Cantina Band "Bith" Build (Completed!) (Pic Heavy)

Tom Walker

Active Member
Hi Everyone!

I was recently approached about building a Bith mask, gloves and instrument (Kloo Horn).

Although I'm fairly new to latex mask making, I cannot resist a challenge. And being a big Star Wars fan, I knew that I would enjoy building it.

These are the reference images I am using for my build. As far as I'm aware these are one of the screen used props.

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Here's my progress so far...

This is the master sculpt, from which I will make a plaster mold to pour the latex into. I'm just using bog standard air dry clay for the sculpt. Nothing fancy, but gets the job done! ;)

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For the hand molds, I used corrugated card to make a vessel that I could pour the plaster into. I used Vaseline to release the cardboard so that the plaster won't stick.

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I poured the plaster to halfway up the hand, so i could make a two part mold.

I didn't photo it, but i drilled some shallow holes in the top surface of the plaster, when set, that will form locator keys when the two mold halves are put back together.

I then released the top surface of the plaster with Vaseline.

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I then filled the rest of the vessel with plaster.

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Destroying the master clay sculpt is always the heartbreaking part of plaster molds... but all worth it! (assuming that the mold comes out good!).

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The process was repeated for the other hand. They were then cleaned up with water and a scrubbing brush.

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For the head I made a simple clay partition to allow me to make the mold in two parts.

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A first thin coat of plaster was brushed on to the front half to capture the small details.

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I then did a few layers of thicker plaster, just buttered on with a knife.

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I added a layer of wide weave hessian, buttered over with plaster for extra strength.

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I removed the clay partition, applied Vaseline to the plaster, then the process was repeated for the back of the head.

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The mold was then striped from the clay master sculpt and cleaned up.

Next up, pouring the latex... Stay tuned! :D
 
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Doh2

Sr Member
Wonderful job!

I have the Don Post version and here's a tip: to fill out the top of the head, insert some sort of foam rubber padding. Makes for a comfortable wearing experience, too.
 

Tom Walker

Active Member
Thanks for the kind comments everyone!

here's a tip: to fill out the top of the head, insert some sort of foam rubber padding.

Funny you should say that, I was planning on making a dome out of foam sheets to help it keep its shape. (y)

So unfortunately I didn't get any pics of the latex pouring stage as it's pretty messy... Anyway, here is the first Pull from the mold. I packed it out with newspaper to stop the top of the head collapsing in, while the latex vulcanises.

Being still fairly new to liquid latex I thought it would dry more opaque so I could use its colour as a base. I had a quick go at painting it, by running some acrylic paint mixed with latex through my airbrush, but the results were pretty meh... I won't include photos!

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Having plenty of latex I proceeded with attempt 2. This time I mixed some acrylic paint in with it...

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Much Better!

I think the acrylic paint acted as a thixotrope, as I only did 6 layers of latex on this one, as opposed to the 10 on the first one. Yet this one is much thicker and more durable... :unsure:

I then packed it with newspaper and left it to vulcanise.
 

Tom Walker

Active Member
Thanks all! :D

Will you be offering these for sale?

Hopefully, at some point! I want to see how this one goes, then iron out all the little problems I've encountered... ;)

Curious about where the eye holes are.

This brings me onto my next post, haha!

The eyes... They were a pain to say the least...

I'm going to cut out the eyes from the latex and replace them with tinted lenses.

I had several clear hemispheres from another project I was going to use, but the issues came when trying to tint them black. I tried multiple ways such as:

- Heating up window tint to stretch over them, but I either still got wrinkles or melted the tint

- Dyeing them in hot water (after seeing a Punished Props tutorial), but the hot water distorted the plastic and I think I used the wrong dye, as it didn't really take.

- Spray on car headlight tint, but this was too hazy to see through.

- Various glass paints and transparent model paints, but these wouldn't go on nicely. Even through an air brush.

at this point I was becoming impatient from running out of ideas. So in the end I discarded using the clear hemispheres. Instead I built myself a budget vacuum former...

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Just a simple plywood box with holes drilled in and a hole to put a vacuum cleaner nozzle into.

The former was made from resin using one of the clear hemispheres as a mold.

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The material I ended up using was clear PETG (vacuum forming plastic) with window tint applied. I screwed a piece into the wooden frame and put it under the grill until it softened substantially. I placed the former on the vac form box and pressed the heated material over with the vacuum turned on (There's loads of tutorials online if I'm explaining this badly).

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The result was a success! Not a perfect dome, but plenty curved enough to use.
 

Tom Walker

Active Member
I had a go at painting the mask and have surprised myself with how well it worked... :D

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To Paint it I used a 50/50 liquid latex to acrylic paint mix. I then thinned it down with water until I was able to spray it though an airbrush.

I'm a little annoyed the seam line from the mold is still visible, but I didn't want to sand through the latex and make a hole.

I used the mask mold to make patterns, that I could transfer onto foam to make a dome. I then glued it into the head with contact adhesive, before painting. Here's a very exciting photo of it...

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I trimmed the excess material from the eyes and glued them in with super glue. (sparingly and carefully!)

I also decided to sew in a zip for easier access. Turns out sewing onto latex works really well! I used a concealed zip to try and make it look like one of the wrinkles.

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I almost forgot to post them but, whilst making and painting the mask I was of course working on the gloves as well.

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Here they are fresh from the mold.

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And here they are trimmed up and painted.

Next up is looking at making the instrument!
 

harrisonp

Sr Member
Because the seam isn’t super sharp it ends up looking organic, like something akin to a vein in the head, and I honestly doubt the layman is going to notice it with their naked eye. Both pieces came out great
 
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