Costume Musings

Magma Lux Shoulder Armour using L200 and LED Foam

Tutorial by: Puppichu Cosplay

In this tutorial I’ll go over how to make Magma Lux’s shoulder armour from League of Legends. This armour piece will feature animated LED lights, and also be separable for travel.

Remember to always use proper safety equipment such as safety glasses, respirators, gloves, ear protection, ventilation, and cutting mats while following this tutorial. Also remember to ask for supervision if you are a younger reader. Cosplay can be a fun hobby, but make sure you are safe first!

Pattern:
Print this pattern on a 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper
PDF – Magma Lux Shoulder Pattern 1
PDF – Magma Lux Shoulder Pattern 2

Shoulder Materials
¼” L200 foam
¼” LED foam
Foam Clay & mod podge
16 gauge wire/clothes hanger wire
Painter’s tape
Airbrush with Red/Yellow/Black/Dark Purple Acrylic paint
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
Heat gun
Exacto knife
Marker or pen

Electronics
TEXT – Magma Lux Shoulder Armour LED Code
LED NeoPixel Strip lighting
Solder iron and solder
Wire
3 pin JST connectors
Arduino Nano Microcontroller
Battery
Heat shrink

First, tape your pattern pieces together by lining up the colors and edges of paper.Then trace the patterns on your ¼” L200 and ¼” LED foam with your pen. If you need your pattern to stay put you can also push some pins through the pattern into the foam. Then cut your shoulder pattern out with a pair of scissors or an exacto knife. The pattern sheets will show where you will need to make mountain and valley cuts. When cutting an edge mountain piece you want to make a 45 degree cut into the pattern piece you are cutting. For the valley, you cut the opposite direction (45 cut away from the pattern piece). For the cuts in the middle of the foam pieces, mark with your pen where the cut will be. Use your exacto knife to cut at a 45 degree angle halfway through the foam. Do this to both sides of the line. This will take a triangular piece of foam out, without cutting all the way through the foam. For mountain cuts, take the foam out from the backside of the foam. For Valley cuts, take the foam out from the top side of the foam. Then flip your patterns to make the opposite shoulder. You must flip the patterns or the angled cuts will be backwards for the other side!

Take your L200 and LED foam pieces and glue them together by matching the color guides. Then glue the remaining front L200 foam pieces together, and the remaining back L200 pieces. By having the front and back in two seperate pieces it will be easier to install the LEDs.

Electronics:

In this tutorial I will not be going over the basic theory behind Ohm’s law. If you want to learn this information yourself I suggest you check out Kamui Cosplay’s books on LED lights or head over to the Adafruit webpage. You will need a firm grasp of these concepts before starting this project. You can use whatever different lighting and resistor combinations you can find available to you, this is just what I used for my setup.

Here is a diagram of my circuit for the shoulder armour. When you create your circuit, use your JST connectors where you need to be able to disconnect your lights from each shoulder. This is so you can remove them more easily for travel/storage. Use hot glue to attach the strip lights to the inside of the L200 foam pieces. I applied my lights to the back side of the L200 foam that way there are a small distance away from the LED foam. This just makes the light diffuse a bit better. To attach the “floating” piece, hot glue a piece of wire that runs along the edge of the first point, goes out at the first corner, and then into the bottom of the “floating” piece.

Once your LEDs have been installed use your hot glue to glue the front and back sides together. You can also use some foam clay to fill in any holes or gaps that may be still showing after gluing. If you do use the foam clay you will want to coat you pieces with a sealant (I used mod podge for mine!). At this point you can also install some velcro onto your shoulders to stick your armour to your bodysuit.

Lastly, use your airbrush to first add a light layer of yellow onto the LED foam portions of the shoulders. Then use some red acrylic paint in your airbrush to gradually add some red gradient to this same spot. The edges will be more red, while the center will be yellow. Then paint the remaining L200 Foam piece with a mix of black and dark purple.

Congratulations! Your shoulder armour is now ready to be worn!

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Magma Lux Staff using L200 and LED Foam

Tutorial by: Puppichu Cosplay

In this tutorial I’ll go over how to make Magma Lux’s staff from League of Legends. This staff will feature animated LED lights, and also be able to disassemblable for travel.

Remember to always use proper safety equipment such as safety glasses, respirators, gloves, ear protection, ventilation, and cutting matts while following this tutorial. Also remember to ask for supervision if you are a younger reader. Cosplay can be a fun hobby, but make sure you are safe first!

