The Ultimate Pepakura FAQ

Sigma LS

Sr Member
There are many questions that n00bs and first time pepakura folks seem to ask over and over.

Almost all of these questions have been answered many times but sometimes it is difficult to find them in the sea of posts that make up the forum.

This is a concise list of the most common questions asked and the answers that go with them. It is important to remember that these are not absolute answers and that it is just the easiest and most common way.

As in most cases the alternate suggested ways might work but the best you are going to get is a lot more time spent to do something that might work and work less well than is what is specified here.


RULE #1 Read all the stickies before you begin! (I will also specify which ones answer what questions)

Pepakura files can be found in both of these stickies:

Tutorial: How to use Pepakura to make your Mjolnir Armor
Pepakura Download Database




Questions Section One Pepakura Basics (the art of the papercraft)

1. How do I get and put together pepakura?

Look at both of these stickies before you even think about beginning.

Tutorial: How to use Pepakura to make your Mjolnir Armor
Tutorial: How to make Good Folds for Pepakura Armor

2. What are mountain and valley folds? How do I fold them? How can I figure out which is which? etc.

If your helmet was a planet, the mountain folds would form mountains and the valley folds would form valleys. It is always inward or outward in relation to the surface of the model.

The symbols can be changed in the Line Properties option in the Pepakura Designer program.


3. Do I have to use cardstock?/Can't I use regular paper?/What pound cardstock do I use? etc.

Use 110 lb cardstock for pepakura. It holds up well to fiberglassing and is friendly to most printers. You can get a ream of 150 sheets at Walmart for $5.

Regular paper must be extremely reinforced and is not worth the time. (it will be very warped, hard to fix and you'll probable end up throwing it away.

60 lb cardstock must also be reinforced but is preferred for those who have printers with less muscle (can't handle 11o cardstock). It is more expensive and more of a pain than 110 lb.


4. What do I use to glue/hold together my pepakura? Can't I use something else to hold it together? etc

In order of preference:

1. Low Temperature Hot Glue (Will say on glue gun)

2. Superglue

3. Electrical Tape (Resin will not eat through much. Use in place of ductape.)

4. other non dissolvable glues (other glues may work when you put the paper together but the resin will dissolve it when you fiberglass it and your model will fall apart in front of your eyes)

DO NOT USE

1. clear tape

2. dissolvable glues

3. duct tape


5. How do I scale my pepakura?

Use Frizz's and mine scaling formula found in the Official pepakura scaling thread sticky

Keep in mind that the MC is not anatomically correct and most must alter the scale for your biceps and thighs.

NAS measurements for assembled height to use as a standard.

Bicep: 35 cm

Thigh: 38 cm


6. My helmet is too small. Why can't I get my head through the neck? etc

Cut off the MC's neck/ make it hinged or your perfectly scaled helm will not fit. Think about it, is your neck as big around as your head?


7. I have a Mac/antique computer/incompatible OS, PLEASE HELP!

Pepakura is exclusively a Windows based program and should work on most PCs. In the case that you have something else, try using Windows emulation software.

Mac users who only want the helm are in luck as there are JPEGs of it available in 25 scale here: http://405th.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2867


8. Could I get some help with a weapon as a first project? etc

Weapons are much more complicated than armor and should be considered as expert level projects. If you are not good at pepakura, they won't turn out well.

The best advice I can give is patience and try doing something a little easier first to get your feet wet.


9. Help me get each piece on a single page. How do I do multi page pepakura? etc

Simply overly the corner crosshairs of the pages after trimming away the margin of one. Then glue both together to make larger pepakura pieces.



Questions Section Two Fiberglass/Resin/Bondo (begin armorfication)


Before you even think about beginning Stage 2 read these stickies.

Resining Tutorial/How To
Pepakura Fiberglass and Smoothing Tutorial

*also take note of recommended safety equipment*

Mixing instructions will always be included on the resin package.


1. What's the difference between Fiberglass/Resin/Bondo?

Bondo is a company that manufactures many products, when used as slang around here it refers to Bond Brand Body Filler It is always recognizable as the can with the red Mustang on the front.

Resin is a liquid plastic that when mixed with a catalyst hardens to a tough but brittle substance.

Fiberglass is actual fibers of glass and comes in both cloth and mat variety.


The verb use "to Fiberglass" means that you use fiberglass to strengthen your resin coats on your papercraft


2. Where do I get materials/safety equipment for fiberglassing?

Most appliance stores and auto parts places will have them and so will Walmart.


3. What kind of fiberglass should I use?

It's really a matter of preference but I think fiberglass cloth is the easiest to work with.


4. Should fiberglass go on the outside?

No Never Ever Ever! However, you should resin the outside.

4.1 - Why above?

It is a pain to sand and makes it a much bigger pain in the ass to smooth properly. If you want more fiberglass reinforcement, just add more layers of fiberglass to the inside of the armor!


5. What about using expanding foam/Great Stuff as reinforcement? etc

Use the Red and Blue can of Great Stuff or the foam will shrink and warp your work.


