Introduction: Foam Clone Trooper Armour

This Instructable will show you how to build a suit of Clone Armour out of ordinary foam, cardboard, and duct tape. This particular suit was constructed for my 12-year-old step-brother, using an action figure as reference. A few pieces are missing (such as the hand guards, ab plate, and thermal detonator) but the look is definitely conveyed. From start to finish, this project took about a month and-a-half to complete. I can't accurately determine a budget, as I already had several of the materials on hand, but expect to pay $50+ if you are buying everything. Anyway, on to the steps!

Step 1: Materials

Interlocking Foam floor mats- Found at Home Depot and Harbor Freight Tools, comes in packs of four-$18 (you will need 2 four-packs)

Cardboard-Any will work as long as it's corrugated-Free!

Craft foam-Sold at most craft stores in 12"x18' sheets-99 cents a sheet

Plasti-Dip Spray-Sold at Home Depot-$6.95 a can-This build requires at least six cans

Glossy White Spray Paint-$4.48 a can-You will need about four cans.

Poster board or other stiff paper-For making templates

Duct Tape!-Also found at Home Depot and most craft stores

Elastic straps-Found at most craft stores

Heat gun-Used for shaping the foam

Hot glue gun+hot glue-Used to assemble the suit

Dremel-Used for relief details

(Optional) Latex caulking-Used to fill in the seams where the foam comes together. Gives a more "solid" look, but isn't entirely necessary

Step 2: Making Templates

Using an action figure or reference photos as a guide, take your poster board and tape multiple pieces to your model. Work out the shape of the pieces, cutting away and taping on where necessary. The chest is made in two pieces to give it more dimension. Note that the chest, cod/butt plate, and shoulder bells will be made from the foam floor mats, while the arm and leg pieces will be made from cardboard covered with craft foam.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Pieces

Using a marker, transfer your templates onto the foam and cardboard, and cut them out with a sharp ex-acto blade. Use the heat gun to give the chest and back plates a curve. Simply heat up the piece, bend it into shape, and let it cool. Assemble the arm and thigh pieces with duct tape. Be sure to seal the cut ends of the cardboard: this will help prevent tearing.

Step 4: Glueing It All Together

Hot glue the chest pieces together, and glue the craft foam pieces to the cardboard. You'll also want to carve a groove down the center of the chest plate with the dremel. Also carve a groove following the blue line shown on the codpiece. If you choose to use the latex caulking, lay down a line along the seam, and smooth it with a paper towel. After that's done, cut some elastic straps and and glue the chest and back together at the shoulders and sides. I didn't get many pictures of the strapping process, as I was wrapped up with college at the time, but I'll try to explain it as best I can. The shins (not pictured) are held together by three straps on each side. The shoulder bells connect to the shoulder straps with a single piece of elastic, and an additional strap is glued to the bottom edge of the bell that connects to the upper arm. There is also a loop on the bell that keeps it from flopping around. The thighs are connected to the codpiece with a single strap on each side. The bottom of the cod piece connects to the bottom of the butt plate with a single strap.

Step 5: Plasti-dip

Before you can paint the pieces, they will need to be sealed, as foam is porous (and will therefore absorb paint). Plasti-Dip is a rubberized spray that is usually used to give tools "grip," and will seal porous surfaces. Prepare your working area, set up your pieces, and spray. Each piece will need two coats. For the first coat, just spray until you can't see the color of the foam anymore. After it dries, the foam will have absorbed the spray in a few areas. For the second coat, spray a heavier coating on the areas that got absorbed, and rub it in with a paper towel. Use a circular motion, as this will give a smooth surface.

Step 6: Painting

Now take your glossy white spray paint and spray your pieces. Like the Plasti-Dip, each piece will require two coats of paint. Be sure not to go too heavy, or else the paint will crack when it flexes(it will crack slightly, but it isn't too noticeable unless your are really looking for it).

Step 7: Put It All On!

Now that your armor is complete, suit up and grab a blaster!


starwarsfan808 made it!(author)2017-06-29

can you send templates please thank you

spartan9323 made it!(author)2012-04-10

Couple of question here first, how tall is your step-brother? Is the back piece to the chest armor the same cut out as the front apart from the "pecks?" Thanks in advance!

ljones20 made it!(author)2012-04-20

My step-brother is between 5'1"-5'2". The back piece is a seperate cut-out. As you can see in the pictures, the front piece curves upward on the bottom so he can bend at the abdomen.

Severedcake made it!(author)2015-12-04

Can you only make it that size

ljones20 made it!(author)2016-01-20

It can be made at any size. All the patterns were free-handed.

bobafett+7 made it!(author)2016-01-20

The armor looks good keep up the good work!

GalenMarek made it!(author)2015-11-28


I was wondering, what would I use to harden the plastic?

PlastiD1 made it!(author)2015-11-10


We would love to feature your project on our website, Would we be able to use your image? We would give you a shoutout and link back to your blog. Please let us know.


Plasti Dip

ljones20 made it!(author)2015-11-10

I would be honored to be featured! You have my full permission to use my image, though I regrettably lack a blog.

noahfett made it!(author)2015-01-20

This is awesome! Great job!

Grafx4Life made it!(author)2014-10-09

So I use Plasti-Dip to harden the foam, and then I can paint it the required colours. Is that right?

ljones20 made it!(author)2014-10-09

The Plasti-Dip doesn't harden the foam, it simply seals the porous surface. But yes, after Plasti-Dipping, it can be painted in any colour you want. It should still have a fair bit of flex after all is done, but if it's flexed too much, the paint may develop some hairline cracks.

tigon134 made it!(author)2014-10-04

Hmmm, nice job! I think I'll go with cement adhesive and white plastic dip from the go. Other than that, I think it'd be helpful to let others know eva foam can also be found at walmart same price more foam.

Bwilson+Props made it!(author)2014-03-29

hey, for a more authentic Clone Helmet, grab some white tape and tape an inch above the bottom of the visor and diagonally tape it upwards. you may need to experiment with this until you get it just how you prefer.

White Clone Helmet 1.jpg
TB6499 made it!(author)2013-03-04

What bit did you use for the Dremel to make the cuts?

ljones20 made it!(author)2013-10-13

I used a thin grinding stone bit.

Bwilson+Props made it!(author)2013-06-27

nicely done, this has been helpful for my captain rex costume

o__o made it!(author)2013-04-28

Wonderful job!

Kozz made it!(author)2011-11-07

The costume looks really great. Nice work! You mentioned the paint cracking if you flex/bend too much, and I was wondering if it'd be possible to get similar results by simply using a glossy white latex paint in place of the plasti-dip & spray paint? You'd probably also have to do a few coats, but latex paint flexes & stretches pretty well.

TB6499 made it!(author)2013-03-04

I've done painting on my clone trooper armor and have used the Krylon Fusion paint that flexes with the EPS(?) plastic I have used.

It flexes just enough and doesn't crack (unless you want it to for weathering) under normal use.

ljones20 made it!(author)2011-11-07

I considered using a latex-based paint, but I couldn't find any. It probably would flex better than the spray paint, but I haven't tried it yet. Maybe next time!

parrster made it!(author)2011-11-08

Top job, and using those rubber floor tiles has given me a few ideas; have a number of them laying about the house.
You might be interested in the suit I made from cardboard recently for my ten year old.
One of the advantages of foam would definitely be comfort for the wearer and ease of mobility.
Love your work.

ljones20 made it!(author)2011-11-07

Thanks mate! And I have to say, your armor is pretty tob job as well. When you said you made the helmet out of cardboard, I didn't believe it until I saw the in-progress pictures!

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