Accomplishing the Unlikely

Silicone Rubber Armor

In need of costume armor that has the shine and texture of metal, but the flexibility of fabric? If so, silicone rubber is the way to go. This material is smooth, flexible, and can be bought in different thicknesses.
Silicone rubber is more durable than EVA foam. It's also more expensive than EVA foam.

Both can be cut easily with an X-Acto knife or a sharp pair of scissors. Both have a tendency to rapidly dull whatever blade is cutting them.

EVA foam is easy to paint, but tends to create creases and lasting marks in the paint when the armor piece is bent repeatedly. Silicone rubber is more difficult to paint, but won't create creases or marks in the paint once it's set.

EVA foam is best adhered using contact cement. Silicone rubber is best adhered using a silicone bonding agent. The silicone adhesive is slightly more expensive than the contact cement.

In summary, when it comes to making flexible armor pieces, silicone rubber is a more expensive and more durable option than EVA foam. The two materials are about equal to work with in terms of difficulty.
Here is a piece of 1/16" silicone rubber that I've cut to shape using an X-Acto knife. The raised pieces around and between the cutouts are attached using a silicone bonding adhesive, which will be linked at the bottom of this post.
The upper portion of the armor has been attached using the silicone bonding agent, giving the shoulder piece its 3D shape. It has been sprayed down with a base layer of flexible primer, and will later be sprayed with flexible metallic paint.
After applying the base layers of flexible primer and paint, you can apply any non-enamel acrylic paint in small patches to achieve the desired look and texture!
I applied silver acrylic over the base layer with a sponge, then ran a paintbrush through in specific areas to achieve the realistic metal texture. After that, I sprayed plasti-dip on a paper towel and blotted it over the dried paint to create the worn, battle-tested finish to the appearance.
Here is a list of all tools and materials that I use in the process of making silicone rubber armor. Clicking on any of the items on the list will take you to the relevant page on the vendor's website.