[MrCaraco]'s 2013 Halloween Costume Contest Entry

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MrCaraco

New Member
This is my first prop/costume/cosplay that I've ever done before. I've always wanted to build my own helmet, props, and finally found the time to try it. For myself I'm a graphic designer that did some furniture design while in school, so I have a little primer in shaping, sanding, and working in 3D. I think the most challenging aspect of this project was all the new techniques that I had to figure out to make this a reality: sculpting, moldmaking, casting, electronics.

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This is my Guy Man project as it stands after the past few weeks.
As was the inspiration for many, Volpin's build really inspired me to try one on my own, since I've always wanted to...

I'm working in my spare time, and have no power tools besides my trusty proxxon, of course.

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cardboard cross sections

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gap filler sprayed and carved

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air dry clay applied over the foam

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Bondo, Spot Putty, Sanding, Repeat!

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"Ear" designs were lasercut from a local shop

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And just about where I am tonight, I've mapped out and applied the layer of clay for the chin, headband, and other flat detail, tomorrow it should be dry and ready to sand, shape, and refine.

Any and all suggestions, tips, or glaring mistakes please do tell, I'd love to hear them.
 
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MrCaraco

New Member
Re: Guy Manuel Build - Look ma, no power tools!

Update on the build, the 'straps' have been put in place and most of the shaping has been done. Also, all the electronics have been ordered! woot!

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The main straps are made of air-dry clay, and then covered in bondo, filler, primer, over and over again filling out some spots, and getting everything shaped correctly.

Two part clays aren't available at any of the stores where I live, so I used air-dry. The problem being that it takes a very long time to dry, as it dries from the outside in. For the most part, this caused some crazy frustration as the clay would appear to be dry, but when I started sanding would sag under the pressure of the block.

Long story short, I'm not going to be using it for anything that is too thick.

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Also started the gloves, because you need em!
 

MrCaraco

New Member
Re: Guy Manuel Build - Look ma, no power tools!

Huge learning days, making my first brush on mold.
I've done simple alginate molds and life castings, but never something quite as complicated as this.

I'm using Smooth-On Rebound 25 (5 layers: 2 normal, 1 thick, 2 normal) and Plasti Paste (2 layers each side, 2 sides)

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First Layer

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Second Layer

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Thickened Layer

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Fifth Layer and Reg pucks

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Final Plasti Paste


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Learning a ton, each time I used the materials, I got a little better at them.
Only four of my 12 registration pucks made it out of their cup molds, the problems being
-Not set enough when the fifth layer was brushed on
-WAY too deep, could be about half that deep to still work fine

One question, when you guys do reg keys, how do you attach them?
Mine were sliding down the face of this thing like mad, I realize they were too heavy and large, but do they also need thickened silicone as a glue, or is the normal unthickened mixture enough, typically?

Can't wait, tomorrow I'm pulling my first cast, the rest of my casting plastic arrives on Wednesday :/
 

Strode

Well-Known Member
Re: Guy Manuel Build - Look ma, no power tools!

beautiful! sorry can't help you in your question as i have never attempted this myself. so far been just a spectator in these helmet builds. you are doing fine work. more pictures please!
 

MrCaraco

New Member
Re: Guy Manuel Build - Look ma, no power tools!

Thanks! Well today was the first cast day, and the results are pretty good, not exactly what I want but pretty good.

First off, I am using plastic I have left over from other projects, Douglass Sturgess InstaCast, which isn't as pourable and is a little old, so that's one thing. My Smooth-On 300 white plastic is arriving on Wednesday (so says UPS) and I'll be casting the rest that day.

So I'm going to post more in-depth, all-round photos on Wednesday night.

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From left, the master sculpt, the first cast, the mold, and the shell

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The first cast, on me. (I'm 5'11", about 140lbs)
As you can see, a little dented, and a little funky, learning though, and the next was already way better.

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The second cast, much smoother, on my father who is 5'4" and much heavier (for reference and size)


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So the casts are pretty okay, the extra reg pucks would come in handy right now, so I'm definitely doing many more, smaller ones next time.
Vacuum forming on Monday/Tuesday (the gloves, necklace, and visors) more casts on Wednesday!
 

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Chaank

Sr Member
Re: Guy Manuel Build - Look ma, no power tools!

Nice work man. I'm from NZ. Thats quite a move you have on your hands. What taking you there if you don;t mind me asking? You'll love it.:cheers
 

made007

Sr Member
Re: Guy Manuel Build - Look ma, no power tools!

Thats way too clean
I need to find a place to engrave the ear piece pattern on mine, keep it up
 

MrCaraco

New Member
Re: Guy Manuel Build - Look ma, no power tools!

Nice work man. I'm from NZ. Thats quite a move you have on your hands. What taking you there if you don;t mind me asking? You'll love it.:cheers

Thanks! I'm actually going because I've got a job offer from a very good design studio in Auckland. I'm ready to move to a new city, but unfortunately the London immigration branch (for NZ, kinda weird) is not being, hmm, supportive at the moment, so we'll see.

Vacuum forming today was a success, I've bought my PETG 1/16" plastic from a place in National CIty, near the Mexican border in San Diego.


