Costume Musings

Just in Time for the Holidays: The Costume Making Guide

Looking for a great gift for the cosplayer in your life? Kamui’s written a whole new guide, a fantastic step-by-step book introducing the fun and fantastic world of cosplay. It covers multiple techniques and tutorials for armor and props.


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Bring your cosplay dreams to life with your own two hands. The Costume Maker’s Guide is a beginner’s guide to armor and prop making so that anyone – no matter their background knowledge – can make their costume dreams a reality.

Internationally known cosplayer Kamui Cosplay (a.k.a. Svetlana Quindt) shows you how to easily create elaborate costume armor and successful props out of items available at your local arts and craft or hardware stores: turn foam into a realistic axe, create a breastplate from scratch and use a glue gun to modify just about anything. Also includes the basic process of building and working with Worbla!

Packed with more than 30 step-by-step demonstrations that teach the skills you need to bring all your favorite characters to life no matter the genre, Kamui Cosplay deconstructs the work that goes into making a complete costume, from the first thought to the final photo. Tutorials cover design planning, fabricating body armor, 3D painting techniques and more.

Includes:

How to choose a costume and find good reference art
Patterning and Construction advice
A short shopping list of necessary materials and tools for beginning cosplayers
Basic safety tips
How to create realistic paint jobs with simple acrylics.
A beautiful photo gallery featuring inspiring images from other cosplayers
How to grow your workshop, take professional photos, participate in contests and join the cosplay community

128 full color pages.

Available for purchase here!

Category: Cosplay, Costumes | Tags: | 2 comments |

Heat Resistant Gloves – The Search is Over!

Cosplay Supplies is excited to announce a new product coming soon – Heat-Resistant Gloves for working with thermoplastics!

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Plenty of people who teach or write about working with plastics like Worbla mention that you ‘get used’ to the higher temperature on your fingers (even me!) – and plenty of us use sculpting tools to help with fiddley bits or when things are too hot. One trick I always suggest is to dip your fingers/hands in room-temperature water to make working with hot Worbla easier, but sometimes you need things to be hotter than you can handle, or you have extra sensitive hands that just won’t ever be comfortable handling hot plastic – and of course, TranspArt, Worbla’s clear thermoplastic, requires an activation temperature that is too hot to handle – so you either have to activate it and let it cool to touch, use tools or water, or – as we suggest – use gloves.

The Problem:

Finding the right sort of gloves to use with Worbla can be tricky! Most work gloves have seam lines, fabric textures, or raised stitching – all things that can transfer onto your project. They can also be bulky and uncomfortable, and difficult to find in your size. Full leather gloves are often what people settle for – but the cost can be too high for something you plan to use in your workshop, and they can be difficult to find in the summer – or if you live somewhere where Winter Happens to Other People.

The Solution:

We’ve sourced Heat-Resistant Gloves that are thin enough you can still work with fine detail – even rolling Worbla ‘noodles’ – that are also completely smooth from palm to fingertip – no rough bumps or seams to get in the way of your smooth finish. The material is a bit like neoprene – enough to let you grip things without having a noticeable surface. All the while providing a great barrier for your hands against the heat!

Exclusive Launch at Anime North!

These gloves will soon be available online – but we’re doing an exclusive launch next weekend at Anime North! If you’re attending, drop by the Cosplay Supplies Booth in the Dealers Hall (V1) and you can buy a pair for yourself – or if you buy TWO Jumbo Worbla of any type, you’ll get a pair of gloves for FREE!

Great for most things but…

These gloves have been tested and work well with Worbla’s Finest Art, TranspArt, and Black Art, as well as Fosshape thick and thin, Sintra, Styrene, PETG and EVA foam. These gloves do NOT play well with Wonderflex, as the glue in Wonderflex just sticks to the gloves instead, and likewise are not recommended for Worbla’s Deco Art/Friendly Plastic/Polymorph as again, the plastic just sticks TO the gloves.

