As a long-time classic POTA fan, ever since I stumbled upon Jessica's Cornelius thread http://www.therpf.com/f24/cornelius-planet-apes-120680/ I've been itching to sculpt my own Cornelius mask. I haven't had the time, but I've come up with a project that will allow me to create two separate foam latex gorilla masks inspired from the Planet of the Apes. Although I did want to do Cornelius, gorillas are awesome so I'm pretty stoked about it (not to mention that unlike a chimpanzee, I can skip having to do the ears). The sculpts will just be generic gorillas, not Urko, Ursus, Marcus, or any specific characters.
The first gorilla appliance will be for myself. Although I'd like to skip any prep and start sculpting from day one, I started off this weekend by doing a functional life mask mold - functional from the sense that the life mask will only be what is on the inside of the foam latex, so it doesn't have to be perfect or smooth. I therefore skipped the alginate step completely and used only plaster cloth. The only prep was rubbing my face generously with petroleum jelly. I did the entire process in about 40 minutes start to finish, applying about 4-5 layers. It was a simple process, so much so that I did everything by myself without any assistance.
I started laying strips on the outside and worked my way in. Obviously, since I was doing everything solo, I saved the eyes for last. I purposely freaked out my daughter and couldn't help but laugh a little, so the whole lower half of my face was already loosened and dry before I even got to the eyes. I admit I didn't let my eyes dry for long enough, so after I peeled off the mold I had to touch the eye area up a bit with plaster, but only to help with the separation process, as the eye area is irrelevant.
The green lines above represent a secondary step where I added to the cast - adding plaster cloth (folded in double layers) to the space above my hairline in order to increase the volume of the casting pour. This was an easy solution that allowed me to have the volume I needed while skipping the head wrapping when casting.
The interior will be sprayed with liberal coatings of Krylon clear gloss sealer, and then tomorrow night I'll wipe the interior with petroleum jelly and pour the positive cast in plaster paris. Lord willing, Tuesday night I'll begin the sculpting process with sculpey. In the mean time... I'll be gathering plenty of gorilla reference pics.