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"Help!" for: Fiberglassing, Resin, & Bondo

Discussion in 'New Recruits' started by 23Magnum, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. 23Magnum

    23Magnum Well-Known Member

    This thread will contain general first hand knowledge of fiberglassing, resin, and bondo. Safety with these items is very important so you may be told numerous times to include the proper safety equipment when dealing these potentially harmful products.

    People who don't know: Post questions.

    People who know: Answer those questions.

    Please be as clear and detailed as possible with your questions and/or answers. Repeated questions or variations of certain questions may be consolidated over time into an FAQ section in the post following this one.

    Always ask and answer questions as if you were asking/answering your mother or grandmother. In other words, politely.

    Rudeness and/or impatience will be met with an infraction. You don't want too many of those.

    These threads are meant to reduce and hopefully eliminated the need for the numerous 'I need help threads' that seem to generate endlessly in this section of the forum.

    They are not a be all, end all to all questions that could ever be asked though. Some questions will be project specific and you may need to ask those IN the project's thread itself. However, some may not see your questions there so you may post a link to said project thread in the appropriate "Help!" thread when you need the attention of a few extra eyes.
  2. 23Magnum

    23Magnum Well-Known Member

    FAQ Section:
  3. 23Magnum

    23Magnum Well-Known Member

    Tutorials that involve this thread's subject matter and are approved by the site staff will be linked in this post. Please review them as they may already contain the answers you seek.

    Tutorial Section:
    wannabehero likes this.
  4. Lord Tofu

    Lord Tofu New Member


    okay iam a noob i have just built a pep helm and want to fiber glass it just dont really know what to do never fiberglassed anything before so could someone please run through the steps ? also do you have to glass the inside of the helm or can you do the outside instead ?
  5. Liq

    Liq Well-Known Member

    First make sure you are using a decent respirator before ever touching fiberglass resin. I always put a coat of resin on the outside, let it sit a day then fiberglass/resin the inside ONLY. I like to slop a little resin on the area I'm about to fiberglass before I lay it down. It just makes it easier. Remember fiberglass the inside only, or you'll basically make the piece look like crap.

    I think the mix ratio of hardener to resin is 12 drops hardener to 1 ounce of resin. I use a plastic bowl wrapped in aluminum foil so I don't trash the bowl with dried resin. It also seems to me the resin doesn't gum up as fast in the foil, but that might just be placebo.
    TRA Headshot likes this.
  6. ventrue

    ventrue Well-Known Member

    Decent in this case doesn't only mean good quality, but the respirator also needs to have a filter for organic fumes. For the sanding later you'll need a dust filter as well. Remember that filters will only filter what they are supposed to filter; there are combination filters that suck up a whole range of unhealthy stuff, and there are also filters that only work against a very specific substance. The latter are cheaper, but by no means worse, if you know what you're up against. Also keep in mind that filters wear out, fume filters will then start to let smell through and particle filters will just clog up. Breathing through them without any hazardous material around will also wear them out, as will time. (So.. do not buy cold-war military masks because you feel supercool in them!)

    You'll also have to gloves and I'd highly recommend safety glasses, if you're not wearing a full-face mask.

    The resin/hardener ratio always depends on the product you're using and it will always be in the instructions, which should of course be read and understood before even thinking about opening the can.

    There are many tutorials in text or video form that teach you how to resin, fiberglass or rondo things, you should watch and read those first. Hoewever, some, especially of the video kind, don't really show safety so well. I'm thinking of tuts where the hero would point out his mask and let the camera man put his nose into the newly resined helmet without one, for example, or of vids where people wear masks of the wrong type.
  7. hollywood

    hollywood Member

    I also recommend wearing some sort of full body cover, like painters coveralls. You can get disposable ones at Lowes for around 5-7 dollars and they last a good while. you can get a box of latex or vinyl gloves for <5 dollars. IT SUCKS to get this stuff on your skin. And if you get it on your clothes, IT WILL NOT come out.
  8. Chantelle

    Chantelle Jr Member

    You can have a fibreglass exterior on armour, you just need about three grades of high quality fine grit buffing blocks for use after sanding, and suitable oil to apply before, during, and after the buffing process. This is the same technique as we use on fibreglass pieces for films and television.

    We buy our fibreglass as one long sheet on a ream and unroll it only as we need it. We cut it into little squares to allow greater control and avoid air bubbles. We usually apply a barrier to the mould to ensure easy removability (you can buy them from your fibreglass retailer), then gradually apply resin then fibreglass, bit by bit so you're only worrying about on area at once. You still want to work fast, though, if you're using a fast-curing product or hyperdry.

    When you are satisfied and it is fully cured, sand it down as smooth as possible. Apply a liberal coat of oil and progressively buff it with the fine buffing blocks. This will not only make it smooth, but depending on the resin it can also give an amazing metallic shine. If you don't like the shine, you can break it back with 99.9% proof isopropyl alcohol on a wet-wipe and/or a matte primer before painting.
  9. Lord Tofu

    Lord Tofu New Member

    okay cool thanks guys just one more question this one they dont show on vids ;P i have made my helm its looking good so iam going to fiberglass it on the inside and resin on the outside but cause i used pep it very square if that make sense so after the resin and fiberglass how do i get it to look more smooth ? do i use a body filler or something ?
  10. ventrue

    ventrue Well-Known Member

    Actually, this question does come up all around :)
    The answer is yes, once you've resined the outside and glassed the inside (in that order) you use body filler on the outside, let that cure and then sand it to achieve the desired form.