Pattern:

Print this pattern on a 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper
PDF – Magma Lux Staff Pattern Sheet

Ear Materials

¼” L200 foam
¼” LED foam
1/16” Clear Acrylic Sheet
¾” PVC Pipe
2 Male ¾” PVC Pipe Adapters
2 Female ¾” PVC Pipe Adapters
PVC Glue
Epoxy Glue
Foam Clay
Hand Saw
Scroll Saw
Painter’s tape
Airbrush with Red/Yellow/Black/Dark Purple Acrylic paint
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
Heat gun
Exacto knife
Marker or pen

Electronics
Download Magma Lux Staff LED Code
LED NeoPixel Strip lighting
Solder iron and solder
Red Wire
3 pin JST connectors
Arduino Nano Microcontroller
4 rechargeable AA batteries and battery holder
Heat shrink

First, trace the patterns on your ¼” L200 and ¼” LED foam with your pen. If you need your pattern to stay put you can also push some pins through the pattern into the foam. Then cut your staff pattern out with a pair of scissors or an exacto knife. Repeat this again until you should have 4 sets (eight sides) in total cut.

The pattern sheets will show where you will need to make mountain and valley cuts. To make these, mark with your pen where the cut will be. Use your exacto knife to cut at a 45 degree angle halfway through the foam. Do this to both sides of the line. This will take a triangular piece of foam out, without cutting all the way through the foam. For mountain cuts, take the foam out from the backside of the foam. For Valley cuts, take the foam out from the top side of the foam. Be careful when cutting that you have two mirrored pieces (opposites). This is so you can attach them back to back. Do this so you will have two sets of each direction. Once cut, hot glue these mountain and valley cuts together.

Take your L200 foam piece and hot glue its edge to the top edge of the LED foam piece. Do this for the opposite direction set as well. You should have 2 sets of each.

For the center circle of the staff use some ¼” LED foam. Heat the foam up with your heat gun, and stretch the hot foam over a small round form. Then cut the shaped dome into a circle that will fit between the two side foam pieces.

Cut your ¾” PVC pipe into 3 sections with a handsaw. Two pieces at 14.5 cm (5.7 inch) and one piece at 22.5 cm (8.9 inch). Layout your pipe sections with your adapters. Attach the female ends to the ends of the middle section (22.5 cm). Attach the male ends to the end of one side of the smaller section (14.5 cm). Having both ends of the staff the same adapter allows you to attach them to the middle section on either end for convenience. Follow the direction on your PVC glue and then glue these adapters in place.

Trace out the acrylic pattern onto the 1/16” acrylic sheet. Apply painters tape to the line. This is very important to be able to cut the acrylic! If you don’t do this the acrylic will chip and crack and not cut properly! Next set up your scroll saw to the recommended settings for acrylic. If you aren’t sure, then start slow and work your speed up to a comfortable setting. Carefully cut out your acrylic sheet. Once cut, use epoxy to glue the acrylic to the ends of the staff PVC pipe (short section, on the side without the adapter).

 

Electronics:

In this tutorial I will not be going over the basic theory behind Ohm’s law. If you want to learn this information yourself I suggest you check out Kamui Cosplay’s books on LED lights or head over to the Adafruit webpage. You will need a firm grasp of these concepts before starting this project. You can use whatever different lighting and resistor combinations you can find available to you, this is just what I used for my setup.

Here is a diagram of my circuit for the staff end lights. When you create your circuit, use your JST connectors where you need to be able to disconnect your lights easily in the staff. This is so you will still be able to take apart the staff into 3 pieces for travel/storage. Use hot glue to attach the strip lights to the inside of the L200 foam pieces.

I used AA batteries to supplies my lights; therefore, I soldered my cases together in a line to fit in the PVC staff. Solder all positive wires (2 JST wires, 1 battery wire, and 1 wire for the microcontroller) together. Solder all negatives in the same way together.. Lastly, solder all data wires together (2 JST wires and 1 wire for the microcontroller). When attaching to the microcontroller, attach the positive wire to “5V”, the negative wire to “Ground”, and the Data to “D10”. Test your circuit to ensure all connections are working.

 

Assembly:

After glueing your circuitry, glue the foam pieces to your cut Acrylic sheet ends. For the bottom foam piece slide the end into the inside of the PVC pipe. Lastly, use some foam clay to fill in and smooth the gap between the PVC and the L200 foam. You can also use the foam to fill any gaps between the outsides of the top foam pieces. You should now have a fully assembled staff end.

Use your airbrush to first add a light layer of yellow onto the LED foam portions of your staff ends. Then use some red acrylic paint in your airbrush to gradually add some red gradient. The edges will be more red, while the center will be yellow.

Then paint the L200 Foam piece with a mix of black and dark purple.

