My silicone mask project

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asclives

New Member
I've seen a lot of these silicone mask threads posted about here, though I thought I'd add my own work into the throng, and maybe get some advice or feedback from it.

My aim with this project was to emulate the effects and looks of the masks made by companies such as Immortal Masks and Real Skin. I'm doing all this for my final project at uni where they have given us $500 (aussie dollars) to research and make a thing. I chose silicone masks. Here are my processes so far.

I suppose I firstly need to apologise for the sideways-ness of my photos. They all seem to just upload this way (the wrong way). I cant work out how it's fixed :(
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I started with this artist bust, provided to me by a friend. She said it was bought from http://dalchem.com.au/. I feel that it may be a cast of the monster makers bust, though im not complaining.

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From my reference images and research it seemed that the lack of shoulders on this bust was going to be a problem so I filled in the space with WED clay, readying it for molding.

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I cast the piece in soft plaster and began reducing the form. George Frangadakis mentions this in a Tested.com video on the subject. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVws0ryS3-E

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When it had the right shape I began smoothing with topping coat material and sanding back for a smooth finish.

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Finally i gave the whole thing a layer of spray putty and a sanding with 1200 grit paper. Silky!


.....

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asclives

New Member
With the shape sorted I had to mold the thing to produce more stable copies.


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Here's the clay wall to start the process.


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I gave it a laer of gelcoat, chopped strands then 2 layers of glass, to be finished with some glass tissue.


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On the other side I did a clay matrix - it might look a little dirty as the clay is reused form the previous steps involving clay.

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Here's a nice clean matrix

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I poured some flexible polyurethane rubber into the matrix, while my classmates plugged the bleeders.

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Here's the inside of the mold. Apparently spray putty is a great release agent.
 

asclives

New Member
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I broke the mold open and released both sides before i began layering the glass in.

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To make some of the deeper areas (nose, brow, ears) easier to work with I filled them in with epoxy dough.

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Finally joining the two sides of the mold together with another layer of glass.

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Here he is; my first born!
 

asclives

New Member
Sculpting!


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A layer of clay roughly 3mm (1/8") thick was added all over to maintain mask thickness


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I roughed out the sculpt today so i could check the overall thickness

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I made this tool with silicone, a pin, and a little epoxy putty as a handle

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It's pushed into the clay to read clay density.
 

asclives

New Member
My next step is to work out the power mesh under structure.

My only reference is this photo form the tested video. It makes sense though I'm not sure how the mesh will sit in the mask. It seems like it would push through to the surface of the silicone without some kind of structure holding it in place.

Any suggestions?

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Mr Mold Maker

Sr Member
Absolutely great job so far! They must be teaching you well.

The only suggestion I have is next time try opening the mouth of the core up a little bit. When the lips are as closed as they are on your current core, it's very tricky to get in there and sculpt the lips correctly. If the mouth is open you can sculpt the lips to wrap right around your own. You can see this on the Immortal Masks core you've posted.

I don't have huge amounts of experience running silicone masks, but the three or four times I did I can't remember any power mesh coming through. If it did, it would've just been patched with more silicone. Very easy process.


Well, looks like you're doing excellent bud! Please keep posting your progress, I look forward to it!
 

asclives

New Member
Thanks for the tips mate!

When you mention the wider mouth, is that just for the sculpting? Does it have any impact on the mask performance?

When patching the mask with silicone, did you use the same silicone, thickened with cabosil or something similar?

I'll be keeping it updated as I go. Maybe with less photos, there's a few too many!
 

Mr Mold Maker

Sr Member
Thanks for the tips mate!

When you mention the wider mouth, is that just for the sculpting? Does it have any impact on the mask performance?

When patching the mask with silicone, did you use the same silicone, thickened with cabosil or something similar?

I'll be keeping it updated as I go. Maybe with less photos, there's a few too many!
Opening the mouth on the core does impact the movement and performance, in that the silicone lips go further back and actually wrap over your own. It makes it move in concert with your own lips much better. Shorther silicone lips just sit on top of your own and tend to slip off when you're talking or moving in them.

I don't like putting cabosil in anything. Not just because of the airbourne particles when using it, but because it makes a slightly weaker product. I prefer a thickening agent like thivex, but if that's unavailable cabosil will work.
 

camerafx24

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Be warned, the monstermakers bust is much smaller than the average human head and face. I usd it for a silicone mask and had real problems with fitting on a real person.
 

asclives

New Member
Opening the mouth on the core does impact the movement and performance, in that the silicone lips go further back and actually wrap over your own. It makes it move in concert with your own lips much better. Shorther silicone lips just sit on top of your own and tend to slip off when you're talking or moving in them.

I don't like putting cabosil in anything. Not just because of the airbourne particles when using it, but because it makes a slightly weaker product. I prefer a thickening agent like thivex, but if that's unavailable cabosil will work.
Thank you. I'll try the Thi-vex. It's hard using Smooth-on products in Australia. we've only got one importer and they charge through the roof!

- - - Updated - - -

Be warned, the monstermakers bust is much smaller than the average human head and face. I usd it for a silicone mask and had real problems with fitting on a real person.
I measured it against myself and the my classmates, maybe we all have small heads, but it seemed like it would be a good fit. Cheers
 

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asclives

New Member
Sorry for the long delay in updating this, I do theatre props and found myself unable to work on this while I made couches and things for a show.


So we left off with sculpting. I finished the sculpt off and made sure that the clay thickness was as even as possible without any dodgy tear points.

Here's the sculpt. Once again, sorry for sideways images though it seems the only fix is to rotate them one at a time, and I don't have that kind of motivation :)

The face has been drawn from a few different references, I mixed and matched old features that I liked to get to this old man

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Next step I needed to lay up the clay wall for molding
 

Jayesh Ranavaya

New Member
Hey, nice looking sculpt. Is that chavant? How did you get it so smooth? I have a real tough time getting a smooth surface with chavant medium.

Thanks.
 

asclives

New Member
I've been sculpting with Monster clay, it's similar to Chavant medium. I've found I prefer the Monster Clay as for whatever reason it feels a little less crumbly, and more like a waxy dough. Give it a try.

As for smoothing the clay I've been using a rake tool on the larger surfaces, think raking a gravel path, I then smooth it further with a brush and shellite - also known as naptha. Finally to get the really glossy kind of smooth I use a blow torch to lightly melt the surface. you should obviously wait for the naptha to dry before using the blowtorch.
 

asclives

New Member
Alright, so to cut a long story short, here's the finished mask! I'll try and get the other steps uploaded here soon enough, though I was too excited to to show how it turned out. Here he is: The Old Fella.

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