Question: how to finish off a cardboard prop

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Implausibility, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Implausibility

    Implausibility Jr Member

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    Hi all – I popped a question on the end of my post in the Marvel subforum:


    http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=242076


    but as you would have had to trawl through pages and pages of frankly endless Rocket Rackoon in-progress photos to get to it, I don’t think anyone saw the question.


    So at the risk of repeating myself, I thought I’d ask again in here.


    A friend of mine surprised me last week with the gift of a cardboard skeleton of a gun to go with my Rocket Raccoon costume – really kind of him to make it for me, totally off his own back.


    He has now left it to me to get it finished off and painted up.


    The final filling, finishing and painting stage I’m totally happy with as have made other props before, but I’ve only used PVC and foam before, not cardboard, so I’m not sure of the best way to get the gun from where it is now to the point where it is ready to be painted.

    gun06b.jpg


    Would paper mache (the old fashioned kind with layers of newspaper strips and watered down PVA glue) be the best way to strengthen the cardboard? In particular the curved parts at either side of the gun (that I’ve scribbled “this bit” on in the photo) are very wobbly as it’s only one layer of corrugated card.


    Any ideas gratefully received.
     
  2. RogueTrooper

    RogueTrooper Well-Known Member

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    If it was mine, I would use 3 or 4 coats of fiberglass resin. That's what I use for pepakura (card stock) and it works very well.
     
  3. Implausibility

    Implausibility Jr Member

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    Thanks for your prompt response, RT. Got to admit I've never tried to use fibreglass cloth or resin - mainly because I don't have a workshop, everything gets done in my kitchen - so I tend to try to avoid anything too messy or toxic.... but I'll look into whether there is a way I can make it work
     
  4. PurpleDiamond

    PurpleDiamond Member

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    I don't have much experience with cardboard props and no experience at all with fiberglass resin but from what I know about it, it can be brittle. I would build it up with a couple of additional layers of cardboard and cover it in plasti-dip.
     
  5. BAK55

    BAK55 Well-Known Member

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    I have made many cardboard props and before painting I coated it with white glue mixed with the right amount of water and applied with a brush. Just paint it on being careful not to oversaturate the paper. The water thins the glue to make it more speadable and carries the glue into the fibers. You may have to sand and repeat coatings to get a nice tough skin. Practice on a seperate piece of cardboard to get the technique and you should be fine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  6. BAK55

    BAK55 Well-Known Member

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    I had forgotten that another and a bit pricier option would be to coat it with Minwax Wood Hardener. After all, paper is just pulped wood. I've used it as well and get very good results.
     
  7. Implausibility

    Implausibility Jr Member

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    Thank you BAK55 .... Lots of ideas to try .... am going to practice a few different approaches on scrap cardboard and see which turns out the best. Luckily I have until November to finish the gun! :)
     
  8. Implausibility

    Implausibility Jr Member

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    And I finished it just in time.... I ended up replacing most of the cardboard parts in the end with Sintra for sturdiness. The card that remained I toughened up with a few coats of wood glue. Seems ok. uploadfromtaptalk1447886989419.jpg
     
    Sean likes this.

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