Paint the middle staff section red, while the end section will be a mix of the black and purple you used for the L200 pieces earlier. Paint the detail connectors on the staff gold. Use painter’s tape to mask off any areas needed.

Congratulations! Your staff is now complete!

 

 

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Cosplay Supplies Banner Photo Contest

Another year of awesome cosplay creativity is almost behind us, and we’re overdue for a new look! We’re hosting our first photo contest and there’s a slew of great prizes too, including a feature on our homepage, social media, and other promotional material. We are accepting photos of costumes that incorporate anything that was purchased from Cosplay Supplies be it Worbla, foam, beads, make-up etc.

Winning photo(s) will be featured for a minimum of 2-3 months on Cosplaysupplies.com, Worbla.com, and our Facebook.

Prizes and Categories

There will be one Grand Prize Winner overall as well as winners in each costume category (listed below) and a community choice winner. The Grand Prize and category winners will be chosen by the Cosplay Supplies team. Community Choice will be user voted.

Grand Prize – $50 Gift Certificate and Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla
Best Worbla (Original, Black, Mesh, Transparent, Red) – $50 Gift Certificate OR Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla
Best Deco Art/Crystal Art – $50 Gift Certificate OR Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla
Best Make-up  – $50 Gift Certificate OR Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla
Best Other Craft Materials – $50 Gift Certificate OR Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla

Community Choice – $50 Gift Certificate OR Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla

How to enter

Fill out the contest entry form with your information. ONE entry per person, so be sure to pick your best costume! You may submit up to 5 images of the same costume in case a certain orientation works better for our banner (landscape/horizontal images are preferred).

Link to form: https://goo.gl/forms/sU2BOwVn8xlsYg3g2

Contest is open to residents of Canada & US. If you are under the age of 18, signed permission from your parent/guardian will be required to enter.

Deadline for submissions is November 30th 2017. Cosplay Supplies will collect eligible entries and after a preliminary screening, eligible entries will be posted to the Cosplay Supplies blog for voting.

Cosplay Supplies reserves the right to disqualify entries if we deem the photos to be inappropriate, permission from the photographer is not given, or fraudulent information is used.

Photo Submission Guidelines

  1. Minimum of 1200 pixels wide. Larger photos are highly encouraged!
  2. Preferably 300 DPI, but high quality images at 180 or 72 DPI will be accepted.
  3. Your photo should clearly show your cosplay, be in focus and well lit, and should not have other people in the background. Please don’t submit WIP photos, mirror shots, or hallway photos of your work.
  4. You must have your photographer’s permission to enter your image, as we will be using these photos for promotional purposes.
  5. If your photo does not meet our requirements, it will not be accepted.

It is important that you have your photographer’s permission to submit the photos. We will be sending out a copyright agreement to the chosen winners.

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Worbla’s Mesh Art Comparison and Breakdown

With the announcement of Worbla’s Mesh Art, there were a lot of questions about how it compared to Wonderflex. I spent the last week doing some tests to see for myself, and show anyone curious where the value in using Mesh Art over Wonderflex might be, depending on your project.

(Personally, this was a fun experiment, as many years ago I was one of the first cosplayers to use Wonderflex, long before there was a smooth option. So part of this writeup will also be talking about differences I have found between the ‘old’ Wonderflex, if you use it before the smooth version, and the current ‘smooth’ line.)

Initial breakdown:

Complex Curves:
Mesh Art takes better complex curves than Wonderflex. Wonderflex will take a complex curve, but it just does not stretch enough, and so more extreme curves need to be darted.
(Interestingly I found that smooth Wonderflex takes curves less well than the older product.)
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(Above: you can see how Mesh Art takes a smoother, fuller complex curve. This is without any additional smoothing or ‘smushing’ of the overlap or darts.)

Strength/Torsion:
Wonderflex and Worbla’s Mesh Art are very very close in strength. I find that, with extreme effort I could tear Worbla’s Mesh Art, but it does not warp. Wonderflex is more difficult to tear, but warps in extreme. This is with a D ring, single layered plastic heated and cooled, and twisted back and forth.
In comparison, Finest Art and Black Art both tore, though Finest Art did take more effort to tear.
Elemental-9021

Strength/Pull:
Mesh Art and Wonderflex both will take a great deal of ‘pull’ weight. I could not year either with a direct pull, though Wonderflex did warp slightly, it was very minor.


