Worbla’s Pearly Art Scales Dragon Bracer Tutorial

Tutorial by Bamzy Cosplay

Worbla’s Pearly Art Scales

The next member of the Worbla family is Worbla’s Pearly Art Scales! These scales apply and act in the same way the Pearly Art Worbla does when applied with heat and used on foam or with other Worbla products. They become soft and malleable, can attach themselves to other Worbla without any adhesives.

Scale Specs

  • Heat activation temperatures 80-90 °C / 175-195 °F
  • Size per scale:  3cm x 1.6cm (1.18inch x 0.62 inch)
  • 5oz/140G package contains 275 individual scales
  • 5oz/140G package coverage estimation: 100 In2 / 645cm2

The Build

Purple Dragon Bracer

With the opportunity to get to try out this new product, I quickly drew up a basic Bracer design to incorporate the scales and practicality of the material in a costume piece.
Inspired by Spyro the Dragon, a simple, purple scale bracer with gold detailing, a few resin gems and some foam clay scales to bring it all together.

The Materials

  1. Worbla’s Pearly Art Scales. 5oz/140g Pack
  2. Double Sided Smooth EVA Foam
  3. Contact Cement
  4. Worbla’s Black Art Detailing
  5. Easy Cast Resin
  6. Lumin’s Workshop Ultra Light Weight Foam Clay

Drafting the Pattern

Seran Wrap Pattern Method

I started the build by wrapping my arm in seran wrap, then covered by masking tape to get a perfect copy of my forearm. You can then draw on the shape of your bracer and then cut your arm out safely to have a perfect base bracer to your body.


Pattern Transfer

Next, I take the rough seran wrap base pattern and transfer it onto paper so I can make any adjustments and Apply the details to the paper pattern without ruining the base pattern
Doing this step prevents you from having to cut the original or do any alterations that don’t work out and force you to start the seran wrap process all over again.     


Applying the pattern to your materials

Now that you have your base pattern, apply it  to your EVA foam and cut it out. I found that pinning down the pattern into the foam with sewing pins helps anchor it from moving/shifting  around while tracing it out.

Next, I started to line up the individual scales so I had an idea how many it would take to cover the bracer up to the point I wanted them to be. For me, I used 140 scales to get to the point shown below.


Applying the scales

This is where it started to get tricky. I first had all the scales lined up perfectly as pictures above and hit them with heat so they would stick and stay where I had placed them. That worked out great flat. Once I tried to reheat the foam and the scales as one and tried to reshape it to go around my arm, The scales then split apart from the points I had them laid out in. 

It’s easier to apply them when the foam is in the desired shape!
I had to start over. Peeled off every scale, reshaped by base bracer and had it being held up with a bottle to make it easier to apply when it was in this new rounded shape.
Heating the scales on my table and applying them back onto the foam one at a time until I returned to my desired height of scales.
You learn from your mistakes.


Test Fit
Now that the scales have cooled, the bracer holds the desired shape without the need for any straps or fasteners
Test fit to be sure everything is sitting the way you wanted.  

Foam Details
Now that the base of the bracer is complete, I began to add the EVA foam to build up the raised edge and Foam Clay to make the spikes. I sketched out where I wanted the gems to be positioned and glued everything together with Contact Cement.


Final steps to completion
Installing my resin casted gems, with a Worbla trim around them all was left to do before I primed the entire bracer. I used 2 layers of Mod Podge because I wanted the slight texture of the Worbla to remain and look more organic scale like.Finally, I sprayed the entire bracer black and gold, applied the purple to the scales with a dry brush technique. Dabbled some watered down black paint in the crevices for the  shadows with acrylic paint.

I did paint the spikes separate and glued them on at the end. A yellow acrylic for the base colour and brown shadows to finish off the look. An optional step is to seal the paint with a spray varnish. Pick what works best for your project, glossy or matte and your bracer is complete!