Another deadmau5 head...

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by soapberry, May 7, 2012.

  1. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    This thread will be documenting my build of a replica deadmau5 head. I know this has been done a few thousand times but I've figured I'll make one that's all pretty with lots of lights and such.

    I began researching this in September (2011), and have only recently begun the actual construction so here's the little that I have so far done.

    Any feedback is welcome. :)

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    These are the drawings I have been using as reference along with some of the many pictures of the heads.
     
  2. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    First off I made the ears. To do this I made a drawing of them on Illustrator and printed it out, this was so the ears would be symmetrical.

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    I used this as the base to make the masters for the ears from MDF.

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    The little squares at the bottom are so the ears can slip into the head.

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    Yes, they do look like toilet seats.

    Fibreglass moulds have since been made but I've not got photos, I'll upload them soon.
     
  3. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    Next I started work on the main piece of the head. I wanted to get a perfect sphere so I ordered in a hemisphere that was the exact size from the drawings.

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    I filled this with plaster so when I vacuum formed it it wouldn't warp with the heat, and if it did I would still have something to work from. It did warp with the heat, so I've been working on it with car body filler (bondo) to make it nice and smooth.

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    Since these photos were taken I've vac-formed over the hemispheres to make up the thickness lost. More updates coming soon.
     
  4. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    Not as much progress has been made in the past week due to being busy with other projects, but I got the molds for the ears finished and the first mold from hemisphere has been made as well.

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    Fibre glass mold with MDF supports on the back.

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    Mold released from the former, hoping to take casts early next week.
     
  5. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    [​IMG]

    The hemisphere with PVA release agent on it ready for molding.

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    First gel coat of resin, not a pretty sight.

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    Second gel coat of resin, definitely not a pretty sight.

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    Fibre glass applied with a support on the back, finished fibre glassing the hemisphere since this picture was taken. Ready for round 2 tomorrow.
     
  6. SampleName

    SampleName Well-Known Member

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    This looks real promising. I look forward to seeing what you end up with!
     
  7. Detravoid

    Detravoid Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow nice. I had a similar thought of going this approach for my mau5 head but it's definitely more work as opposed to the hamster ball/ acrylic globe method. I'm excited to see the end result to this. Good Luck!
     
  8. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    Thanks, I was looking into using an acrylic globe but the cost of importing it was huge, and I saw that quite a number of folk had been complaining about them cracking after a few weeks.
     
  9. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    [​IMG]

    One cast, coated with PVA release agent.

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    First fibre-glass ear cast. I heat bent some acrylic to make handles and fibre-glassed them onto the back of the casts to help release them.

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    The two sides of one of the ears complete, really happy with the result. Just need to tidy them up, trim off the excess and drill out some holes for LEDs before they'll be ready to join.
     
  10. The Ronin

    The Ronin Well-Known Member

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    Oh, wow! That's going to be super lightweight, and nice and strong. When I saw the MDF ears, I thought you were crazy!

    Subscribed to see the finished results.
     
  11. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    *Pictures taken on my phone, not great quality.

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    Released the mold from the master, was an interesting process to get it off.

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    The mold wasn't coming off without a fight, so it was drilled onto this and hit off with a mallet and a scrap of timber.

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    Sadly plasterhead smashed in two. :(

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    But it''ll all be fine, applied the gel coat and fibre-glass backing, hoping to get it off at some point tomorrow.

    More to come.
     
  12. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    Haha, wearing one with MDF ears would certainly build up your neck muscles. But yeah, the casts are superlight. Hoping that it will be able to be worn out without injury. :)
     
  13. DarkJedi1500

    DarkJedi1500 Well-Known Member

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    Im assuming you are making a hard shell mau5head like the newer ones Joel wears? Looking good so far. I really like the ears.

    For the head, is there a reason you did not go with a acrylic sphere? I've had really good luck with them in the past so Im curious about your choice of materials.

    What is you plan for the visor?
     
  14. The Ronin

    The Ronin Well-Known Member

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    I believe that should answer the question.
     
  15. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    Yeah I'm making one from fibre-glass so that it's light and strong.

    There are three main reasons for avoiding the spheres, I'd seen a few folk saying that they started to crack after a few weeks, and from my experience with acrylic it that makes sense because it is pretty brittle, it was looking like it would cost me over £100 to import one, and I wanted molds that I could keep so if I ever wanted to make another I wouldn't need to order a lot of materials.

