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Foam Cyborg Arm Tutorial by Traumagician Foam Cyborg Arm Tutorial by Traumagician
I had a fair number of people asking me how I made the borg arm for my Vriska cosplay, so I went ahead and made this tutorial thing. Here's to hoping that people find it useful! Now, I know that this tutorial is very poorly arranged, so if you've got any questions, fire away and I'll answer as best I can. And if you do anything with this, I'd be thrilled to take a look at it!

I used a couple of tutorials for this myself, specifically Anniina85's stocking arm tutorial and Amethyst Angel's plastic automail tutorial.

EDIT: Oh man, this thing is so full of typos. I'm gonna have to fix those at some point.

Links:
Part one of stocking arm tutorial: fav.me/d495qkd
Part two of stocking arm tuturial: fav.me/d4bt11o
Amethyst Angel's Automail full tutorial: amethyst-angel.com/armormaking…
Amethyst Angel's Automail parts directory: www.amethyst-angel.com/automai…
My forearm piece: fav.me/d6m6u5x
My upper arm piece: fav.me/d6m6tmt
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:iconpenypaw:
PenyPaw Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the amazing tutorial !going to use this for my vriskas cosplay ^^
well..i have like 2 months to make this. WINTECON IM ON MY WAY YEEE-HAAA
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:icontraumagician:
Traumagician Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome! Best of luck on your cosplay, and if you have any trouble I'm happy to answer questions. c:
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:iconpenypaw:
PenyPaw Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:3
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:icon221b-timelord:
221B-Timelord Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi! This is a great tutorial, I'm just confused a8out a couple of things. I'm doing a Vriska cosplay for Halloween and my friend is doing Fem!Eridan. I was wondering if you could just clarify some stuff for me. 1- I'm a tad confused 8y the positioning and cutting of the foam pieces. 2- I also don't really understand the shoulder plate part. 3- I don't particularly get how you attach the hand pieces to the glove and such. Thank you! Sorry I'm so confused a8out everything!!!! :::: )
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:icontraumagician:
Traumagician Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey there! No worries; this tutorial is kinda convoluted and hard to understand. I'm happy to help as best I can. Feel free to ask more questions if these answers don't help you. : )

1. Can you be more specific about what part of the cutting/positioning confuses you? I don't know exactly what's confusing you right now, so I don't know how to help.

2. Oh man, I have no idea how to explain the shoulderplate. It's basically just two banana-shaped pieces of foam. You glue both of the left points together, then bend the pieces at an angle and glue the right points together. If you do it right you end up with a curving two-layer piece like the one I made. I really can't explain it better than that; I'm sorry!
    On the bright side, you really only need the shoulderpiece if you're planning on going jacketless. If you're wearing the jacket, nobody will be able to tell if you're wearing the piece or not. I almost never wear my shoulderpiece.

3. The armored pieces are attached to the glove with adhesive-backed velcro. This makes it so that you can detach and reattach the armored portions of the robot arm as desired, which makes putting the arm on a LOT easier than if you just glued the armor into place.
    First I put on the fabric part of the glove.  Next I stuck two pieces of velcro together so I had a velcro sandwich, with the hooks and the loops meeting in the middle and the adhesive backs facing out. Then I placed one adhesive side of the sandwich against the inside face (the side that would go against my arm) of the handplate. From there, I just put the handplate into place on the back of my hand, so that the remaining sticky side of the velcro sandwich would adhere to the fabric glove. Then I just carefully pulled the foam piece off, so that one half of the velcro sandwich was on the foam and the other half was on the glove. After that I took the glove off and reinforced the velcro by sewing around the edges.

Best of luck in your cosplay endeavors!
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:icon221b-timelord:
221B-Timelord Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay, thank you so much! Sorry I wasn't very clear. I think I'm mainly confused a8out how the foam parts (other than the hand) are attached and stuff, and also when you were talking a8out the forearm piece. I don't really understand what you meant when you said to like, cut it, and then tape it 8ack together, and then some other stuff? I don't know, sorry. I'm a little 8it confused on what I'm actually confused a8out. Thank you for the help, though!
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:icontraumagician:
Traumagician Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
    Ah, now I think I might see where you're coming from. I'll do my best to explain. The forearm piece is made in two separate pieces. Later you connect the two pieces with a strap, so that you can open and close the piece around your forearm like a clamshell. If it were made all in one piece, you wouldn't be able to get it on- your hand would get stuck in the wrist opening and the foam would tear. I learned that from experience. xD
   What you do is trace the forearm template onto a sheet of foam and cut it out. Once you have the general shape cut out, you chop it in half along the dotted line, leaving you with two distinct pieces. Then you have to tape the two pieces back together along the dotted line, so that the silhouette of the piece is the same as it was before you cut it in half. What you're doing here is basically making a hinge out of tape. You should be able to open and close the two pieces like a book. Then you just thermoform the piece around your forearm.
    I know it seems weird to cut the foam in half and then basically undo your cut, but it's actually a lot easier to thermoform the piece into the desired clamshell shape when the hinge mechanism is already in place. Once the piece has been thermoformed you can replace the tape with ribbon or a foam strap or something- it just has to be long enough that you can wrap it all the way around the forearm piece and snap the clamshell into the 'closed' position.
    The strap should be enough to keep the forearm piece on your arm, but it's still a good idea to add velcro tabs (like on the handplate) for further staying power. The bicep piece is loose enough that you can just slip it on over your arm and scoot it into position, but snug enough that it stays put without velcro. The shoulderpiece, if you make it, isn't attached to the fabric part of the glove at all- you glue safety pins to it and then pin it onto the sleeve of your shirt once the rest of the arm is on.

Does that help at all?
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:icon221b-timelord:
221B-Timelord Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay! That helps a lot, thank you. I finally figured out the forearm and I'm working on the upper arm piece now. Thank you so much for all the help!
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:icontraumagician:
Traumagician Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome, and I'm glad you're getting it figured out!

And on the Mod Podge front (sorry, just barely noticed that comment), I do NOT recommend using Mod Podge as a sealant for the foam. See, Mod Podge is really brittle once it dries, which means that if you happen to bump into something with the arm or bend a piece the wrong way, the paint layer will crack and look ugly. If you have absolutely nothing else you can use as a sealant (Plasti-Dip or fabric glue would also work if you can't get rubber cement) then go ahead and use the Mod Podge, but you'll have to be really gentle with the pieces to prevent cracking.
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:icon221b-timelord:
221B-Timelord Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh, and 8y the way, I couldn't find any ru88er cement, so I just got Mod Podge. Do you think that'll work okay?
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