Foam

Types Of Foam

Craftfoam by Poly-Props

This is a foam I've recently discovered. It comes in different density much like plastazote but it has the same smoothness as EVA. The foam comes in three thicknesses; 2mm, 5mm and 10mm in 2m x 1m rolls. For general usage, I will only be talking about the 10mm version as it is the most used thickness for foam builds. The properties do transfer across to the other thicknesses. This foam is probably the best I've found so far for three distinct reasons: It does not have the annoying pattern everyone is used to, the surfaces are extremely smooth and it is cheap AF.

 

The basic craft foam comes at £10. It is smooth on BOTH sides unlike puzzle mats and it's only fractionally less dense. I quite literally use it daily.

 

CF65 - At £23, this is a slightly more dense version which I haven't had a chance to test it out yet.

 

CF100 - Finally at £35 this is the mother of all of their foam. The foam is dense. It is so dense, I didn't need a core for my Soldier 76 rifle. It is extremely easy to work with and heat form as well. If I had the money, I'd be using this for all of my armour but I don't so I use the basic stuff.

 

EyeOfSaron Designs has done more experiment with the foam which includes how it reacts to heat compared to other foam that he used. You can read more on that [here]

 

 

 

Pros:

- Smooth on both sides

- Comes in large rolls

- Easy to cut

- Comes in different density

- Cheap AF! £10 a roll!

 

Cons:

- Will melt when you over heat it too much

- Postage to other countries may cost a little more

 

Texture: 9/10

Effort needed to finish: 2/10

Variety (thickness/density): 7/10

Price (Standard 10mm): £7 (2m x 1m)

 

I usually get mine from HERE.

Poly-Props ships Europe-wide.

EVA (aka puzzle mats)

Most commonly used mats also known as: Garage mats, puzzle mats, floor mats, yoga mats, anti-fatigue mats. They are easy to work with, sturdy enough if you were to build a structure from it, the shape will hold nicely. The most common and cheapest type comes with a pattern on the back and it usually comes in 10mm and 6mm thickness.

 

Pros:

-Easy to work with

-Holds well

-Burns before it melts

-Nice density

 

Cons:

-Usually comes with a patterned back

-Can have holes in them due to manufacturing process

 

Texture: 9/10

Effort needed to finish: 2/10

Variety (thickness/density): 2/10

Price (Standard 10mm): £10 (6 squares)

 

I usually get mine from Halfords or E-bay for the thinner 6mm rolls

Plastazote

Plastazote foam is a closed cell polyethylene foam blown with nitrogen. This type of foam comes in the most variety of density and thickness. It can be heat formed extremely well. It's the most commonly used foam for LARP weapons as it's soft but dense enough to hold the weapon's shape. LD45 is the recommended density for making weapons. LD30 is a softer foam that should be used for mace spikes and other blunt striking edges. Comes in a slightly rougher surface than the other two foams above and it's more absorbant as well.

 

Pros:

-Easy to work with

-Holds well when heat formed

-Burns before it melts

-Comes in a wide selection of thickness and density

 

Cons:

-Expensive AF

-Not as smooth as the other foams

 

Texture: 5/10

Effort needed to finish: 6/10

Variety (thickness/density): 10/10

Price (Standard 10mm): £34 (2m x 1m)

 

I usually get mine from Thames Valley Supplies

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