    I'm undecided what I want to do with the visor, but I think I'll probaby end up drilling a pattern into some styrene and bending it around to shape.
     
  16. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    There's been quite a bit of progress since my last update, been really busy so only just getting around to this now.

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    First hemisphere cast, added some handles to be able to move the cast slightly and shot in some comressed air and the cast popped right out.

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    Repeated the process for the other half, annoyingly the gel coat of resin started to release in a few areas while I was applying the glass-fibre matting, but it's turned out to not be as big an issue as I worried it might be.

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    After both the casts were made I trimmed them down with a dremel.* I also trimmed the ear casts along with the hemispheres.

    *Trimming/sanding fibreglass is horrible, not to be done without a respirator, safety specs, thick gloves, a strong extraction unit and preferably a hoover to get any excess dust that the extraction doesn't get.
     
  17. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    The eyes were made pretty quickly in a few hours. I started by making a template with laser cut acrylic to get the exact shape and size I wanted.

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    This was then packed out with some blue foam and then carved into shape.

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    I left some extra space between the foam and upper edge of the acrylic for the filler.

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    Filler was then applied...

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    ...and sanded back with a long strip of sand paper to get an even finish.

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    This master was then vacuum formed (twice, obviously) in 2mm styrene. I'm using blue styrene because it illuminates nicely with LEDs behind it.

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    These vacuum forms were then trimmed and sanded, the result being to lovely eyes. :)
     
  18. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    I forgot to take pictures of the stage where I was making the hole for the head, but to do it I used a compass a few cm back from the top of a hemisphere to mark out the space, and then trimmed it away using a dremel cutting tool. I've still to tidy it up more with the sanding tool.

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    To make the space for the smile/visor I cut some strips of 1/2mm styrene and taped them in place at first. I used a fabric measure tape to get the smile even and referenced between the drawings and pictures to see what looked best. After I was happy I taped the styrene into place so that it wouldn't move and sprayed around it to mark out the smile, and then cut it out with a dremel.

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    After I had cut out the smile I attached this to the other hemisphere. I used super glued large strips of styrene to the inside of one half and then positioned it into the other to get as even a join as possible. Someone else had to hold the hemisphere in place while I applied the super glue and zip kicker because the styrene was causing it to shift slightly. After the strips were applied and the two halves were joined I fibre-glassed over the inside join to give extra strength to the join.

    Note- The smile is still to be further refined, that as well as the lip should be completed next week.

    That's all for now. :)
     
  19. LazyT747

    LazyT747 Member

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    Looking good. It's nice to see people go all out and take their time on projects like these instead of half assing it.

    Keep up the good work, looking forward to the eyes lit up.
     
  20. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    Not updated for a while because I've been insanely busy, so the last three weeks of work is all going up now...

    After joining the two hemispheres together the join had to be filled in and smoothed over to look like a lovely sphere. To do this I used large amounts of car body filler. It took about two days solid of applying filler and sanding back with the occasional coat of primer to get the head to a satisfactory smoothness. Filler was applied all over the head because I wasn't happy with some small divots on the top. To smooth it off I used long strips of folded sand paper and worked through the grits, in a similar fashion to how the eye pattern was smoothed off.

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    After doing a load of filling I used a red filler primer to fill in any small holes that were left.

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    Redmau5

    Next post coming shortly...
     
  21. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    Next up came making the lip. I made some quarter circle templates with illustrator, mounted them to some 1mm styrene and cut them out. This is the template...

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    ...only it was the correct size.

    To give the styrene something to locate onto, some small pieces of foamex were superglued to the inside around the lip rim.

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    The styrene lip was then glued onto the foamex pieces first and then to the head itself, obviously gluing along the inside because superglue is disgusting stuff if its on the outside.

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    The exterior of the head around the lip was then smoothed over to fill in any gaps, using body filler again.

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  22. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    To make the visor I made a template to laser cut, then assemble and fill with foam...

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    ...like this.

    The excess foam was taken away with a surform, with chunks also being removed with a scalpel.

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    This was then filled over with some bondo, and sanded back with a long strip of sand paper like the eye and hemispheres were.

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    I'd thought of a clever little way to make securing the pattern for sanding easier...

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    ...simple but effective.

    This master was then vacuum formed. I seem to have lost the pictures of it just after it was vacuum formed, so I'll skip a step.