6. What about using plaster/paper mache/duct tape instead? etc

I've only seen one example of this working out right and it was duct tape on scratch-built armor.

I strongly recommend that you not attempt this. Most people who try end up tossing their helmets afterward.




Questions Section Three Detailing and Completion(Pimp my Mjolnir)


1. What do I use for a visor? Can I use anything other than a motorcycle visor? etc

HJC gold motorcycle visors are the preferred visor (Search HJC visor on ebay for a good deal) though you can use other motorcycle visors.

You can also purchase motorcycle visors locally at at motorcycle or all-sports store.

The only good looking alternative I've seen is Spartan 419's CD carrousel cover from Walmart.


2. What do I use for the vents in the helm?

Use black corrugated PVC plumbing pipe from your local hardware place.


3. Do I cover the entire helm in Bondo Body Filler? How do I detail with Bondo? etc

I prefer to only add Bondo to the specific areas that I'll be sculpting with a dremel tool (use lots of reference pics). It's less work that way.


4. How do I add lights and a fan?

Link has a great tutorial in the stickies: Wiring LED TO helmet







The last thing I will leave you with is PLEASE spell pepakura correctly in help posts.

If you don't it seems as if you don't really care enough about any of this to see it through to the end.


If you guys think of other common questions that I've missed (I'm sure there are more than a few). Please post them here
 
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Chaman

Jr Member
Weight of cardstock depends on your printer

Well, we can point them to this topic first, and tell them we'll answer questions afterwards
It sounds mean, but sometimes it's the only way


BTW Sigma, I like it

Only improvement would be to put links, but most of the items are stickied anyway, and it's just good for them to get used to searching for themselves

Oh, and add a link to the Where do I get Clay, Silicon, Plastic, FaceShields etc thread... actually I just did
 

Leadingspartan

Well-Known Member
Sean Bradley said:
Fantastic Tutorial Sigma!

I'll mark it as a sticky.
....


Ok Well Where do i get resin? lolol I thought they were the same as fiberglass just not with the cloth.
 
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abandonship

Well-Known Member
get resin at walmart or home depot. although its cheaper at walmart. look around in the automotives section and you should find it.
 

Sigma LS

Sr Member
Leadingspartan said:
....
Ok Well Where do i get resin? lolol I thought they were the same as fiberglass just not with the cloth.


I'll just quote myself on that one. This applies to resin/glass/bondo the works

2. Where do I get materials/safety equipment for fiberglassing?

Most appliance stores and auto parts places will have them and so will Walmart.
 
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Johny139

Member
7. Could I get some help with a weapon as a first project? etc

Weapons are much more complicated than armor and should be considered as expert level projects.~Sigma-LS

Expert? My self esteem just went up a notch. LOL
 
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wombat6926

New Member
Hi Everyone:

Thanks for all the help and info, This site is great!

Here is a friendly suggestion: Put the FAQ's into a PDF file (or other format) that can downloaded and saved and printed. It makes it easier than trying to print pages from the web site.

I would like to see more pics of finished parts and details that can be added.

Also where are the LED's being put on the helmet? I could not figure out the locatin from the posts.

Thanks a million.

Wombat6926
 

imMonkeyGOD

Active Member
Damn, Ive been spelling pepakura wrong the whole time XD I missed just by one letter! The "a" (pepkura)

Great topic, should be the first place a pepakura noob should go.
 

Darth Malevelus

Active Member
I found this new stuff at NAPA, it comes in a big coffee can sized can. But its apparently made of metal, like bondo, but cures into what looks like aluminum. Could be cool looking and very easy to make wear marks with.

Next time I go to NAPA Ill look for it again.

It looked like it had possibilities!!

DM
 

Sigma LS

Sr Member
Off topic but is it like JB Weld in Bulk? (Nice to see you around DM)


On topic- I will also be updating the list in the next couple of days. Thanks for all the input guys. I don't have acrobat so making a PDF is hard for me. I think it's a good idea though.
 

spitzley

New Member
Sigma thanks for this info thread. I'm trying to make Pepakura Armor for my sons Halloween Costume. Right now I'm using adhesive tape, and I'm finding that it doesn't really stick together well after a day or so.

On a side note, I have copied your Pepakura FAQ and saved it into a PDF file for anyone else to download.
 

wombat6926

New Member
There is a program called "pdf995" that will convert almost any file to a PDF file. you can download the free version (full of adds) We use it at my work and it's ok, just ignore the splash screens.

Sigma-LS said:
Off topic but is it like JB Weld in Bulk? (Nice to see you around DM)
On topic- I will also be updating the list in the next couple of days. Thanks for all the input guys. I don't have acrobat so making a PDF is hard for me. I think it's a good idea though.
 
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Macattack64

Well-Known Member
Fragclone said:
theres sumthing about a password? how do i do that?
You have to buy it... If you get a registered copy you can save your stuff... :\
 
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InvisibleMan

New Member
Can you add the Mountain and valley fold lines to your Pep card stock prints? Or should I just like look at the computer screen and figure it out that way?
thanks
 
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