This project is great as I'm learning a bunch of new skills, and it's amazing what you can do with what you've got. Here is my vacuum form set-up.
Materials:
-BLICK canvas frame bars
-Staple gun
-masonite board
-foam weather stripping
-PVC elbow, 1" to 1.25"
-blick canvas bars
-normal vacuum cleaner
-tape and hot melt glue to seal the vacuum
-PETG 1/16" clear plastic


I've loosely followed this instructable, which has been invaluable. If anyone needs clarification on anything else I did, please let me know, and I'll elaborate, but the build is fairly straightforward. The plastic went in the oven at 300º for 2-2.5 minutes.


First I destroyed my master, I cut the visor from the sculpt, it's kinda cool because you can see the layers, cardboard, foam, clay, bondo/filler/primer:
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This went straight onto the vacuum former, with washers underneath, directly above the holes for the vacuum.
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Here's a vid of the vacuum in action, sorry, my camera man was a little shaky...
[video]https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=2075826529316[/video]


And here's the mold in the frame, freshly pulled:
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And finally, just a quick cut and test, to see how it fits on me and my pops:
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Tomorrow, I get my plastic and cast the rest of my helmets, can't wait!


I have one question for any of the other builders here. Do you 1) Leave a lip on the helmet cast and put a to-cut visor on top of that or 2) Cut the helmet all the way and have the visor come in behind the helmet from the inside (if that makes sense [it's what I'm doing here for now])
 

MrCaraco

New Member
Re: Guy Manuel Build - Look ma, no power tools!

Today I tried to tint the visors. I found out that Walmart carries Rit dye, so I decided to use that. I found on the Rit website that one bottle of the dye is equal to 2 packets of powder. So I bought three bottles of the dye to attempt it.

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Should've been a thumbs dowwwnnn.... Unfortunately it did not work, and I tested the water up to a temperature until it melted and curled just to see if the plastic would take. It didn't take any at all. I've heard (just now) that the powder affects the tinting differently from the liquid, so I'm going to try again tomorrow.

After that I had a little light left in the day to try the smoothcast 300, which worked quite a lot better.

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So it looks pretty okay, I definitely have a bit to learn as this was my first of any helmet mold before, but each one is workable, you just have to do a bit more effort to get it ready to chrome. Especially on the back, you can see the "handle bar" along the neck is pretty wonky due to the fact I didn't have confidence in the single mold rebound, and made a small cut line in the back where the neck part gets cut out. The other problem is that I have no idea how the back got so narrow as I was doing the master. oh well, I'll be selling a few casts with the visors on the very cheap as they require some more work than others.

Altogether though, I'm very happy with how it's turned out so far.
 

MrCaraco

New Member
Re: Guy Manuel Build - Look ma, no power tools!

Sorry for the lack of update, I've finished my helmet and suit, just in time!
First things first, the cut molds are being primed, bondo'd, and getting ready for final painting.

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Next came the painting. Unfortunately, the chroming places I was quoted from (coat of chrome and creations in chrome) where charging me upwards of $500 for the helmets plus gloves, and a turnaround time of 3-4 weeks, yikes! So what I decided to do was use Alsa's Killer chrome plus candy color. It happened to be on a two day half off sale, so I was able to get it for the cheap. The first coat is their jet black.

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After that came a layer of Mirra Clear

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That was then sanded to 1500 grit and buffed with my drill and buffing attachment.
I then applied the Killer chrome to the body. It came out.... okay...

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It came out pretty good. Not super chrome-y, but nonetheless quite nice.
After that I applied the gold candy color over it.

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WOAH, this thing turned bright orange practically...
The following images are a mix of the killer chrome and mirra clear back over the gold as to tone it down.

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The final color was a kind of Pimp-my-Guy sort of pearlescent gold-silver chroming.
Although it isn't mirror by any means, it is still quite nice.

As for Alsa, the pigmentations and quality of the paint and metal flakes were pretty good. HOWEVER, their rattle cans are really not quite up to par. On their website, they appear to be of a different make and quality, but in person, they were relatively average and required regular fiddling to get them to spray nicely. The candy color was particularly awful. While spray coverage was great, this thing spit like no other. The mirra clear required a longer gassing off than was suggested by Alsa (even after I padded the time significantly) and started crazing pretty badly.

In the end, I settled with getting a can of Dupli-Color gold chrome and sprayed it lightly over the other finish and topped it off with some Deft clear coat (my favorite) Bottom line, if I had a spray unit, I'd consider Alsa for their pigments and solutions, but until they get some better cans, I'd stay away from those IMHO.

WELL back to the build, I coated the glove plates in the duplicolor and assembled them onto some gloves from Sports Authority.

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After this I started working on my thrift store leather finds. The jacket and pants each took 50ft of EL wire for 100ft total.
I used about 340 5mm black pyramid studs, the black looks great on the leather.

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I got my electronics kit from a guy over on the DaftClub website here.

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I need to take a video, but here are a couple photos I took with a friend over in Chinatown in Los Angeles.

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And that's about it, a few photos and a video to come, but after almost three solid months, it's a great feeling to have it done!
 

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MrCaraco

New Member
Re: Guy Manuel Build - Look ma, no power tools!

Took some photos at the local Boomers! here in San Diego.
The arcade has some sweet games that are perfect for a photoshoot.

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MrCaraco

New Member
Amazing work. I've seen tons of tutorials on molding, but yours finally made sense and clicked for me so thank you for that as well :).

Thanks! It took me quite a few times to wrap my head around the moldmaking process. There are so many ways to make molds though, and it still takes me a while to figure each technique.

Here is the proof of my build for the contest.
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