Strengthen Paper Mache?Subscribe
  1. Strife's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2008
    Oct 18, 2010, 8:14 PM - Strengthen Paper Mache? #1

    Can I fiber glass the outside of my paper mache'd pepakura stuff? I've made some helmets and the paper is just flimsy, obviously. And I have no clue how to strengthen them. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I searched pepakura... but it was mostly people would are showing off they glorious work and not really strengthening the pieces. Which is great and all, but not for me.


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  3. mixx's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2009
    Oct 19, 2010, 10:08 AM - Re: Strengthen Paper Mache? #2

    Having just had a fibreglass cast removed I dont see why FBG Cast wraping wouldn't work, mind you it had to be moist to go on so i dare say you would to A: do it really fast and be do it in strips & sections. I'm not to sure of the costs either, but the stuff does dry hard raipdly and is quite malleable until it hardens. I assume that it's textured surface would also be a reasonable base on which to adhere your exploxy coats onto.
  4. Strife's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2008
    Oct 19, 2010, 4:02 PM - Re: Strengthen Paper Mache? #3

    Can I sand fiberglass smooth and paint it on the exterior?
  5. Member Since
    Oct 2010
    Oct 21, 2010, 11:06 PM - Re: Strengthen Paper Mache? #4

    I have made all of my stuff out of pepakura designs. I strengthened them by using fiberglass and it works great. I wouldn't fiberglass the exterior though. What I did was used just the resin on the exterior to add strength. Once that was dry, I used fiberglass cloth and mat on the interior to further strengthen the piece. Plus the resin by itself is easier to smooth than the resin with fiberglass. Hope this helps you with your projects.
  6. Member Since
    Aug 2010
    Nov 1, 2010, 6:45 PM - Re: Strengthen Paper Mache? #5

    Hi Strife, I found a great way to strengthen my pepakura items. I cut used soda cans into strips. I then cut the pattern (same as the pepakura only I cut each piece without the folds). And I hot glue the aluminum to the pep folded models. It's not super strong but it's way stronger and really easy to do. Cheap too because we already drink the sodas. Easy to paint and manipulate. I will post pics of my Jengo/Boba Halloween costume soon and you can see what I did with the aluminum cans.
  7. BGHunter is offline BGHunter
    Nov 6, 2010, 3:42 AM - Re: Strengthen Paper Mache? #6

    In theory you can do it but cirtn products wont mix well with each other make a tester before you go resining up your paper youd be disapointed if you were to aply it and have the resin react with the glue and melt the seems and have the whole thing fall apart,
    Thats my 2 cent
  8. toolguy301's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2009
    Nov 26, 2010, 8:08 PM - Re: Strengthen Paper Mache? #7

    I am currently working on a Boushh pepakura helmet, which I got from Skip, it is a great file. I used 110 lb. index card stock and used Elmer's Pro Bond wood glue to assemble it. My next dilemma was how to reinforce the helmet. I didn't really want to deal with fiberglass and resin due to the smell and mess so I looked around online and found a great alternative. I found this from a guy off the 405th Halo site. Using Smooth Cast 320 and 321. I used the 321 on the outside and the 320 on the inside. They are both are a 2 part plastic casting. You have about 10 minutes to work with the 321 and about 5 minutes with the 320. I coated the whole outside of the helmet with the 321 first and let it dry and it creates a nice hard shell. Then I proceed to coat the inside with the 320. I wasn't happy with how rigid it was getting in the larger areas so thinking how fiberglass would be a good thing to use I decided to try something, now don't laugh because it worked great, i used some old blue jeans, and coated it with the smooth cast. It is hard as a rock. So far I am extremely happy with how this is turning out. This seems to be a good solid method of reinforcing the paper as an alternative to fiberglass.
  9. Member Since
    Aug 2008
    Nov 27, 2010, 11:10 PM - Re: Strengthen Paper Mache? #8

    might want to sign up to the 405th forums - lots of nice tutorials on how to strengthen pep. (in fact, you may not even need to sign up to look at the tutorials)

    multiple methods

    - paper pep in card stock
    - use a polyester resin (ie the liquid component of fibreglassing) to paint on the cardstock OUTSIDE just to make it a little stiffer
    - reinforced the inside with fibgreglass, aqua resin, jesmonite, polyurethan resin, hotglue, rondo what ever you prefer
    - bondo the outside and smooth/sand till you develop lung cancer

    Fibreglass is nasty stuff, but cheap. And the smell does eventually go away.
    aqua resin is water based fibreglass like material - good alternative to polyester resin, and it has non-toxic fumes, but it is expensive
    the 40th guys like using "rondo" - mixing bondo with polyester resin so its a little runny and slush abt on the inside.

    btw the jeans and smooth cast resin is just a variant of a method Stormtrooper costuemrs have been using for years, they soak strips of cloth with CA glue and stick into the helmets to repair em

    their aint a definitive method of correctness. just what ever you are happy to experiment with. problem with papermache - its too wet to begin with - resulting in lots of warpage. once dry its too brittle.
  10. BGHunter is offline BGHunter
    Jan 6, 2011, 3:52 AM - Re: Strengthen Paper Mache? #9

    Also if the lid has no holes all over it you can pour a slush cast resin in it and slush it it will ultimatly do the trik and be alot easyer to work with

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