kimocat-art  asked:

This blog is great! I kind of hate how worbla has a manopoly on the market too. I love seeing some tutorials using other materials for once. Have you ever considered making your own worbla though?

Thanks!  I did read a tutorial on making worbla, but…it seems like just a pain in the ass, and still fairly expensive, and then even after you made it you’d need to do all the sanding and priming worbla requires to look good.  If I wanted to make something that worbla was really good for - and there are some things it IS very good for - I’d probably either just bite the bullet and buy some, or see if another thermoplastic would work.


Thermoplastic Pricing Guide and Behavior Cheat Sheet

 -These prices are based off of US stores and shipping rates. These prices are consistent across many websites and discounts are offered on bulk orders. Prices vary depending on shipping country.

*Sintra is offered in many sizes and shapes. The prices listed are from . More sizes than these exist. Sintra is a company name for foamed PVC. You can often find cheaper sheets of “sintra” by looking for “foamed PVC” or “extruded PVC”

* Worbla

-  The most well-known thermoplastic in the cosplay community. Available from multiple vendors online and from a few physical stores.
-  Thermoplastic capable of multidimensional shaping
-  Has no internal mesh
-  Can be heated with a hair dryer or heat gun (better results from heat gun)
-  Capable of reusing scraps by reheating them
-  Smooth adhesive side/rough exterior side – can adhere to itself
-  Relatively thin, often requires a supporting material in armor (craft foam sandwich)
-  Most expensive of the thermoplastics
-  Requires priming (wood glue, gesso, ect.) to remove texture



-  Only sold by Tandy Leather. If you live near a store this product has the benefit of no shipping costs and the ability to pick up same day its needed
-  Thermoplastic capable of multidimensional shaping
-  Has no internal mesh
-  Can be heated with a hair dryer or heat gun (better results from heat gun)
-  Capable of reusing scraps by reheating them
-  Smooth adhesive side/rough exterior side – can adhere to itself
-  Relatively thin, often requires a supporting material in armor (craft foam sandwich)
-  “knockoff” of Worbla, if you have Tandy Leather membership cards, it makes it a fair bit cheaper than Worbla
-  Requires priming (wood glue, gesso, ect.) to remove texture
-  Has a scent, smells like graham crackers when heated


-  Contains an internal mesh
-  The mesh provides additional stability to thermoplastic
-  Can be heated with a hair dryer or heat gun (better results from heat gun)
-  Smooth adhesive side/rough exterior side – can adhere to itself
-  Internal mesh prevents multidimensional shaping without puckering
-  (mesh can be picked out- extremely work intensive)
-  Relatively thin, often requires a supporting material in armor (craft foam sandwich)
-  Requires priming (wood glue, gesso, ect.) to remove texture


-  Comes in a variety of thicknesses
-  A UNIDEMNSIONAL material. Is incapable of making compound shapes – i.e. can only bend in one direction without cutting darts.
-  Can be brittle if cut when cool or across large pieces of material
-  Needs to be heated with a heat gun or large heat source like an oven to work with uniformly
-  Does not adhere to itself. Requires glue to bond pieces together
-  Smooth texture doesn’t require priming like Worbla, Terraflex, or Wonderflex
- Due to variety of thicknesses, it can be used on its own for armor pieces (no foam sandwiches)
-  Cheapest of the thermoplastics, but limited in some areas. Great for things like pauldrons and vambraces, not so much with breastplates and curves.
-  Because it is PVC, it is strongly recommended to wear a respirator and have ventilation when heating this material due to fumes.

* Transpa Art

-  Transparent thermoplastic
-  Needs to be heated with a heat gun and only workable within a small temperature range
-  Does not adhere it itself like other thermoplastics. Requires cyanoacrylate glues to stick pieces together.
-  Not a strong as Worbla, Terraflex, ect.
-  Cannot be reformed with scraps
-  Great for accents and LED applications
-  Elemental Photography and Design, and Kamui Cosplay do excellent videos showing more of how Transpa behaves


This Roman period glass bowl is made of translucent, light green glass. The bowl would have been formed by blowing a bubble of glass into a mold, creating the ribs on the vessel’s exterior and leaving the areas between the ribs extremely thin. Despite its age, this glass object is intact with the exception of one small, oblong loss in the thinnest part of the wall. Conservators do not always fill every loss in an object, especially when an object comes from an ancient and/or archaeological context, or when the loss is small; however, in the case of this bowl, the glass surrounding the area of loss is so thin that filling the loss actually improves the object’s stability by protecting the edges of the loss from further damage.

