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Posts tagged “Arm

Cosplay Materials: Worbla

I thought I’d start looking at cosplay materials as well as some advice as to where you can get them. This is to document for myself some of the materials I’ve used in the past along with materials I am using at present and in the future.

I’ve mentioned this product before, but I’m actually genuinely impressed by the versatility of Worbla. This post is dedicated to the thermoplastic: Worbla.


For those who don’t know much about it, I attempted to use the product to create my Edward Elric arm. Whilst it worked, it was a bit too stiff for an arm so I will use EVA Foam when I remake that arm soon enough.

A picture from a previous blog piece during the crafting stage of the arm with Worbla

A picture from a previous blog piece during the crafting stage of the arm with Worbla.

I potentially could still make that arm out of Worbla, though I am thinking I might need to cast my arm properly before I work with it. This is besides the point of this article, however.

Today, I’m going to talk to you about the basics of working with Worbla, as well as how to get the most out of it.

Step one: Cutting

Worbla is a thermoplastic which means it’s a plastic that reacts to heat.

Worbla comes in a brown-like colour and comes in a big sheet. You can cut it however you like and then shaping it is even easier.

You can cut the Worbla simply with scissors, no specialist equipment is really needed to use Worbla at all for the hobbyist. I would recommend using some way to measure the things you are cutting as well as some strong scissors as Worbla is quite tough when cooled down. After all, this is plastic!

This is some simply cut Worbla which I will be using as part of my improved Edward Elric costume. DIY is fun!

This is some simply cut Worbla which I will be using as part of my improved Edward Elric costume. DIY is fun!

Step two: Melting/Shaping

The best point of Worbla is how versatile it is. You can completely snap it apart then melt it back together and roll it back out to reform it. It’s almost magical and a great material to use in cosplay. I would recommend not going as extreme as I did with a worbla arm, however if you want to make pieces of armour, or belt bucklers, etc then Worbla truly is your material.

I used Worbla to create the effects of my Oscar Kass belt buckler because it’s a durable piece of material, and it does the job nicely.

My Oscar Kass belt buckler. It's not perfect, but one day even this will be perfected!

My Oscar Kass belt buckler. It’s not perfect, but one day even this will be perfected!

The back of Worbla gets sticky when hot, which is how the belt buckler will be stuck to the belt: By heating the back up, letting the self-adhesive “glue” back get hot and pressing the belt into it. This will only take a few minutes to go from unbound to bound to another material.

Step three: Complex working

So, whilst you can’t see it so well here (I’ll try to improve the quality of the Worbla arm at some point!) I made the full arm out of Worbla and the hand too. This shows how easy this product is to use and how you can layer it to make something truly complex.

This is a quick snapshot of the hand itself, which turned out a lot smoother than this.

This is a quick snapshot of the hand itself, which turned out a lot smoother than this.

This alone shows the versatility of the product. I was able to use the whole hand, although I will admit that playing card games such as Magic: the Gathering became a bit of a task.

Another great point of Worbla is although it’s a premium product, it really isn’t that expensive to buy! You can only seem to get Worbla from Coscraft but considering it costs £5 for the A4 trial sheet or £30.50 for a humongous sheet (Trust me, one sheet was more than enough to cover and arm and probably would have covered a leg, for a price that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (See what I did there?)

With experience, Worbla could truly be one of the products a cosplayer puts in his or her “must have” materials.

Step four: Painting

Use acrylics paints as it seem to be the staple for painting just about anything in cosplay, seriously!

The finished Worbla hand – To be honest, there’s a lot more I can do and I know I can do it better. It’s just a case of time now.

Amusingly, I ended up using a combination of an acrylic undercoat and then I used T-Cut of all things to make this grey-ish silver effect on the hand and arm. T-Cut is something you put over cuts and scrapes on cars, not really supposed to be used for cosplay but hey, you sometimes just have to make do with what you’ve got.

