Sep 26, 2012, 9:05 PM - How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
Does anyone have any videos, or instructions on how to make one of these?
I'm kind of limited as to how I do this, as the only thing I really seem to be able to find is doing it with alginate, and doing that myself is impossible. My fiance doesn't feel comfortable handling this by herself.
Sep 26, 2012, 9:28 PM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
You could use the poor man's method of using plaster-strips.. You basically put plaster-strips around your head (just do one half at a time; in the end put both halves back on and mark the edges on one side on the other and cut the excess). You can then press clay into the two halves. Or depending on how accurate you need it to be you could also take a styrofoam-head with clay on it, enough so that the seams of both halves meet and seal them with another strip (basically this adds x-anount of cm to the circumference of your head, depending on how many layers of strips you used)
Alginate is the best method but you won't be able to do this alone..
I'm pretty sure the experts here will come up with better methods though..
Sep 26, 2012, 9:53 PM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
I'm looking more for a permanent bust of myself, up to an including my shoulders. I see alot of sculpters using these to sculpt masks on to them, and they look like stone. This way the tools don't scrape into the form while sculpting.
Sep 26, 2012, 10:12 PM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
When you say bust you mean....all the way around in 3 dimensions or just the front half?
Sep 27, 2012, 12:05 AM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
If the end result is stone, you HAVE to do a full head life cast with algenate. The thickness you get from algenate is the only thing that will hold the weight of the stone while its setting, and even then, you have a 10% or so chance of collapse, and algenate is a one time use unless you are very familiar with it. But no matter what, you have 3-4 hours max to make a cast before the algenate is junk.
Going from experience, a stone head is great, but its extremely heavy, and harder to key properly because you really cant add dimension to it easily. Great for helmets, but lacking for masks, especially if they go to the shoulders.
I would suggest going with the monstermakers head form for 55$, unless you are going for 100% your head. If you are, the best bet would honestly be a silicone full head life cast, the casting material would be fiberglass, filled with ridged foam. I know from previous posts that you don't like bondo much, but its really the best method. Since a silicone lifecast is lighter than an algenate one, you can mix bondo with fiberglass resin 50/50 and rotocast the head out of the lifecast, you don't need any matt for this, just give it 2 coats and fill with ridged foam, and that things going to last forever, and any damage down the road can be quickly fixed with a little bondo
Sep 27, 2012, 12:10 AM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
a lifecast is never something to do by yourself. If you dont have at least 1 person doing the work then its very easy to at the very least screw up your mold but also potentially injure yourself.
as violentevo said, a pre-made armature would be your best bet for starting out. You can get these from CFX, Monster Makers, Brick in the Yard, and I'm pretty sure that there are other people that make them as well.
Sep 27, 2012, 8:01 AM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
My entire head, to half shoulders.
I'm looking for a permanent solution, like sculpters use. If the stone is too heavy, then is there a way to get a lightweight permanent cast with foam?
I now have 3 pairs of hands offered up to do this, so alginate and plaster bandages are a go.
Sep 27, 2012, 8:51 AM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
I actually did this with alginate and a slush cast of smoothon, and backfilled with foam. Made for a REALLY light bust and still strong enough to take on sculptor's tools. I wrote up a tutorial on another board; I'll post it here later today.
Sep 27, 2012, 9:14 AM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
AWEEEEESOME. Can't wait! =)
Sep 27, 2012, 9:16 AM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
I'm VERY surprised that the moisture in the alienate didn't mess with the casting, or retard the process so long, making slush impossible.
Sep 27, 2012, 9:18 AM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
Post is up.
And ironically, I had discussed the problem we had with moisture already! It only reacted with one of eight castings, and that was the one we dove in immediately and started slushing with. The REST of them, which we set to the side and worked with about 1-2 hours later, worked just fine. I suggest padding with a towel or airbrush, or just letting it rest for a bit.
Sep 27, 2012, 9:31 AM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
I really don't want to confuse anyone by going back and forth, but to every reading this, you NEVER let algenate rest. As soon as it sets on the persons face/arm/body part, it begins to lose water, as it looses water, it shrinks, and not uniformly for the most part. When you are experienced with the medium you can do some things that you are normally told not to do, but waiting to cast the algenate is NEVER one of them.
