Padding 101

Padding 101

Armor is used to transmit the impact of a weapon into it’s structure.  By doing this it deforms slightly.  Paddig is used to protect the underlying flesh from being “slapped” by the armor as it deforms as well as to prevent routine chafing.

Dark Victory Armor can be padded with a variety of materials.  Here are the things that we prefer and recommend.

Closed cell foam.  The king of beers

Closed cell foam is a very “springy” material that has tiny pockets of air trapped within it.  You can judge really high qualtiy closed cell foam by how small the bubbles are.  The smaller the better.  Don’t sweat it though.  Even cheap foam works really well.  The most common place to find closed cell foam is your local wal-mart which sell them as “camp pads” which is used to go underneath sleeping bags when you are camping.

Picture sells this spiffy all closed cell mat with little hexagons that would go towards your body.  Kinda neat.

Wal-Mart that has closed cell as the base and an open cell, egg shell pattern on the top to make it more comfy.


Honestly the stuff we use is the stuff that’s $5-8 per roll.  This means it’s too cheap to sell on the internet and thus no picutres.... Don’t get a really fancy piece of foam.  Your are only going to be cutting it up anyway.

Open cell foam.  Comfy yet absorbant

Some part of the body are needing a little extra tender treatment.  Areas like the neck are particularly sensitive.  Open cell can be your friend....

This type of foam is less “springy” and more “cooshy”.  To give you a sense of what we’re talking about your sofa probably has open cell foam in it.  Despite being  less protective than closed cell against hard compression, it can still be MORE effective in protecting your bod from the other guys stick.

It can be found in your local craft or bedding store.  You want to buy it in 1/2 thick sheets.  “Eggshell” pattern can also be really useful.

 I have no good pictures of open cell foam even after looking over the web.  Send me some.

Okay how do you make it stick...

You use spray adhesive.  This can be found at your hardware store or Wally World.  The 3M stuff is great.  The 3M site is here which gives all the great engineering stats on glue.  We prefer #77 (it’s cheap and great) but you can spend more money if you’d like on the super stuff. 

Now we will impart to you the Dark Arts of padding.....

Rule 1) Put padding where people hit you.  These places could/should include Legs, hips, sides, vanbraces, elbows and helm.

Rule 2) Put padding where you are required to by the rules (and common sense).  Gorget, knees.

Rule 3) If it hurts when you get hit, maybe you need more padding.

Rule 4) Use open cell only where you need it for comfort.  It absorbs sweat and gets a little nasty after a while.

Rule 5) GET INSPECTED BEFORE YOU GO TO THE EVENT.  It sucks to be left out of the fun.

Rule 6) Glueing your helm padding one the same day as you are fighting is a bad idea.  The fumes are not good for you and you’ll be unhappy.

Actually the process of padding armor is pretty straightforward.  Just find the places you need padding, cut out foam to fit the part, and follow the directions on the can for “permenant bond”.

If none of this makes sense then send email to and ask a question. Definition of “Foamed Plastic”

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