I Want To Know If This Is A Good Idea

charkol11

New Member
Ok, so I first started with pepakura and just plain computer paper and managed to make one helmet. I tried strengthening it with paper mache but that didn't work to well.



So my next idea is this: I have some large, flat, semi-thin cardboard pieces from work (I work at a grocery store). I want to print out the blueprints from pepakura designer minus the tabs and transfer them onto the cardboard (possibly cutting them out and gluing it onto the cardboard). After that I think if I put the armor together with duck tape and then reinforce with fiberglass and bondo that it will be strong enough.



What do you veteran guys think? Has anyone tried this and had success? Failure?



Also, I was thinking that I could stop by a fabric store and find some sponge material that I can line the helmet and other pieces with. Yay - Nay?



Any help is appreciated! Thanks guys.
 

acdcrocks

Jr Member
First off, the easiest way to pep is to go to walmart, get some cardstock (110 lbs recommended), and then print it out on your computer with the tabs. The cardstock will only cost like 5-10 dollars. Then you cut out the pep files and glue them together with the tabs using a hot glue gun. This is much sturdier and an easier way to pep. Then I would get some resin and fiberglass fabric, resin the outside with light coats, then resin the inside and add fiberglass fabric. Then once all of this is dry I would add bondo to the outside, detail it, and then pad the inside of the helmet/armor piece with foam of your choice. You could use something from the fabric store like you mentioned, or you could even get sprayable insulating foam (the expanding yellow stuff) from the hardware store. Then spray some on the inside, and let it harden/dry. Then you could go and carve this to fit you face quite like a glove. This is how I would do it, as you method seems trickier than it needs to be, but then again its your armor, and your decision.



Also, check the noob forums and their stickies, they have pretty much all the info you need to pep/do whatever you want to.



Best of luck,

Super-Ang
 

Xtreme TACTICS 101

Well-Known Member
After my 3 years of experiance with cardboard props and costumes, I can safely say that Duct Tape is a HUGE no-no. It will ruin the overall look of your armour, and if you do Resin/Bondo work, the adhesive on the tape will desolve and you will have multiple problems with the armour falling apart.
 

ODST 276

Jr Member
Duct tape can be a useful way to make props,but I would not suggest using it for building a helment.I does work well on leg armor though.It's not a good idea using it with pep.
 

bobbio555

Well-Known Member
I'd say if you're dead set on using cardboard, rather than cardstock or paper, use the hot glue method. But if you're printing out the pepakura stuff anyway, you should just use cardstock instead.
 

guido666

Member
charkol11 said:
Also, I was thinking that I could stop by a fabric store and find some sponge material that I can line the helmet and other pieces with. Yay - Nay?


The fabric stores do sell foam. The advantages are that you can get it in nearly any size and thickness you want, up to huge pieces 8'x4' that are 6" thick (used to make couch cushions). The downsides are that they charge a lot of money for it, and it is very soft. I have used it before, and decided it was too soft and expensive, so I switched to other things.



The next thing I tried was craft foam. You can pick it up at craft stores like Michael's. It comes in a couple thicknesses, but I think the thickest they have is 1/4". It's only a couple dollars for a sheet that is about the size of a sheet of paper, or twice that size. It glues pretty easily with superglue (superglue doesn't melt it, like other foams). Because it's so thin, you have to cut several layers and glue them together to get the thicknesses you want.



In my latest costumes, I've been using polyethylene (PE) foam. This foam is usually used for shipping, and it typically white or pink, and a fairly firm type of cushioning. You can get it from shipping supplies (check the phonebook) in a variety of thicknesses: 1/4", 1/2", 1", 2", etc. A huge 4'x8' sheet of 1/2" is only about $25-30, and would probably be enough for every project you ever make. It comes in a couple densities (I don't remember what they are, maybe in the 2-6lb range, but the shipping people will probably be able to demonstrate them or help you pick). It's much stiffer than the fabric store foams, and is the same type of closed-cell foam used to line hockey/lacrosse pads, and similar sports equipment. The downside of this foam is that it belongs to a group of chemicals called polyolefins, that are incredibly difficult to bond to because they don't have any polar atomic groups on the molecule. What that means to you is that you can't just glue it to stuff. You either need to use mechanical fasteners (screws, rivets, sew fabric over it), or use an adhesive that can glue it in a more mechanical way (like contact cement or expoxy that can ooze into the foam pores and just hold it in place that way). My favorite way to attach it is to get canvas cloth, fold it over the foam, use a needle and thread to put a couple stitches in it to hold the fabric in place, then use some glue to adhere the fabric to the armor. I've also used leatherworking rivets with great success. Here is a website that sells it, that I found with a quick Google search: http://www.polyethylenefoam.net/



If you are try do it this on the cheap, you can usually find this palyethylene foam in packing materials, especially for computers and electronics.



Hope this helps.
 
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charkol11

New Member
Sweet thanks guys for all the help. I would prefer to use cardboard only because I am thinking that it will work better than cardstock, albeit that I haven't ever used cardstock before. Will it stand up that well?



