For a long time I've been curious to jump into the world of costume building, and this Christmas break it made the perfect project. I dived head first into the fun and quirky world of Pepakura.

Pepakura is a program that takes 3D models and unfolds them into a series of 2D pieces that can be printed out and assembled. I am new to the hobby, but I've noticed major issues with a lot of the tutorials currently available; they lack information on the finishing process. Browsing through Google and costume forums a lot of people have taken great care to cut, fold, and glue beautiful paper models, but when it comes to painting and detailing the end product, the project goes awry.

My experience is in that finishing process. The main focus of this tutorial will address the painting and detailing stages of a build, taking you from paper to Iron Man (but actually War Machine), hopefully giving you some tips and insight along the way.

Pepakura, from my limited experience, is relatively straight forward but time consuming. Many communities exist on the internet that have posted models and files and many of the major movie and video game icons already exist. This makes the hobby accessible for people like me who want to jump in and try it out without the need to first create a model of my costume on the computer. Take advantage of these communities, they are a resource with experienced users who are willing to help.

DISCLAIMER: This project uses harmful chemicals and tools that must be handled properly. If you are unsure how to use a tool or chemical consult the user-manual or contact the manufacturer. The internet is also a great resource. Make sure to work in well ventilated spaces and take breaks when/if you get annoyed. The work can be tedious, but it is important to keep focused and take your time. One silly mistake or botched fold can mean headaches down the road. Be smart about it. I am not responsible for any injury or damage caused by this project or tutorial. Work at your own risk.

With that said, let's jump into what you need to get started.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

The materials for this project are widely available and easy to use. Please keep in mind however that some of the materials are toxic. Work with care and make sure to read the instructions.

Items in italic with an * are optional but recommended.

Initial Model:
Cover Stock/Card Stock/110lb Paper
X-Acto Blade/Cutting Blade
Hot Glue & Gun
Computer and Printer

Disposable brushes (4+)
Rubber Gloves
Mixing Cup (top of Resin container works well)
Spoons/Mixing stick (mixing)

Finishing and Detailing:
Sand Paper (150 grit)
Sanding Block
X-Acto Blade
Mixing Cup/Paper Plate
Spatula/Flat Object (used to apply and spread Bondo)
Plastic Spoon/Mixing Stick (mixing)
Nail File (Emory board, can be cut to get those hard to reach places)
Safety Glasses
Bastard File*
Dremel w/ Sanding bits*
Orbital Sander

Automotive Primer
Colors of Choice
Gloss Clear
Wet/Dry Sand Paper (400 grit+)
Dish Soap
Tack Rag
Painter's Blue Tape
X-Acto Blade

Refer to my other tutorial here. Shameless plug ;).

<p>Im curious, would using just bondo resin jelly on top of the cardboard create a solid enough finish? Or would you always have to use the fiberglass and resin on top of the cardboard? </p>
<p>this is amazing..</p><p>i need help!!!!!!!!!</p><p>i have built the foam suit but now stuck at painting process </p><p>i have no idea which spray color should i choose for the suit...</p><p>please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p>
<p>looks good</p>
how did put numbers on the template? because when i converted the pepakura file into pdf file, there were no numbers on the parts so it is hard to match them up. <br> <br>Nice work man!
hey can i use POP[plaster of paris instead of bondo]
i have a question about the scale. did u use the original scale? or u changed it?
Hi, <br>I'm making a Mark 42 helmet from Iron Man 3 and was wondering if the resin would stick to sticky tape (I'm a bit clumsy and didn't have enough Double Sided Sticky Tape). <br> <br>Cheers
What website were u able to get the template? I du know where to find them!!
http://www.405th.com/showthread.php/31589-WAR-MACHINE-HIGH-DEF-Pepakura-files-TEAM-UP-second-try. this is the link to get the war machine helmet pepakura file.
TANKS A LOT MAN! you are the only one that share the links for the download of the models... <br>A + for you. (Y)
Just to make sure I understand. The outside gets painted with resin, and the inside has strips of fiberglass coated with resin, almost like paper mache. Correct?
Correct. You can put the fiberglass coated with resin on the outside if you want, but it will mute the details of the mask.
Wonderful, thanks.
Is the Bondo only externally applied?
Yes. Bondo is used to create a nice surface on the helmet to paint.
am new in here but i begining to love this site...- again - thanks for sharing
Really good solid tutorial. I'm just setting out to make something similar for the first time and this will be super useful. Thanks!
hello everybody, i just ask where did you donwload the pepakura file of this helmet ?
wow! <br> <br>you have good hand
the best!<br>
Very well done. I like the fact that you stressed taking breaks, after all it's supposed to be fun!<br><br>Resin on cardboard and adding fiberglass is a great old custom car trick that fits Pepakura projects so well. Nicely done!<br><br>I'm curious though, why did you put the filler on so heavy? I can understand it on the gaps and bad fold area, but covering everything heavy seems to be adding to the level of sanding needed. Were you trying to add strength to it?<br><br>I think this may be one of my next projects.<br><br>Thanks for all the info and links!
I applied Bondo to the entire helmet because I wanted a uniform finish and also because it gave me the most control over detailing. After the amount of sanding I did the Bondo is a thin layer. <br><br>It did significantly add to the amount of sanding, but it resulted in a piece that is hard to believe was paper.<br><br>Good luck with your build!
this is one of my favorite methods, always good for making many types of costumes!
Oh my you are a glutton for punishment LMAO. That turned out awesome. I would never have the patience for this sort of thing. Sanding is simply not my thing.

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