While these gloves are heat-resistant, they will not make you invulnerable. Please always use your heat tools responsibly and work in clear space to prevent injury.

Category: Cosplay, Crafts, News, Worbla | Tags: | 4 comments |

A New Book Approaches! Advanced Prop Making – Guns & Rifles by Kamui

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Kamui Cosplay has revealed her newest book, and it looks excellent! If you’re looking for some advanced help in making your next gun or rifle – or even just tips and tricks to apply to your Worbla props in general – Advanced Prop Making – Guns & Rifles will help you out!

The sixth in her current lineup of Worbla and Wonderflex Guides, Advanced Prop Making – Guns & Rifles covers the following:

Tools and materials
References and scaling
Printing screenshot patterns
Creating your own blueprints
Working with EVA foam
Working with Worbla
Priming EVA foam

As well as the following extensive work examples:

Borderlands 2 – Miss Moxxi’s Rubi
Overwatch – Symmetra’s Photon Projector
League of Legends – Miss Fortune’s Shock and Awe
Heroes of the Storm – Master Nova’s Rifle

High quality print edition. Soft cover, 48 pages high quality full color print. Perfect as a gift or for browsing while you work!

Available for purchase here!

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Worbla Black: Everything you need to know (and why it’s awesome!)

It’s been a while since we’ve done a blog post, and part of that has been because we’ve been working hard over the end of summer convention rush. One of the most exciting things to come out of that hard work has been the newest in Worbla’s line of thermoplastics: Worbla’s Black Art, now available for pre-order!

Image from Erza Cosplay

Image from Erza Cosplay

Worbla’s Black Art (WBA, Worbla Black or Black Worbla, depending on naming conventions) takes the aspects of Worbla’s Finest Art (the ‘original’ Worbla, so to speak) and adjusts it specifically with cosplayers and crafters in mind. There are some fantastic benefits – but also some setbacks – to the new material, and I want to give you as FULL a possible breakdown on this new thermoplastic as possible.

So let’s go!
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The Book of Advanced Armor Making – Helmets & Pauldrons now available!

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If you know Kamui, you know she’s one of the foremost experts on Worbla – and her books are a great help to anyone looking for how to get started with Worbla and Wonderflex. She’s just added a fifth book to her current lineup of Worbla and Wonderflex Guides: Advanced Armor Making – Helmets & Pauldrons.

If you’ve been looking for great information not just on making awesome helmets and complex pauldrons, but advanced Worbla and EVA foam tips in general, check this book out! With 48 full colour pages it covers:
– Tools and Materials
– Basic helmet and pauldron patterns
– Modifying and understanding patterns
– Working with EVA foam (Skulls)
– Working with insulation foam (Horns)
– Working with clay (Antlers)
– Working with expanding foam (Pauldrons)
– Attaching pauldrons
– Attaching masks
As well as the following work examples:
– Crusader Helmet
– Barbarian Pauldron

The Book of Advanced Armor Making – Helmets & Pauldrons is available for $28, and can be combined for a discount with Kamui’s other books – 2 for $26 each, 3 for $25, and shipping is free. Kamui’s books are a great resource if you’re just starting out with thermoplastics, and have a lot of tips and tricks even for the experienced cosplayer.

Looking for a bigger discount? We offer Kamui’s books for $22 each with any Worbla Jumbo or Combo Jumbo order as well. The discount is applied automatically in your cart.

Category: Cosplay, Costumes, Worbla | Tags: | leave comment |

Worbla’s TranspArt Overview!

Last week we got a chance to finally play with Worbla’s TranspArt, the new product that’s been called ‘clear Worbla’ when it was announced. After a full day of work and testing a bunch of theories, we found ourselves surprisingly enlightened.

