Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category


Ok this one has been a pain in the *ss! Working alone, trying to hold the foam parts in one hand while glueing with the other has proven to be harder than I first thought … I have learned some important stuff though:

1. Hot glue is … Well hot! I managed to burn the tip of my finger … Now it has a big blister waiting to pop.
2. Pre-Glueing. Put the amount of hot glue you want and when ready to apply, use your heater gun to make the glue liquid again. Very useful.
3. Always check on what side your foam is BEFORE glueing. That way, you will avoid having to start back and waste foam in the process …
4. For my first project with EVA Foam … I was bold in my design choice. What i’m saying here is to go with a simple design. Add stuff later if you want.
5. Work in an a calm, remote area if you’re easily sidetracked like me …

And finally …

6. Believe in yourself! Don’t stop at the first mistake. I know it’s frustrating having to start over some parts the first time but you will be so upset that chances are … You’ll never make these mistakes again!

More soon … Have a nice Dorky Day!


Made this one years ago (Can’t remember for how long as a matter of fact) … Pretty simple but the effect was really impressive.

I went at McDonald to eat and saw a Duel Masters Card Case that was given away with Happy Meals. I bought the toy separately (99 cents I think) and brought that home. The only thing I had to do is to paint this little sucker silver and used a dark brown acrylic paint that I wiped roughly … leaving dark brown paint in all the cracks and details of the case. The final result now …

J’ai fais ce projet il y a de celà plusieurs années (En fait je ne me rappelle même plus quand) … Très simple mais l’effet était impressionnant.

Je suis allé au McDonald pour manger quand j’ai aperçu un étui à carte Duel Masters qui était donné gratuitement avec les Joyeux Festins. Je l’ai acheté (99 sous je crois) et je l’ai rapporté à la maison. Tout ce que j’ai eu à faire c’est de peindre l’étui avec une couche d’argent et ensuite, une couche de brun foncé que j’essuyais au fur et à mesure et de façon très négligée … laissant ainsi de la peinture dans les fissures et les détails de l’étui. Et maintenant le résultat final …

Time has gotten the better of this one though … the paint is now flaking …

Leaving now … Later!
À plus tard …


Tip Of The Day: Working with EVA Foam

Posted: August 14, 2011 by Patrick Dubuc in Links, Tips
Tags: ,

Article written from informations taken on the Schenz Theatrical Supply website.

So? You’re about to use EVA Foam for your next project? Please consider the following before doing so …

Like Wil already said in his Work In Progress: Wil’s Futuristic Armor post, EVA stands for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. This dense, closed cell foam is not only environmentally safe but it’s somehow weather and chemical resistant and has a low water absorption level. This means, that it’s easy to work on it with glue, paint and everything you can throw its way. Now for the Dork part …

Avoid fire and temperature above 329°C (625°F). EVA Foam is not compatible with: Gasoline, Cyclohexane, Ether, Ketone, Paraffin, Xylene and combustion conditions may release fumes hydrogen bormide and/or other toxic vapors

Beside the evidence (Like swallowing might make you choke) the only health hazard is regarding inhalation of the EVA. Dust/fumes generated during thermal forming or slicing may cause eye and/or respiratory irritation.

Work in a well ventilated area when thermal forming or sanding/cutting the EVA Foam. Might want to consider using a mask to avoid inhaling dust from the foam.

Safety informations taken from Foam Order

 … Time for some EVA Foam carnage now …

You will need some tools to work on that baby so grab a piece of paper, a pen and take notes …

– An X-Acto Knife (AND/OR any specialized blades you can think of for special cuts for example) AND/OR a hot blade of some sort …
– A Large Transparent ruler (The kind with a grid printed on it)
– A Fine Point Sharpie and an Ultra-Fine Point Sharpie (Or the cheap brands)
– A cutting surface (If you don’t want your wife to kill you for hacking through the kitchen table)
– A Dremel tool or its equivalent with sanding discs or bands
– A Heat Gun (For thermal forming)
– A mask (For protection) … Might consider some sort of Protection Goggles as well …
– A can of Contact Glue

– Masking Tape (To adjust your parts BEFORE glueing)


Thermal Forming

When using the Heat Gun to form your EVA Foam, make sure you heat your surface evenly. You might want to have a surface to help you bend your foam. Since EVA does not absorb water, consider using it to shock your pieces once bent.

