Palm Armor, First Thigh Bondo

I finished sanding and then painting the palm armor today!

I just stuck them on with some blue tape so they don’t stay in position really, but you get the idea. I didn’t want to close my hand any further in the second picture because the paint is still soft and it was going to damage it. I think I’ll be able to close my hand most of the way when they’re on there for real.

After covering the foam thigh armor in worbla, I’ve now applied bondo and done a first sanding pass. The edges are nice and crisp in most places but need some touch up bondo in others.

~ by talaaya on April 14, 2014.

7 Responses to “Palm Armor, First Thigh Bondo”

  1. Hey there. I stumbled upon your page while looking for primers for worbla that would allow for smooth and shiny topcoats. Your work is amazing. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind telling me what your process for sanding is (hand-sanding, in this case). Is it possible to get the surface that smooth by hand sanding alone? And I guess the big question I have is which grits should I use? I’m currently using a fine grit sanding sponge, but I’ve read you should build up from coarser paper. I didn’t want to go crazy and buy ALL the sandpaper so if you could let me know which grits you use, that would be wonderful. And do you wet sand between coats? Dry sand? (I’ve never done anything like this before, and I’m trying to make my mom a bracelet cuff thing. I want it to look gold but if I can’t get it totally smooth it won’t look good.) Lastly, would you mind sharing what brand that copper paint is? I know you said it is an automotive paint. I’ve been looking around for a good gold metallic paint and I’m about to go crazy and just buy all the gold paints I find (like the sandpaper) but I definitely don’t have the funds for that. Anyway, any tips you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again, and I’m so sorry for the word vomit. Also, thanks for posting a blog with all your progress. I love getting to see a behind-the-scenes of the amazing things people create.


    • First, make sure your worbla is strong enough that it won’t flex. If one layer isn’t enough, stick two layers together. I begin smoothing it out by coating the worbla with several layers of Gorilla brand wood glue. Coat it thick enough that when you sand it back down, you won’t reach the worbla and get fuzzy worbla spots. Keep in mind that you’ll probably end up with a few bubbles in the glue. If you can’t sand those out you can either try to layer on more glue (which I don’t recommend as it doesn’t seem to like to adhere to itself very well and peels up at the edges – although you might try roughing up the first layer of glue which might help it adhere) or use Bondo glazing and spot putty (comes in a tube and works great for filling little holes).

      For sanding the glue I start with 220 grit sandpaper and then go to 400 grit (the larger the number, the finer the grit). After a pass of 220 then 400 (make sure to clean off all the dust!), I’ll spray the piece with some paint primer. This makes the piece one consistent color and allows you to better see imperfections (which are especially hard to spot with the clearish wood glue). Usually by this point I’m only left with minor imperfections so I’ll stick with the 400 grit, but if you have a glaringly bad area you might try the 220 again. Rinse and repeat sanding and priming until it’s super smooth!

      Wood glue can be a pain to sand since it sands so slowly. On larger pieces like my thigh armor I used bondo instead (not spot putty). Bondo is a whole other can of worms, so if you need me to explain that too let me know.

      After painting I decided to wet sand and use a polish to really bring out the shine, but this isn’t necessary.

      The paint I use is Dupli Color auto paint. It might be even harder to find a gold color with auto paint than it was for me to find copper (I found mine because I knew of a car model that uses copper; I can’t think of one that uses a good gold). You might try Rustoleum or Krylon, but I don’t have any experience with gold paints unfortunately.

      Good luck!

  2. That palm / hand armor looks incredible, I cant wait to see the whole suit completed.

  3. Hi, I see this post is from about a year ago but hopefully you’ll still see this and respond 🙊

    I’ve tried to glue worbla pieces similar to that to gloves before with no luck. So I was wondering what type of glue and glove you use.

    Also, this cosplay looks amazing. Everything is so perfect.

  4. I love the armor and thanks for making this post. I’d really like a more detailed account of how you made the hands but can’t find it. Do you have any more info on how you made that part?

    • I don’t remember what exactly I wrote about the hand but if I wrote anything more than I put on this blog then it’d be over on The RPF. You can find a link at the top of the page.

      Basically, I took pieces of worbla and shaped them to my hand, trimming them and reheating and reshaping them until they were the desired shape. Then I coated them with several layers of Gorilla wood glue and sanded them a ton until they were super smooth. That took forever. After painting them I simply hot glued them to the spandex glove; I used a very minimal amount of glue and it holds really well.

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