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Kaahi
08-10-2006, 05:10 PM
Hello!

Traditionally, in the past, my girlfriend who's major is in costume design, has always made my costumes for me. I would like to do something on my own for once, but alas, she is much more skilled at working with cloth than I am. I can barely thread a sewing machine.

So, I have decided to make a hard suit of sorts. Of course, a Gundam. A simple gundam at that. The RX-78-2.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/4c/RX-78-2.GIF/180px-RX-78-2.GIF

Now, though I chose perhaps the absolute least complicated Gundam model to do, I know that this will be incredibly difficult, as I have absolutely no experience whatsoever in hard suit/armour design!

The very first of my concerns is this: What material to use.

Browsing through the pictures here, I have seen a lot of cardboard Gundams, but they do seem a bit flimsy... I'm not sure I would feel comfortable walking around knowing I would tear and break apart should my hot glue and tape fail me. I was looking into Wonderflex, which besides the cost, seems decent to use. I have never used this stuff before, and I was wondering how hard it is exactly to work with it. When it is heated, what is it's texture, and is it fairly tough to shape, or fairly easy? I was thinking of ordering a sample just to see.

Does it paint easily, and would it be light enough to not cause me to topple over? If it collides with something when dried, is it in danger of breaking? How fragile is it?

And the big question: Is this the best material to use or is there a better alternative?

Thanks in advance!

Jersey13
08-10-2006, 07:26 PM
I've never used wonderflex, but I don't think it would be economical to use wonderflex as a building medium. You would need tons and tons and tons of sheets, which would cost a bundle.

Especially being that you're a bit of a newbie at this, I recommend at least starting with something cheap, like cardboard. If you still want to try to wonderflex or even fiberglass, maybe you can make a hard shell over the cardboard with it. Just keep in mind that if you want to try fiberglass, make sure you read the directions and safety precautions thoroughly, and keep in mind that resins and duct tape don't mix well at all. The adhesive side of duct tape will be useless if it comes into contact with epoxy.

twisted_edge
08-11-2006, 07:11 AM
Cardboard an wonderflex are good materials to work with, but there are more options you can yous. Plastics like polystyrene (or just plain styrene) can be used. If You got a heatgun that can go up to 80 degree celcius, you can bend and shape it easally.

Personally, I'm using it to vacumeform. You could check out http://www.tk560.com for some good how-to's.

Good luck, and keep us posted!