    By the way, a few punctuation marks would make your questions way more readable.
  11. Hickeydog

    Hickeydog Well-Known Member

    Yup. Use the body fill and start smearing it on. I like to use Rondo (Resin and body filler mixed) mixed a little thick, and I apply 2-3 layers of it before I start sanding. I'll end up putting another layer on once I have it sanded to fill in the holes, and then give it a final sanding.
  12. Lord Tofu

    Lord Tofu New Member

    hey I am sorry i know my spelling and grammar sucks
  13. Captain castle

    Captain castle New Member

    Hey just had a quick question (long time reader, first time poster ;)

    I'm making the army of two masks with my roommate, and we downloaded the pep files from a thread on here, and have them all put together and folded, but in the process of doing that, my roommates mask came out flatter (think predator mask) and mine came out more head shaped (but sloppier, go figure)

    So before we start applying the resin, we'd need to give the masks a more sound shape, but we don't really know how to go about it. I suggested using pipe cleaners on the outside until we'd gotten a layer on the inside for solidity, but we're worried that the pipe cleaners won't be rigid enough. I know you guys mostly do Mjolnir masks and they have a fairly set structure that can't deviate TOO much, but any ideas would be fantastic!
  14. Hickeydog

    Hickeydog Well-Known Member

    Go to Wal Mart and pick up a pack of bamboo sticks. You can get a pack of 100 small ones for, like, $5. Use those to push the paper out to where you want it.

    You did use card stock, correct?
  15. Pozzoh

    Pozzoh New Member

    Ok, so I'm a noob and don't know much about resin. What I do know is that it is extremely toxic, and I've heard of 'aqua resin' and how it's less or non-toxic... Basicly my problem is I have cats, and I don't know anywhere I could work where they wouldn't frolic, so I was wondering if this aqua resin would be ok to use, or if there's anything better. Or maybe I'm over estimating the toxicity of all this stuff, I really don't know, that's why I'm asking. Any tips or advice would be appreciated.
  16. Lord Tofu

    Lord Tofu New Member

    hey guys sorry to be a pain but what type of resin do you use when you paint the outside of the mask?
    i watched a youtube vid where the guy only use smooth-cast 321 and was going to do that but in South Africa they don't import it .... like everything thing else you need ?
    What else could i use ?
  17. ventrue

    ventrue Well-Known Member

    It's not "extremely toxic" as in "you drop dead from looking at it". Still, the resin isn't the only thing that's going to be bad for their (and your) health, aqua resin will be a pain as well if it gets in their fur and hardens. Sanding produces lots of dust they will be unprotected against, and if you sand down into the glass fibres, that dust will be highly unhealthy as well. I wouldn't work with pets around me.

    It's polyester resin, the same you use with glass fibres on the inside for reinforcement. It's available in automotive stores or in the car section of large stores like Wal-Mart. There are also specialised internet-shops that sell all the stuff you need to make reinforced plastic, from resin and fibres to safety and tools.

    You can use other resins as well, like epoxy resins - at least in theory, I don't know if anyone has tried them ;-)
    EDIT: Just read that somebody does use epoxy resin and even that it doesn't eat tape.

    Remember to wear the right safety equipment.
  18. JohnRansom

    JohnRansom New Member

    is bondo necessary for anything except making edges smooth?
  19. ventrue

    ventrue Well-Known Member

    It's needed to make the whole model smooth, i.e. create real curved surfaces, fill dents etc.
    Sure, you can skip that step if you're short on time, but it will look a lot better if you don't.
  20. Jabenbetz

    Jabenbetz Member

    By flatter do you mean like only covers his face and doesnt reach around his head very far? Thats kinda like what the preadator helmet does i guess. what you can always do is use cardboard or cardstock and "scratchbuild" up the areas that are missing. Once these sections are resined and glassed with the rest of the helmet, they should blend in well enough. Ive used this before in some weapon models and it seemed to work out fine (seemed because i still have to finish it :) ).
    Anyway, best of luck to you and your room mate.
  21. fiftybellow

    fiftybellow New Member

    hey i have a question,
    whats the best way to add and sand bondo?
  22. Hickeydog

    Hickeydog Well-Known Member

  23. Ravenwolf

    Ravenwolf Member

    I've seen several references to Rondo throughout the forums, and I've gathered that it is a mixture of Bondo and Resin. Is this the same resin that is used to harden the pep model? and what are the mixing ratios?

    On a relatd note, has anyone tried mixing fiberglass into their Rondo?
  24. Chantelle

    Chantelle Jr Member

    Resins are really only as dangerous as the chemicals used for acrylic nails - which vary in themselves. Yes, there are safer options.
    In most countries, you can try looking for AquaGlass, which is a water-based resin and a little more friendly to those who haven't had much experience with resins.

    Both my brother and I use epoxy the majority of the time, it's really nowhere near as bad as many people make it out to be! If anything, I usually prefer it to poly. It gives a slightly different texture and feels more solid as a final product than most of the other resins I've used - but it can seem noticeably heavier depending on what it's on and how you've used it...
  25. ventrue

    ventrue Well-Known Member

    By saying "resin" most people here mean a polyester resin. That stuff is intended to be used with reinforcement fibre like glass. Bondo is also based on such a resin, which is why the two mix so well. The mixing ratio is up to you, depending on you liquid you want it to be. You should have a look at Ben Streeper's tutorial videos, they're really good.

    You may be right that those two basically emit the same toxic substances and certainly neither will kill you on the spot, but take into consideration the sheer amount of resin you use on a set of armour. For a set of nails, you may need a few grams, for armour, you are working with KILOgrams, and in addition to that, you spread them out over much larger surfaces and they take longer to cure. This results in a toxin emission that is larger by a factor of thousands.
    RomanW likes this.

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