This week’s #TeachMeTuesday comes from Gina B Cosplay.

Just because its expensive doesnt mean it’s good. There is a big craze for thermoplastic prop crafting, and airbrush finishing… But just because “big name” cosplayers may do that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most effective technique for what you want to do. Sometimes a cheaper option can yield a medium that’s easier to work with.

I’ve made armor many ways now. I’ve fiberglassed, vacuuformed, used worbla, EVA foam an even craft foam. To be honest, I find foam the easiest to work with, and can be shaped with a heat gun easily. Model magic is also a good medium for molding detail pieces. In the end though it comes down to comfort zone. I see people who airbrush, struggle to create the same effect with acrylic paint and hand painting, and vice versa. I see people who use EVA foam struggle to shape worbla and other thermo plastics and vice versa.

Purchasing things in small amounts and playing with them to find your comfort zone is key. That means wasting time and material to learn how it works, and spending tons of frustrating hours on google and YouTube to see what you’re doing wrong as you singe your fingers and curse the cosplay gods. But once you find something that works for you, it’s a total learning curve. My wooden props are leaps and bounds from where I started, as is my foam and plastic formed props and armor.

It took years to accomplish, and unfortunately there isn’t an 8 minute abs workout equivalent of learning how to make props. I, myself, follow many other prop makers such as Volpin, and Kamui, and when they post progress images it makes me think about their respective mediums in ways I may not have prior to seeing their working process.

In the end though, it’s okay if something isn’t perfect or fully smooth. 9 times out of 10 many flaws won’t photograph anyway, so it’s important to breathe, take setbacks in stride, and take pride in your work once you bring it to a con.