This year I wanted to start with something complete new. I’m always searching for new materials, techniques and challenges. So the new MMO from NCsoft, Aion – Tower of Eternity, had some very good exsamples. There were a lof of commercials I saw on TV or the Internet and the details of the armor sets shown below were just awesome. I googled a bit and found a webside with all of the armor sets from the game. And I have to admid that I looked for the hardest and most complicated set in the game. I decided for this one:
I have never built an armor like this before, so I was eager to learn something new. And I already knew how I wwould realise it: Wonderflex.
I heard a lot about this material and read many reviews and tutorials. I already had the money and got my roommate into it, too. Two orders with shocking taxes and shipping costs followed.
Please look at the shipping costs and cry for us! But that was nothing compared to the customs…
So you see, it’s very very expensive for me, to order it to Germany. But this awesome material inspired me SO much that I ordered it a second time. Now I had 7 jumbo sized Wonderflex boards. This should be enough. Or at least I hope so…
Here is a pic of this stuff and a further thermoplastic material called ‘Friendly Plastic’.
My first experiments with this stuff ended in a completely finished bracer piece. I could not stop to work with it, he he. The day ended at 3 o’clock in the night. Wonderflex stunned me completely!
And here is a little making of my first work:
The second step was to cut fitting parts out of wonderflex for the craft foam. Be sure that the wonderflex part is somewhat bigger than your craft foam part. Now you have to heat the wonderflex. For base parts like the bracer itself I took a 3 mm thick craft foam, for detail parts only 1.5 mm. Wonderflex becomes very soft and flexible when it’s warm enough, almost like fabric. Then you can put it on and around the craft foam and form it like you want. For the base part I used only one wonderflex part for covering, for details I made a sandwich of 2 parts wonderflex and one part craft foam. Watch out that you use the right side of the wonderflex. It has one surface with a fabric structure and one rough side. I use the rough one, because if you cover it with Gesso it gets a flat and soft surface.
The second bracer followed:
… and for the second one I made a tutorial for you:
Like always I used half a styrofoam ball as the base and cut the form out with a cutter. Then I covered it with 3 thicks strips of wonderflex. Unfortunately you cannot form Wonderflex on curves like on this ball perfectly. So you see, I got some ugly foldings there. Not so nice, is it?
But we have a solution for this problem: Friendly Plastic
Friendy Plastik is the granule I ordered with my Wonderflex. It’s also a material which you can form after you heated it. A hairdryer or hot water are enough for this and you can model it, when it becomes transparent. (You see it in the first picture. Some of the granules are already transparent.)
Then you take some pieces and press it on your wonderflex. Spread it well on the foldings and borders. Unfortunatly the plastic will already be cooled when you are finished. But you just have to heat it a second time to continue working. When your Friendly Plastic parts are transparent again you have to search a hard, flat surface like a desk. Keep in mind that this surface is clean and don’t have any PVC on it. Wonderflex and Friendly Plastik loves to glue itself to everything it finds. Now you have to press the part of the Wonderflex and the granule as hard as you can on the desk. Press, roll, heat and repeat it. Over and over, until you get a smooth and flat surface and all of the irregularities are covered with Friendly Plastic. Now you can add some patterns and details with wonderflex if you want. Just cut your form out and heat both parts, to put it together.
Now comes the dodgy part:
I already told you how to build your puzzle parts.
For 3 dimensional details you can use Friendy Plastic. Loops, flowers, points, etc. Just try it and play a bit with it. Heat it a bit, form it and put it on your wonderflex. You don’t need any glue for this, because Wonderflex and Friendly Plastic become very sticky, when they are warm enough. So be careful with your clothes, carptes, PVC or other Wonderflex/Friendly Plastic parts. So you only have one chance to put the parts right togehter. Otherwise breaking it will end with flaws and holes. But just in case you can fix this too, if you have no other option. So with a bit of luck and skills your armor parts are finished. And tadaaaaa, finished!
Now we get to my feet armor stuff:
As usual: Styling, trimming, blow-dry.
