Smooth Cast Products

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  1. #1
    HaloGoddess's Avatar
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    Smooth Cast Products

    I am calling out anyone that has decent to great knowledge abot the smooth cast suff. I want to go this route to harden my pep pieces.

    Now, I know that Stealth made a video talking about the smoothcast 320 and 321. Now he said that the 321 is used for the outside and the 320 is used for the inside. However, he then mentioed that you can use the 321 for the inside and the outside if you decide to not get the 320. I want to know if the 320 can be used for the inside AND the outside of a pep piece?

    Also, there is this smooth-cast 300................can that be used the same way as the 320 and 321 or is that something entirely different?

    I plan on only getting one or the other so I want to know what will get me the best strength results if I go with just one type. I have the money to get the stuff, but can only get one kind, so what should I get??? The 300, 320, or the 321??

    With summer coming to an end and the weather getting cooler, I want to be able to still work on my stuff indoors and at least have it all hardened so that when it starts to warm up again, I can then bondo and paint my stuff!

  2. #2
    Gallard's Avatar
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    If you're worried about the weather being a problem with your bondo and resin not hardening I'm pretty sure that just adding more hardener should do the trick. It's been cooling down a bit here and I just resined a piece faster than usual by adding some more hardener to resin. And I have also done work in the fall. That's the great thing about bondo products is that if it's not right out in the cold it'll still work.

    I'm not sure if I answered you fully, so another more experienced member and chime in if they like!!

  3. #3
    Click the link in my sig for a video.
    Stealth use it on the outside using a very thin layer, but just the inside is fine. I recommend though using fiberglass resin on the outside first (one or two layers) and then roto casting the inside with 300 or 320. Both work great.

  4. #4
    HaloGoddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallard View Post
    If you're worried about the weather being a problem with your bondo and resin not hardening I'm pretty sure that just adding more hardener should do the trick. It's been cooling down a bit here and I just resined a piece faster than usual by adding some more hardener to resin. And I have also done work in the fall. That's the great thing about bondo products is that if it's not right out in the cold it'll still work.

    I'm not sure if I answered you fully, so another more experienced member and chime in if they like!!
    I'm actually also looking into a NON toxic alternative since I have animals and I don't want the fumes around all the time. Not only that, I would have to buy more fiberglass resin AND then buy the smooth cast stuff. I'm not looking into spending that much money.

    Quote Originally Posted by JediStumpy View Post
    Click the link in my sig for a video.
    Stealth use it on the outside using a very thin layer, but just the inside is fine. I recommend though using fiberglass resin on the outside first (one or two layers) and then roto casting the inside with 300 or 320. Both work great.
    Well, as I said, I only plan to get one type, so if YOU could only get the 300 or 320, which would you prefer? Also I know the 320 has a pretty fast cure time, but I don't think I know the cure time for the 300. Do you know?

    Oh, and there is no link in your sig. XD lol

  5. #5
    Well, I personally haven't used the 320 or 321, but I have used the 300 a few times. I LOVE the stuff. I also wanted a Non-toxic alternative, and a way to skip resining and fiberglassing all together.

    I poured the Smoothcast 300 directly into my pep models, with no reinforcement whatsoever. I was really careful, and mixed very small batches at first so that I could coat the entire piece before adding anymore weight. Depending on whether you do it indoors or outdoors, (and the temperature) It can take up to 10 minutes to fully cure. I did it outside a few times in 110 degree Kansas heat and it fully cured in about a minute lol. But even indoors, there is almost no smell at all, and like I said, about 10 minutes max fully cure time. And you can keep adding more layers to it. Only problem with my method, is that if your seams aren't sealed completely, it will leak through in places and drip out. I had a drop cloth underneath, and it didn't leak out a ton, but it is something to keep in mind. I have used scotch and/or normal masking tape to help seal it up, but it still normally drips a little bit when I miss something.

    Hope this helps some, but sorry that I have no knowledge of the other two. Though if I remember what I was reading, the only difference with the 320 is that it cures in about half the time or less.