What we learned:

Differences between TranspArt and Finest Art: First off, Worbla’s TranspArt is not simply a clear version of Worbla’s Finest Art – they’re different plastics, and heat and shape and sculpt and react differently. Transpart has a higher working temp and a shorter working time, and works best when heated more gradually. This means it takes longer to get it to a malleable point, and it cools back to unworkable (but stil flexible) faster than Worbla’s Finest. Transpart will pick up fingerprints, the texture from work gloves (recommended when doing extensive shaping) and while it does not become brittle or crack, it does stretch to a thin, almost brittle quality. Transpart is not completely clear, though it is transparent – it has a wavy appearance though the plastic is leveled flat, and marks from the injection moulding can be seen on the surface. While this becomes less noticeable as the plastic is heated and shaped, it’s difficult to remove completely and therefore is not the best material for visibility items such as simple curve visors and eyeglasses. If you have the opportunity to work with standard acrylic, PETG plastics or vacuform materials, you may find those better suited for vision-centric props. IMG_8451 Transpart is much more flexible than Finest Art – it lacks some of the rigidity inch for inch that Finest Art has, but as a trade off it is incredibly resilient. At the moment we still haven’t been able to break or tear a piece of TranspArt, even after it had been stretched and cooled to the ‘brittle’ consistency point. When bent in sharp half or even turned inside out from a shaped form, it does not stress fracture – there’s no stress lines and extreme crumpling gives only the slightest denting when returning to the original shape – though paint will flake off.

Complex sphere painted with windshield tint, crumpled.

Complex sphere painted with windshield tint, crumpled.

Sphere returned to shape with no damage. (Paint has flaked, and was scratched off to easier show the lack of stress lines)

Sphere returned to shape with no damage. (Paint has flaked, and was scratched off to easier show the lack of stress lines)

Attaching pieces and layers: TranspArt sticks to itself when heated in a similar way to Finest Art, but we quickly discovered that while it ‘sticks’ it doesn’t ‘glue’ in the same way – it’s very difficult to form a solid bond between TranspArt pieces just with heat, and we can see why the Worbla manufacturers suggest solvent-free glues instead. You can use a soldering iron or heat knife to melt joins of TranspArt together, and for layering pieces to keep clarity, crazy glue is best. We’ve also found hot glue worked decently well, though it generally became cloudy, and rubber cement does also work though it is plainly visible within the join. Likewise, joining TranspArt to Finest art is tricky – when hot, they’re easy to stick together, but we found that it was just as easy to snap pieces apart once cooled. Because of this, we suggest again melting the pieces together with a soldiering iron or hot knife, using hot glue, or rubber cement, all depending on what you need the final look to be. Always test your joins once cool/glued, to make sure they’ll hold before progressing on!

Making things Shine: One of the most exciting things we really discovered from TranspArt is how glossy it is. You can paint the underside of your piece once it’s been formed (if you’re doing an extreme curve) or even before it’s been shaped if you’re doing a more simple shape. This leaves you with a perfectly smooth surface with a high gloss, almost chromed effect – and leaves you with a surface that is impossible to chip, meaning no touch-ups are required! For example, I made this simple bracer in under an hour, without needing to sand or prime anything.

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And this quick test of a breastcup for armor is very promising.

Because TranspArt is less rigid than Finest Art, for the above bracer I used the sandwich method – instead of Finest Art, craft foam, Finest Art, I used finest art for the bottom, craft foam, and TranspArt on top. That gave me the stability and rigidity I needed, While gluing TranspArt and Finest Art together can be tricky, the bracer wasn’t likely to be in a position for the edges to pry away from one another much, so I mostly just mushed them together while hot. The parts that didn’t stick enough once cool, I joined with hot glue. If you’re using heavier foam, such as the EVA foam that’s used for floor matting, you’ll find you don’t need the layer of Finest Art for strength, it’s often rigid enough with TranspArt alone.
For the breastcup, I shaped Finest Art and TranspArt over a styrofoam half sphere and drew out the design I wanted. I painted the inside of the Transpart black, and joined the pieces together with hot glue. For this sort of work I do suggest making sure at least one area has a ‘lip’ of Finest Art that wraps around to the TranspArt to help keep things together. (Pictured above)

 

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In a similar idea, you can also layer stencil cutouts of foil or other materials underneath your TranspArt. Making a Captain America Shield? You could cut your star out first without ever having to worry about perfect paint lines.

