Ultimate Pepakura FAQ - Borrowed from the 405th

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Ultimate Pepakura FAQ - Borrowed from the 405th Empty Ultimate Pepakura FAQ - Borrowed from the 405th

Post  DarkeSword on Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:13 am

There are many questions that n00bs and first time pepakura folks seem to ask over and over.

Almost all of these questions have been answered many times but sometimes it is difficult to find them in the sea of posts that make up the forum.

This is a concise list of the most common questions asked and the answers that go with them. It is important to remember that these are not absolute answers and that it is just the easiest and most common way.

As in most cases the alternate suggested ways might work but the best you are going to get is a lot more time spent to do something that might work and work less well than is what is specified here.

RULE #1 Read all the stickies before you begin! (I will also specify which ones answer what questions)

Pepakura files can be found in both of these stickies:

Tutorial: How to use Pepakura to make your Mjolnir Armor
Pepakura Download Database

Questions Section One Pepakura Basics (the art of the papercraft)

1. How do I get and put together pepakura?

Look at both of these stickies before you even think about beginning.

Tutorial: How to use Pepakura to make your Mjolnir Armor
Tutorial: How to make Good Folds for Pepakura Armor

2. What are mountain and valley folds? How do I fold them? How can I figure out which is which? etc.

If your helmet was a planet, the mountain folds would form mountains and the valley folds would form valleys. It is always inward or outward in relation to the surface of the model.

The symbols can be changed in the Line Properties option in the Pepakura Designer program.

3. Do I have to use cardstock?/Can't I use regular paper?/What pound cardstock do I use? etc.

Use 110 lb cardstock for pepakura. It holds up well to fiberglassing and is friendly to most printers. You can get a ream of 150 sheets at Walmart for $5.

Regular paper must be extremely reinforced and is not worth the time. (it will be very warped, hard to fix and you'll probable end up throwing it away.

60 lb cardstock must also be reinforced but is preferred for those who have printers with less muscle (can't handle 11o cardstock). It is more expensive and more of a pain than 110 lb.

4. What do I use to glue/hold together my pepakura? Can't I use something else to hold it together? etc

In order of preference:

1. Low Temperature Hot Glue (Will say on glue gun)

2. Superglue

3. Electrical Tape (Resin will not eat through much. Use in place of ductape.)

4. other non dissolvable glues (other glues may work when you put the paper together but the resin will dissolve it when you fiberglass it and your model will fall apart in front of your eyes)


1. clear tape

2. dissolvable glues

3. duct tape

5. How do I scale my pepakura?

Use Frizz's and mine scaling formula found in the Official pepakura scaling thread sticky

Keep in mind that most game characters are not anatomically correct and most must alter the scale for your biceps and thighs.

NAS measurements for assembled height to use as a standard.

Bicep: 35 cm

Thigh: 38 cm

6. My helmet is too small. Why can't I get my head through the neck? etc

Cut off the neck/ make it hinged or your perfectly scaled helm will not fit. Think about it, is your neck as big around as your head?

7. I have a Mac/antique computer/incompatible OS, PLEASE HELP!

Pepakura is exclusively a Windows based program and should work on most PCs. In the case that you have something else, try using Windows emulation software.

8. Could I get some help with a weapon as a first project? etc

Weapons are much more complicated than armor and should be considered as expert level projects. If you are not good at pepakura, they won't turn out well.

The best advice I can give is patience and try doing something a little easier first to get your feet wet.

9. Help me get each piece on a single page. How do I do multi page pepakura? etc

Simply overly the corner crosshairs of the pages after trimming away the margin of one. Then glue both together to make larger pepakura pieces.

Questions Section Two Fiberglass/Resin/Bondo (begin armorfication)

Before you even think about beginning Stage 2 read these stickies.

Resining Tutorial/How To
Pepakura Fiberglass and Smoothing Tutorial

*also take note of recommended safety equipment*

Mixing instructions will always be included on the resin package.

1. What's the difference between Fiberglass/Resin/Bondo?

Bondo is a company that manufactures many products, when used as slang around here it refers to Bond Brand Body Filler It is always recognizable as the can with the red Mustang on the front.

Resin is a liquid plastic that when mixed with a catalyst hardens to a tough but brittle substance.

Fiberglass is actual fibers of glass and comes in both cloth and mat variety.

The verb use "to Fiberglass" means that you use fiberglass to strengthen your resin coats on your papercraft

2. Where do I get materials/safety equipment for fiberglassing?

Most appliance stores and auto parts places will have them and so will Walmart.

3. What kind of fiberglass should I use?

It's really a matter of preference but I think fiberglass cloth is the easiest to work with.

4. Should fiberglass go on the outside?

No Never Ever Ever! However, you should resin the outside.

4.1 - Why above?

It is a pain to sand and makes it a much bigger pain in the ass to smooth properly. If you want more fiberglass reinforcement, just add more layers of fiberglass to the inside of the armor!

5. What about using expanding foam/Great Stuff as reinforcement? etc

Use the Red and Blue can of Great Stuff or the foam will shrink and warp your work.

6. What about using plaster/paper mache/duct tape instead? etc

I've only seen one example of this working out right and it was duct tape on scratch-built armor.

I strongly recommend that you not attempt this. Most people who try end up tossing their helmets afterward.

Questions Section Three Detailing and Completion(Pimp my Helmet)

1. What do I use for a visor? Can I use anything other than a motorcycle visor? etc

HJC gold motorcycle visors are the preferred visor (Search HJC visor on ebay for a good deal) though you can use other motorcycle visors.

You can also purchase motorcycle visors locally at at motorcycle or all-sports store.

2. What do I use for the vents in the helm?

Use black corrugated PVC plumbing pipe from your local hardware place.

3. Do I cover the entire helm in Bondo Body Filler? How do I detail with Bondo? etc

I prefer to only add Bondo to the specific areas that I'll be sculpting with a dremel tool (use lots of reference pics). It's less work that way.

4. How do I add lights and a fan?

The last thing I will leave you with is PLEASE spell pepakura correctly in help posts.

If you don't it seems as if you don't really care enough about any of this to see it through to the end.

If you guys think of other common questions that I've missed (I'm sure there are more than a few). Please post them here

Posts : 18
Join date : 2009-07-22
Age : 28
Location : FFX Station, VA

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