So, after realizing I do not have time to complete either an Iron Man suit, or full medieval suit of armor, I have decided to simply do something more “subdued”. I already have a shirt of mail and a cloak. My plan is to build a medieval knight costume by adding vambraces, pauldrons/spaulders, a surcoat and possibly (fingers crossed) greaves. I have already completed the vambraces and part of one pauldron.
For the armor I am using craft foam from Michael’s. I first cut out a pattern (generally doing a test piece [several pieces] in poster board first). Then the piece is shaped using a heat source and a form (usually a pot or a cup). After that, I coat the piece with Plasti-Dip to seal the foam, and simulate leather. For the metal portions I use silver metallic spray paint The important point here is not to spray the paint directly onto the piece. Instead, spray the paint onto a paper towel then wipe the piece down–respraying the towel as needed. This gives the armor a more distressed look and gives you more control over the coverage.
These vambraces consist of one piece in Plasti-Dip and silver paint over another piece in just Plasti-Dip, to simulate leather. The battle scar on the left vambrace was done with a soldering iron before being coating in Plasti-Dip and wiped with silver paint. The “rivets” are foam as well. Using a paper hole punch, I punched several holes out and hot glued them to the top of the bracers.
For some really great techniques on using craft foam for costuming, checkout the following videos.
The following is where I got the wipe-on silver paint idea. This guy uses a dremel to add battle scars to his armor, which might be an option for some of you.
Great video on making vambraces from craft foam. As an alternative to the leather tools, I simply used a paper hole punch. Works great!