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Unread 02-07-2013, 10:26 AM   #1
The_Jotaku
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Reinforcing Trident Tips; best material??

So for last con I made a double-headed, three-pronged trident (for Meenah from Homestuck, if you're looking for exacts). I made it out of insulation foam, a healthy layer of gesso, and spray paint. The trident turned out pretty nice!

Only... after three days of a con, almost all the tips were either broken off or smashed down. On the ride home it got slammed in the car door and ripped off one of the trident arms, too. I know I can repair the shape easily enough with model magic, spackle, and gesso, but I am really interested in ways to reinforce it so I don't have to be extremely careful with it while at the con!

I've heard of bondo, an epoxy resin, and fiberglass resins as options... I am mostly looking for the most durable option (or combination of options) and can't seem to find any good comparisons. So is there any advice I can get on which products would be best to reinforce prop tips from damage? It isn't like I'm going to be doing crazy stunts with it, but probably resting it on the ground, and just enough support to protect it should the trident be accidentally dropped.

As far as material budgets go, I would prefer to keep it around $50.
I'm at an apartment complex with some private space to work, but not much--just a small fenced in area near our appointed shed. I'm unsure if this will limit me on what I can do or not?
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Current/Future Cosplays:(Subject to random and radical change.)
  • Meenah - Homestuck - Mostly Complete; trident repair and contacts needed
  • Aradiasprite - Homestuck - WIP; Contacts, sprite trail, frog eyes, and frog gloves needed
  • Eridan - Homestuck - WIP; Scarf, pants, cape, and wig needed


Future Conventions:
  • Sakuracon '13 (Eridan, Meenah, Aradiasprite)


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Unread 02-07-2013, 11:30 AM   #2
nathancarter
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I'm expecting to have the same issue with the Marceline's axe bass that I'm building, where the pointed tips on the bottom of the axe blade are bound to get banged up whenever she rests the bottom of the axe on the floor.

My solution is going to be to drive a long, thin, glue-coated metal dowel into the foam so that the end of the metal is just flush with the foam. With these reinforcements in place, when the axe sits on the ground, the part that touches the ground is the tip of the metal reinforcement rod, but the length of the rod (and the glue) distribute the weight to the foam. Like bones, I guess.

The metal dowels I'm using are the metal pegs that they used to stick election signs into the dirt - I scavenged a few after elections wrapped up :P
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Unread 02-07-2013, 11:35 AM   #3
The_Jotaku
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That could be a good technique, but the tips are quite thin and I'm unsure I will be able to properly push a metal dowel into them without breaking anything, unfortunately. 8(
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Current/Future Cosplays:(Subject to random and radical change.)
  • Meenah - Homestuck - Mostly Complete; trident repair and contacts needed
  • Aradiasprite - Homestuck - WIP; Contacts, sprite trail, frog eyes, and frog gloves needed
  • Eridan - Homestuck - WIP; Scarf, pants, cape, and wig needed


Future Conventions:
  • Sakuracon '13 (Eridan, Meenah, Aradiasprite)


Places to find me:
deviantArt
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Unread 02-07-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
nathancarter
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A little nail or a screw might work - maybe not to reinforce the whole prong but to definitely give you some reinforcement on the very tip of the point. Find the longest, thinnest round-head screw you can, screw one into each tip, then finish it with a little dab of clay or Apoxie Sculpt, gesso, and paint. You'll probably have to touch up the paint after each con, but the foam tips won't get quite so mangled if you rest them on the floor.

You could also go over the tips with a bit of paper mache which will give them a bit more surface structure. Use a heavy paper (brown paper grocery bag or card stock), use your geometry skills to lay out a shape that you can wrap into a cone that fits tightly around the trident tip, thoroughly soak it in your paper mache solution (probably just white glue and water), let dry, then gesso and paint. This would be sturdier than the foam alone, but you probably would still want to do extra reinforcement right on the tip (e.g. metal screw) because the paper mache may still crush when you set the tips on the ground.


Anything more than that (e.g. making a core out of MDF) will likely need you to rebuild the whole thing from scratch.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 12:10 PM   #5
The_Jotaku
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Thank you! I might look into this method with the screw if nothing better comes up, but it feels really dangerous to me with the foam I'm using (I seriously feel if I tried I would end up breaking off even more).

I am more specifically looking for options using bondo or different types of resin to cover the tips/trident arms so they will be strengthened against getting smashed or dented, and what kind of protection these different products would give me.
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Current/Future Cosplays:(Subject to random and radical change.)
  • Meenah - Homestuck - Mostly Complete; trident repair and contacts needed
  • Aradiasprite - Homestuck - WIP; Contacts, sprite trail, frog eyes, and frog gloves needed
  • Eridan - Homestuck - WIP; Scarf, pants, cape, and wig needed


Future Conventions:
  • Sakuracon '13 (Eridan, Meenah, Aradiasprite)


Places to find me:
deviantArt

Last edited by The_Jotaku : 02-07-2013 at 12:13 PM.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 12:27 PM   #6
nathancarter
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The potential problem with that is that Bondo is rigid while the foam is soft and slightly flexible. So you'll have a hard, brittle skin over a soft core, and the Bondo will be prone to cracking if the foam flexes even a little bit.

Anyway, that's just what I've gleaned from prop forums; I've never actually used Bondo over a foam prop ... for exactly this reason.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 12:35 PM   #7
The_Jotaku
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Yeah, I've heard bondo can be a bit brittle! Which is why I wanted to get more information about resin, too... (Or perhaps using bondo and then resin on top to be TOTES SURE its not gonna go anywhere?)

I've never done prop making like this before, so I have no experience with either. Paper mache I find has a sort of texture to it that's hard for me to sand down smooth completely, so I am personally not a big fan of it. Gesso I prefer more, but that alone isn't very sturdy for a prop such as this @v@;
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Current/Future Cosplays:(Subject to random and radical change.)
  • Meenah - Homestuck - Mostly Complete; trident repair and contacts needed
  • Aradiasprite - Homestuck - WIP; Contacts, sprite trail, frog eyes, and frog gloves needed
  • Eridan - Homestuck - WIP; Scarf, pants, cape, and wig needed


Future Conventions:
  • Sakuracon '13 (Eridan, Meenah, Aradiasprite)


Places to find me:
deviantArt
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Unread 02-07-2013, 04:47 PM   #8
animenerd93
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im just scared by the idea that you dont have a ton of outdoors space which u need for resin....
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