The loss in the bowl’s wall was filled with a thermoplastic acrylic resin called Paraloid® B-72. Paraloid® B-72 is a favorite material in conservation, used as an adhesive, a consolidant, a fill material, and a coating. B-72 is versatile as it is soluble in a variety of solvents in a range of concentrations, and particularly well suited to conservation as the resin is chemically stable, reversible and manipulable with solvents and heat, structurally strong, optically clear, and bonds well to many materials. Paraloid® B-72 finds use on a wide range of materials, but because the resin sets through solvent evaporation, tiny bubbles visually disrupt the resin film, making B-72 less aesthetically appropriate for glass. To help conservators use this excellent repair material in glass conservation, conservators at the Corning Museum of Glass developed a way to cast Paraloid® B-72 resin films without bubbles.

To make the fill for the bowl, B-72 resin was tinted with dyes and dry pigments, poured into silicone rubber molds, and cast into thin sheets. The molds were placed into polyethylene bags (left) to allow the solvent to evaporate slowly, reducing the formation of bubbles in the resin film. Once set (right), the film was cut to shape and adhered to the loss by applying a tiny bit of solvent to the edges of the fill; because B-72 is itself an adhesive, no additional adhesive is necessary.

Through exposure to its archaeological burial environment, the surface of the bowl has developed a layer of iridescence often referred to as “weathering products.” Unlike accretions that have become adhered to the surface of the glass, weathering products are actually the original surface of the glass that has delaminated, or split, into many layers. As light passes through these extremely thin layers of glass that are separated by small pockets of air, the light bends or refracts, the optical effect creating iridescent colors like oil on water or the colors of some butterfly wings.  

To make the Paraloid® B-72 fill resemble the weathered glass, a layer of goldbeater’s skin painted with acrylic iridescent paints was added. Traditionally used in the beating of gold sheet into gold leaf, goldbeater’s skin is thin, strong, translucent, and has a satiny sheen similar to the glass weathering products. This bowl will be part of the upcoming reinstallation of the Brooklyn Museum’s Asian and Islamic Galleries.

Posted by Victoria Schussler 


Some cool progress shots for princess Zeldas jewelry bits. I think the one thing I always hear about is how the hell to smooth out your worbla once you’re done sculpting what you want. 
The thing I found works best for me while I was working on Ganondorfs crown was to water down some wood filler and rub it all over the worbla. This will remove some of the rough textures and bumpy look. Once the filler is dry lightly sand down your prop and cover in gesso. In my head the gesso will keep the wood filler in place although there is a good possibility this is an unnecessary step. Sand it down one more time and apply several coats of spray primer/filler. 
 From there you can sand down any imperfections and rework the necessary areas with more wood filler and primer spray! This should give you a nice smooth base to paint on 👍🏻
Hope this was helpful! Happy cosplaying! ❤️


Wrought Plastic Corset

Once again, I decided about a month before the deadline to enter the Foundations Revealed competition. Because inspiration always strikes at the last possible minute.

I opted to use the theme “Intersection of Light, Black and White” rather than the historical pattern. I’ve been meaning to play with thermoplastic corsets for a long time now but had never had quite the right project as an excuse or the funds available. I finally gave in, especially once I read the prompt and it mentioned wrought iron as a potential source of inspiration. Wrought iron is a serious weakness of mine, and I’ve always found it incredibly beautiful and inspirational, so I decided to run with that in combination with a clear thermoplastic.

