I’ve been really excited to work on a foam cosplay since I chatted a bit with a super impressive local cosplayer at Salt Lake Gaming Con last summer. I spent quite a few months reading and watching YouTube videos, especially Evil Ted, before I had the guts to jump in and try.
I bought a Viking Helmet template on Evil Ted’s website, it was super cheap and didn’t require too much adaptation, I just left out a couple of pieces, added a couple more, and changed the faceplate to include the side pieces.
After I cut out the pieces, used a heat gun to warm them up a bit and bend them so they’d curve some, I had to glue it all together. The whole time I was putting the dome-y part together, I was thinking, “why is it that when people in YouTube video put foam together, it seems to just magically fuse together?” while I pushed pieces of foam together for whole minutes and wound up with a huge gluey mess. I used Barges glue, and it was EVERYWHERE. It seemed to stick to my gloves, the table, everywhere but my foam.
After quite a bit of time, I finally got them stuck together, but it’s definitely not smooth. Fortunately, by that time, I had figured it out, both thin layers of glue have to pretty much dry BEFORE they are smushed together. If they are dry, they do fuse together magically. Also, it looks smoother if the edges are cut smoothly, so, yeah, a very sharp box cutter. Don’t mess around. So the detail pieces of the foam went on way more easily.
I used a sharp X-acto knife to slice out the swirly bits, and then used a heat gun so they’d shrink back a bit and create more gap. Then I added some Kwik Seal in my messy seam to hide them a bit.
If you’ve ever wondered if Jubilee helps me make her kinda ridiculous and time-consuming cosplays, here’s a picture of her adding small foam circles to helmet, to look like rivets. So, the answer is, sometimes. When she feels like it.
I then used a Dremel to carve out the crest piece, and glued it on as well. I tell you what, Dremeling (is that a verb?) foam is messy.
Finally, it was all put together, so I coated it in a Neoprene (non-latex) rubber called Creature Cast. It’s freaking awesome. I got the semi-rigid, it went on like liquid but soaked right in and set fast enough to do multiple coats, and provided a dark base layer that paint adheres to, so I didn’t need any primer or anything.
After it dried, it just needed layers of paint. Oh, so many layers. I did a very thin gold base coat, then dry brushed on some black, then silver, then gold, then brown where it needed to be brown, then a black wash. I did one right after the other, it dried pretty fast because I was doing such thin layers, which made it pretty easy.
I LOVE the way it turned out.