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02 March 2006 @ 12:32 am
Things I learned today  
1/4" Volara type A foam from foambymail.com is the holy grail of foam. Well, at the very least, it's damned close. First off, it visually resembles Yui's mystery industrial foam. Its physical properties feel right to me. It's stiff and dense like craft foam, but it is much more durable (I dug my nails into the surface repeatedly and failed to make any sort of permanent mark), and it's rigid enough that it can be cut neatly with a utility knife. (Craft foam is too sproingy for that to work.) The surface has a very subtle texture, so it can be laminated or painted. My sample is too small to try to heat shape over the stove, but there's no reason I shouldn't be able to do that. I want to wait a little while to see if I hear back from the other cosplay.com member who is also seeking the uberfoam...but I'm pretty sure this is it. It's not even that expensive, either - $3.59 per 60" wide foot. If you order a few feet, even with $10 shipping, that is a hell of a lot cheaper than craft foam. I think I'm going to buy a crapload of Volara and just use that for, well, the entire foreseeable future. It even comes in 1/8" thickness, which is good for smaller pieces and embellishments.

I AM GOING TO BE A FOAM NINJA. A lesser ninja compared to Yui and the mech builders...but a ninja nonetheless.

I ordered a bunch of stretch vinyl from Dollar Fabric. Their gold vinyl turned out to be gorgeous - shiny and metallic without looking cheap or garish. Unfortunately, the purple I bought turned out to be too light (a candy-colored shade instead of the deep shade that the swatch appeared to be), so I ordered some more in the "eggplant" color. I don't really mind...it's not as if vinyl expires, and who knows what weird funky-colored thingy I might be making in the future. And at the very least, I can use the too-bright stuff to practice laminating (and possibly stripping off the fabric backing to get multidirectional stretch).
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Current Music: Yohihito Yano, Saki Kabata - LONELY ROLLING STAR