I wanted to play with how the transparency of the base corset would combine with the decoration and the wearer’s skin tone. The fact that with the plastic I can get a completely transparent result, in comparison to the more standard corsetry mesh that not only has color but also needs boning channels, means greater influence of the wearer on the appearance of the actual garment, which I’m excited to explore with different models. In the case of a belted overlayer, it creates the illusion that just the decoration is doing the cinching, which is a really cool effect when viewed from a distance. 

I took the opportunity to also play with my new corsetry form! I draped a pattern in paper, since it would act more like the final product than muslin would, and created the base corset out of clear thermoplastic.

The outer layer is a separate piece, made of another thermoplastic, wonderflex. I wanted the ability to be versatile, and the clear thermoplastic doesn’t have the self-adhering qualities of other thermoplastics, so attachment would have been difficult to hide given the transparency of the base layer. I’ve also made a couple of other outer layers that can be switched out, so it can be used for very different looks.

I really loved working with this material, and I can’t wait to explore it more! I’m already in process for a mini collection with it that’s going to play even more with the fun properties of the material. 

(Bottom picture credits: Model @hjsteele, Photographer @eye-ofa-panda)


How to Get Super Smooth Worbla

Details of the final technique shown in the video:
  1. Skim coat wood filler, sand
  2. 2-3 coats gesso, sand
  3. 2-3 coats Shellac, sand
  4. Primer
  5. Paint

Polyurethane foam expansion

Polyurethane (a polymer) foaming by the chemical reaction of two components: Isocyanate (the dark component in this video) and polyol containing chemical additives and blowing agents (the clear component). The chemical reaction generates heat- an exothermic reaction- which contributes to the expansion and final curing of the foam. The proportions and formulations of both products are defined according to the industrial application: flexible, semi-rigid or rigid foams. 

Typical flexible polyurethane foams: mattresses and automotive seating.

Typical semi-flexible polyurethane foam: steering wheels.

Typical rigid foam: insulation in household refrigerators.

video and blurb source


How to Create Breastplates with Worbla by KamuiCosplay

View the full tutorial here:

Painting Poison Ivy

I’m going to show you guys step-by-step how I painted each piece of my armor, using my shinguards as an example. It’s a very simple process - anyone from any skill level of painting can do it! It’s behind a ‘Read More’ so that people who are uninterested are not subjected to 9 photos of no significance. 

Above is the final product, below is the tutorial. 

Keep reading

“I drink milk. ☺️”. Love getting into character.
Anyways thanks to everyone who made #Katsucon awesome! This has to have been the best katsu yet! Even though Crescent Rose isn’t done yet - I had a blast showing you guys how it works! Huge shoutout to my dad and grandfather for helping me with the mechanism and for allowing me to use the workshop to build this beast! Anyways I still have some work to do on crescent rose… no worries a tutorial will be posted as soon as I have it completed. To those who came to the panels I helped host (Battle Damage for your cosplay and Thermoplastics 101). Please feel free to message me about any questions you have - we are here to help! Next con is #paxeast … who is going?!? Psst we are also hosting a tea party there too!

Finalized frontal design for my Raven Queen costume, plus checklist for things I need (don’t worry, i won’t be updating with every checkmark I make).

The crown remains the most daunting part, and I may settle for craft foam if I can’t do thermoplastics. The epaulets should be super easy to make, and I have a concept for the “wings”.

Backside doesn’t have much worth note save for needing a bit of fabric to make a short “poncho” type thing bearing her crest over the longer cape.

Belt is subject to change because I’ve found a few that I like.

Probably have about $70 to spend on what I don’t have (excluding worbla), which is less than I had budgeted for with my tax return – mostly thanks to finding out Kyle already had craft foam, black and silver spray paint, and a heat gun.



‘The Eden Project’ (March 17th, 2001)

Multiple greenhouse complex in Cornwall, England designed by Grimshaw Architects. The domes are constructed out of tubular steel with mostly hexagonal external cladding panels made from the thermoplastic ETFE.

Funded by the Millennium Commission, which was set up to celebrate 2000 with futuristic projects like the Millennium Dome, National Science Centre, and the Spinnaker Tower.