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Unread 09-08-2010, 10:18 AM   #1
disco_spok
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Apoxie, Magic-sculpt, Bondo

I've seen that a few people have had good results with Apoxie sculpting hilts for prop swords. I've not seen mention of Magic-scuplt a similar product. Any one who has worked with either or both I'd greatly appreciate any input you might be able to provide on the properties of these products. I'm also looking for info on sculpting with bondo putty.

How tough are they? (solid piece, long thin piece, pointed piece)
How easy are they to work with?
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Unread 09-09-2010, 09:40 AM   #2
ChilmarkGryphon
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I've used Milliput, Apoxie clay and Magic Sculpt; they're pretty much the same. They've all got a very fine texture (almost like pottery clay), they're a little sticky, you'll have about a half hour of working time and you can smooth them with water.
Neither one is very tough. Definitely stronger than Sculpey or the like, but nowhere near as strong as the plumber's epoxy putty you can get at the hardware store. If you want to use epoxy for part of a prop that sticks out (hilts, spikes, etc), I'd recommend roughing the shape out with plumber's epoxy over an armature and then adding details with Apoxie or MS. The main disadvantages of plumber's epoxy are its cure time (fast and hot-curing; you'll have time for rough shapes, not details) and that it cannot be smoothed with water.

Bondo is more for surfacing than for sculpture; it's got a consistency sort of like peanut butter. If you want to sculpt anything detailed out of it, you have to wait until it's cured and then do subtractive work (carving/sanding/etc with a Dremel or electric sander). I've cast it in FlexWax molds, and that didn't work too well T___T
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Unread 09-09-2010, 12:48 PM   #3
rubyredrose
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I've worked with Plumber's epoxy and bondo... Plumber's epoxy works well over a then wire frame, much like rebar in cement. As said above, you can't really get much detail in it.

I fail to understand why bondo is so popular. It's a nasty chemical that you REALLY don't want to get on your hands or breathe, it's MUCH heavier than straight fiberglass (if you were going to be using resin anyways...) and it's a pain in the - to sand. And really, for MOST (admittedly not all) props, you don't need the strength of fiberglass, paper mache would work just as well.
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Unread 09-09-2010, 04:33 PM   #4
avskull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubyredrose View Post
I fail to understand why bondo is so popular. It's a nasty chemical that you REALLY don't want to get on your hands or breathe, it's MUCH heavier than straight fiberglass (if you were going to be using resin anyways...) .
bondo is an car filler, it doesent need to be light for the car to be happy, rotary sanding is the more effective way to deal with bondo. lots of cosplayers have parents or relative who have cars and have extra bondo, its not like people make whole costumes out of bondo. i wear an respirator even around industral equipment. i'm so use to the respirator it add no disconfort when wearing. I do not use bondo.

paper mache and some kind of wood glue is way enough for most peoples 2-3 day cons.
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Unread 09-09-2010, 05:29 PM   #5
Kermit D Frog
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This is something I am needing to learn! I tend to make things so they stand up to the test of time, so they are sometimes heavy.

On the other hand I have seen some frustration from people for under desining their props and having them bust at the worst time.

Its a fine line.
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Unread 09-09-2010, 07:18 PM   #6
Xaevier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kermit D Frog View Post
This is something I am needing to learn! I tend to make things so they stand up to the test of time, so they are sometimes heavy.

On the other hand I have seen some frustration from people for under desining their props and having them bust at the worst time.

Its a fine line.
Yeah bondo is something that has been a major annoyance to me in this regard.

My knightman outfit is almost invulnerable but weighs a ton, while Lavitz is super lightweight but if I look at it wrong something cracks because I put thinner layers >.<
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Unread 09-09-2010, 07:48 PM   #7
disco_spok
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This is where the Bondo idea comes from:
http://www.fiberglassblades.com/Process_PS.html

I want to make a master sword and shield from zelda (at least those are at the top of my list) I also need to remake some of my princess zelda pieces as my sculpy pieces over wire and masking tape frame disintegrated after 1 wear.

