Craft foam seems quite popular for building armor, there's even a few tutorials on it online, so I ordered a few sheets off ebay to use for tests. Comes in a variety of colors, including black ;-).
It's flat, smooth, a little spongy, apparenty you can heat form it, but I decided against trying that this time =) looks like it might sew ok, although if the stitches get too dense, it might perforate it.. needs thought.
I decided to see how to join this stuff to the lycra the leggings will be made from, I started by figuring I could glue it, and went looking for glues =) Poor blokey at staples must have thought me a bit odd, purchasing 8 small tubes of different types of glue.. just to be sure, I asked around at work, and then ordered another 5 or so types from ebay.
I ended up with this lot.. which I should probably state up front, may or may not be suitable for what I planned.. but I figured there's more fun in experimenting than reading guidelines ;-)
- Generic 'Super Glue'
- PVA Glue
- Generic Liquid clear glue in a tube
- A different brand of PVA glue
- Guttermans HT-2
- 3M Spray Mount
- 3M Permanent Spray Adhesive
- Pronty glue
- Sew Quick
- A tube of Bostick
- Generic Fabric Glue
Now I could use my legs.. but then, how to explain to the A&E department that the reason I have craft foam & lycra glued to my legs, with lots of different glue types, which I have no idea of the solvents for.. is that I was experimenting for a halloween costume?
Cue building a duplicate set of legs, 1 Primark cheap (very cheap this time, seems even Primark reduce things that don't sell, and these nasty brown leggings certainly wouldnt sell) pair of leggings, 1 reel of duct tape, and a big pile of spare t-shirts.. equals that.. yes, I've even doodled the armor bits onto it..
If you plan to make your very own set of duplicate legs, I don't know, to say, leave sticking out from under vehicles, or hanging in view of windows.. then this tip may be useful: If you have hairy legs, either wrap them in clingfilm before putting on the leggings to tape.. or shave them.. seems the hairs can happily go thru the lycra, and end up glued to the tape.. also, you may want to plan on having a helper around if only to cut you free once you're done wrapping.
So, the results! what worked?
Pritt-stick didnt stand a chance, it never managed to 'grab' either the cloth, or the craft foam, best stick to using this stuff on paper. Generic 'Super Glue', PVA Glue, Generic Liquid Glue, Pronty Glue, Sew Quick, Bostick, and Generic Fabric Glue, all suffered the same fate. They were unable to dry out enough to form a bond, reading up online seems to say lycra is non absorbent, and so is my craft foam. 3M managed to make a rather good attempt, but couldnt withstand being unstretched, it would peel away as soon as the tension was let off... Which leaves, Guttermans HT-2 and the Copydex; the HT-2 was good, but at the price it cost I'd either need to be designing a costume for Barbie, or owning a small island somewhere to pay for it. The Copydex on the other hand was awesome, cheap, stank of fish, and worked a treat.. reading up on this, it seems Copydex is a latex rubber based adhesive, and it's working well here because its going into and through the weave of the lycra before drying as a pad which is stuck to the foam.
Problem solved then.. Copydex it is? except it dries white, and Bat-thing isnt well known for the white splotches where the armor is glued on.
Still.. latex based.. I wonder what ebay has.. black latex paint? I feel more experiments are called for!