  6. #6
    Once upon a time, the 405th Source used to be an electronic magazine (lol). I happen to have a copy of the March issue which has a complete step by step with pictures of how to slushcast armor with Smoothcast 300 and lots of pictures. It was also available on the website before the change. I know for a fact because when transferring from .PDF to a website guess who got to re-write everything? :P

    *blows the dust off the .PDF* Prepare yourself for 43 pages of awesome!

    http://filevo.com/4bhgsmycfrd0.html

    Cheers,
    Kensai
    Last edited by kensai111; Sep 1, 2010 at 3:13 AM.

  7. #7
    HaloGoddess's Avatar
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    @PsHWilliam043 - Why thank you. That does help since I wasn't sure about the smoothcast 300. I also noticed that it costs a little bit more too. As for the dripping issue, I already figured that would happen and plan to have a tarp placed over the table that I wil be working on. hehe So does the 300 become pretty hard then? I just want to make sure that my finished armor will be nice and sturdy and won't crack or break anywhere while wearing it. I think it would be embarrassing to have my armor fall off! XD lol

    @Kensai111 - That's awesome! Too bad I need a password in order to access the file.

  8. #8
    youll do just fine with either. the only thing i would stay away from is 325. we did some cold cast odst helmets and had some left over, so i played around with it. without the cold casting metal powders it cures in to more of an extremely hard gel layer, instead of that nice hard plastic feel.

  9. #9
    That is a great question HaloGoddess! The reason that the 321 is used on the outside, is that it has a slower cure time than 320. Both 300 and 320 have very very fast cure times, so if you are trying to mix them and then brush them on, they will kick too fast to be effective, You can use 321 inside, but it will take a lot longer to cure than 320, and you will spend a lot of extra time slushing your part, and just waiting for it to kick. So, 321 outside, 320 or 300 inside. Hope that helps!!!

  10. #10
    New Recruit JMann's Avatar
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    I used 321 to slush cast the inside of my helmet, both shins and both forearms. It does cure a bit slower but after a minute of mixing I only roll the piece around for about 3-4 minutes per layer. Just pour the excess out, and make sure to tape up the ends having a nice hole to pour it into. According to the Smooth-on website the compressive strength of all 3 materials are the same (4500psi) with the 321 and 320 beating out the 300 in tensile strength by 100lbs (3000lbs vs. 3100lbs), strength wise they are about the same. I did about 5-7 layers each piece.

    300 and 320 have the same pot life (3 mins) while 321 is longer (10 mins). I haven't tried this but if you are able to brush on or apply in some way the material to the outside to make it semi-rigid you can do it. When sanding too dont worry if you go through the paper thats not a big deal as you will have quite a bit after it. Keep in mind the 320 and 321 are runny (a bit thicker than milk but no where as thick as maple syrup), the outside would need more than 1 layer. I would suggest also to only do part of the piece and let it dry before moving on to the other parts of that specific piece.

    I'm sure you know half of this already but just for the sake of being thorough its here. Good luck in what you choose hope this helps.

  11. #11
    HaloGoddess's Avatar
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    Ah, okay. NOW I think I understand why it's better to go with 321..................it has a longer cure time, thus allowing you to work with it more and better to harden the pep piece.

    @JMann - You mention that you did 5-7 layers for each piece. Now I would like to know if doing 5-7 layers for each piece is NOT going to require me to get more than a 1 gallon kit of smooth-cast 321. I remember Stealth saying that you don't need to use very much at a time when you mix the stuff. He was able to harden A LOT of pieces, but he also used the 320.

    I guess I just want to be sure that if I buy ONLY the 321, that it will be enough for me to do ALL my pieces and allow me to do a few layers of the stuff for all pieces.

    I plan on using the stuff to harden Kat's costume from Halo Reach. I have quite a few pieces to do, but a few of the pieces are quite small.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by HaloGoddess View Post
    @PsHWilliam043 - Why thank you. That does help since I wasn't sure about the smoothcast 300. I also noticed that it costs a little bit more too. As for the dripping issue, I already figured that would happen and plan to have a tarp placed over the table that I wil be working on. hehe So does the 300 become pretty hard then? I just want to make sure that my finished armor will be nice and sturdy and won't crack or break anywhere while wearing it. I think it would be embarrassing to have my armor fall off! XD lol

    @Kensai111 - That's awesome! Too bad I need a password in order to access the file.
    Doh! My bad! I was giving 4shared a try - fail :\

    Back to filevo.com I go!

