Lonewolfhowling

New Member
Hey everyone! I'm a new member, and fairly new to costume and prop making as well. I understand there are probably a bunch of threads already informing others on what to do, or how they can improve their craft, but I am asking for some personal advice. I started this project late last year, brand new to pepakura and excited, I failed creating armor that suited my tastes and looked as structurally real to the games as possible twice. But this most recent attempt proved successful, I was able to harden my pepakura, and actually come out with something I enjoyed looking at. The only problem is, I have no idea where I should go now. I intend to create a full suit of armor with the purpose of display and functional wear/use. I've used up all the youtube videos and tutorials I could find and I feel like I need some personal help. Now that I've explained my background, sorry if that was a long read, I'll explain my situation as quick as I can. Below are some pictures of my torso piece, hardened with fiberglass and fiberglass resin. Currently haven"t done anything outside of the hardening process. I believe I need to cut the piece into two pieces, and then rondo/bondo then eventually sand? What expert advice would you recommend I do? What tool should I use in order to cut through the piece with so It doesn't get all messed up? I was thinking about connecting them together with either a hinge or straps and buckles kind of like a seat~belt deal, but I'm hesitant to work on it more because I really want it to work out. Any and all advice would be appreciated, I apologize for the long explanation, I'm excited to talk with y'all and wanted to provide any and all details.
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Lonewolfhowling

New Member
I'd recommend doing putting on bondo and sanding it before cutting it as that should make it a lot easier to make the two halves match. You should be able to cut it either with a fine saw, a dremel or even an angle grinder if you really want to. Buckles should be fine for connecting them.
Thank you, would you suggest rondo on the inside first, then start the “bondo, sand, repeat” process on the outside? I’m nervous to start using new materials even though I’m pretty sure the hardest part is done when it comes to structural integrity.
 

FalseShepherd

Active Member
Since you have already done some fiberglass and resin inside, I would go ahead and bondo the outside. Once you get it looking how you want you can cut it with basically any kind of saw. That order makes the bondo of the two sides line up well without too much extra work. By contrast if you cut it now, you might have to build bondo layers on each side of the cut in a symmetrical way to make them look good once put back together - which seems harder. I have a similar step coming up on my ODST but I haven't done this yet myself. Looking forward to seeing your progress tho! Good luck!
 

Lonewolfhowling

New Member
Since you have already done some fiberglass and resin inside, I would go ahead and bondo the outside. Once you get it looking how you want you can cut it with basically any kind of saw. That order makes the bondo of the two sides line up well without too much extra work. By contrast if you cut it now, you might have to build bondo layers on each side of the cut in a symmetrical way to make them look good once put back together - which seems harder. I have a similar step coming up on my ODST but I haven't done this yet myself. Looking forward to seeing your progress tho! Good luck!
I see what you mean, I’ll definitely test out bondo and see how it works, I’ve never messed with it before. Thank you for the feedback, curious to see your ODST build!
 

Lonewolfhowling

New Member
I just finished rondo on mine, for first coat go with 1-1 resin to bondo than each batch increase The amount of bondo. once if you have a good thickness at the places you want to cut I’d use a dremel at speed 10 and go very slowly, they sometimes jump
After experimenting with straight bondo I definitely feel like a resin mixture would work out great for the inside, what are you going to put on the outside of your project? Bondo or more of the same mix?
 

Electraknite

Member
I tried my best to keep the outside clean enough to not add anything to it but a few places sagged and I just used straight bondo. a few layers sanding in between each one to check where I needed more. i did like 3 layers in the worst spots. I sanded down the outside all over and knocked down the hard edges a bit too.
The inside is rondo’d and is maybe roughly 1cm thick. feels sturdy and not too heavy.
 

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Lonewolfhowling

New Member
I tried my best to keep the outside clean enough to not add anything to it but a few places sagged and I just used straight bondo. a few layers sanding in between each one to check where I needed more. i did like 3 layers in the worst spots. I sanded down the outside all over and knocked down the hard edges a bit too.
The inside is rondo’d and is maybe roughly 1cm thick. feels sturdy and not too heavy.
Oh man that’s awesome looking! Did you basically eyeball how much you needed to sand in order for it to look that real?
 