So I guess My needs are as follows.
Something I can sculpt at least reasonable well even if in small batches
Strong enough to handled normally and maybe occasionally dropped (con wear)
Chip resistant.
Toolable (rasp, file, sand, razor)
Paintable (preferably spray paint)
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Unread 09-09-2010, 07:50 PM   #8
disco_spok
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Another idea I had was to try and make a clay sculpt then cast it in plaster and make then that way by casting resin or laying fiberglass or any other material.
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Unread 09-09-2010, 11:56 PM   #9
rubyredrose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disco_spok View Post
This is where the Bondo idea comes from:
http://www.fiberglassblades.com/Process_PS.html

I want to make a master sword and shield from zelda (at least those are at the top of my list) I also need to remake some of my princess zelda pieces as my sculpy pieces over wire and masking tape frame disintegrated after 1 wear.

So I guess My needs are as follows.
Something I can sculpt at least reasonable well even if in small batches
Strong enough to handled normally and maybe occasionally dropped (con wear)
Chip resistant.
Toolable (rasp, file, sand, razor)
Paintable (preferably spray paint)
I've seen that site, and it fails to take into account the sheer weight of such a prop. I mean, it'd be heavier than an actual steel sword, practically. (Maybe literally, but it does depend on the sword...) And the thing is, bondo really ISN'T that strong. It's filler, and as such is heavy unless VERY thin, and if thin it offers only minor support. I've broken bondo chips with my bare hands.

If you want to look into fiberglass, THIS is a much better guide. It actually takes into account weight, strength, and different kinds of resin. Also, it explains that the part of fiberglass that gives strength is the CLOTH, not the resin.

That said, you can accomplish everything you need in your prop using a combination of paper mache and fabric mache. I've used that technique to make large and smaller props that have survived multiple cons, moving, AND BEING STEPPED ON with no damage. It's a bit off topic, so if you want to know more, PM me.
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Unread 10-14-2010, 12:25 PM   #10
NyuuChan353
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaevier View Post
Yeah bondo is something that has been a major annoyance to me in this regard.

My knightman outfit is almost invulnerable but weighs a ton, while Lavitz is super lightweight but if I look at it wrong something cracks because I put thinner layers >.<
Would it work for detailing Dart's armor? I'm going to use a fiberglass base coat...
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Unread 10-14-2010, 03:01 PM   #11
Onitheris
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The reason I like bondo is for props with a lot of curves. I've done two props that have a lot of sharp turns and gaps and so on in them. Using fiberglass with them is hard because you can't really bend it around a hole or a big crecent shapped edge. I tried bending it around something like that once and it just folded up, creating these bubbles and gaps and it was all messy. For something straight like a sword it wouldn't be bad.

Bondo itself isn't bad though, its heavy and not as good as fiberglass for some things, but its got its place.
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Unread 10-15-2010, 02:21 AM   #12
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I gotta stick up for bondo being useful, but definatley something to be handled with extreame care, and not something I would ever dream of sculpting out of. It is a filler, and the only reason I'd use it is exactly for that reason, filling holes and dents. Its strength to weight ratio isnt that good. I;ve seen it used to cast smaller, flatish pieces to be added onto things, but at that point I'd go with a lighter material.

I agree with everything above about plumber's epoxy. For sword hilts I would always make a wire armerature, no matter what I'm putting on top of it. In the past I've used paperclay for some sword hilts, super sculptable, and sand to a nice finish, its fairly sturdy with wire inside of it. You could also go over it with a little bit of resin if you are really insane like I am.

Onitheris, for reaaaallly curvy and heavily shaped props, fiberglass cloth or matt becomes such a pain i'd forgoe it altogether, or use it only in super highstress areas, and just put down the resin. Gives a decent amount of strength, and a good finish. That's how I do most of my work, and it stands up to con wear and tear fine. As rubyredrose said, fiberglass is waaayyy more strength than you need for an average sized prop.
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