    Templates were made up, again on illustrator to try and keep the holes on the visor evenly spaced. They were taped onto the form and drilled out.

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    With all the holes drilled out...

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    Then with the visor cut out...

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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  23. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    Ears with the LED holes cut out, placed into the re-primed head. More sanding was to follow.

    At this point I abandoned the project and instead made Pacman.

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    The Pacman yellow was actually another filler primer.

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    Working out eye placement here.

    Some final sanding and filling. As it was just very small holes used I started to use plasto model putty. It's pretty crap until you get about half way through the tube when it becomes brilliant stuff that sets in a few minutes. Until that time however it comes out as a weird liquid that doesn't set for hours.

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    Eye circuits hot-glued in place, access points on the inside.

    The eye vac forms were then superglued in place. As super glue is awful stuff I couldn't just use if from the tube. A medium density superglue was put inside a hypodermic needle (don't share needles), then gently and slowly run around the edge of the eye.

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    This was the result, one super bright LED that made an eye with a pupil and cornea.

    And then the eyes were masked off for painting.

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    More coming very soon...
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  24. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    I've been neglecting to photograph the ears very well for some reason. But anyway, few stages skipped here. The ears had the holes drilled out for the LEDs, were primed and had a first coat of matt black paint. The LEDs were then all installed and wired. After that came the very tedious stage of masking off the LEDs to spray the ears. 128 LEDs to mask, great fun (if you can employ a friend to do half the LEDs as I did, it will save a hell of a lot of time, and your sanity).

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    As you can see, the two halves have been joined. To do this glued some small pieces of foamex to the inside of the front half of the ears and drilled a hole through it for a self tapper (tiny screw) to fit into. A hole was then drilled into the back on the other half of the ear to join them together. The edge was then smoothed over with some body filler in certain areas.

    After the ears were joined and everything masked off, they were sprayed black and after that had set I sprayed a heavy dark blue mottle over them.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Rdmaul

    Rdmaul Well-Known Member

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    Finally a Deadmau5 Build that someone took the time and effort to make it right! This is awesome
     
  26. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    Now that the head was smooth with eyes attached and masked, it could be sprayed. I used a matt cobalt blue (I think it was cobalt) as the main coat.

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    This was then covered with the same dark blue mottle as the ears before it were.

    The visor was primed, and then sprayed black. Very simple stuff.

    [​IMG]
     
  27. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    I had hoped to have some EL wire on the head, but it didn't arrive in time. But everything for the LEDs did arrive in time...

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    The LEDs respond to an equalizer with a microphone attachment, so the LEDs will respond to whatever music is playing around it. It looks pretty cool when it's in full flow.

    Unfortunately there wasn't time to de-bug the system, so the 5th row of LEDs stayed on regardless. This isn't much of an issue however and it will be resolved soon enough.

    There is a helmet in there so it is wearable, it is held in place with some PVC piping and some filler. I think it's a bit heavy so I'll be removing the helmet and the filler to cut away some weight from the helmet and then putting it back in, probably with milliput but maybe fibre-glass. I've also decided I don't like the colour or finish of the eyes, thought the glossy styrene blue would look nice but it just looks odd. Going to make it white.

    So not 100% finished yet, but almost.

    Apologies for the poor quality of the images, going to get some much better ones and some video when everything's done.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  28. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    Thanks Ryan, there's definitely been a lot of time and effort put into this.
     
  29. Crank729

    Crank729 Sr Member

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    Now THIS is a Deadmau5 head!
     
  30. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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  31. Jeepychan09

    Jeepychan09 New Member

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    I like how it lights up, nice job. Love some Deadmau5
     
  32. Liquid Wolf

    Liquid Wolf New Member

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    great job, i am planning on making a replica like this for a project in school and the information and pictures are very useful. i just wanted to ask about how much did you spend getting all the items together for making it? (not counting the tools) and where can i find illustrator??
     
  33. soapberry

    soapberry New Member

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    Hey Liquid, most of the materials were available at my college so I couldn't give an accurate price for them, but fibre glass matting and resin aren't to expensive if you get them from a wholesalers rather than somewhere like Halfords. Styrene is dirt cheap if you get larger sheets of it, so if you have access to a vacuum former then you're fine. I used lasercut acrylic in a few places to save time (which was about £20 worth of acrylic) but that's not necessary. The dome was about £50, and the electronics came to over £200. Hope that helps.
     

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