[HELP] Some questions about building a helmet


New Member
I'm new in this forum, and in Pepakura models also. I have a few questions about a helmet I'm working on...
First of all, I build a test model (an Iron Man helmet) as my first project in common paper, and since it came out pretty well for my first time, I want to continue with it and keep it.
I was thinking about hardening it, because the paper is too thin, so I was thinking about paper mache for the work. I used scotch tape in some parts, and after that, I read about avoiding the use of scotch tape, because the resin will kill it, so I wanted to know what happens if I use paper mache instead of applying resin.
Also, I wanted to know if paper mache can be sanded, because I think it's going to be kinda rough when dry, and I want to paint it...
I Hope that someone could help me, and if anybody has any ohter tip for me, it will be very useful...
Thanks in advance...

Matías, from Chile

PS: If I made any mistake in grammar and/or spelling, sorry but english is not my mother language...

Updating here...
Since I didn't know where to buy resin and fiberglassing, I continue with my project adding paper maché to it... Yeah, I know I didn't hear the forum's advices, but I wanted to continue with this... And it was a total failure... I put paper maché on my build, and it warped like hell, then I thought paper mache was too wet, so I put it in the oven.. and guess what ?... It burned!
So... I'm here... With nothing in my hands because of being hasty... And I have a few questions...
I was thinking on build my second helm in this material


This is a cardboard that is made from mashed paper and glue (in Chile it's called Cartón Piedra, but I don't know how do you call it in english). It has 1.5 milimeters of thickness. Is it useful, or should I have to use something thinner ?
I was thinking about a cardboard that has one side white, and the other one brown (in Chile it's called Cartón forrado), and that comes in various thicknesses... Which one is better ?

Thanks in advance, and I hope someone can help me... ^^
as you might know pepakura works with folds, the cardboard you use might be to thick for folding nice lines. also the flaps on the pepakura will be pasted under the same part. This means that if a part has a flap that has to be glued on that same part the thickness of the paper deforms your model a bit in your case 1,5mm (I hope you know what I mean).

I have no experience with Paper Mache, only with resin and fiberglass. but in general, and I think it applies to all models, the better your papermodel is the less work you have to do lateron.

In my experience is that my not so nicely glued helmet needed a lot of bondo work to look smooth. I think this also counts for paper mache.

Best tip I can give you is that when you are new to pepakura and fiber/resin don't start off with a complicated part. I haven't seen your Ironman helmet on picture. but most have very small details which are harder to pep and fiberglass/ resin aswell.

A shoe is an example of an easier part (of the Ironman models that is) and by making a few of these parts you are more experienced and the "more complicated" parts will look much nicer once you have some experience.

In case your county uses the metric system I use 200gr/m2 paper this is thick enough to apply a layer of resin without my model deforming
Thanks, man!
Your advices are what I was looking for... I think that, for a first-times, my model came out really nice... But I killed it with the paper mache...
I think I will going to use the thinner of the two tipes of cardboard I mentioned before, because of the folds and stuff...
I will post pics of the dead model later...
It's very fortunate for you that the RPF, and Pepakura for that matter, exists. :) When I was starting out on trying my hand at projects, it was all trial and error, but it was how I learned. And, yeah, some of my attempts failed and I had to start over, but had learned not to make the same mistake agian and discover a technique that worked. As frustrating as it can be at times, it's also part of the fun and pride of building.
I think Paper Mache is still a suitable method of covering a pep piece - Personally, I use Fibreglass on the inside, and body filler for the outside piece (makes sanding easier AND safer).


Scroll down a bit on that thread and youll see a LARGE piece that is paper mache.

All I can really suggest is to work the PM in small parts of the pep allow it time to dry sufficiently. Find the 'structal frame' of the piece, and build it on the inside first. That way it will help to keep the overall shape.

Even FG has a tendency to warp if too much resin is in too many places at once.
My tips for this is to set up a frame on your workspace with bricks, and place the piece inbetween them so that the bricks help to hold the pep in the correct shape while it dries.

Hope it works out well for you either way!!!!! :D
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