    New working link!: http://filevo.com/4bhgsmycfrd0.html

    Cheers,
    Kensai

  13. #13
    Ive used smooth cast 300, and its an extremely versatile maerial. i use it with fiberglass matt after a thin layer sloshed inside the pep peice. you can do it however you like, but using smaller amounts is recommended at first to reduce warpage. people suggest the fiberglass resin because its typically easier to brush that on in a thin layer. either way will work, and i find the smoothcast to be cheaper. you can get 2 gallons for 90 rather than one of fiberglass resin for 60.

  14. #14
    ShadoKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HaloGoddess View Post
    Ah, okay. NOW I think I understand why it's better to go with 321..................it has a longer cure time, thus allowing you to work with it more and better to harden the pep piece.

    @JMann - You mention that you did 5-7 layers for each piece. Now I would like to know if doing 5-7 layers for each piece is NOT going to require me to get more than a 1 gallon kit of smooth-cast 321. I remember Stealth saying that you don't need to use very much at a time when you mix the stuff. He was able to harden A LOT of pieces, but he also used the 320.

    I guess I just want to be sure that if I buy ONLY the 321, that it will be enough for me to do ALL my pieces and allow me to do a few layers of the stuff for all pieces.
    If you will only be buying one or the other, and you won't be using anything else for strengthening, go with the 321. To keep it from warping, you will need to brush a couple of coats onto the outside before slush casting the inside, and 321 is far more suited to that application. It's true that if you will be brushing it on, 321 will give you quite a bit more time to work. It's also VERY thin... you don't need to mix more than 2-3 ounces at a time (1 ounce part A, 1 ounce part B), and those 2-3 ounces go a LONG way (if you work quickly, you can get a coat on an entire helmet with a single such tiny batch), but that thinness has its drawbacks... first of all, several coats will be necessary to get the kind of strength you need. Second, not only do you have to be concerned with dripping on the table, but it will form drips on the pep piece, too, much more so than fiberglass resin. Fortunately, these can be sanded off once you've applied enough layers to the outside and strengthened the inside, and the stuff sands pretty easily.

    Also fortunately, it gets MUCH stronger as you brush on more layers. One coat is thin like plastic candy wrapper, two layers and it's more like a plastic soda bottle (at this point I would say it's safe to start slushing the inside), and at 4 layers it's nearly as solid as a hard hat. And once you slush the inside with a layer or two (more like 5-10 ounces, if you've strengthened your outside properly and make sure it doesn't leak) it's super solid! I just did this with a pepped MK VI helmet (results are in my Samus thread). Earlier tonight knocked on it to test the strength, and it made me giggle

    You do have to work quickly, though... you do get more time with 321, but not very much. There is a point (at about 5-7 minutes in) where it's still wet and gooey, but completely unbrushable. This stage is a huge detriment while slushing the inside, too. It looks like it's starting to set, but if you put it down at this stage, it's still runny, and will still drip and continue to seek a level. While slushing the inside, be prepared to do so for about 15 minutes before it sets up enough for you to put it down and stop rotating the piece. I do quite like the results so far, though...

    So, 300 is excellent for slushing, but 321 is far more suited to brushing. (Hey! That rhymed!! New mantra: "300 for slushing, 321 for brushing") As I understand it, the 320 and 300 series are almost the same, except 320 takes pigment better. Without pigment, the 320's cure to more of a beige, while the 300's are a bright white. As for how much you can get out of a gallon kit? I did three Samus helmet casts and the MK VI pep helmet and I have about half of it left. Actually, I had about half of it left before I started using it on the MK VI pep helmet, so I'd say you'll be fine.

  15. #15
    HaloGoddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadoKat View Post
    If you will only be buying one or the other, and you won't be using anything else for strengthening, go with the 321. To keep it from warping, you will need to brush a couple of coats onto the outside before slush casting the inside, and 321 is far more suited to that application. It's true that if you will be brushing it on, 321 will give you quite a bit more time to work. It's also VERY thin... you don't need to mix more than 2-3 ounces at a time (1 ounce part A, 1 ounce part B), and those 2-3 ounces go a LONG way (if you work quickly, you can get a coat on an entire helmet with a single such tiny batch), but that thinness has its drawbacks... first of all, several coats will be necessary to get the kind of strength you need. Second, not only do you have to be concerned with dripping on the table, but it will form drips on the pep piece, too, much more so than fiberglass resin. Fortunately, these can be sanded off once you've applied enough layers to the outside and strengthened the inside, and the stuff sands pretty easily.