Transpart layered over craftfoam with cardstock foil shapes. Thinner foil would give a more seamless approach.

Transpart layered over craftfoam with cardstock foil shapes. Thinner foil would give a more seamless approach.

Dye and colour: TranspArt can be dyed, and it’s a great way to get a solid, translucent colour. We got the best results with iDyePoly, getting a deep rich blue fairly easily – but we also found that cheap brands like tintex (which is meant for cotton and other natural fibers) does give a very slight tint, which may be useful if you’re looking for slight changes. Of course, you should always test before dying your piece – and for complex shapes, we do suggest dying after you’ve shaped them to keep the colour even. We mixed the dye in a container large enough submerge our piece, using boiling water from a kettle – though we did not keep it continuously hot. The heat from the dye bath didn’t affect or warp our shaped pieces at all.

Elemental-8504 We also found that Transpart can be shaped into easy ice gems and lit with LEDs. We dyed some with resin dye, others with nail polish or iDyePoly, to get different effects. Scraps that were recycled and reblended became cloudy, which was great for diffuse light. IMG_8458 IMG_8476 And for shapes like swords – we used sandpaper to frost the inside to help the light diffuse. Elemental-8487

Shaping/Working with TranspArt: Shaping TranspArt took a bit of getting used to, because there’s no real way to ‘see’ if it’s hot enough. For some things, we just laid our TranspArt sheet over the form we needed and heated and pulled as we went, but that could be slow – especially with one set of hands, heating and setting down the heat gun to test the sheet, then picking it up again to reheat as you weren’t at the right temp was frustrating. We quickly found an Infared Thermometer was very useful. It let us know when our TranspArt hit the right temperature and also kept us from overheating it. Once our TranspArt was warm enough, for sphere shapes we just pulled the sheet over our form (with a mould release to keep it from sticking) and removed it when cool. For more complex shapes we pressed in our details using wet fingers as well as a damp sponge, working from one area at a time. Using wet tools and smooth work gloves is very important – rough textured gloves will leave a small but noticeable, almost cloudy texture on your finished piece. We did manage to get rid of small marks from gloves and even fingerprints by heating the areas again carefully, but your mileage may vary. For most things, TranspArt will do best when shaped over a form, as it’s a bit too floppy when heated to hand shape with ease.

Cutting tools: Lastly, we found that TranspArt can be more difficult to cut – probably because of the flexibility and resilience, it’s just harder on scissors and hands, and using a cutting blade was even more difficult. We suggest heating pieces that give you trouble slightly before cutting them, and investing in heavy duty scissors or tin snips or aviation shears if you’re layering and cutting TranspArt and or Finest Art together. You can absolutely use a hot knife to cut through TranspArt, but a respirator is heavily suggested if you intend on doing so extensively, as the fumes of burning Worbla is not meant to be inhaled.

Other neat things: TranspArt, once stretched somewhat, will work over a touch screen like a phone. And while the Worbla Thermoplastic guys have warned about overheating creating bubbles, what we found most of all was that overheating TranspArt gave us goop – we’d melt it and would have to wait for it to cool before it would harden, as it was much closer to friendly plastic or hot glue at that point. We still haven’t been able to tear TranspArt at all, and we’re excited to see what else we can do with it next!

Have any questions about Transpart? You can always comment here, or email me at Amanda@worbla.com!

 

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The Book of Cosplay Lights Now Available!

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Have you wanted to get into lights for your cosplay and haven’t been sure where to start? Are you looking for a solid, basic primer on LEDs to add to costumes and props? In addition to her excellent books on Worbla and Wonderflex, longtime cosplayer Kamui Cosplay has written a book covering the basic principals of adding lights to your costumes and armor.

