Introduction: Viking Helmet EVA Foam
The idea for making this was to both make a toy helmet for my 3 year old nephew and to also have a go at making cosplay-ish armour out of eva foam. As well as getting used to foam-crafting and painting.
Step 1: Prep Work
First off to make pattern. I drew it to scale digitally, then printed it out over a few sheets of A4 while making sure to tell the printer to print the pattern at full scale.
Its important to put guide marks to help the surfaces meet each other while your gluing, the best way is to make little notches in the patten so when making it onto the foam you can use the marker up the notch so its on the inside of the shape, that way when you cut the shape out it wont be cut away too. Think about the surfaces that meet then do notches on the halfway points, then quarter points if you can. Make sure all the points are accurate.
The pattern was way too big but i simply reduced the foam while trying to keep the form later on.
Then to simply find a few sheets of cheap eva foam online.
Step 2: Forming and Gluing the Foam
I used a heatgun to soften the foam sides of the helmet with help of an almost perfect half sphere bowl i got from ikea, great for using as a form, a foam form!
Then used contact cement to bond the three pieces of foam together. Contact cement is perfect for eva foam, just apply some to each side you want to glue, leave to dry for about 5-10mins until its dry to the touch, then put the to sides together progressively, applying pressure. I then added rings to socket the horns into.
For the horns i had to layer up foam to get the thickness, then with a craft knife i hand cut the horn into shape, this took a few attempts to get the right shape and sides, but im happy with the result.
Step 3: Foam Standoffs
For the inside of the helmet i wanted to have some soft sponge standoffs so the helmet fitted well without being uncomfortable.
The foam used in this sponge shown was soft so would work well, but first had to cut away the scrubbing part with an over-sized and very shape knife, before then cutting it into quarters.
To dye them black i used acrylic paint, but first i watered it down a little in a cup. So it was about 80/20 to paint/water, then soaked them and squeezed out as much as i could before then pressing them between paper towels, then leaving them to dry. By getting as much paint out as possible it means they stay soft instead of hardening as the paint drys.
I then simply glues them to the inside of the helmet.
Step 4: Painting
I went over the whole thing with a heatgun to seal the foam, this makes it easier to paint and to use up alot less paint as it melts the surface and forms a smoother skin then before.
I then dry-sponged over the whole thing with a metallic acrylic. dry-brushing/dry-sponging is when you apply paint to the brush/sponge then scrape off the paint, then dab it onto another surface to test before lightly dabbing at what you want to paint, or scrape along it to pick out all the highlights, the scarping was done along the edges to give a look of wear and use.
The horns where painted a undercoat of white before then painted a base of brown, then highlighted/dry-sponged with white.
Step 5: Battle Damage
I wanted to add a little detail with some wear and battle damage thats a little more then just paint.
To do this i simply used a craft knife to cut a jagged line before increasing its depth and taking out the material.
Next i painted in the newly cut foam black, then along the exposed edges i added silver highlights using a que-tip.
Step 6: Weathering
Finally to the most fun part, for me anyways. The weathering!
This is the part of the project where you can really make it look like its old and well worn.
In the weathering i darkened around the base of the horns then did a slight gradient up them, then along the seams in the helmet. This is to try to give both a depth to the colour and to give the impression of dirt and grime build up.
All of the weathering i did with my airbrush and using a mix of black with a little red, this is so the overall look isnt as colourless, since there is little hue on the helmet overall. I chose red rather then blue because when metal is red-ish it gives the impression of rust, adding to the aging effect i was going for.
Overall im pretty pleased, this is my first of alot of things, my first time working with eva, or any foam for that matter, my first time using patterns, my first time making armour. It was alot of fun and something i will do more of for sure.
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