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  1. elfextra1's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 11:29 AM - Fiberglass trouble #1

    Hi,
    I am working on a costume with armour, and I thought you guys could help me with a problem. I am using fiberglass over a cardboard base. this is my first time to use fiberglass in a costume, so I am working off of general tips I found. Once the fiberglass dries, it doesn't seem as hard as it should. I know it is completly dry, but the cardboard is still bendable.
    My technique is simply applying the fiberglass mixture over the cardboard. what am I doing wrong?
  2. bigkidbiggertoys's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 12:08 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #2

    Fiberglss will still be a little bit pliable until it fully cures. Give it a couple of days. Also, the thicker you build it up, the stiffer it will be.
  3. elfextra1's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 12:12 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #3

    Thanks, I'll try that.
    I was also wondering about a technique i'm going to try. Since the armour I'm making was electroplated fiberglass in the movie, i had an idea. I was thinking about applying a thin coat of fiberglass over the armour the laying alluminium foil over that. what do you guys think?
  4. krillindb's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 2:18 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #4

    A very interesting idea that is elfextra1. My only beef with that is that it would be incredibly hard to keep the foil smooth on the glass.
  5. judz dwedd's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 2:31 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #5

    Polyester resins don't bond well to aluminum. After your piece was finished,(if you even got the foil to lay properly) it would probably peel up when you try trimming the part. Plating is the best bet. Remember not to put any primer or paint on your part, and make sure you have a good aurface(preferably gel-coated). Good luck on your project.
  6. elfextra1's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 3:00 PM - Plating #6

    Thanks for the answers everyone. I think i figured it out. I wasn't using fiber mat. Thanks for the tip on the alluminium, but now i'm wondering how to do plating?
  7. judz dwedd's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 3:48 PM - Re: Plating #7

    Use the search feature. I believe there's a thread that someone here or on the RPF offers plating services for fiberglass pieces. Chaucer44, maybe.
  8. elfextra1's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 3:53 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #8

    Well, I'm kinda on a budget on this armor, and I don't think I can afford to have someone plate it.I have also run into another problem. The armour I'm working on has raised designs, and when I put my fiber-gauze on, it completely covered them up. Any tips? I was also wondering, incase just applying the fiberglass doesn't work, how hard is making a mold and casting it?
  9. judz dwedd's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 5:38 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #9

    That depends. I don't know what you're trying to make. a pic or description goes a long way.
  10. elfextra1's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 5:51 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #10

    Oh, sorry about that. I'm make Lord of the Ring Helms Deep Elf armour.
  11. mobius's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 7:16 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #11

    Why don´t you use sintra for armor. It will be stornger than fiberglass on paper. Many years ago I tried to make darth vader chest armor. And I used metal mesh like you use in the frown of the stormtrooper helmet. And I applied fiberglass on a fibermat and it was still flexable. I recomned using SIntra for armor. It is strong and not as flexable. Fiberglass can break.
  12. elfextra1's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 7:20 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #12

    I've tried Sintra, the only problem is I don't know how to get all the details on. I have a little Sintra left, and i'm hoping to eventually use it for second age armour. I've been working on this armor for a year now, mostly because I haven't found a technique or material that works for me.
  13. judz dwedd's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2004, 11:43 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #13

    If you can, post a pic. I'd like to see what kind of draft you're looking at before I'd recomend a course of action. I could probably guide you through some fiberglass molding techniques, but it doesn't sound like you've ever worked with fiberglass, so I'd need as much info as I can get from you, in order to help at all. Also, how tight of a budget for materials do you have?
  14. elfextra1's Avatar
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    Jan 25, 2004, 8:45 AM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #14



    The armour on the chest is what's giving me the most trouble.
  15. judz dwedd's Avatar
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    Jan 25, 2004, 9:38 AM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #15

    The chest doesn't look that hard at all. If it's made of painted fiberglass, you'll have to mold it with silicone to prevent any damage to the origional. However, since there's very little draft on the piece, you can make a silicone-lined, fiberglass-shelled mold. to do this, build up four layers of silicone, allowing each layer to cure before applying the next. next put a fifth layer of silicone on, but, before it's cured, take an old t-shirt and cut into pieces, and press them lightly into the silicone. do not cover them. you want the fabric surface for the next step. When you cut and apply the fabric from the t-shirt, try to fit the pieces together so they're touching, but not overlaping. when this cures, the fabric will be permanently bonded to the silicone. Now paint the fabric surface with fiberglass resin to saturate the fabric, and start laminating your matt over that. Allow it to cure overnight, before attempting to demold. What you will have is a silicone-lined mold, that holds it's own shape like a fiberglass mold. The t-shirt fabric is the binding layer of the two. Without it, the fiberglass and silicone would seperate. I also used this method for molds that bolt together, and come apart around the final casting. There you have it, another J. Dwedd molding secret revealed.


  16. elfextra1's Avatar
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    Jan 25, 2004, 11:50 AM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #16

    Thanks. I was wondering, about how much would the silicone cost? As for my budget, somewhere under $20 for what I don't have. I have about a half can of fiberglass, gold spray paint, too many acrylic paints, Maybe enough Styrene to do this, and tons of cardboard.
    I was also wondering, what would I make for an original to mold? Would modeling clay work?
  17. judz dwedd's Avatar
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    Jan 25, 2004, 3:51 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #17

    OOOHHH, you don't actually have access to the origional in the pic. That changes everything. Sad news buddy, 20 bucks aint gonna cut it. I wish I knew what else to tell ya.
  18. elfextra1's Avatar
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    Jan 25, 2004, 5:05 PM - Re: Fiberglass trouble #18

    Well, I guess I'l have to figure something out. Fettcicle suggested I make a plaster cast. I've worked with plaster before, but that still leaves me with the problem of having something to make a mold of.

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