Subscribe
  1. NOLAIronMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2013
    Messages
    8
    Sep 5, 2013, 7:57 PM - Questions About Molding Costume/Armor Parts (Beginner) #1

    EDIT (9/12): Found some info for all the other beginners out there! See post #4.

    Hi all. I was wondering if anyone has any good resources, tutorials, or instructions for someone trying to start molding costume/armor pieces?

    Like many here, I'm working on an Iron Man suit (Mk III armor) and am using the cardstock>resin>fiberglass>bondo method. After reading tons of build threads, I've decided I want to attempt to mold the arm pieces to save me some build time since the arm pieces are symmetrical.

    The resources I've found don't really mention "hollow" or "shell-like" pieces, such as all the wearable pieces of the suit. The gauntlet shown here is an example of what I mean:


    (Note that piece does not yet have body filler and blue color comes from dying the resin. I'm not attempting to mold the piece at this state, this is just an example to show what I'm trying to explain.)

    The tutorials that I have found about hollow pieces seem very complicated: Advanced Mold Making Technique: Brush-On Mold of a 3D Hollow Model
    Is this tutorial typical of trying to mold hollow pieces like this? I'm not balking at the work, it just seems more complicated (and potentially expensive) that I anticipated.

    Also, how would one go about molding irregularly shaped pieces like when the helmet is cut apart?

    (I know the helmet typically isn't supposed to be cut until after the body filler stage; I am experimenting with the helmet.)

    I appreciate all and any help.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by NOLAIronMan; Sep 13, 2013 at 1:28 AM.
  2. pew pew RPF Premium Member Kevin Gossett's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2011
    From
    North Texas
    Messages
    3,626
    Sep 5, 2013, 11:28 PM - Re: Questions About Molding Costume/Armor Parts (Beginner) #2

    The guide you linked is pretty much exactly how you would do it. Close off all void with clay and make a brush on mold in two parts with a mother mold. Rotocast the mold to produce a hollow piece. The helmet pieces would be done the same way, except the smaller pieces like the faceplate can be done in one piece.
  3. NOLAIronMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2013
    Messages
    8
    Sep 6, 2013, 9:43 PM - Re: Questions About Molding Costume/Armor Parts (Beginner) #3

    Thanks for the reply.

    How did fingaz mold this neck piece? http://www.therpf.com/f24/iron-man-m...ml#post2180026

    It's a "hollow" piece, but he doesn't seem to have gone through that whole process in the tutorial in my first link.
  4. NOLAIronMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2013
    Messages
    8
    Sep 13, 2013, 1:26 AM - Re: Questions About Molding Costume/Armor Parts (Beginner) #4

    I've been doing some research and found an answer to my original question of molding hollow pieces. I'm going to log the information here for any other beginner that comes upon this thread.

    This builder, XRobots, has awesomely detailed tutorials explaining the process. I'm not sure if he's an RPFer, but he deserves some recognition for all the tutorials and videos he's put out. He calls the pieces "wrap-around" molds. Not sure if that's a standard name or just something he calls it.
    Tutorial for Wrap-Around Molds: XRobots.co.uk - Iron Man MkVI Armour Arm and Leg Silicone Moulds
    Build Index: XRobots.co.uk - Iron Man MkVI Armour

    I've also been following thorssoli's build thread and his blog. He has tons of molding overviews.
    Build Thread: http://www.therpf.com/f24/just-what-...-build-170665/
    Blog: When My Brain Leaks, the Drops Drip Here.

    These resources alone have greatly expanded my knowledge about the molding process, so much thanks to these 2 guys.

    However, I do still have some questions if anyone has experience with the following situations.

    (1) How would I mold these pieces? (The missle pod on the Mk III gauntlet and handplate)



    (As before, the pieces aren't finished yet)

    a) Could I prop the piece up on a dowel and brush the silicon rubber on the top faces?
    b) If I used that method, would I need to do anything to the edges to make them "clean"? Perhaps put clay along the inside edges?

    (2) For molding the faceplate (seen in my first post), if I used the method of brushing the silicon on the piece, what am I supposed to do with the eyes holes?

    (3) Still confused on how I would mold the helm part of the helmet.


    It seems it would be easier if the inside cavity was closed.
    a) Am I supposed to close that cavity?
    b) If yes, What would be the best way to close the cavity?
    c) Similar to question 1, if I brushed the silicon on the piece, how would I need to handle the edges?

    Thanks in advance. I appreciate any help.

    P.S. If XRobots or thorssoli come across this post and want their links removed, please let me know.
  5. RPF Premium Member Looch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2011
    From
    vancouver, BC, Canada
    Messages
    757
    Sep 13, 2013, 4:58 AM - Re: Questions About Molding Costume/Armor Parts (Beginner) #5

    So, you are making molds of your work by using silicone, am I correct? Okay, my two cents is this:
    a-trying to prop the pieces and then paint silicone isn't the best idea, as the pressure from brush strokes will push the piece around. Best to make a clay wall surrounding the piece and then pour in the silicone.Then as it starts to set, you can brush it up to the edges that it might not be reaching.
    b-for the other problem, you create what is known as "flashing". The hole where the faceplate is should be filled(ie:set the helmet on a styro head) and a thin(1/2") amount of clay on it, stopping short of the helmet's edge about 1/4". That's how you'd deal with the eyes as well. Does this help?
  6. NOLAIronMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2013
    Messages
    8
    Sep 14, 2013, 2:55 AM - Re: Questions About Molding Costume/Armor Parts (Beginner) #6

    Looch said: View Post
    So, you are making molds of your work by using silicone, am I correct? Okay, my two cents is this:
    a-trying to prop the pieces and then paint silicone isn't the best idea, as the pressure from brush strokes will push the piece around. Best to make a clay wall surrounding the piece and then pour in the silicone.Then as it starts to set, you can brush it up to the edges that it might not be reaching.
    b-for the other problem, you create what is known as "flashing". The hole where the faceplate is should be filled(ie:set the helmet on a styro head) and a thin(1/2") amount of clay on it, stopping short of the helmet's edge about 1/4". That's how you'd deal with the eyes as well. Does this help?
    Thanks for the response. Yes, the molds would be made from silicone (so used to talking about elemental silicon...).

    Totally understand what you're saying regarding the helmet, thanks for that.

    For the smaller pieces (missile pod and handplate), if I were to do a box mold, how would I handle the "open" areas of the pieces? For example, when the missile pod is laid flat, the back of the piece is open. Would I need to close that in with clay or some other material?

    Would the dowel method work if I glued the piece to the dowel so it was rigidly in place?

Similar Threads

  1. Tips, tricks and questions from a beginner
    Carolus Rex, Replica Costumes
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Nov 27, 2013, 12:20 PM
  2. Beginner Fiberglass Questions
    A Cool Bro, Replica Props
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Oct 13, 2013, 8:33 PM
  3. Replies: 19
    Last Post: Jul 16, 2012, 5:56 PM
  4. Beginner Question on Stormtrooper Armor
    Egon, Star Wars Costumes and Props
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: Apr 22, 2010, 2:54 PM