• Lyrical Villain Cosplay

Types of Foam

Updated: Jul 15


The more I work with EVA foam, the more I notice that there is an increasing variety of foams. If you're starting out in foam armor builds, this can be incredibly confusing. I have bought the wrong kind of foam for a build on multiple occasions because I wasn't aware of the differences.


With this in mind, a small blog post on the different types, where to purchase them, and their pros and cons seems to be in order!


Craft Foam:

Usually found in 2mm-4mm sheets, its slightly more porous than High Density EVA foam, and is particularly great for small details or as a stabilizer for worbla projects.

Craft foam is thin and flexible, It's wonderful for adding details and the illusion of layered armor.

Where to purchase:

Pros:

  • Flexible

  • Light

  • Easy to find

  • Inexpensive

  • Comes in fun colors

Cons:

  • Does not hold heat forming well unless attached to a thicker piece, or coated in mod podge/wood glue


High Density EVA foam:

My personal favorite kind of foam to use for armor work. It's stiff and much more durable than other types of foam. It's less porous than craft foam and L200 so it sands very well. Also you can now purchase textured sheets, which is super cool.

Engraved details will become more pronounces with heat. You can see the L200 (Top) is a bit more jagged than the HD EVA (Bottom)

Where to purchase:

Pros:

  • Heat forms well

  • Carved designs and details show up really well when heat treated

  • Sands well

  • Easy to purchase in large quantities

  • The thicker sheets (10mm) can be glued together and carves into prop weapons

Cons:

  • Expensive

  • Must be ordered online


L200 Foam:

Softer and more porous than HD EVA this product is very similar to the Gym Mats that are so popular with FoamSmiths.

By alternating heat and sanding I was able to get a smooth finish on the blades, but you can see how rough the sanding looks on the handles without alternating.

Where to purchase:

Pros:

  • Smooth on both sides

  • Is very flexible

  • Heat forms well

  • Cheaper than HD EVA on some sites

  • Comes in multiple thicknesses

  • Comes in rolls not sheets

Cons:

  • Must be ordered online

  • Does not sand well unless alternating between heat forming and sanding


Gym Mats/EVA Foam Tile:

This is very similar to L200, it is softer than HD EVA and a bit more porous on the smooth side. It is often used for Mass Effect or Halo armor due to the texture found on one side. It is also a popular material for prop weapons.


Where to purchase:

Pros:

  • Easy to find

  • Relatively affordable

  • Durable

  • Heat forms and sands well

  • Textured on one side smooth on the other.

Cons:

  • A little wasteful, you lose a tiny bit of usable area due to the puzzle edging

  • Textured side may need to be sanded if using for a prop


For tips and tricks on working with foam, please check out EVA Foam: 101.


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