Fiberglass/Resin Molding of helmets

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by vampyregodz, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. vampyregodz

    vampyregodz New Member

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    Hey guys

    I recently got my hands on several kellogs helmts that i dismantled and corrected the frown, chin, fin back of helmet etc in clay over the reworked kellogs helmet....now I want to make a few for myself and if they come out well for rpf members...I want to do them as a 1 piece bucket for those with larger heads like me, as I just recently spent several hundred dollars on an incredible episode II clone bucket that is a 1 piece and i believe resin that gets to my forhead before the cheeks of the bucket sinch my head...

    anyway i am looking for the best way to make a mold of the bucket and cast it and i am not sure if i should use resin or fiberglass or some other plastic etc you guys may recommend... help me rpf you are my only hope...
     
  2. vistaVision

    vistaVision Well-Known Member

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    The first consideration you have is the whole "recasting" issue. I don't know how folks here will feel about this, you have started with a commercially available product, yet you have taken it apart and have made what sounds like considerable mods and improvements. Of course, making one for yourself should be no big deal, but for others... I don't know. Will be interesting to see the response of other RPF members.

    Otherwise, look into making a silicone RTV mold, with an outer "mother mold" of fiberglass or hydrocal. I'd imagine you could then brush in a gel coat and then lay down a layer or two of fiberglass and resin for a one-piece casting... There are plenty of tutorials and info available on the net regarding this type of stuff.

    Good luck, and post some pix.

    Marcus
     
  3. vampyregodz

    vampyregodz New Member

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    I really wouldn't consider it a recast as i just used the kellogs for a base and to space it for the size of my head LOL my hat size is a 9 I just figured if someone had a monster head like me I would be happy to help them out at cost not to make money or a huge run as i don't have time for stuff like that..

    But basically its a custom sculpt as its entirely clay visible not an ounce of Kellogs bucket is showing honestly if i had another mask to use for the base that was generic I would have used that...I just know with the clone helmets to be done right they are not vacuformed its a solid pour this the question...but i do appreciate the concerns.
     
  4. vampyregodz

    vampyregodz New Member

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  5. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Do you have any WIP pics?
     
  6. vampyregodz

    vampyregodz New Member

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    no but i will take some this week
     
  7. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hi all

    I want to start into custom sculting/molding and fgíng myself and already ordered all need stuff (which is pretty pricey :eek).

    I remember a great video tutorial from a companies site, showing al steps of moldmaking, adding a mother-shell and laminating in fg.

    Anybody who remembers the link?

    Thanks in advance, Markus :)
     
  8. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    How's the helmet coming along?
    Any WIP pics yet?
     
  9. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Received my clay, tools, epoxy resin, fg-mattings etc. yesterday :)

    Let...the gaaaaames...BEGIN :D

    Markus
     
  10. NEKROFANATIC

    NEKROFANATIC Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I don't see it as an issue at all. Its a frickin' thin, cheap, plastic helmet given out free with cereal to start with. Then the crap helmet is modded out to the nth degree. Ain't no casting of the helmet as far as I'm concerned.
     
  11. TK1536

    TK1536 Sr Member

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    I'm beginning this process as well. My plan is to coat my sculpt with silicone, then back it with fiberglass. I'll leave the head opening open, and lay in gelcoat/fiberglass mat to create a one-piece helmet.
    Check out progress pictures here

    Any advice or places to purchase materials would be appreciated.
     
  12. trekkieb47

    trekkieb47 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome work on that Clone Trooper armor.
     
  13. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Sweet looking Ep 3 helmet. :thumbsup
     
  14. clonesix

    clonesix Sr Member

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    I know a little about helmet/mold making, and if you don't mind, I'd like to throw in a nickel's worth of free advice.

    I get the impression from reading your post that you want to make a one piece helmet by using a one piece mold.

    I recomend that you make a two piece mold and lay in the fiberglass in two halves. Once this has set-up, then put the mold together and apply a fiberglass seam. If you try and lay resin and fiberglass into a "bucket" mold, you will have to reach your arm into the opening to get the FG in there. 1) this fills the only hole with you arm and prevents you from seeing what you are doing. 2) Since you can't see where you are putting the fiberglass, you will get lots of air pockets in the lay-up. 3) you wil end up with as much resin on your arm as you have in the mold.
    I will try and post some pics when I get to my home computer.
     
  15. Goldenrod

    Goldenrod Sr Member

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    Can i get a copy of this tutorial as well? And maybe some pics??
    I am working on a Republic commando sculpt and would like to use your technique to mold it when i'm done sculpting it. Your Ep2 clone helmet looked great. Is this the way you moldeed them?
    Thanks.
    Goldenrod
     
  16. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Can I get the tutorial as well :)
     
  17. clonesix

    clonesix Sr Member

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    pm me your email address and I will send it out to you.


