First time molding help!

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Jennigirl

Sr Member
So I recently finished a mask sculpt, but I am not sure how to go about molding it.
I've watched the videos online, but I don't have the confidence to do it myself. I've spent hours on this sculpt and I'm afraid of screwing up the molding process and destroying it.
It has been suggested that I remove the ears and mold them separately, but I've never done this before so I'm not sure how to do that efficiently. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Heck if you're in central florida I would be grateful for any hands-on help you could give as well.
 

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udog

Active Member
I see no reason for removing the ears.
Anyway, you could make a mold of something else to test before molding your sculpt.
A rubber ball for example, or a fast water based clay sculpt or whatever, with cheap normal plaster.
Of course if you could make your fist mold with someone else who knows, it would be great.
 

clonesix

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
How you mold it depends on what you want the final product to be. The rule of thumb is flexible cast/ rigid mold, and rigid cast/flexible mold.

You say a "Mask" sculpt? Would I be correct in guessing that you will cast latex into this mold? That is a 'flexible' material, so a rigid mold made of gypsum would be the way to go. If I am wrong here, please clarify.

The critical thing with any mold of any type is the parting line, to divide the two halves of the mold for casting. In this case, the reasonable line would be along the sides of the neck, along the outside of the ears, and across the top of the head, thus separating the front from the back.

Here is an issue with parting lines that I can't determine by your photo: If the sculpt is soft and would deform under its own weight, it cannot lie down for forming the parting line and will have to remain vertical. If the sculpt is solid enough to lie on its back, then you can build clay up to the parting line for molding. Building a vertical wall for a parting line is more difficult but not impossible. It just takes more planning and support.

I like to use water clay for the parting lines, as it is easy to work with and it is cheap and disposable. The clay is brought up to the parting line and a nice, flat surface is smoothed out for the two halves of the mold to mate back together. How clean the clay meets the sculpture will determine how good of casts you will get out of this. the clay should make a clean, 90 degree contact with the sculpt. Any variations will produce a flashing of cast material to be trimmed.

Lastly, based on how solid the sculpt is, the clay parting flange needs to be tooled to a clean mating to the sculpt. (meaning a nice flat surface mating at 90 deg. , as mentioned above) If the sculpt is soft, it may deform as you use a tool to apply the parting flange. I couple of coats of sealer (read: Lacquer) will keep the tool from digging into the sculpt and give a clean parting line.

If you are going to do a gypsum mold for latex, it should be done in several layers: A thin, beauty layer, a thicker strength layer, and a final layer backed with fiber ( cheesecloth or hemp)

If I am wrong on the intent, then I will correct my advice. good luck on your project.
 

Jennigirl

Sr Member
How you mold it depends on what you want the final product to be. The rule of thumb is flexible cast/ rigid mold, and rigid cast/flexible mold.

You say a "Mask" sculpt? Would I be correct in guessing that you will cast latex into this mold? That is a 'flexible' material, so a rigid mold made of gypsum would be the way to go. If I am wrong here, please clarify.

The critical thing with any mold of any type is the parting line, to divide the two halves of the mold for casting. In this case, the reasonable line would be along the sides of the neck, along the outside of the ears, and across the top of the head, thus separating the front from the back.

Here is an issue with parting lines that I can't determine by your photo: If the sculpt is soft and would deform under its own weight, it cannot lie down for forming the parting line and will have to remain vertical. If the sculpt is solid enough to lie on its back, then you can build clay up to the parting line for molding. Building a vertical wall for a parting line is more difficult but not impossible. It just takes more planning and support.

I like to use water clay for the parting lines, as it is easy to work with and it is cheap and disposable. The clay is brought up to the parting line and a nice, flat surface is smoothed out for the two halves of the mold to mate back together. How clean the clay meets the sculpture will determine how good of casts you will get out of this. the clay should make a clean, 90 degree contact with the sculpt. Any variations will produce a flashing of cast material to be trimmed.

Lastly, based on how solid the sculpt is, the clay parting flange needs to be tooled to a clean mating to the sculpt. (meaning a nice flat surface mating at 90 deg. , as mentioned above) If the sculpt is soft, it may deform as you use a tool to apply the parting flange. I couple of coats of sealer (read: Lacquer) will keep the tool from digging into the sculpt and give a clean parting line.

If you are going to do a gypsum mold for latex, it should be done in several layers: A thin, beauty layer, a thicker strength layer, and a final layer backed with fiber ( cheesecloth or hemp)

If I am wrong on the intent, then I will correct my advice. good luck on your project.
It is for a latex mask. I have ultracal-30 for molding. My biggest issue is that I made it with plastalina clay and it's very soft. It doesn't take much to deform it.
 

clonesix

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
the you may not want to lie it down for the separating flange. It would be better to leave it standing in place, and build the flange around the sculpt. Start by cutting a head shape into a solid piece of Masonite that fits near the profile of the sculpt, and add clay to it for the separating flange.

If the sculpt is really soft, give it a few layers of Crystal Clear as a shell, and be careful when using a tool near the sculpt.
 

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Predatoj

Well-Known Member
Plaster won't deform it. Once its got a few layers on it will hold. Look, you just have to go for it. It takes courage first time but you just have to go for it, its how we all learned. I made mistakes first time. Personally I hate plaster, its unwieldy and kicks when you don't want it to or doesn't kick when you want it to. I prefer synthetic materials, man-made that you can set your watch by. Watch as many youtube vids as you need and just mold the thing.
 

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