Need advice on this

Discussion in 'Sculpture and Makeup Effects' started by Phawkes, May 2, 2012.

  1. Phawkes

    Phawkes New Member

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    Hey folks,

    I need some general advice concerning the creation of masks.
    I already asked once if you can recommend any materials to use, but no one answered, so I just tried what I thought was best.

    first, look at this please:
    It is my first creation, absolutely unspectacular.

    (click for single steps of creation)
    plaster of paris, cast of my face:

    added small horns, made of paper, glued to the mask and covered in more plaster of paris:

    fiberglass body filler layer:

    layer of body filler:

    more body filler + holes:

    last step before painting, made a smooth surface:

    I enjoyed making this, and I would like to continue creating more, but I dont know what materials to use.
    This is where I need your help guys.
    Im planing to wear the masks on diffrent events, so they need to be durable, as light as possible and they need to survive drops from my body height.
    The red mask is pretty heavy, it may survive hits if I wear it, but im afraid it will break if I drop it. Also, it is prone to scratches.

    What do you guys think about this:
    For my next mask, Im going with a cast of my face with plaster of paris again. Then, I apply a layer of fiberglass tissues with resin, making it pretty durable and light at the same time, right?
    But then, what next? In order to create a smooth surface, I need to use body filler, this again may crack off if I drop the mask. Any advice?
    Also, I want my masks to be custom-fit just like my 1st one is. Means that "face cast" part is important, but maybe there are better methods for it so I dont have to use plaster of paris?

    This time, please help me out with 1 or 2 hints :/
  2. Mobjack

    Mobjack Member

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    If you are making all of these to fit you specifically, you may want to get some alginate and a friend to help make a cast of your head. Alginate is fairly cheap and you can get it from just about any FX supply store.

    Once you cast your head (there are videos and tutorials all over the place. I will see if I can find you some links), make a pos using ultracal or hydrocal. Both of those are pretty cheap too. Those start as a powder, you mix with water and they dry into a hard stone surface.

    Once you have the pos of your head, you can sculpt directly onto that using clay. You will have to decide what clay works best for you. I like oil based clay, but that is because I am slow at sculpting and water based clay dries out too fast for me.

    There are a ton of tutorials both in document and video form all over the web and probably on this site. Do some digging and you will find the answers you are looking for.
  3. Thranduil

    Thranduil New Member

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    I think you're on track with the fiberglass. A couple layers will be strong and light weight.
    As long as you scuff the surface good before you apply bondo to smooth it, the body filler should stay stuck just fine.

    I don't understand why you seem to think it will be dropped from your face height (I'm guessing you are making an example of your primary concern), but as long as you make it thin, two layers of fine fiberglass cloth (3 Max), it should be light & a bit flexible. If it drops it will tend to bounce with its flex. Keep in mind that the resin is just a binder for the glass cloth, more resin makes for more weight & loans itself to brittleness.

    The heavier the harder the fall, know what I mean?

    Essentially, you want to paint a thin layer of resin in your face mold and then apply small squares of glass cloth (dry cloth, NO resin on it), dabbing it down into the resin with a genuine bristle brush until it fits the shapes (lots of curves to a face). You can use lacquer thinner to keep your dabbing brush from building up with resin so it doesn't become sticky, just make sure you use a cloth to keep the brush from getting overly wet with thinner. Each piece of cloth in your first layer can be butt to the next, no need to overlap. It is on your second layer you need to overlap your first layer seams. This creates a consistent thickness.
    Allow your first layer to begin to tack up before you applying more resin for the second layer so your cloth doesn't slide around on you and create bubbles or lift from the mold.

    Hope this helps you out, good luck:thumbsup
  4. Phawkes

    Phawkes New Member

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    Ok, thank you 2 so far.
    That pos method is a good idea, I might try this :)

    Is it possible to remove fiberglass from a surface once it dries out? Just like plaster of paris?
    And clay becomes really hard only when you bake it, right? Means it wont get stone hard by itself, will it?

    Thx for the advice on how to work with fiberglass. Specially that overlaping part might come in handy once I start my new mask :)

    Do you guys use anything special to protect your pieces (which have a body filler surface) from scratches? My mask gets scratches quite easily.
  5. Ozymandius

    Ozymandius Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think there is an easier way to do what you want.

    Since you already have a mold of your face (the red mask), my suggestion would be to brush in some silicone to make yourself a postive of your face. You would only need a 1/4 layer and then you could back fill it with plaster for support.

    With that silicone postive of your face, you could then brush on a few layers of thickened Onyx resin to make your mask. It's light, strong, and a hell of a lot less toxic than fiberglass.

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