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Unread 05-18-2013, 02:45 PM   #1
Koi
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Unhappy Paper Mache WITHOUT newspaper

I am making Gloyd Orangeboar's (Wreck-it-Ralph) pumpkin hat. I used wire, tap, and then plaster bandage on top. As you can imagine, even though I've only used one coat of plaster bandage, it is already very heavy, and will be hard to wear as a hat all day.

I am considering using the pumpkin I've finished as a mold, and casting a lighter version out of paper mache. That said, I don't really like paper mache because the newspaper never goes on smooth, and leaves a crinkly and bumpy surface.

Is there something I can use besides news paper with my paper mache that will have a much smoother, cleaner finish? Perhaps like cheese clothe or paper towel, so something else that is softer?
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Unread 05-18-2013, 07:40 PM   #2
Neener_nina
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Paperclay usually dries really light, and this is what I did for some large spikes for shoulder armor:

News paper over the top, a couple layers of Gesso (or PVA glue), and then a really light layer of paperclay moistened with water at the seams. Sand. It worked out pretty well

Alternatively, you can cover the papermache with craft foam and just seal over the seams with again, several layers of gesso or pva glue.

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Unread 05-18-2013, 08:57 PM   #3
JasonTerror
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You know you can sand paper machete right? You can get it really smooth. Adding gesso too that and sanding that will do exactly what you're after
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Unread 05-19-2013, 01:22 AM   #4
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The crinkly bumpy quality is what I always used to think about with paper mache. This is how it is taught in middle school art class, and this is often the best you see with disposable things like pinatas.

In fact, you can use newspaper and still have it look excellent. The two things you need to understand to get this is proper application and proper surfacing afterward.

When applying the paper mache, it is critical that there be no air bubbles inbetween layers of paper. The air bubbles make it crinkly, weaken it, and make it very difficult to render smooth.

After the paper mache has dried, the next step is to eliminate the paper texture, especially all of those seam lines. you do this by applying something like paperclay mixed with water, or jointing compound, or a heck of a lot of sanding sealer. you let it dry, and you sand it smooth. If it isn't smooth, you just repeat this process until it is. It takes a bit of practice, so at first, the process might take you quite awhile, but when you get good at it, it isn't so bad.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 04:51 AM   #5
Viveeh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verdatum View Post
The crinkly bumpy quality is what I always used to think about with paper mache. This is how it is taught in middle school art class, and this is often the best you see with disposable things like pinatas.

In fact, you can use newspaper and still have it look excellent. The two things you need to understand to get this is proper application and proper surfacing afterward.

When applying the paper mache, it is critical that there be no air bubbles inbetween layers of paper. The air bubbles make it crinkly, weaken it, and make it very difficult to render smooth.

After the paper mache has dried, the next step is to eliminate the paper texture, especially all of those seam lines. you do this by applying something like paperclay mixed with water, or jointing compound, or a heck of a lot of sanding sealer. you let it dry, and you sand it smooth. If it isn't smooth, you just repeat this process until it is. It takes a bit of practice, so at first, the process might take you quite awhile, but when you get good at it, it isn't so bad.
This. Papier mache can be really awesome when you learn how to use it properly. Here are two blades I made with it: http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2619774/
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Unread 05-19-2013, 08:44 AM   #6
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I will add this:
The longer the newspaper soaks, the more it breaks down. The more it breaks down the better it adheres and the smoother it goes on.

The best paper mache things I've done were with newspaper than had been in the bucket of glue mixture for days. More than a week and it will go moldy, so cover it if you want to use it long term. Don't forget to add a little water every day you aren't using it, the paper will suck up a lot, so keep replenishing your bucket.

And another thing:
If your strip is going over a curve and wrinkles, the strip is too wide. Tear it up smaller, create deep curves by putting postage stamp size pieces overlapping so each one goes on a lot smoother in the first place. Rotate the direction of each pieces, your square bits should not be lined up like a grid.

and last:
Always tear your strips, don't cut. The raw edge from tearing gives the paper a wick to soak up glue and water as well as a tapered edge for smoother transitions.
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Last edited by Penlowe : 05-19-2013 at 08:49 AM.
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Unread 05-20-2013, 11:29 AM   #7
nathancarter
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Some good advice so far.

Another trick that I used when making Marceline's axe bass, was to build up the structure using newspaper, then make one final layer using a large piece of thick white sketch paper that was cut to exactly fit the surface. This worked well for the flat surfaces and simple curves, but might not work so well for your pumpkin, since you're dealing with compound curves.

The large flat faces of the axe are foamcore (for a slick finished surface without tons of paper mache) but the blade edges, the gouges, and the flats on the top and bottom of the blade are covered in paper mache - newspaper with a final layer of cut-to-fit sketch paper.

[note - this is the first prop I've ever built with paper mache and foam, I'm sure I'll get better with practice]


Untitled by nathancarter, on Flickr


Untitled by nathancarter, on Flickr


MegaCon_20130317_3469.jpg by nathancarter, on Flickr
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