Apoxie Sculpt vs. Bondo

If this is in the wrong place, feel free to move it where it needs to go! Also, I tried doing a couple of searches in the forums for these answers, but didn't spot anything that directly addressed my questions. So if this is an annoying repeat, I apologize. D:

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These questions are for those who have experience with both Apoxie Sculpt and Bondo, who can compare the two first-hand. And the application I am needing to use one of the two for is for Pepakura, when, after you've done the fiberglassing and resin, you use Bondo to fill the outside and even it out.

1. What are the pros and cons between Apoxie Sculpt and Bondo? With what application(s) is Bondo ever the superior choice? I'm just wondering why Bondo is the go-to resource for Pepakura armor. Is it just because it's more readily available than Apoxie Sculpt?

2. I hear Bondo cracks easily. Is Apoxie Sculpt more durable? How hard is it to crack or break? For Pepakura use, since it would be applied in thin layers on the armor (if it were to replace Bondo for the post fiberglass filling step), I wonder if Apoxie Sculpt would be more fragile than Bondo, about the same, or perhaps stronger.

3. Also, I am curious to know about the use of Apoxie Sculpt as an adhesive. In what situations would it be the superior adhesive over something more commonly used?

From the info I've collected, it sounds like Apoxie Sculpt is durable, easy to work with, sands nicely, adheres to about anything, and overall sounds like a dream. Whereas Bondo is, I guess, less user friendly, is a pain to sand, and just doesn't seem as versatile as Apoxie Sculpt for other applications. So far that I can tell, the only down side to Apoxie Sculpt is that I have to order it online (which is why I haven't just bought some already and experimented). Is there something about Bondo that I'm not understanding?

I bought a can of Bondo for my Pepakura armor, but now I'm starting to wonder if Apoxie Sculpt would be easier and more time efficient. But if Bondo IS the better material, I'd like to know that for sure before I go and return it, haha.

Thanks in advance! :D If my descriptions about the use of Apoxie Sculpt in Pepakura is confusing, let me know and I'll try to explain it better.
 

ahoudini

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Two big differences: time until ready to sand and cost. Bondo sets up much, much faster and is way cheaper, pound for pound. These translate, for me, into these guidelines: large, unimportant, bland areas get Bondo and small, important, highly detailed areas get Apoxie Sculpt.

Hope this helps!

Steve
 

Weaselhammer

Sr Member
Apoxie Sculpt by volume will be considerably heavier than Bondo as it is denser. Bondo will be much easier to apply by spreading it over the surface area and Apoxie Sculpt has the consistency of a dense clay. Use Bondo for smoothing out rough areas and use Apoxie Sculpt for building new details. Apoxie Sculpt is definitely stronger than bondo for both adhesion and strength. As far as your application, I would suggest building up a solid coat of resin and sanding it as smooth as you can, then using body filler to smooth it out more. I wouldn't suggest using Apoxie Sculpt as a filler .
 

rosh

New Member
Exactly what they said. If you need to sculpt a new detail apoxy sculpt is fantastic to work with. It is heavier, and I'm certain I wouldn't want to wear a prop covered in the stuff, but it's a valuable tool in my toolbox.

Bondo on the other hand, is much easier to spread, sand, is lighter and is significantly cheaper. It can also be mixed with fiberglass resin to make rondo, a pourable and versatile substance. Bondo has a steeper learning curve than apoxy sculpt for sure, but when you have experience using it, is extremely easy to deal with. Remember, thinner layers of Bondo are always easier to manage than thick ones.

Both are great things to have around for prop building, and my shop always has both. If you have the cash, invest in them and learn their best applications on your own.
 

CJS

Well-Known Member
Mixing regular fiberglass polyester resin with bondo makes for an excellent combo. Sounds strange but we used it all the time at an automotive thermalforming place I used to work at. And those forms went through hell. Think mass produced abs rear window louvers and spare tire covers. I cant exactly remember the mix but could probly get it. It worked amazing.
 

rosh

New Member
I use the stuff all the time- my mix is based on the application I'm using it for. More Bondo for less flow, more resin for more run. It's definitely a lazy way to fill small gaps and avoid air bubbles when hardening peps.
 

Uridium

Well-Known Member
Just giving this a stealth BUMP.

As a noob who is working on his first Pep (Dredd Helm), its posts like this and the helpfulness of everyone here that makes this learning process such a joy!
 

DMZ2501

New Member
I haven't had any experience with Bondo, but I've worked for years with Apoxie Sculpt, doing small scale stuff, from 1/35 to 1/6.

Most of the stuff posted about Apoxie here is right on the money. It is rock solid, very dense and heavy. It will definitely add weight to whatever you ply it on, so you might want to consider that.

Apoxie can be sanded and buffed to a high-gloss finish if necessary. If you just keep smoothing the surface with water, that is usually enough to get a very smooth surface. I use a Dremel rotary tool, so if you want to cover larger surfaces, you might want to use something larger.

To summarise, here is my assessment of Apoxie Sculpt:

Pros:

  • able to take fine details.
  • tough. very tough. how tough? you wouldn't want to drop it on your toe.
  • from what i read, it was originally used to make repairs to swimming pool tiles. In any case, I can ascertain from first-hand experience that it is definitely weather-proof.
  • takes paint very well. you might want to prime it first though.
  • sticks to almost anything. do not try to scale walls with it though.
  • about 2 - 3 hours of working time. this might be a con, for large work surfaces.
  • although it is rock hard after curing, it is still fairly easy to drill, sand, or even carve manually.
Cons:

  • Expensive. Well, for me anyway, haha
  • old Apoxie hardens over time. in about 1 or 2 years, it becomes impossible to mix, unless you are Wreck-It Ralph
  • Expensive.
Well, hope that helped. :)
 

Propsjonnyb

Well-Known Member
I would agree will everyone who has posted , but if you want flexibility , the use coats of pva or polymer resin , bondo or P38 , or rondo is better than epoxy in terms of filling and sanding - epoxy adds strength , resin or PVA adds flexibility.
 