It could be difficult to find the right form, because you often have to think in 3D but to paint it on a 2D paper. So try a bit, until you are satisfied with your pattern.
Small parts, which don’t have to be as thick as a normal armor part can be cut out of just two pieces of wonderflex. For this you can heat long pieces and put them together. Now you have a double layer wonderflex. Press it well and watch out for air holes inside it. As long as it’s warm it’s very easy to cut your form out. But with the missing craft foam inside there is no more steadiness. So be very careful!
Now you have a very flexible wonderflex part and can make curves like in the middle picture. But the cutting and forming make also some poor borders. I covered it with some stripes of wonderflex and built a nice armor look with it.
In additon, I have to tell you that this feet armor consists of 20 seperate parts. So you see, it’s a huge puzzle you have put together if you want to build such an armor and you need a lof of time and patience for it.
But it’s worth it!
Now I have to get busy again and I wish you a happy new year! ^^
This was really cool to read and I enjoy your tutorials. These have definitely made me excited and curious to use wonderflex, worbla, and friendly plastic in the future. I really like your work. very cool stuff.
Ich habe deinen Blog vor etwa einer Woche gefunden und war totl baff wie man so tolle und aufwändige Cosplay hinbekommen kann. Gestern habe ich dann angefangen Aion zu spielen und dann habe ich einfach mal “Aion Cosplay” gesucht und bin auf deinem Blog wieder heraus gekommen. Und dann wurde mir einiges klar xD’ (Besondern das Fell am Rücken; bin auch bei den Asmodae) Ich hab jetzt auch vor demnächst mal meinen Charakter zu cossen. Und deine Tutorials werden dabei sehr hilfreich sein :)
Mach weiter so!
Hello! I love your tutorials and your creativity. And I see you’ve worked a lot with Wonderflex so I’m hoping you can answer a question I have about the material. I’ve searched all over the net and can only find out how to use it nothing about anything else on it :( but my question is this. I’ve made a cosplay armor with a base of craft foam. I heated up wonderflex over it and shaped it around the foam. Sadly the armor isn’t coming out the way I wanted it too and I stumbled upon your tutorials and found a better way to make it. Can I reheat the wonderflex to take it off the craft foam? Some people have said “reheat to reshape” but this stuff is expensive so I really don’t want to mess it up ><;
http://www.mycostumes.de/epages/61951018.sf/en_GB/ ? ObjectPath=/Shops/61951018/Products/%22wonderflex%20L%22
Here’s a link for a place that ships from a little closer to Germany. ^_^
Hm… Durchmesser weiß ich leider nicht, da alle bei mir zerschnitten sind. Aber ja, die sind sehr praktisch. :)
I guess, I used about one jumbo sheet? Or just a half? It wasn’t really a lot, because I used it only for the leg armor, the claws and the tiara.
And thank you for the great feedback! It’s awesome to hear that I’m able to help you! :)
This may sound a little irrelevant, but how many Wonderflex sheets did you end up using to make your beautiful Alexstraza?
I’m rallying myself to make a Sylvanas and ADORE your cosplay methods so I’m going to be brave and try Wonderflex!
But first I need to calculate estimate costs so I have time to save up :)
And thank you so much for all your wonderful tutorials! I feel I’m saving years of turmoil and stress through your genius! <3 <3 <3
Ich bin begeistert von deinen Tutorials und hab eine Frage zu den Schulterteilen: ich muss auch solche Pauldrons machen,passen die Styroporkugeln gut? Und welchen Durchmesser nimmst du dafür?
I use Friendly Plastic only to correct hard edges between two wonderflex parts or to add some 3 dimensional details. For a smooth surface of the wonderflex I use Gesso.
Do you use Friendly Plastic over all youre Armor Stuff?
Since the surface will change i think the paint will look different..
Or do you just use Friendly Plastic rarely (for example 3 dimensional things)?
Thats a great Tutorial!! I love youre work!
I shall be bookmarking this – even if my health is currently making it all but impossible for me to do much costuming at the moment. Thank you so much for taking the time to do these tutorials.