    Also fortunately, it gets MUCH stronger as you brush on more layers. One coat is thin like plastic candy wrapper, two layers and it's more like a plastic soda bottle (at this point I would say it's safe to start slushing the inside), and at 4 layers it's nearly as solid as a hard hat. And once you slush the inside with a layer or two (more like 5-10 ounces, if you've strengthened your outside properly and make sure it doesn't leak) it's super solid! I just did this with a pepped MK VI helmet (results are in my Samus thread). Earlier tonight knocked on it to test the strength, and it made me giggle

    You do have to work quickly, though... you do get more time with 321, but not very much. There is a point (at about 5-7 minutes in) where it's still wet and gooey, but completely unbrushable. This stage is a huge detriment while slushing the inside, too. It looks like it's starting to set, but if you put it down at this stage, it's still runny, and will still drip and continue to seek a level. While slushing the inside, be prepared to do so for about 15 minutes before it sets up enough for you to put it down and stop rotating the piece. I do quite like the results so far, though...

    So, 300 is excellent for slushing, but 321 is far more suited to brushing. (Hey! That rhymed!! New mantra: "300 for slushing, 321 for brushing") As I understand it, the 320 and 300 series are almost the same, except 320 takes pigment better. Without pigment, the 320's cure to more of a beige, while the 300's are a bright white. As for how much you can get out of a gallon kit? I did three Samus helmet casts and the MK VI pep helmet and I have about half of it left. Actually, I had about half of it left before I started using it on the MK VI pep helmet, so I'd say you'll be fine.
    Awesome! Now this info REALLY helps me out! So this settles it, looks like I will be ordering the 1 gallon kit of the 321 then. I'm just hoping that will be enough to do about several layers for ALL the pieces for Kat's armor. D:

  16. #16
    Some items only require a few layers, and thin layers at that. For instance, my Noble 6 helm only has about 2-3 layers throughout the entire thing. I mixed small batches so I wouldn't waste very much and I would have more control. But, the helmet has a lot of complex shapes that give it natural strength. On my torso piece, I had to use extra layers on the skinnier parts, such as the strips under the arms. Even with 4-5 layers they still flex a little, but not too much. Which for me is a plus. I don't want it to be fragile lol. For me the 300 works fine, but that's just my opinion. If you are mixing larger batches, I would definitely go with something that has a longer cure time, just so you have longer to work with it. But for me, I liked the small batches.

    Hope this helps in some way

  17. #17
    bobvdijk's Avatar
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    i use 300 as well

    one hint; RESIN THE OUTSIDE FIRST!!! it'll leak otherwise

  18. #18
    HaloGoddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobvdijk View Post
    i use 300 as well

    one hint; RESIN THE OUTSIDE FIRST!!! it'll leak otherwise
    I would resin, but here is my issue..............

    By the time I am even done with the pepping, it will be winter and I am NOT going to be standing in 3 feet of snow in my driveway trying to resin. XD That is not gonna happen. Plus it's too cold for resin. I don't feel too safe putting it in a tightly sealed box and then bringing it in the house where it's warm because of how small my home is and I have animals and don't want them to get sick. I would be too concerned of the fumes being too strong. If my husband were to come home and smell it in the house, he would be VERY angry.

    This is why I want the smooth-cast since it's non toxic and I can easily do it indoors.

  19. #19
    New Recruit evilducky_00's Avatar
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    Alternative to resin. I've used this stuff called Mod Podge in other projects it adds strength to paper when it drys. They make an outdoor type that is water resistance it just might work on your armor. More info about it here: http://www.plaidonline.com/apMP.asp#ModPodgeBrands

  20. #20
    ShadoKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HaloGoddess View Post
    I would resin, but here is my issue..............
    Actually, by using SmoothCast products, you are still "resining," but they are "casting resins," as opposed to "fiberglass resin." bobvdijk may have actually been suggesting fiberglass resin, but it sounded to me that he just meant to do the outside first so you can seal up any gaps that might leak.

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