Foam Clay is the hot new product on the cosplay scene, already being used by international superstars like Kamui Cosplay and Vera Chimera. But what exactly is Foam Clay, and is it really that good?
We got our hands on some and gave it a test!
Straight out of the container, Foam Clay is a malleable dough. It’s a little bit stretchy, and takes impressions well. You can use just about anything to shape it, from sculpting tools to even just your fingers.
If you make a mistake, or want to blend edges together, you can use a little drop of water to soften the Foam Clay and smooth things over.
Once you’re done shaping it, let it air dry for 48 hours. This is where the magic happens. Your Foam Clay sculpture transforms from being a soft, wet putty into a piece of flexible and durable EVA foam.
Bump it, squeeze it, drop it, the Foam Clay can take the hit and keeps its shape. It’s super light too, weighing only 1/3 of its original weight. As anyone who makes large armour cosplays will know, these traits are very desirable for any crafting material!
Built up a little bit too much and want to remove a part from your finished piece? That’s okay, the dried Foam Clay can be cut with scissors and sanded (by hand or rotary tool) just like normal EVA foam.
Forgot to add some important details? Foam Clay sticks really well to itself, so you can sculpt additional details straight onto your existing piece.
Foam Clay can also be painted just like regular EVA Foam, and because of its higher density it barely needs any priming to seal it at all. Priming would only be necessary if you were going for a particular textured finish like a high gloss. This rose was painted with acrylics directly onto the foam which results in a matte finish, whereas Envy’s foam was primed with liquid latex first (because I wanted him to look fleshy.)
Foam Clay is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to build pieces that require organic or detailed shapes. I’m thinking along the lines of horns and vines, or anything with complex curves that aren’t easily cut straight from conventional flat EVA foam sheets. Additional aspects that will appeal to cosplayers in apartment-like living situations is that you don’t have to deal with the fumes from contact cement building up these structures, or sanding dust from carving down into shape.
I think it could also find a niche use for creating additional detailed elements on existing costume pieces. Current alternative materials can be too brittle (regular air dry clay), or require heat to either activate or set (polymorph pellets, polymer clay) which can come with the risk of damaging the costume.
Definitely a worthy addition to every foamsmith’s kit!
– Courty Kayoss
Foam Clay purchased from Lumin’s Workshop.