thermoplastic

2

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 CosplaySupplies.com . 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

 

*Terraflex

-  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

*Wonderflex

-  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

*Sintra

-  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

How to make wings without a harness

Most of the time wings that are a bit heavy needs the support of straps that goes around the shoulders and under the chest to stay up against your back. 

Harnesses works very good but if the dress etc have bare shoulders however the straps are going to show. 

This is how I normally do wings in a way to avoid having a harness for those character designs.

First of all this method will not work if the top/dress is loose fitted. The wings will require some support to hold them in place on your back. I find that corsets are the best for this especially if the wings are a bit heavy but I have also used it in tops without boning.

Start of making your wings seperated on two bars. Make sure the bars are made out of a stiff material since they are going to support the weight of the wings. If they end up being too weak and bend the wings will slope and gap away from your back. 

For my angel wings in felt I used 3 mm thick aluminum bars to hold up my, a bit more heavy, wings. I then covered them in worbla and connecting them using some more worbla, This creates a good wing base and makes them stay with a good distance from each other. 

In a similar way I attached an other pair of wings made out of worbla to a base, but since these wings are quite light a few layers of worbla was enough to keep them stiff and not bend.

Make sure not to make the base too short since you will stick it into your back lining and don’t want it to fall out.  

One of the most important steps when doing these kinds of wings is to bend the base a bit. Most backs are not 100% flat so put the wing base against you back and mark where on the base where a gap between the base and your back starts to show.
If the base is made of a thermoplastic you can just heat it up and bend it at the marking into the right angle. Otherwise, like for the base with aluminum, you can saw it of and reattach them again to create the right angle.
You can of course make the angling of the base before attaching the wings but I find it easier to do it after. 

When the base is done you can just stick it in to the top. I find that sticking it into the bra strap also helps the wings stay in place a bit better.

I personally love this method since you super easily can take the wings of and back on if you want to sit down or walk in a crowded hallway without worrying about people bumping into you wings.

~Bubblefish
(Photo at the top was taken by David Johansson)

2

Creating A Thermoplastic-Friendly Workspace

We’ve had a cold snap this week, which means my outdoor (garage) workshop is too cold for thermoforming, so I’m doing all my crafting work in my kitchen right now. When working indoors, it’s important that your cosplay habit doesn’t damage your living space. (Nobody wants to kiss that security deposit or resale value goodbye.) The good news is, you can usually outfit your indoor work space for less than five dollars!

In addition to a power outlet for your heat gun, there are two very important things you need when working with heat guns and heat-activated material such as thermoplastics:

  • a heat-proof surface to work on – one that will not be damaged by OR stick to the surface of your material
  • a safe, heat-proof place to set your heat gun when it’s not in your hand

For my heat-proof surface, I’m using an enameled steel tray that I picked up at a yard sale a few years ago. (An old metal baking sheet will also work; check your local thrift store.) I’ve set the tray on top of my range, so there’s a nice air gap beneath it to allow it to cool more quickly. Don’t place a hot tray directly on a countertop or table without towels/ironing pad/something insulated beneath it, as the heat will transfer to the surface below. Also, beware the hot metal while you’re working!

I use a silicone baking mat when I’m working with sticky materials. (Mine was 49 cents at Goodwill, but you can find them as cheap as $3 new via Amazon.com.) The silicone has a slight surface texture, so I don’t use it when I’m working with very smooth pieces or rolling out little Worbla snakes to form surface designs, but it’s helpful for keeping the soft plastic from gluing itself to the tray (though for the most part, once the Worbla has cooled I can pop it off the metal).

With this setup, I can keep the hot metal end of the heat gun over the stove at all times, so it doesn’t make contact with (and melt) my countertop. When I work on a wood table or other surface, I use a wire cooling rack (the kind used for baking cookies) or a large metal trivet to keep the heat gun safely elevated. (I paid $1 for my cooling rack at Dollar Tree.)

It’s generally a good idea to move anything heat-sensitive out of the area when you’re working with a heat gun, but if you’re careful, you can set up a workshop and build things right in your living space without risking damage to your property!

tutorial (sort of, idk)

This is more of a walk through and I always make these props with as little effort as possible because I’m very impatient.

