Costume Musings

More tests with Worbla

As many people have never worked with thermoplastics, it can be a bit intimidating to figure out how you could use these products.  So here we have some examples to show the basics of using Worbla.

In this post we are not working on any particular craft piece, we’re just showing how the material responds in basic situations.
Here’s another demo of basic functions you can do with Worbla. Today we’re making a mask with some cutout details and edging.

Forming

First, we set the styrofoam wig head in a box for stability so it wouldn’t roll around while we worked.
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Then we applied a piece of aluminum foil to the wig head, to keep the Worbla from sticking to the foam.
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Heated for a few seconds with a heat gun (or a bit longer with a hairdryer), the Worbla can be easily shaped into a mask. To cool and harden it faster, we used a sponge dipped in cold water.
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Cutting

We then shaped the corners using normal scissors.
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You can easily poke a hole for elastic or string using a hot soldering iron or woodburning tool.
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Cutouts

We used the soldering tool to first mark the eyeholes, then dragging the tool to melt the eyehole lines. (If you wish, the edges can be further cleaned up by using small sculpting tools while the Worbla is hot.)
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Here we marked an eyebrow line and cut a slit in the Worbla using the soldering iron tip.
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Edging

Now we’ve taken all our scraps, and we’ll be heating them and using them as putty.
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Heated, the scraps can be rolled into a ‘noodle’ to use as edging or details.
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You can see more information here: Worbla.

Category: Crafts, Worbla | Tags: | 1 comment |

Worbla Tests

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As many people have never worked with thermoplastics, it can be a bit intimidating to figure out how you could use these products.  So here we have some examples to show the basics of using Worbla.

 In this post we are not working on any particular craft piece, we’re just showing how the material responds in basic situations.

To fold, crease and cut:

When cutting large pieces it’s very easy to fold the material, mark the crease and cut on the line using regular craft scissors.


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You can also mark the cutting line using a ruler and pencil instead of folding first.

Heating:

Worbla responds to heat and becomes very flexible. Here we show the initial stiffness of the thermoplastic, and how it changes after a few seconds of heating with a heat gun.


Once the piece cools down and hardens, we can turn it around and heat it again to flatten it out.

 

A regular hair dryer can activate Worbla too; it just takes a little longer to heat the Worbla.

Basic shaping:

Here we see how Worbla can stretch to take a convex shape.  While hot, it can be molded over objects or pressed into a concave mold.

Once it cools, it hardens and keeps the shape:

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If we don’t like the shape, we can reheat it to flatten it again:

 

Here it is after it cools down:

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Folding and layering:

The material sticks to itself when hot, which is very useful if a thicker and stronger piece is needed:  Just heat and press a few layers together to create a stronger sheet.  This is recommended if you’ll be stretching the Worbla over a larger domed surface, as stretching a lot will thin the Worbla.


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Embossing:

Here we see how easy is to emboss Worbla once it’s hot:

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We hope these notes are useful. We’ll be trying new techniques soon, so stay tuned!

Category: Crafts, Worbla | Tags: | 3 comments |

Worbla thermoplastic

Introducing Worbla’s Finest Art – the thermoplastic and modelling material!

worbla and wonderflex

worbla and wonderflex being formed into armor by cosplayer Kamui. www.kamui.com

How to use Worbla modelling material:

Use hot air, water or steam (min 90°C) to bring this plastic to the shape you want to. The material is alterable by heat anytime so you can start a project, let it cool, and then continue working on it by reheating it later.

The scraps of worbla can be blended to 100%, so almost no waste at all incurs.
These leftovers can be molded just like putty or almond paste.
It hardens very fast, is manually grindable and because of the extra glue on the shiny side, it is very easy to attach the several layers.
Hence you can decide to work with more layers right from the beginning or to line thin parts plus e.g. ornaments can be attached easy as pie.

Almost everything is possible with this material for creative people.
Detailed surfaces & masks, armor and ornaments, replicas of blades or gems plus even costume jewellery, figurines as well as all kind of decorations.

You can varnish Worbla’s Finest Art with all kind of effect spray-paints and acrylics. Therefore, a plastic primer or other base coats can be useful!

Both Wonderflex and Worbla are available at www.cosplaysupplies.com

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