Strength on Curves:

Difficult to photograph, as I don’t have easily quantifiable weights or tools, but have a short video and some books. Basically? Mesh Art is noticeably stronger, even after stretched over a curve.
weight

Wonderflex also stayed indented and had to be pushed back into shape from the books, and was slightly warped from doing so. Mesh Art did not, even after the larger stack.
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Mesh Art vs Wonderflex test

A video posted by Amanda (@elementalsight) on

Tearing Note:
Wonderflex and Mesh Art are similar to duct tape – when cold and unused (before heating/shaping) they can be torn easily along one of the grids, but not along the other. Once heated and cooled, the activated plastic is much stronger!

Adhesive Qualities:
When I used the oldest Wonderflex, I found the adhesive to be very strong and leave residue all over my hands. Wonderflex Smooth does not leave that residue, which is great! But I found it also doesn’t have quite the same adhesive tackiness. Mesh Art is stickier/tackier.
That said, I didn’t find either was better than the other. Mesh art holds slightly stronger – I was able to pry Wonderflex up from Finest Art and from Black Art, but only at the edge and not all the way. It also took all my strength to do so.
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Sculpting/Scraps:
The mesh in Wonderflex really does make it difficult to engrave detail, recycle scraps, or make ‘noodle’ details. It’s possible, but I would personally never use it for details except in a real pinch. The ‘smooth’ side tears when sculpting into, and the mesh does not want to indent.
Mesh Art can be sculpted and detailed the same as Finest Art, and scraps can be smoothly recycled.
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smooth2

‘Noodles’ for Mesh Art and Wonderflex:
Elemental-8992
Above: Mesh Art will take organic curves much easier than Wonderflex, though not as well as Finest Art or Black Art.

Originally, I tested Mesh Art’s ability to flex against the other Worbla plastics.
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Elemental-8972
Above: showing how far I could bend Black Art, Finest Art, and Mesh Art.

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Elemental-9035
Above: While Wonderflex does not snap on curves, it does ‘crease’ and hold the crease. Mesh Art I found would return to its original shape.

Surface Finish:
Both products have a smooth side. Wonderflex has a slightly more pronounced texture when stretched.
Elemental-9023
Above: Wonderflex painted without primer.
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Above: Mesh Art painted without primer.

Overworking Finish:
If you overwork your plastic, you probably know it can end up very rough. These pieces were pushed as far as I could take them. Wonderflex gains a much more pronounced texture when overworked and warps easier.
Elemental-9026
Above: Left, Wonderflex. Right, Mesh Art.

Overheating Finish:
Just to see how well each handles heat, I overheated Mesh Art and Wonderflex. One of the most interesting things I found was that Mesh Art can be slightly smoothed down again after overheating with a wet finger.
overheat
Above: Top, Wonderflex. Bottom, Mesh Art. Far right side of Mesh Art is slightly smoother – was smoothed with a wet finger while warm.

Smoothing Edges:
One thing I really like about Mesh Art is how easy it is to smooth edges. As shown in the sculpting scraps, you can really make edges disappear by heating and smoothing – working with a wet finger for edges, and over a smooth work surface for ‘noodles’ or rolls, helps.
Smooth
Above: Mesh Art noodle, left edge allowed to keep seam, seam smoothed to the right.
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Above: Worbla Mesh on the right, Wonderflex on the left. Wonderflex still has a small noticeable ‘edge’ where the overlap has been added, Mesh Art the overlap can be smoothed completely.

Other Notes:
Mesh Art retains heat longer than Wonderflex, giving you more working time. It also is just hotter on the fingers – more like Worbla’s Black Art! So keep that in mind when working to either let it cool a bit, use gloves, or keep a bowl of water handy for work.

Work Surface:
Because Mesh Art IS so sticky, you really really want to work over a surface that is either a silicone sheet, or a piece of parchment or freezer paper. Wax paper and aluminum foil can still stick (and I nearly ruined a $100 cutting board as the sculpted mesh ‘leaf’ stuck so well it had to be cut away in chunks.

Final Thoughts

If you need a thermoplastic only for flat reinforcement (straps for armor) or minor curves, Wonderflex still does the same work it has always done – it’s an excellent, strong non-toxic thermoplastic.
If you need a strong non-toxic thermoplastic that will take complex curves very well, and has the added benefits of allowing scrap recycling, surface detail sculpting, more strength or resistance to warping, a longer working time and a far smoother surface when overworked, overheated or just fully stretched, consider Mesh Art as a replacement to Wonderflex or a complement to your usual Worbla Armor and Props.

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Now Available: Heat Resistant Gloves

We’ve now added stock of our Heat Resistant Gloves!