A Dremel (Not making a shameless plug here, use whatever equivalent tool you want!) is a wonderful tool to make smooth edges, textures and details on your foam. I might consider making a post with possible things that can be done with a Dremel tool (Maybe using my scrap foam parts after my Futuristic Armor Project).

Use the utra-fine point sharpie to trace your pieces on the Foam. The fine point sharpie is used to write stuff on them or mark references (Like where to cut a hole later on).

If you have other questions regarding EVA Foam and the way to work with it … We would be more than happy to update this post for you. Send in your questions using the Contact link at the top of the Blog.


Tip Of The Day: Recycling

Posted: August 4, 2011 by Patrick Dubuc in Tips

Never and I say never underestimate the value of your recycling bin! Those plastic bottles and can can be used, cut, torned, painted and given a second life as plates for armors, retro space guns, ghost hunting devices and so on … Look at these recycled articles from another perspective. See them as 3D geometric shapes. They can come in handy when making the basic frame of a prop.

Also, consider Dumpster Diving as well … Leather from an old couch, used soldering goggles, a broken PC … A lot of interesting parts can be salvaged from these and best of all … They’re free!


Work In Progress: Pat’s Futuristic Armor

Posted: August 2, 2011 by Patrick Dubuc in Props, Tips, Update, Work In Progress
Tags: , , , ,

As you can see, both me and Wil are making a Futuristic Armor. I try to use a very precise methodology and I would like to share today with you what i’ve done so far:

1. Research:
When I decided to go ahead with a Futuristic Armor project, I decided to search the Internet for some references. I gathered from across the web 11 designs that I liked more than the others (A 12th joined the rank later on). I layed them in front of me and highlighted/circled the details I liked the most about each models. As you can guess, I will not show the references chosen here due to Copyrights Infringement …

2. Sketch:
I took my sketch pad (I suck at drawing … badly!) and I layed down a sketch of the armor I wanted. I have to be honest with you. Even though your sketch rocks … Your final armor will most probably be different from that sketch … Use it anyway as a reference point just in case you tend to sidetrack. Won’t show my sketch … You might believe it’s a smashed fly on a piece of paper anyway.

3. Measurements:
Since we’re building an armor here … Measurements are pretty straightforward.

A - From armpit to armpit / B - From shoulder blade to waist

Ok so with this being said … Wil is an average size bastard … I hate him … I’M NOT AVERAGE SIZE! The issue i’m having is that an average size EVA Foam mat is 24″ x 24″ (Or 22″ x 22″ if you take away the connecting parts) Sooooo … I decided to go ahead and make the biggest vest I could and decided that I would put additional lengt of EVA along the way in the details. Optionally … You can do like me. Since I can’t draw, I took an old sleeveless shirt from my drawers and cut it with scissors. Don’t tell my wife … SSsssshhht!

4. Making the pattern:
I layed my shirt on carboard and traced around it as accurately as possible in dotted lines. Then, using a ruler and a black marker, I carefully retraced the lines so it curves smoothly. Then cut your pattern.

Trace only half of it ... That way, you'll be sure that both sides are the same size!Facing and Backing done.Facing and Backing done.

5. Use pattern on EVA Foam:
Using your pattern, carefully trace your lines using a black marker on the EVA Foam. You can still make modifications and or adjustment at this state … LAST CHANCE!

6. Cut the EVA Foam:
Using a sharp knife or a scalpel that you lube/grease or heat, cut along the lines you just made. Try to be as steady as possible and keep your blade straight. I learned from my mistakes. Some of my cuts are inclined … It should not be noticeable at the end though.

I could have make the neck part more round ...

Pretty satisfied with this one!

7. Details:
Start designing details to add to your armor. I decided to start with a central point. For me, it was the spine on the back …

Could have made this one into one part and could have added details using the Dremel Tool though.

I first measured the length of a single piece by taling my reference picture, measuring one piece of the spine and then one of his finger. Then, I measured one of my own finger and using a simple mathematical formula (I let you guess that one), I was able to determine the length of each piece of the spine. I then drawed it on cardboard and traced it on EVA. Cut it using the same methods than the base of the armor and smoothed each piece using the Dremel Tool. The end result should be interesting …


8. Assemble your armor parts and for now, tape them together using masking tape.
9. Replace/Modify the armor parts as needed to get a nice finish.
10. Glue the parts together using Contact Glue.
11. Add details using 3mm. and/or 6mm. EVA Foam sheets (These can be found in scrapbooking department).

And the rest is yet to be added here … As I work on my armor …