You all are awesome! Thanks so much for all the information and advice. I am glad I made this thread, because what I read of Apoxie Sculpt lead me to believe that it was actually very light because it's an air dry clay. Various descriptions of it mentioned it was light when dry, and in my head I imagined it was much like paperclay, which is extremely light when it dries. (I've used it to even out surfaces quite a bit.) On the same line of misinformation, I saw somewhere that someone said Bondo is somewhat heavy, because "it doesn't matter to cars that it's heavy" or something like that, so, lol, I was thinking the opposite of what you all are saying. But since you're all speaking from experience, I am definitely taking your word for it that the Bondo is much lighter.

Guess I'll have to keep my can of Bondo after all...:rolleyes Sigh, and I was all ready to switch over to something easy, haha. Time to put on my big girl pants and learn Bondo, I suppose!

As luck would have it, I found out a friend of mine has some leftover Apoxie Sculpt from a previous project, and if it's still good, I might get to play around with some of it this weekend. I'm really excited to try it out, because I LOVE paperclay, and this is basically paperclay minus all the flaws of paperclay. :D Even if I can't find a use for it in my current project, I see Apoxie Sculpt in my future.

I'm still curious though, about the use of Apoxie Sculpt as an adhesive. I get that it's strong, but is it better than, say, super glue? Or hot glue? Or whatever miscellaneous strong glue? I'm just wondering what would make someone decide to use Apoxie Sculpt as their choice of adhesive when there are other good glues out there.

Just giving this a stealth BUMP.

As a noob who is working on his first Pep (Dredd Helm), its posts like this and the helpfulness of everyone here that makes this learning process such a joy!

I'm glad this became useful to you, too! I'm also working on my first pep, so I'm trying to research as much as I can before I proceed to the next steps. Good luck with your build!
 

Darth Lars

Master Member
I have never used Apoxie sculpt. Too expensive to import.

If you want something like "rondo" that is somewhat flexible then nothing beats mixing your own epoxy filler. Epoxy + various powders with different properties.
Colloidial silica (also known as cabosil) so that it does not run, microballoons (glass) as a light filler, microfibers for strength. However, getting the proportions right is somewhat of art and it is a bit expensive. The less fillers you use, the more flexible it is.
I use this as a rigid coating on blue styrofoam (which Bondo will eat for dinner) and as a filler for armour pieces made of ABS or HiPS (which it adheres to much much better than Bondo does).
 

DMZ2501

New Member
I'm still curious though, about the use of Apoxie Sculpt as an adhesive. I get that it's strong, but is it better than, say, super glue? Or hot glue? Or whatever miscellaneous strong glue? I'm just wondering what would make someone decide to use Apoxie Sculpt as their choice of adhesive when there are other good glues out there.


Apoxie Sculpt does take well to a variety of surfaces and materials, but I've never really come across it being used as an adhesive. Two primary reasons, one of course being there are a lot of other better and much more economical adhesives, like you mentioned. Secondly, let's say if you were to stick a lump of AS between 2 styrene sheets? Drop them and the AS will snap right off, intact. It does stick well to materials, but it doesn't stick things together. I guess that's what I meant to say, haha.

I've used Apoxie to form simple split molds to cast small parts, because it is so hard, and can take quite a lot of pressure, even heat. Not for anything too complex though, as you will probably have to break the mold to get it out. I've even casted something out of Apoxie, using a mold made of Apoxie. A little talcum powder works well enough as a mold release agent, something I learned from the boards.

:thumbsup
 

chuckyAPP

Sr Member
Also important to note is that bondo is extremely toxic, when wet and when sanding. Epoxy, while harder to work with is stronger and poses minimal health risk.
 

Uridium

Well-Known Member
Guys

I'm sorry if these have been posted before, but I just found them yesterday and spent the afternoon watching and learning.

They are tutorial vids by a guy called Cerial killl3r.

He covers working on Pep armor, hardening, and sculpting. Most of his work is with RONDO (Resin + Bondo) plus some detailed sculpting. He makes the effort to describe the chemical reactions of these products and how different room temperatures etc can effect the way they work.

Hardening Pepakura With Fiberglass Resin (Episode 01) - YouTube

Pepakura - Rondo Coating & Cutting A Torso In Half (Episode 02) - YouTube

Smoothing and Shaping your Pepakura (Episode 04) - YouTube

Pepakura - Building Detail on small areas (Episode 05) - YouTube

Pepakura - Reconnecting The Chest and Back Plate (Episode 06) - YouTube

Creating Battle Damage and Building Details (Episode 07) - YouTube


If you are new to this type of work, there is so much to learn in these vids.
 

quiksilvababe

New Member
still the directions say wear a mask and goggles when sanding Apoxie Sculpt .....correction "dust mask"..whatever that is.

also wear gloves when mixing parts A and B for Apoxie
 

chukzilla

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
One cool thing about Apoxie Sculpt is you can use water to smooth it. It is water soluble before it cures. You can also heat it a bit to make it softer. The downside is that it doesn't tool as easily. It will sort of 'soften' as it cures.
 
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