Gloves avail

We currently carry sizes from Small to Extra Large. Because of the coating on these gloves, think of the fit more like a leather glove than a knit, and size up not down if you are between sizes.
Measure around the palm of your dominant hand (or whichever hand you know is larger). The measurement around your palm is your glove size.
Glovesize copy
We currently carry:
Size 7 Small (7 Inches)
Size 8 Medium (8 Inches)
Size 9 Large (9 Inches)
Size 10 Extra Large (10 Inches)

You can see more information about our gloves here, but for those just looking for a list of plastics we have tested these gloves with:
Worbla’s Finest Art
Worbla’s Black Art
Worbla’s TranspArt
Fosshape Thick and Thin
Sintra
Styrene
Foam

These gloves have been tested and work well with vacuformed plastics/pulls, and while they are not waterproof they can be worn with latex gloves to handle hot water dyeing.

They are NOT recommended for Wonderflex and Friendly Plastic, as both materials just stick to the gloves themselves when heated.

We have not tested these gloves with other thermoplastics, and suggest always testing with new materials to ensure the adhesive qualities are not too strong.


You can find our gloves here
! They ship free with Worbla Purchases!

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Foam Rolls now available!

1904174_912954538733060_8315123946910445426_nfoamroll

Have you been frustrated working with small sheets of craft foam when making large items with Worbla?

We are now offering rolls of foam, sized 36″ by 60″ for your big armour projects!

Available in Black, White and Red: Find them Here!

 

 

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Introducing Sintra!

Introducing another cool thermoplastic, Sintra! It’s a foamed styrene plastic sheet that comes in a variety of thicknesses. It’s traditionally used for commercial signs, but costumers have discovered that it’s also great for making props and armour!

Volpin Props created this gun and used Sintra for the curved purple plates.

How to use Sintra

Like other thermoplastics, we recommend making a mockup out of cardboard or craft foam.

Sintra can be beveled or layered, and with heat it can be stretched or bent. It becomes flexible at 200-275 F and is best heated in boiling water or in an oven; a heat gun can be used for spot heating of certain areas. When heated, like many plastics, Sintra gives off toxic fumes – so please make sure you use adequate ventilation and don’t boil it in a pot that will be used for food.

IceTyrant from the RPF forums documented his Dark Knight build here.

 

For cutting Sintra, you need to use a sharp knife or box cutter, or a saw. To use a knife, score your cutting lines, and then bend gently to crease the back side; then turn over and score the other side carefully. You can then carefully snap along your scoring lines. The hard plastic coating can shatter if you don’t score the cutting lines adequately, or if you use a shearing cutter like scissors.

Sintra pieces can be fused using superglue, and smoothed with sandpaper. You can also use additional sculpting materials such as epoxy putty or Bondo to add details and further smooth angles.

IceTyrant’s Sintra Iron Man helmet, covered in Milliput and sanded. Build info on RPF’s forums here.

To paint, use plastic paints such as Krylon Fusion.

FOA Cosplay made this amazing World of Warcraft Paladin with Sintra.

 

How does it compare to other thermoplastics?

Sintra is thicker than the other thermoplastics we offer, so it can be great for quick buildup of dimension, and like our other styrene sheets, it has a smooth surface that doesn’t need much finishing. It is best for flat layering, beveled angling or for gentle curves; it doesn’t handle complex or compound curves as well as Worbla or Wonderflex and can wrinkle if bent/stretched excessively when heated.

Sintra cannot be vacuuformed; for vacuuforming we recommend the flat/solid styrene.

 

Here are some great tutorials to get you inspired!

http://www.foayasha.com/foacosplay/tutorials/001_Sint01.html

http://www.therpf.com/f24/wip-iron-variant-cosplay-super-pic-heavy-sintra-182204/

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2014/04/04/using-sintra-to-make-a-death-scythe-from-soul-eater/

https://www.facebook.com/jiajiacosplay/posts/152551688215152

http://volpinprops.blogspot.ca/2012/02/clares-armor-claymore.html

http://deepdivecosplay.com/Construct/sintra.html
Where to buy?

You can find our Sintra category here, and each size has its own page: 2mm, 3mm, 6mm.

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Thermoplastics panel at Costume-Con 32

We are happy to invite all to our Thermoplastics panel at Costume-Con 32.

It will be held on Saturday April 26 at 12PM.

panel

We will talk about Wonderflex, Worbla, Fosshape, Kobracast and Friendly Plastic.

Free product samples will be available.

See you there!

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Most Frequently Asked Questions

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Who’s building with Worbla? Instagram of the day.

beckanoel

Mass Effect Armor with Worbla

See more of beckanoel’s work at:

www.facebook.com/beckedcosplay

 BUY WORBLA

 

 

 

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