Also, I have a bunch of Bondo-Glass left over from doing some body work on my car that I thought I could mix up and reinforce the armor with.



And as for the duct tape, I thought I would tape on the inside because I figured it would be a no no to mix with the glass.



I am really not against spending money on this project, but I have no idea how to do plaster molds and clay models etc. I like how easy pepakura is to put together which is why I have chosen this route.
 

soul products

Well-Known Member
i agree with pepakura being the easyist method, but cardstock is really easy to work with(110LB). it stands on its own and dont forget the supports. ive tried thin cardboard before and it was an epic fail

i recommend the resin fiberglass method or better yet try a method i found on you youtube: make the pep model then put one layer of resin on the outside to fill all the holes in the model and than pour smooth-on 320 inside the model and slush



i tryed this method and it is sooooo much easyer than the fiberglass (or cardboard) its also cleaner but a little more expensive

but its your project and your choices and i hope this helps
 

guido666

Member
soul products said:
...make the pep model then put one layer of resin on the outside to fill all the holes in the model and than pour smooth-on 320 inside the model and slush


That's a really great idea.
 
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soul products

Well-Known Member
yeh this works great

its a cast without the mold or the expenses

u can see it in my gallery "new stuff" or something like that

cant remember my own stuff haha
 

acdcrocks

Jr Member
Awesomeness said:
That's a really great idea.




It is a good & easy way to reinforce the armor piece. However, if you aren't too keen on spending uneccessary amounts of money, then I wouldn't reccommend it. The smooth-cast products are ridiculously expensive for the stuff that you use them for. Liquid that hardens into a plastic resin/urethane: $29.99 for a pint size trial. Come on! thats way way too much for plastic.



Anyways, if you have the money, go for it, otherwise I'd look elsewhere.



Just my two cents,

Super-Ang
 
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guido666

Member
Super-Ang said:
It is a good & easy way to reinforce the armor piece. However, if you aren't too keen on spending uneccessary amounts of money, then I wouldn't reccommend it. The smooth-cast products are ridiculously expensive for the stuff that you use them for. Liquid that hardens into a plastic resin/urethane: $29.99 for a pint size trial. Come on! thats way way too much for plastic.



Anyways, if you have the money, go for it, otherwise I'd look elsewhere.



Just my two cents,

Super-Ang


We're kind of hijacking his post now, but... The armor in my avatar is all cast (solid, not slush cast), so I'm not concerned really. And Smooth-On has some of the best pricing of casting products I could find or have used (for instance, my previous set of gear used stuff from Alumalite, which costs way more). When you say "look elsewhere", are you suggesting something in particular? Maybe some other product you use that works better and is cheaper?
 
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charkol11

New Member
Thanks guys, I'll definitely look into the cardstock. That seems like my best bet with all of this. But I think I may try with cardboard too, just to see how it comes out. I just had surgery and am out from college right now so I have more than enough time to experiment, haha.



Thanks again for all the suggestions, I will definitely look into it all.
 

acdcrocks

Jr Member
Awesomeness said:
We're kind of hijacking his post now, but... The armor in my avatar is all cast (solid, not slush cast), so I'm not concerned really. And Smooth-On has some of the best pricing of casting products I could find or have used (for instance, my previous set of gear used stuff from Alumalite, which costs way more). When you say "look elsewhere", are you suggesting something in particular? Maybe some other product you use that works better and is cheaper?




I was just saying that casting in Smooth-Cast products is way too expensive for a homemade armor piece made of paper. Unless you would like to spend your hard earned money on it. I would just stick to the fiberglassing which is cheaper, and then bondo it on the outside. My favorite way to do it is to make it from molten aluminum, that way I actually feel somewhat like a spartan, and not just a pathetic guy hanging out in paper armor.



Super-Ang
 
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ImaGonnaGetYou

Well-Known Member
Super-Ang said:
I was just saying that casting in Smooth-Cast products is way too expensive for a homemade armor piece made of paper. Unless you would like to spend your hard earned money on it. I would just stick to the fiberglassing which is cheaper, and then bondo it on the outside. My favorite way to do it is to make it from molten aluminum, that way I actually feel somewhat like a spartan, and not just a pathetic guy hanging out in paper armor.



Super-Ang


Smooth-Cast is non-toxic, much faster, and leaves a nice, smooth inside to the helmet without the smell. So really it's up to the OP whether the pros outweigh the cons in this situation. You can also buy a gallon of Smooth-Cast 320 for about $80 and be set for finishing an entire suit's worth of fiberglassing.
 
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guido666

Member
ImaGonnaGetYou said:
...You can also buy a gallon of Smooth-Cast 320 for about $80...


And to clarify further, it's not just a gallon, it's a "gallon kit" which includes a gallon of part A and a gallon of part B, for 2 gallons of total casting resin! WIN!
 
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ImaGonnaGetYou

Well-Known Member
Awesomeness said:
And to clarify further, it's not just a gallon, it's a "gallon kit" which includes a gallon of part A and a gallon of part B, for 2 gallons of total casting resin! WIN!


Derp, I forgot about that. Then yeah, that's a plus too :)
 
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