    Here are a few pics of the process. This is the final mold. I decided to make the mold in three pieces in order to put the seem lines in inconspicuous places. I wanted the dome in one piece and not have to clean it up.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Goldenrod

    Goldenrod Sr Member

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    Got the tutorial. Thanks Jon.
    Quick question...you did 2 molds of it? One with a plaster jacket and one with a fibergass jacket? Or did you just replace the plaster with the fiberglass? because of the wieght?
    -goldenrod
     
  19. jordankarr

    jordankarr Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the tutorial, I second the question asked above.
     
  20. clonesix

    clonesix Sr Member

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    Yes, I made two molds. The first (plaster) mold (documented for the tutorial) was a mold of the clay sculpt. A few fiberglass copies were made and those copies were Bondo'd clean. They were experimented with until I got to the one, final version you see above.

    I made the second (fiberglass) mold to produce clean copies that required no bondo work to clean them up.

    Yes, the fiberglass is lighter.

    Please note: I use water clay in the process. Water and resin don't mix. The clay had to be sealed very well with several coats of lacquer, and then several coats of PVA.
     
  21. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Thanks Jon , got the tutorial.
     
  22. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hi again...

    Like I wrote before, I´m in the process of creating an imperial/ coruscant guard costume (taken from the Luke action figure) and I still have a few question reg. sculpting/molding/casting the helmet and armor pieces...

    People are telling me that the first mold/cast should be made of plaster, then cleaned up and remolded for the final fg-work. Does this mean:

    - I´d have to make the MOLD out of plaster (instead of silicone)?
    - I´d have to make the mold out of silicone, but with a plaster mothermold?
    - I´d have to make the mold out of silicone, but then POUR plaster into it?

    May sound like a dump question, but I´m confused :/
    I started to sculpt the shoulder armor and want to do the helmet next. I was able to get the surface of the shoulder bell pretty smooth but would rather clean up a first pull and remold it.

    Could anyone of you help me please by explaining all the neccessary steps?
    I already searched the internet but still have these questions...ALL info is
    much appreciated.

    Thanks, Markus
     
  23. clonesix

    clonesix Sr Member

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    Markus,

    I will try and answer your question as best possible, but keep in mind that to give you all the information you need would fill several pages, and all you are getting here is the Reader's Digest version.

    It would help if you posted a picture, but I am going to guess that you are making the blue royal guard? Either way, a helmet is a helmet.

    To all you questions: yes, dependining on what you want and how much you have to spend. I know that doesn't help much, so read on.

    What I think they mean by "make the MOLD out of plaster," is for you to make a "waste" mold; a mold you only once. So it makes sense to make it out of plaster. A plaster mold is ridged, and depending on the undercuts, will most likely destroy your sculpt. A fiberglass cast is also ridged, and will, most likely, destroy your plaster mold (if you have a lot of undercuts, or detail, you may need to smash the plaster to get ther part out.). In the end, you have exchanged your soft sculpt for a solid fiberglass part. From there, you sand, putty, sand, primer, sand some more... (are you getting the idea that you are going to sand A LOT?) It is just like getting a smooth fender, it's all in how much work you are willing to do.

    After you have sanded everything straight and primered the helmet, you sand it some more with 400 grit, then 600 grit, then 1000 grit. Then give it a coat of wax and buff a shine to it.

    Now that you have a nice shiney helmet, you can either wear it as is, or make a silicone mold.

    Hope that makes sense





     
  24. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Makes total sense to me, thanks...even if I´m less than thrilled to have my original sculpt destroyed after the first pull (I´m afraid of the first pull not being useful :unsure )

    To clarify...I´m not talking about the blue guard, but the Luke IMPERIAL/CORUSCANT guard outfit from the SotE action figure. Know what I mean? So the helmet and armor parts WILL have some undercuts, that´s for sure.

    Did you use kneadable or brushable silicone for your final mold(s)?
    So it´s also possible to make the mothermold out of plaster-bandages, right?
    What do you make the very first pull of?...FG, resin or plaster as well?
    Will this first pull be SOLID of HOLLOW?

    Many thanks for your input. :thumbsup

    Markus
     
  25. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Just checking your progress pics again , the new Cody stuff you added looks great :thumbsup :thumbsup
     
  26. TK1536

    TK1536 Sr Member

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    Thanks. I need to pick up some polyester resin and fiberglass mat this week to get started on casting the helmet. That's the big hurdle.
     
  27. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Could anybody please answer the remaining questions I posted?

    Thanks, Markus :)
     
  28. TK1536

    TK1536 Sr Member

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    One way or another, I'd recommend covering your sculpt/model with silicon. Then back that with either fiberglass or plaster as your mother mold, either in two or three parts. Remove your model and now you have a master mold with which to make many final casts in your preferred medium. As CloneSix would say, that's the Reader's Digest version.
     
  29. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So it would be possible to pour plaster in the silicone mold (thin-walled to save costs, backed with plaster bandages) and make a solid cast to clean up and prepare for final molding?

    Would I have to seal/prepare the silicone with PVA and wax before pouring the plaster in it?