FalseShepherd

Active Member
Traditionally, one uses only bondo outside for filling in gaps and leveling out dents and warps and whatnot. People tell you that you don't need to do rondo inside if you fiberglassed, but for something like a chest piece I, personally, do both. It just makes the piece feel more sturdy. You can also do multiple layers of fiberglass inside for increased strength. Bondo outside should be used sparingly. You shouldn't necessarily need to put it over every inch of the piece (although sometimes you do have to). The idea is that it fills in imperfections to make something assembled with flat strips of paper into something with smooth curves. For example, I used a ton of bondo on my helmet to smooth out the round top, but basically none on my shoulder pads which were pretty flat and looked like they are supposed to without needing much bondo.

Bondo is not very structurally strong and can crack easily if dropped or something. It's for visual changes. Rondo and fiberglass are strong and resilient to be used for strengthening/hardening.

Also, definitely agree with electricknite about a power sander. I was initially hesitant on using them but they are the best way to ensure flat results and not spend ungodly amounts of time sanding. I have a power sander that I use for the low grit stuff then a multi tool with a sanding attachment for middle grit and I hand sand for high grit (mostly bc i can't find it in a format that sticks to my multi tool sander attachment).

I hope this helps! Trial and error and asking questions is the name of the game with this stuff and the more you build you will develop methods that work for you. Good luck bondo and sanding!
 

Lonewolfhowling

New Member
Traditionally, one uses only bondo outside for filling in gaps and leveling out dents and warps and whatnot. People tell you that you don't need to do rondo inside if you fiberglassed, but for something like a chest piece I, personally, do both. It just makes the piece feel more sturdy. You can also do multiple layers of fiberglass inside for increased strength. Bondo outside should be used sparingly. You shouldn't necessarily need to put it over every inch of the piece (although sometimes you do have to). The idea is that it fills in imperfections to make something assembled with flat strips of paper into something with smooth curves. For example, I used a ton of bondo on my helmet to smooth out the round top, but basically none on my shoulder pads which were pretty flat and looked like they are supposed to without needing much bondo.

Bondo is not very structurally strong and can crack easily if dropped or something. It's for visual changes. Rondo and fiberglass are strong and resilient to be used for strengthening/hardening.

Also, definitely agree with electricknite about a power sander. I was initially hesitant on using them but they are the best way to ensure flat results and not spend ungodly amounts of time sanding. I have a power sander that I use for the low grit stuff then a multi tool with a sanding attachment for middle grit and I hand sand for high grit (mostly bc i can't find it in a format that sticks to my multi tool sander attachment).

I hope this helps! Trial and error and asking questions is the name of the game with this stuff and the more you build you will develop methods that work for you. Good luck bondo and sanding!
Thank you for the detailed reply, I think the sanding is going to be the toughest part for sure. I currently like the sharp edges and overall design on the outside, but I will need to round out the chest for it to look like it does in the game. I think y’all have convinced me to buy a good sander, seems like the best deal.
 

PerniciousDuke

RCO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S128
People tell you that you don't need to do rondo inside if you fiberglassed, but for something like a chest piece
I also like rondo on the inside to help coverup the fiberglass, in addition to the extra strength.

You're off to a great start Lonewolfhowling ! To answer your question about Rondoing this is the formula I use:

"Mix the bondo and resin together to make rondo, roughly a 50-50 mix. I like it a little runnier so I did a 5:3 or 5:4 ratio. Meaning 5oz of resin for every 3-4oz of bondo.
Be sure to use the same amount of catalysts for bothproducts.
Here is the whole process: 5oz resin > 3-4oz bondo > 50 drops of resin catalyst > few circles of cream hardener > stir until no lumps"

I also list out what I do in my build threads if you ever need some extra reading material with pictures. ;)



Happy building!
 

xXDashIVXx

Sr Member
Some great advice was given above. It's ok to be nervous, b jut the only way to get more confidence is to do it and learn!

There are some great youtube tutorials by cerial kill3r on youtube that are not quite as known as some of the other videos you find, but he has some amazing advice and walks you through every step of the way with very few edits. Because of this they are longer videos, but have a great deal of information. When you move onto the front side, take a rasp and round out some of the corners and hard edges so that when you do add bondo, you loose the polygon look and can make it as smooth as possible.
He also tells you how to cut and seperate the torso amongst other things.


Your progress so far is great and I cant wait to see more!
 
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