Point is though, if you stock yourself up with acrylic paints, you’ll be able to detail that Worbla in whatever ways you want. Trust me here: There’s a lot of ways to decorate Worbla.


As a complete novice like me, considering even I was able to make something that somewhat resembled an arm, I am proud and I am sure there are those of you out there who have made something out of Worbla that just looked superb.

Have you ever used a thermoplastic yourself? What about Worbla? Does the pricing interest you or is it too expensive for a cosplayers material of choice? Let me know in the comments below.

Join us next Friday for another Cosplay Materials post, where I’ll be looking at another fun material.


Cosplaying woes

No, don’t worry, this isn’t bad news per se.

I went to go join Bristols Last Cosplay group today, the walk was supposed to have started at Forbidden Planet in Clifton.

Unfortunately, I got there and no one was around. It made me a bit sad, but I waited and still no one. Undeterred, I went for a wander in my outfit and even received praise. Horray!

Because of this, I didn’t actually take pictures of the costume. I went home and instead: I started working on some detail.

My gloves, now with buttons

My gloves, now with buttons

So, I taught myself how to sew a button onto something. I’d say the button itself came out quite well. I’ll quickly go over the button hole to make it more of a standard “Button hole” look with some sewing, but I am pretty happy by this. This, to me, was especially important. I bought the gloves at an extra large size, even though I only have relatively small hands for a bloke.

This wasn’t a blunder on my part, I ordered the extra large size to accommodate my “Metal arm”. However, it meant one glove was too big and the other would be “Just” right. So I figured I needed to put buttons on. This part will be hidden by the coat, anyway!

My cosplay boots

My cosplay boots

Worked on these a fair bit, finished off today by painting the bottom of the shoes and whallah! We now have Ed’s boots. The only problem with these, however note this is being as minor and as detailed/thorough as I can, is the red is a bit too bright.

In fact, it’s almost orange. Now, if you look at a design of Eds boots, you’ll see it’s a sort of dark red. I could go over these once again with a darker paint… Which I might do. But for now, this will do and hey, if anything, I feel that it stands out more and goes well with the overall costume!

You might just make out the soles of the shoes are dark red.

You might just make out the soles of the shoes are dark red.

I also completely shaved off my massive beard I was growing out. By massive, I mean it. It was pretty over sized! My face now feels colder… but I look a lot slimmer facially! More work to do on weight, but I’m constantly going in the right direction.

So, that’s it. As you can see, there wasn’t much in the way of woes today. Not really. It was just a bit upsetting to go out, make the effort to get dressed up and not find other cosplayers. However, a few people stopped to chat to me for a while, examining what I had done, asking me questions and generally being interested. It’s the exact reason why I started to cosplay in the first place – To meet people who are interested and who want to connect to anything that’s not “The norm”.

I might have looked like an oddball… But I’m proud to be an oddball. I hope, if you consider yourselves an oddball, that you are proud to be an oddball too. How many times can a person say oddball without it sounding absolutely ridiculous?

What else?

I also ordered some black vests from Amazon – Same as Edward wears.

Then I got me a long black glove. That’s strange, but there is a purpose for it and it’ll make itself known soon.

Also, preparation of the arm is on the way: Look!

Well, the hand has been started at least.

Well, the hand has been started at least.

I considered the hand to be the hardest bit to make. The rest are basically big, long, shaped slabs of thermoplastic. The problem with the hand is I need to still be able to flex my fingers and my hand. This is why I bought the long glove. I’m going to wear the long glove and bend the thermoplastics around the gloves. I’ll allow the “Sticky” properties of Worbla’s to stick to the glove and then I should be able to have a tighter fit with the hand, too.

The plus side with Worbla, you can make many mistakes with it. You can just cut it back up, re-heat it and back to work!

Right, that’s it for today! Over to you – What do you all think? Am I doing something REALLY backwards that you think you know of a better way of doing? Are you concerned for my sanity by doing all this!? (I’m certainly not. I’m very content with this little hobby of mine!) Come join in the discussion. I’d love to hear from you.