Materials: worbla or any type of thermoplastic, plastic orb I randomly found in a craft store, pretty ribbon, foam type of stuff, satin little hearts that I happened to have, purple spray paint, printer and laminating machine, led lights and 6v cells.

YOU CAN SKIP THIS PART IF YOU DON’T WANT A MAGICAL LIGHT UP WAND (srry for the aggressive tone)

get yourself some lights from ebay and rearrange the current so you can cram it in the wand, the only thing you’re really changing is that the parallel current becomes a series because you need two 6v for the total 12v so I just stacked them, shlammed that copper around and stuffed it in sum isolation tape. make sure the tiny switch will be at the side.

Then you make a shaft with some thermoplastic, just lay it over something round and heat it up, after that you put the battery packets in there and close the seam of the plastic.

Then you cut some holes in these two part orbs, one for the facing of the wand where the star is shown and one to attach the shaft.

WARNING: this is acrylic and it melts if you saw or drill too hard, kinda difficult.

then you sand the orb, prime and paint everything purple. the lights and wires are in a plastic bag because I didn’t want to paint them (duh).

Here’s a sheet I made, printed and laminated because I’m too lazy to make it or paint it.

Once plasticized, you cut out the facing, wings and horns. (the heart wasn’t used because I found a prettier one in my decoration stash.

you can print this, it should already be the rights size though for some reason I lost a lot of resolution but who cares? (wings are lightly traced, I don’t know if you can see)

if you like origami you can use these to craft a diamond.

like so

here I already glued the facing in and taped the horns to the inside, just put a big piece of transparent tape on each horn, trim around it and leave a tail at the bottom, stick the tape to the inside and no worries because the horns stand up by itself when the front part of the orb is attached.

Also, the white part you see is the backside of the facing but I later put another blue paper sheet behind it so that it will light up in a blue shade.

bottom part is foam, heated up, bended, smoothed with glue and painted gold. Other gold parts were made with this stuff as well.

before attaching the top or bottom parts you should glue on the ribbon, use some tacky old glue that won’t show or seep through. or let it dry a bit first or use a minimal amount.

this is a piece of fake leather that I put in the backside to prevent the lights from distorting or showing through the thin plastic backside.

Checking under the hood where all is good.

(There are the parts that I keep as detachable)


And then you get something like this, Is should’ve kept the shaft shorter because now I see it’s casting a shadow in the facing but oh well. It’s done.

Have fun making wands n stuff.

@kc4drawings

I’m known to be a terrible explainer so if anything isn’t clear, be creative and figure something out or ask me or smth.

happy wednesday

10

I’ve been into Yona of the Dawn for the past three years, but its only this year that I’ve decided to cosplay from one of my most favorite series!! I started out with Lili and Yona’s fancy cover art illustrations, and then I decided to crunch three more Yona costumes in a week for an upcoming con. I swear I’m usually better about pacing myself but I got pretty swamped with my friend’s wedding earlier in the month and I was left with a week to finish three Yona cosplays for Colossalcon this year.

Literally the only reason these got finished was thanks to the endless support of @automb @nana-cai and @tomyo!! They helped with ironing and pinning and the simple sewing so I could focus on draping my patterns, crafting, and keeping my wits together.

I know my cosplay compilation posts tend to get really chatty and long so I’ll put the rest under a read more!!

Keep reading

6

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! ❤️

Paper Mache Tricks and Tips

In the age of thermoplastics and resins paper mache seems a little unglamorous and low-tech, but it’s still worth considering as a material if you’re getting into prop and armor-making.  If you have low budget for your project but plenty of time in which to complete it, it’s worth a thought.

Keep reading

Making a foam wig head bigger for better styling!

Most cosplayers know that store bought wig heads are usually undersized. Like, really undersized. So after getting fairly frustrated while trying to style a ponytail wig or two on a too small foam head, I decided to add to mine so they match my head circumference. The end product assumes you have the ability to sew, but you can also finish with a tape-only version if you so wish.

Keep reading

youtube

How to Create Breastplates with Worbla by KamuiCosplay

View the full tutorial here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXme58f4Ibc

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