Thank you for the suggestions.
Yes, I'm building the weapons up from cardboard, yes the handle holds up nicely, and although I am pleased with what fiberglass and cardboard have done for me so far, I will definitely look into some Sintra.
Trying new materials is a big big big thing for me.
In other news...
I worked on the helmet a bit tonight, tiding me over until my fiberglass mat comes in the mail. I'm really eager to get the weapons finished, but raw cardboard is a big no-no for conserving resin, so we'll see what I end up doing.
It's a disturbingly nice fit by the way.