That being said. A headform isn't about detail, its about close proportion, and not dead on, so the method works for this. and example of shrinkage rates. The shrinkage that occurs in the first 45-60 minutes is minimal. second hour will still line up with what you are doing, but the edges will have pulled in by almost and 1/2 inch. 3 hours the the edgs have no pulled in over an inch and the material is becoming leathery, and cracks where it once was pliable. 5 hours, hard as a rock These examples are for most algenate, there are some with retarded longevity times, or shorter, depending on their purpose.
Sep 27, 2012, 10:55 AM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
Yes--to clarify, we did these in a batch. Three livecasts, set the alginate in its plaster casing to the side after each. Each took about 1 1/2 hours, so the first one was sitting for only 4 1/2 hours before we started slushing. I took measurements and the alginate shrinkage was negligible at best. Of course YMMV.
EDIT: Also, YMMV with the type of alginate you use. You definitely want to use it within the first few hours of its casting, but at the 4 1/2 to 6 hr mark... my alginate molds were still pliable and stretchy, NOT leathery as evo describes. The type I used was Alja-Safe.
Last edited by booksandcorsets; Sep 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM.
Reason: added para
Sep 27, 2012, 11:22 AM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
I'm used to working with dental grade algenate for everything, which can set in less that 2 minutes if room temp water is used. The reasoning that such a fast setting algenate is used is because of how common freakouts happen, even cutting off 5 minutes can can be the difference when it comes to a good vs a ruined cast because of facial movement or freaking out. Also why i use fast set plaster bandages, because when you put some salt in the water, the set time is cut in half.
Dental is faster setting, same level of detail, is stiffer but as pointed out, doesn't last long. But all my lifecasts go straight from the persons face to being prepped for casting, 10 minute wait at the most. If i plan on a wait, or need a specific casting material i use silicone. Not to mention, if you are making silicone prosthetics and the head becomes sulfur contaminated somehow you can make another one to the exact same dimensions since you still have the lifecast sitting around in workable condition. Some of the downfalls of dental is the fact that it requires much more water, and is constrantly "wet" which means your casting options are limited, but because of the extra stiffness the chance of seepage or collapse is greatly reduced
Sep 27, 2012, 11:33 AM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
Interesting! Yea, totally different materials then which is why I could wait for the sweat/moisture on the inside to evaporate enough for slushcasting. It wasn't the most fun being under for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
In another one of the threads here a suggestion was made to heat up Monster Clay and pour THAT in the alginate mold, resulting in a head you could tool and correct imperfections on before then casting in silicone. Next time I do this I'm definitely going to go that route; you could easily fix nose/lips areas where the straws were.
Sep 27, 2012, 12:08 PM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
Thatss a standard clay pour, moisture doesn't matter, so it doesn't matter what kind of algenate is used. I'm used to doing this with chivant soft, exact same principle. Any time you need a realistic head, but don't want to spend the days sculpting it, this is the way to go. Lifecasts always have closed eyes, and generally closed mouths, so clay pour is the only option to be able to fix those things, and its a lot easier to match features for eyes and mouths when the rest of the detail is already there.
While sculpting a human head takes skill, it generally isn't cost effective because of the amount of time it takes, especially when the finish result is silicone, because all pours and skin textures need to be perfect before molding. In these situations a clay pour could save a day or 2 of sculpting.
Of course if you are doing a specific head, and there is no chance of a lifecast sculpting is the only option, Jordu Schell is a great example of specific without clay pours, but he can take all the time he wants because he works for himself, and isn't under an FX shop.
he also only works in WED clay, so clay pours are impossible.
There are some situations where someones head has to be sculpted to the exact dimensions in a shop, but usually thats only because an actor refuses to do a lifecast *rare, but it happens* I used to have a list of them, i think Dan Aykroyd is on it, but it's been a while.
Sep 27, 2012, 3:37 PM - Re: How to get a self cast bust for sculpting masks etc on?
Thanks, evo! I'm far from an expert on the livecasting so always interested in learning a bit more for the next time I tackle it. For my purposes the slush worked just fine, and we were able to putty in any mistakes pretty simply. Eventually I might want to do it again to get a perfect pull.
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