    Markus
     
  30. TK1536

    TK1536 Sr Member

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    That's exactly what I plan to do this weekend. My clay sculpt is lumpy and needs to be sanded smooth. The plaster will not effect the silicon.
     
  31. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Any pics yet? :)
     
  32. TK648

    TK648 Sr Member

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  33. TK648

    TK648 Sr Member

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    I have been molding and casting for several years never made a case and I mold have a question.

    I see two pour spouts sticking out of the back of the fiberglass jacket
    are these for pouring the silicone into.

    Thanks TK648
     
  34. Firespray

    Firespray Well-Known Member

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    If you still have your tutorial for making a case mold available, I would enjoy reading it as well. Thanks. :)
     
  35. fettster

    fettster Sr Member

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    me too
     
  36. Benkenove

    Benkenove Well-Known Member

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    me too, pm sent.. ..

    Thanks for the help ...
     
  37. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  38. Reactor drone

    Reactor drone Well-Known Member

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    You could also try rotational moulding with those case moulds.Instead of laying up fibreglass inside you just need a mould that can be closed off completely.Pour in the resin and rotate the mould until it has an even coating all over then rotate until the resin has set.

    Obviously you need a fairly viscous resin for this process(and hopefully a fast setting one) but there are specific resins on the market for this type of casting.

    No reinforcing can be added so the resin should be like an ABS plastic when set.BJB F series resins are supposed to be good for this so might be worth thinking about.

    I've only used it for small stuff,Zat gun components but it should scale up alright,they make rainwater tanks with that technique.
     
  39. TK648

    TK648 Sr Member

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    Please point me in the direction of these resins.
    I ask only because I have not come across a resin that
    is viscous enough to cling to a silicone mold and most set up
    to quickly depending on the mass amount that you mix.

    TK648
     
  40. FON

    FON Well-Known Member

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    How did I miss this thread?? Clonesix, anychance I could still get that tutorial?

    Email. (f_0_n@hotmail.com)
     
  41. Reactor drone

    Reactor drone Well-Known Member

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    Haven't tried it yet but BJB's F series resins are supposed to be Ok for this-F-90 has a 6 minute work time 90A hardness and a mixed viscosity of 5000cps.In australia,where I am,the stockist is Barnes .
     
  42. Ultraseven

    Ultraseven New Member

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    I want to do a fiber glass helmet as well. I've just finished a two part silicone mold but I did'nt have any working experience with fiber glass before.
    Did anybody know where can I find or purchase some books or Videos, that can clearly expain the whole process of the work (material I need to purchase, mixing ratio of the substances etc...) of the fiber glass helmet??
    Thanks. :)
     
  43. Reactor drone

    Reactor drone Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any books or videos but my gondor helmet is fibreglass.The first layer I used a mix of polyester resin and car body filler to make a thicker gelcoat,mix the two components thoroughly,then add the catalyst to the specs(usually 1-2% MEKP and a small squeeze of Benzoyl Peroxide).

    I use a disposable varnish brush to apply this mixture to the inside of the mould...good idea to get yourself a box of latex gloves to use when fibreglassing too.Adding a gelcoat really helps avoid air bubbles on the surface of your finished article as well as making an easily sandable surface finish.

    Remember also that fibreglass doesn't like cold weather,the hotter the day the faster it'll set.

    After the gelcoat is set add a layer of polyester resin+catalyst(You'll usually notice a colour change in the resin from greenish blue to brown as the catalyst starts working) with either chopped strand mat(CSM) or woven glass reinforcing-this can be added one half at a time to avoid having wet resin dripping on your hand as you try and do all sides.I pre-cut my chopped strand mat into smallish oblongs(2" by 4") and layed them up in the mould.One the resin penetrates the CSM it can be easily meshed with neighbouring pieces using the brush and stippling will remove air bubbles from the fibreglass.

    On a warm day the resin can be set in 15-20mins so a quick build up of all sides can be done in a couple of hours.

    Acetone is used for clean ups and don't do it indoors unless you want your house to smell like fibreglass for a month :eek:

    I was using about 500ml/1pint of resin overall for my larger components(chest/back armour,helmet,greaves) so they're about 3mm thick
     
  44. Ultraseven

    Ultraseven New Member

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    Hi,
    Thanks your help, your explanation is pretty much help me out.
    But how can I clean up the brush used for working for the resin? And, how much car body filler did I need to use to mix the reins when making the gel coat??
    Beside from car body filler, I heard other people using other subtance for mixing up with resin to make the gel coat, what's the different them and which will have a better result for finish touch for the surface??(for sanding and painting purpose).
    Lee
     
  45. Ultraseven

    Ultraseven New Member

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    I have another question.
    Because I make a two part mold for the helmet (front & rear).
    Which way will have a much better result & easlier, when I making the fiberglass work (combined the two part mold together? Or just just working with them apart, then after I finised the job, stick together them?)
    Lee
     
  46. Big Al

    Big Al New Member

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    I know I'm a few years late on this but could you possibly send me your tutorial?
     

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