Questions about materials used for armor making and alternatives


New Member
  • Which is better and/or cheaper, fiberglass resin or aqua resin?
  • When do I use fiberglass mat and when do I use fiberglass cloth? Can’t I just use one or the other or do I have to use both?
  • Can bondo crack? If so how can it? I’m mainly asking if you put it on something like cardboard. I’m also looking for alternatives that are cheaper and/or less toxic
  • Can plaster of Paris or Durham’s rock hard water putty do the same thing as bondo? Also dealing with cardboard. Also which one would be better for molding and what could you add to them to make them stronger?
  • What is rondo? Is it when you mix fiberglass resin and bondo together? What does it do?
  • What’s a gel coat when fiberglassing?
  • Can you sand hot glue after it has cooled?
  • Can you make whole armor pieces out of hot glue? If so how can you cast the pieces?
  • How can you make craft foam stronger, stiffer, and/or more flexible so that the armor won’t get dents or warping or wrinkles? Would something like white glue or mod podge do it? Or would they be brittle? I think someone said you can use fiberglass resin but I want to know cheaper and/or less toxic alternatives
  • Can you sand craft foam or cardboard to make smoother pieces? Like when using pepakura and I don’t want ridges where edges meet
  • I’ve heard of people using plasti dip to cover foam but it can cause wrinkles if bent too far. I was wondering how to prevent that.
  • Can duct tape stick to hot glue?
  • Is there anything similar to liquid plastic that’s cheaper?
  • Alternatives to silicone rubber for molds. Is liquid latex good enough?
  • Can you pull fiberglass out of a plaster cast, for example, if you use something like paste wax or turtle wax or some other mold release even if the subject has undercuts?
  • Would shelf/drawer liner make a good halo/kamen rider armor visor? Can you heat shape it?
  • What could you do to a plexiglass visor that makes it see thru one way and be the color I want like blue or yellow or green?
  • Alternatives to plexiglass for heat forming for visor

*Alternatives don’t have to be cheaper or less toxic. I just need MORE options.

I’m sorry for so many random questions (studying for 4 tests this week). I just never seem to find the answers I’m looking for or I’m to busy to find them with school and all. If you guys can help me with any of these questions I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
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That's a LOT of questions! Some of them can be answered by using the search button and perusing other people's build threads.

Almost everyone here learned by "doing" so don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Want to know if you can sand hot glue after it's dried? Test it out!

If you can share what you're working on that inspired so many questions, you might be able to focus your topic down and more people will answer. :( is a great site for that kind of information. I will answer a few though:

Fiberglass resin is cheaper yet more toxic but definitely more in strong.

You can use the hot glue method but it's not that strong.

Most of the time you won't have to bend your foam pieces that much unless you didn't attatch it right so plasti dip is pretty good.

White glue and mod podge are several ways to get craft foam hard. Link on how to do that: Craft Foam Armor Tutorial
Well i am new to costume making and new to here but i'll happilly share what I have found out.

I found coating the foam with a couple of coats of PVA then spaying it got a real nice finish. You need to make sure you put the glue on in a few thin coats and not rush like i did otherwise the PVA will run and when dry you will see where it has run when you spray paint it.

Spray the foam in the base colour before you put any glue on. I did this on a couple of pieces in silver, this soaks into the foam a bit but it means if your PVA cracks the foam should still be coloured, I used silver so it would look like metal it the basecoat chips or cracks.

Try and have as few joins as possible. Every join will show up unless you are going to coat the foam with something. I tried filling the joins with PVA but they are still visible so you will want to use a template modded for foam which has less joins if you don't want them to show up. Alternatively you can cover the foam with something like easy flow plastic that should hide the joins but i have not tried this myself.

Really as other have said part of the fun is trying out new things and seeing what works for you.
Didn't you post the same questions in 405th?

If you've done enough research and reading, you can answer your own questions. Ventrue was nice enough to spoon feed you some answers, I guess that wasn't enough.
Would covering cardboard with plasti dip make good armor?

The answer is no. Plasti Dip is a sealer that works well on foam. It is not a hardener, like resin. Your best bet is to use resin, if you want to make a cardboard armor.
Thanks everybody for helping me so far :)

@Coolc: Im not looking for hardening persay, but just to make it look nice. Can you be more specific as to y plasti dip wouldn't be good with cardboard? Im not looking for perfect :p lol
Thanks everybody for helping me so far :)

@Coolc: Im not looking for hardening persay, but just to make it look nice. Can you be more specific as to y plasti dip wouldn't be good with cardboard? Im not looking for perfect :p lol

PlastiDip flexes and does not have hardening properties. Applying it on cardboard may look nice, but the cardboard itself will not be durable. Unless if you don't plan to wear the cardboard, I don't see why you can't use PlastDip. If you want to look nice, you can try some other spray paints that do the same for lesser cost.
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