Cosplay weapon tutorial (Foam + Worbla)
Step 1) Pattern Okay this one is pretty straightforward. My patterns are always sort of a mix between actual measurements of the prop and then adjusted a bit to my own measurements. (In the case of these swords I made them so they would fit in my small suitcase. xD)
Step 2) DuraFoam cutting I like to use a ruler for the straight parts of the pattern. Also, if you have trouble cutting make sure you’ve changed the blades in the knife recently (I forget this very often..). Be careful with the knife of course. ^^
Step 3) Glueing layers together I use 2 layers for the blades because 1 layer would have been too ‘floppy’ for the Worbla step later. Worbla is a thermoplastic material that is flexible when heated and becomes very sturdy when it cools down.
Step 4) Smoothing the edges with a Dremel By smoothing everything the two layers also blend together a bit more (which is good because the Worbla I will cover it with will show each and every gap and seam so the more you smooth it here the better it will look later). I also made the ‘sharp’ part of the blade thinner in this step. Make sure you wear a dust mask and eye-protection during this! I was also working right underneath an open window to make sure there is enough ventilation.
Step 5) Adding details I add all of the details onto the foam before I start working with Worbla. I prefer this because the end result will then really be super sturdy and nothing can fall off or something during a busy photoshoot.
Step 6) Covering with Worbla I use my pattern once again to now cut out pieces of Worbla. The pieces I cut out are bigger than the pattern and I also added cutting lines for edges. This will make it easier for me to fold the Worbla around every part. I then lay the Worbla on top and heat it with a heatgun till it starts behaving like a very hot piece of cloth. xD It simply just falls over the weapon and I then start bringing back all the details I added earlier.
Step 7) Finishing the edges This step can be done in so many different ways. I really like claying with Worbla. xD So I just simply pinch the Worbla together as tight to the foam as possible and then cut off the pieces I don’t need anymore with a knife. I then push the seam shut against the foam. Lots of priming (with woodglue/Gesso or whatever you prefer) and painting later and you’re done! 😀
The Foam and Worbla combination creates a weapon that is very sturdy. It’s Convention-proof and don’t worry too much if you ever drop it accidentally, it can take it! ^^
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