First time molding a helmet. Need advice.

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CaptainChaos

New Member
I've been making armor, jewelry, and art from chainmail and sheet metal and now I'm also making pepakura stuff and a friend wants me to build him a horned battle battle and paint it with a certain football team's colors. I'm super stoked about it!!! But I want to make it a resin casting of my pepakura+resin+bondo helm and I've never tried to mold something before. I've seen TONS of tutorial videos and I feel pretty confidant with the overall process but NOT with what materials/products I should use. I've watched several "first attempt helmet mold" videos, too, to try to look for things to avoid.


I see lots of people using Smooth-on Dragon Skin or other Smooth-on products (for the silicone and the resin) and I've also seen some nice videos with Brick in the Yard Mold Supply's PlatSil-25. Both have great flexibility and last a long time but then I look at the price and just about crap my pants!


When I researched cheaper methods, I found lots of people using hardware store 100% Silicone I caulk (combined with corn starch, paint, and glycerin). Lots cheaper, sure, I'm scared about it tearing or falling apart after 1 casting and I'd like to at least cast another one for me and a different friend. I even read about shrinkage problems after a couple days but that was mostly when people used mineral spirits to thin it out, I think. Anyone here used this method before that can provide some extra details? I know using it for a helmet is going to be harder than just using it for open molding a tiny part. I saw a nice video of someone casting their Magneto helmet this way. Having to cut a big V in the silicone (supported by cheese cloth) makes me nervous though. That's why I loved the elasticity of platsil and dragon skin.


My helmet (Helm of Yngol replica) has horns so a bit nervous about having to cut them off and mold them separate but I can't think of a better alternative.

I was going to mold a pepakura + resin + bondo version but I'm in the process of creating a sculpt of it using Monster Clay. Any suggestions on if it would be better/worse to dehorn and mold my clay sculpt instead?


My friend is waiting on a quote but I'm afraid it's going to be outside his price range if I have to buy a bunch of platinum silicone. If he says it's too much, I'm left with the options of caulk or just building him a helm from pepakura/resin/bondo but I've heard the resin castings hold up so much better and longer so I'd love to give him the best possible product. And getting the experience of molding stuff (which I've been wanting to do anyway) would be awesome.


Any advice is welcome. Anyone have any favorite silicones or resin that they'd recommend?


TL;DR - I'm building my first mold and platinum silicone is crazy expensive. What is cheaper that I can get away with until I can afford this stuff?
 

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