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Thread: questions about mold-making

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  1. Default questions about mold-making 
    #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Western KY
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    271
    I'm looking at sculpting a mask for myself for this halloween season. The mask itself will be a half-face mask (the top of the mask covers the nose and cheeks and wraps down to the chin, almost to the neck). The armature I'm using is a polystyrene head (a male version wig head). I know it will only require a 1-piece mold but have 2 main questions I'm hoping to get answers to.

    1. Will I still need to build up a wall around the sculpt for the plaster to go in (like a moat around the sculpt) or can I get away with just brushing it on then smearing it on?

    2. Everywhere I've looked has said to use clear coat to seal the clay. Is there anything I should do to the head? I would still like to use it after the mold is made and don't want to risk the plaster getting into any crevices or bonding with it. I've been thinking of possibly adding a light coat of vaseline to the head around the sculpture, since that would wipe off easy enough.

    Also, if it helps, the clay I'm using is a natural water-based clay. I know it's not the best for sculpting a mask but I'm on a budget and it's all I could get at the time.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
     

  2. Default  
    #2
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    Nov 2007
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    Maggie Valley, North Carolina, United States
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    183
    so it sounds like your talking about using as the casting medium for the mask slush latex? if so you probably could get by with just brushing on the ultracal or what ever gypsum medium your going to be using. me personaly i would set the head down and make a damn wall around it so as you know your are getting a nice thick mold. if you are going supper cheap then sure you can just brush it on then put on the rest but you will have to wait for the gypsum to start to go so as it will not just pour off the side. even if you do wait for it to go or start to heat up you will still need to work it and keep pulling it bak up. it is more work and time to make the damn wall but at least if you have the clay to do it go for it you will be much happier with the end product. just my thoughts hope they help. a great resource fro how to is alfreys mold making dvd. best of luck to you. show us a pic of the sculpt. you may want to make two pulls also as the second pull of a new mold is usualy better then the first as no matter how much you try dust or this and that get left behind but hey in our business the fuglier the better right!?
    The Care Taker
    John "DarkTombCreations.com"
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Mesquite, TX
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    I swear I answered this- must not have hit post reply just right.

    1. Will I still need to build up a wall around the sculpt for the plaster to go in (like a moat around the sculpt) or can I get away with just brushing it on then smearing it on?
    Not necessarily - just mix your plaster a bit on the thick side (pancake batter) and it should cling well. Use Ultracal 30 or hydrocal- dont use Plaster of paris.

    2. Everywhere I've looked has said to use clear coat to seal the clay. Is there anything I should do to the head? I would still like to use it after the mold is made and don't want to risk the plaster getting into any crevices or bonding with it. I've been thinking of possibly adding a light coat of vaseline to the head around the sculpture, since that would
    give the head a thin coating of Vaseline before you seal the sculpt or else the spray will eat the foam.
    I made a few videos on mold making that might help you out.
     

  4. Default  
    #4
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  5. Default  
    #5
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    Jan 2004
    Location
    Western KY
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    I actually have to resculpt the mask from scratch because the original sculpt dried out after I got busy one weekend but this is what I'm going to recreate.

    399819_2757923025022_1166139819_32349800_690446610_n.jpg 397158_2757928625162_1166139819_32349802_2128754444_n.jpg 399796_2757930585211_1166139819_32349803_977599969_n.jpg

    Maybe this will help you understand better. Since it's not a full-head piece I'm not sure how to go about making the mold. I don't want to have the whole head in the mold and all the tutorials I've found online were for 2-piece molds.

    Thanks for the reply!
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    540
    That looks pretty cool! Nice sculpting. I am, however, concerned for the breathing holes. It does look thick, so it should be looser but I imagine that the actor will be sweating quite a bit inside of that. I always do on masks like that. Than again, I suppose that doesn't necessarily have to be for an actor, huh.

    To me, I've never made a full head mold. But that may be achievable in a bowl mold. Meaning, just my first thought now, I'm sure it's flawed thinking, but take a large pan, or build a tall enclosure, pour your plaster and set that thing face first. May be able to get it all in there and pull out the positive. This way (if achievable) you can just brush in your latex or whatever. Let it dry and peel it out.

    When re-sculpting it, keep the undercuts in mind so it'll be easier to pick the clay out of the mold.

    Anyways, I could be wrong but hopefully someone experienced will throw some advice in here.

    BTW, if you happen to get this done, I'd be happy to buy a few pulls from you. You know, to help recoup some money from supplies :P


    Dewayne
     

  7. Default  
    #7
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    Fun piece. I highly discourage trying to mold it by shoving it into plaster. That has great potential to trap a lot of air, which will ruin the mold. the best way to go in my opinion is to paint on layers and get it done. Watch the videos, they will help.
    Allen H
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    540
    Sorry, I forgot to put that in there. To me the painting part is stuck in my head. Yeah that'd creat airbubbles. I'm just now getting back into mold making so I'm watching your vid's religiously :P


    Good luck on the piece.
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Western KY
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    It is a little thick in some places but out of necessity. I had to build up the nose area because I was exposing the foam head when I tried to do the slits. The respirator cartidges weren't all clay either, they were built on oversized plastic bottle caps (I believe they came from Gatorade bottles). Even so, the clay seemed kind of thin in most places and things like the holes in the bottom actually pushed into the head itself.

    As for breathing I had already planned on cutting the slits in front out. I had also considered using the respirator cartridges for ventilation as well.

    Frightener, thank you for the offer. This mask is actually being made exclusively for my character at the haunted house I work at, but if this goes well I plan on making some other masks that I would be open to selling copies of.
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    540
    Sounds good. I'll keep an eye out for 'em.

    I don't have a lot of room yet to try all these projects! Love Allen's videos but good gawd, I don't have the space for all the stuff I wanna start on haha.
     

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