Hi guys my name is James and I'm new to this trade. I have never done anything like this so I have lots of questions that I would like to find some answers to if possible. The stuff I am into is anything Tokusatsu related (Power Rangers, Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, Masked Rider, Ultraman, etc), Star Wars, Starship Troopers, Comics related (Marvel, DC, Image, Darkhorse, etc), and Video Games (Megaman, Mario, Sonic, Metroid, etc).
01) What is the best clay to use for making props such as helmets, armor, weapons, etc? I read that best I need to look for a non-sulfuric non-drying clay. I am currently using EM-217 WED Clay by Laguna Clay.
02) How do i get the proper measurements for the props ? So far what I am doing is using an image that shows a similar prop that I own and use that to give an estimate and then scale it to my own size.
03) What is the best type of tools to get? i was reading things about stainless Steel tools but is that really needed? So far I have this set of tools for working with clays.
04) Where are the best places to get the parts, and supplies for making our own fan made props ?
05) What is used for the helmet locks on the helmets ? Would I just use standard clasps and then just drill holes to mount them ?
06) what about how to get the two parts of the helmets to stay in place ? is it a hinge, tongue and groove, or a mixture of both?
07) I found a few images for the examples but is there a central location for high resolution images that can be used for prop making ?
I had began working using the small foam heads that beauty shops sell and they don't last for working with clays. I decided to grab another $3.99 foam head and use it for just getting practice on sculpting but the only one i could find is the tilted female model. so this won't be used to make any molds etc. Its just going to be my learning to sculpt head. I know its not smoothed out fully yet but the clay was just too wet to continue to smooth it out so i'm going to let it sit for a few and then go back to it.
So I had started to do research on making a head casting of my own head. Locating all the products locally was impossable in my area of Michigan so for the most part I had to do some traveling to get the stuff.
The supplies that I had bought to do the head casting was
Body Double - Starter Kit
Body Double Hair Release Cream
Gypsona Bandages - 4FT Long x 3" wide (12 Rolls)
5 Gallon Bucket with lid
Plaster Paddle Mixer (Attachment for drill)
Mixing cups various sizes three of each
200 Pounds Hydrocal White (two 100 pound bags)
4 Life casting DVD videos
I finally have gotten the head casting finished with the help of my brohter, his wife, and his best friend. But I have come into a couple of problems with the casting and would like some tips and help on repairing this head mold so that I can make my first poured casting from it so that I can start working on making my helmet.
Here is what I have for the head casting of my own head. This is going to be used to create a full plaster head casting to be used for making making my helmets. Oh and just so people know I am trying to create my own Power Ranger helmets starting with the original Green Ranger (Dragon Ranger) from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (Zyu Rangers).
I am looking for advice on how to clean up the mold properly. as you can see in the first picture (sorry about the posters if anyone finds them offensive.)
These pictures are of the two sections of the head casting mold laying on my bed, and they was also before I noticed I had to add more gypsona bandages to the mold to add more strength in places when you looked at the inside of the mold you could see lighter spots when you place the molds in between you and the light source. The places that I added more gypsona bandages to was the forehead, the right cheek near jaw, and then my left high cheekbone area (I am part Native American Indian).
08) I was also wondering what type of material should I use as a mold release since I have Gypsona Bandages, and a face mask of Body Double (Smooth-On), and I will be pouring Hydrocal White into this mold to make the first casting and I plan to make about 5 pulls from this cast one after another, and then I would like to store the original mold somehow so that I will hopefully never have to do that again (it sucked).
I was told that I can just use vasoline as long as I go heavy on putting the vasoline in to the mother mold and cover it completly using like a brush. But I am looking for more information from someone that has done this stuff more than just someone from a sales help line from where I bought the life casting supplies online.
Thanks guys (and gals) I am sure that I will love this site.