.

You've been so incredibly helpful. Thank you again! I've gotten so many ideas thanks to you, and I am so happy to not be using the fiberglass on this section. :)