EVA Foam Vs Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Halo Costumes and Armor' started by SkyBox, May 18, 2017 at 5:59 PM.

  1. SkyBox

    SkyBox Recruit

    Hey I am new to Costume and Prop making and I am both a Star wars and a Halo Fanboy if you want to call it... And I really want to make costumes for both however I have a bit of a problem, Here using EVA Foam seems to be fine among users and whatnot however over on another Costume Form the MMCC Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club says otherwise... they dont really say what is wrong with it, just that they will not pass it past inspections if I want to be a real member of the community. Here is a Quote from their application
    • EVA foam is not an acceptable armor building material for the MMCC. EVA foam MAY be considered for use on parts such as “soft cods” and “soft” knees. It will be a suitable material to back plating on knees and such for comfort. Any EVA that is visible, ie. soft cods and soft knees, will be HIGHLY scrutinized. It is HIGHLY recommended that if you choose this route, you heavily incorporate the App Team in the WIP and apply any suggestions to increase the probability of acceptance.
    Now I want to be able to use other alternatives like fiberglass however I have asthma and being 16 and still living with my parents does not help as they are pretty defensive when it comes to this stuff... If I say something about getting a respirator they say its too expensive... So i go check amazon and find them for 20-30 bucks I tell them and they instantly say and i quote "THOSE ONES ARE CHEAP AND PROBABLY NOT UP TO CODE FOR WORKING WITH FIBERGLASS" Now I just wanna ask you guys

    A. What is the problem with Eva Foam i.e will it degrade over time
    B. will a cheap 20$-30$ respirator be able to protect me from inhaling fiber glass I would like to get word from someone who works with this stuff so I can try to convince my parents (I am 15 btw) and if a 20$-30$ respirator wont work I would like to know so I dont have to constantly keep getting into fights over if i can use it or not.
  2. Demogorgon


    I think the MMCC are just more strict on their guidelines and EVA not being a suitable building material is just a preference in their community. There is absolutely nothing wrong working with EVA foam.

    Does foam degrade over time?

    Well, kind of. In my experience the seams are going to be your weak points. That's where a majority of the foam malfunctions occur, seams ripping apart. As long as you take your time when you initially build the armor it should last a long while. After 2 years of Halloween parties and Medieval Fairs, my Daedric armor is still intact and holding up great. Foam is not as rugged as fiberglass but I can assure you it's not as frail as you might think.

    As for the respirator, I've used the 3M 7500 Series Half Facepiece Respirator with the 3M 60921 P100 Organic Vapor Filter (It has a layer of activated charcoal to absorb the vapors generated and a P100 (HEPA) filter to catch any particles). Perfect for fiberglass work.

    Choosing between Fiberglass and Foam builds really comes down to your personal preference. Both have their pros and cons. Fiberglass builds can be weighty, but are strong and durable. They also tend to look and feel more like armor than foam builds, but if you get good enough with foam you can make it look just as good as a fiberglass build. Foam builds are light and comfortable to wear for long periods of time and is a more forgiving medium to work with, however it is less durable and prone to tears (usually at seams).
    Last edited: May 19, 2017 at 12:43 AM
    Sierra 107 and mblackwell1002 like this.
  3. SkyBox

    SkyBox Recruit

    Thank you for your opinion on this man It means alot! I want to use a mix of the two for different things and now I might be able to convince my parents that it is safe to use fiber glass with a cheap respirator
    Demogorgon likes this.
  4. Demogorgon


    No problem, happy to help! (y)
  5. mawrTRON


    For me personally I use both in my builds.
    I use foam for the body and fibreglass for the helm.
    My reasoning for this is.
    A.The body needs to be comfy. Wearing fibreglass gets uncomfortable in 20 mins or less for me, where as I can wear the foam for 8 hours straight
    B.The helmet needs to be accurate. This is the main "selling point" of the helmet and foam helms always seem mishapen to me..

    Here is a quick pros and cons list.

    + very strong
    + takes paint well
    - expensive
    - toxic and smelly
    - messy/sticky
    - can be fiddly
    - less forgiving
    - requires a lot of sanding and body filler
    - uncomfortable to wear (cutty AF)
    - difficult to repair

    EVA foam.
    + cheap
    + light
    + flexible and extra comfy to wear
    + no toxic nastys
    + easy to fix
    - sealing can be costly and tricky
    - more likely to get wear and tear
    - hot glue gun burns

    As for looking and feeling like armour I think that EVA foam has more potentual to look like actual armor than fibreglass.
    This is because EVA already has a thickness to it, which makes it look heavy. Also adding extra details onto a fibreglass build is a nightmare compared to EVA. And details are cruicial in selling the look of the armor.

    Finally heres a pep/glass and a EVA side by side.
  6. mblackwell1002


    (the one on the left is foam, the right is fiberglass)

    mawrTRON, though I share your opinions on foam VS fiberglass, you're saying things that are flat-out false. For instance "-can be fiddly" and "+Extra comfy to wear" are not facts...they're your personal opinions which are exaggerated to influence a person's decision. "Fiddly" is an extremely vague reference which holds no true value to a reader; it's a negative word which makes the entire passage have a more negative tone. You can't do extremely opinionated things like that, man. You want to give a person hard facts to let them find the method that works best for them. using a blurry picture isn't helping either...it kinda sheds (yet another) negative light on your Pepakura opinions. Plus, that was your first suit, so of course your 3rd suit will be better than your first suit. Your Fred suit is beautiful, but please stick to facts.

    Both Pepakura and foam are effective ways of making a costume; each have their advantages and disadvantages. SkyBox, use the method that works best for you. You could even merge the 2 methods, it just depends on your needs.
    Dirtdives likes this.

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