Anyway, I've never used body filler for any of my costumes. I'm wondering if its the stuff in the big round can thats red. So basically I understand that you mix up 2 parts, smear it all over something, then sand it ultra smooth? Is this basically how it works?
You don't exactly *smear* it on, it's more of carefully applying it. If you gust smear it on, it'll end up too thick and take forever to sand. Although you can't take too long of it'll start to harden and sort of peel off as you're applying it.
I am no expert on body filler but I have used it on plenty of cars and bikes over the years. So I have some experience. I have used Bondo exclusively so bear that in mind while reading this. Basically you mix in the hardner and then apply it. Wait for it to cure, will cure fast if you put a lot of hardner in it, will cure slow if you put just a little in it. Bondo has instructions right on the can of how much hardner to apply.
I believe it is an inch strip of harner to a golf ball sized piece of Bondo. (Read the can for yourself please) A good tip is to go to a craft store get a box of popsickle sticks and use them with to mix and apply it. Cheap and helps keep it off your hands. Wearing gloves is a good idea as well. don't put it on to thick, you don't want to spend a month just in sanding. Also don't go cheap on the sandpaper. Get a good sandpaper like the Sandblaster brand by 3M, it doesn't clog easily and seems to sand down Bondo quicker than the cheap stuff.
The last bit of advice I can give is this. Get some Bondo and work on something small to begin with like hand plates. Build up your skills and confidence. Then when you feel your ready tackle something big like a helmet. Good luck and I hope this post helped.
I read through the body filler tut and a few other tuts on body filler, but none of them seem to give any real time tables for curing. Just curious what kind of time you have if mixing a "2 inch" line of hardener. Are we talking about 3-4 minutes before it starts to get tacky and hard? or at least 10?
Also I noticed in walmart what i thought said body filler was only like 13 bucks for a big round can of it. so its pretty cheap eh?
when i used NAPA's own body filler and hardener cream, it took at least a good 5 to 10 hours for a good cure for sanding and then an overnight cure for hardening...too bad i was at a fundraiser and the thing cured too much, and i had to use a wired power sander, and took 3 hours doing so, then smoothing it out with a finer sander head....
in anycase, u have ample time to work with it, but to make sure, use a small amount, like a good scoop of it or two, and a two inch-ish hardener cream, then mix it fairly well, but not too much or else ur wasting ur time and it gets hardened while you do so.
I'm using bondo for details. I'm taking a wood whittling type knife to it, and then it'll be ready for the final sanding. I used the Halo 2 model which hardly has any detail at all, so I just decided to do it this way. It looks better than it did before =P