The Book of Cosplay Lights is available for $28, and can be combined for a discount with Kamui’s other books – 2 for $26 each, 3 for $25, and shipping is free. Kamui’s books are a great resource if you’re just starting out with thermoplastics, and have a lot of tips and tricks even for the experienced cosplayer.

Looking for a bigger discount? We offer Kamui’s books for $22 each with any Worbla Jumbo or Combo Jumbo order as well. The discount is applied automatically in your cart.

At 48 full colour pages, Kamui gives detailed guides and tutorials on:
– Introduction to LEDs
– Understanding Electricity
– Calculating Resistors
– Serial and Parallel Connections
– Calculating Battery Lifespan
– Required Tools and Materials
– Troubleshooting
– Molding and Casting resin Gemstones with LEDs
– Building glowing Acrylic Spheres
– Lighting up Plexiglas
As well as the following work examples:
– Dani Moonstar (Marvel)
– Druid T9 (World of Warcraft)
– Protoss Wizard (Blizzard Crossover)

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Books on Worbla and Wonderflex, Giftwrap, and Upcoming Price Changes

Books!
We have three major updates for Cosplaysupplies.com! The first is that we are now stocking Kamui’s fantastic books on working with Worbla and Wonderflex to make props and armor, as well as a book dedicated to painting your finished projects.

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prop paint

These books are available for $28 each, but can be combined for a discount – 2 for $26 each, 3 for $25, and shipping is free. They’re a great resource if you’re just starting out with thermoplastics, and have a lot of tips and tricks even for the experienced cosplayer.

Looking for a bigger discount? We’ll be offering these books for $22 each with any Worbla Jumbo or Combo Jumbo order as well. The discount is applied automatically in your cart.

Looking for more information on Kamui’s books? Check them out here.

Price Change!
Due to manufacturing and shipping costs increasing, Worbla will be going up in price by 10% in December of 2014. If you’re looking to purchase for an upcoming project or as a holiday gift, now is the time to do so! Don’t forget we offer a discount for multiple sheets ordered, so if you have local friends consider a group order to help get the lowest possible price.

Still not sure how much to order or where to start on your next project? Don’t forget Worbla.com has a great collection of tutorials, images and videos to help you get started.

Gift Wrapping!
Purchasing Worbla to go under the tree? If you’d like gift wrapping for your order, add ‘please giftwrap’ in the comments of your purchase and we’ll send your Worbla festively ready for gift giving!

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Patternmaking for Worbla Armour

Wondering how to make a custom pattern for your own body?

519 geeks is putting up a great tutorial on creating patterns for Worbla armour!  They show how they made a gorgeous steampunk corset/vest. Some highlights from the first part:

Wrapping the model in plastic film:

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Covering the plastic film with painter’s tape:

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Marking out the seamlines onto the tape and then cutting it  into a pattern:

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Using the pattern to cut out the Worbla:

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A teaser of the finished product, demonstrating how the pattern was designed:

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The full tutorial (part 2 coming soon) can be seen here.

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Get Kamui’s book for free

NOTE: This promotion is now closed. Thanks for participating.

Are you checking your list and looking for gifts for your friends?

Well… then we have a gift for you!

When you buy a Gift Certificate (min $100) or 2 Jumbo sheets of Wonderflex or Worbla, we’ll give you Kamui’s “The Book of Cosplay Armor Making” for free!

 

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This is how it works:

  1.  Place an order for qualifying items
  2.  Enter the code *book* (including asterisks)  in the comments section of the order form during checkout
  3.  You will receive an email with download instructions
  4.  Download the file and save it carefully (link is only available once per order)

This amazing book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in Cosplay, Armor Making and Thermoplastics.

Gift Certificates have NO expiry date, can be forwarded to anyone, and can be used towards any product in our site.

 

 

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