need help from sculpters

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Doc Savage

New Member
Hi all, this is my first post... i've been reading the various WIP's on the site for an age. and thanks to several inspiring build i undertook to make a Karl Kroenen mask. I elected to sculpt it from red clay then cast it in resin. I picked up a manikin head to sculpt onto , and as the clay cured the sculpt cracked. i thought it was because the manikin head is too hard. So i bought a polystyrene head and attempted again.. this morning i got up to find it cracked again...

is there something fundamental i'm missing here?
if anyone could point me in the right direction it'd be much appreciated!
 

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Contec

Master Member
Hi all, this is my first post... i've been reading the various WIP's on the site for an age. and thanks to several inspiring build i undertook to make a Karl Kroenen mask. I elected to sculpt it from red clay then cast it in resin. I picked up a manikin head to sculpt onto , and as the clay cured the sculpt cracked. i thought it was because the manikin head is too hard. So i bought a polystyrene head and attempted again.. this morning i got up to find it cracked again...

is there something fundamental i'm missing here?
if anyone could point me in the right direction it'd be much appreciated!
I belive you are using the wrong kind of clay for this. You need a clay that don't dry out. Tell us the brand of the clay you are using and i'm sure that some one here will tell you if its wrong.
 

Doc Savage

New Member
the clay is a red air dry clay from a local supplier here in Ireland. here's their website... Welcome

i thought it's have to dry out so that i could get a good quality finish on it to cast from?
 

Fishybob

Well-Known Member
Nope......you should be using a non drying clay suck as chavant or kleen klay.

If you do use a water based clay, then you'll need to keep the sculpt moist with a spritzer bottle and keep it under plastic sheeting to stop it drying out.

the normal process - especially for something that needs to be so smooth - sculpt - mould - make master copy - sand that till it's nice and smooth - make final mould
 

Doc Savage

New Member
great info there man... thanks very much... i'll get onto the local supplier soon and see if they can get any of those things that you mentioned!
 

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jaybible

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey Doc where in Ireland are you?... As the rest have said air drying clay really isnt what you want. do you want to create a silicone casting of it?

..I just checked out the link to your supplier. I see they have Chavant clay, that is the stuff you want! many sculpters on here use it, and i havent heard a bad word said about it. Oh make sure its the sulfur free ones if you plan on silicone molding
 
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jaybible

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well if you want to get any smooth-on product,i think the only ROI supplier is Cork, but im sure there are plenty of alternate resin and silicone suppliers in dublin!..
Its probably your best bet to for the hard stuff too as you cant actually harder or set Chavant. It softens with heat due to the wax content and it goes harder when cold and it definately wont crack on you. I just hope they sell it at a reasonable price

Hopefully third time lucky:)
 

Doc Savage

New Member
Thanks very much for the info... I'll have to make a shopping list of stuff from that rpm group.
First is chavant clay, then some kind of silicone for the initial mould, plus associated hardeners, then ill need plaster of Paris or fibreglass for The mother mold ,then make an initial cast from two part casting resin that I can bondo(isopon in Ireland) , sand and detail. Then repeat the mold making to get a final mold... Is this basically the process I should be aiming for?
 

jaybible

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
haha yeh thats pretty much it.. If you make a trip down to Fibreglass and resin down in cork they will supply you with everything you need for the mold making process. Its a handy drive down the limerick road motorway. I can pm you their number if you like.

A fibreglass mother mold is the easiest way and plaster of paris is the cheapest, but smooth-on do a mother mold paste called plasti-paste which is much better although a bit more expensive.. If you do a good job with the sculpt then there will be no need for the P38, just a bit of sanding. I was going to go down the 2part resin road for my helmet but its not very sandable and a bit flexible.. Instead i went for a gel coat surface and fibreglass inside
 

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Doc Savage

New Member
i'm not a sculpter... i'm a mechanical engineer... it'll probably need some filler!

so on monday i'm gonna get some chavant clay, plaster of paris, gelcoat resin, fibreglass & resin, and something to make the mold out of... i'll talk to them in the shop and see what they can recommend, but it'll most likely be something like a silicone rubber...

Hopefully i'll have some good progress during the week and i'll post back here to let you know how i get on. thanks for all the advice!

also i don't have a car so won't be making it to cork any time soon! i'm a cyclist... which will make it a ***** to carry 20 odd kilos on my back!
 

jaybible

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
haha.. im a M.E aswell but i've always sculpted. You'll def be making the mold from a 2part silicone..sorry i cant be of any help with suppliers in dublin.

Definately throw up some pics with progress.The great thing about the chavant is you can always change the details pretty easily with a bit of heat.. yeh thats gonna be a pain in the ass! hope it doesnt rain!:p

Best of luck with the sculpt
 

Doc Savage

New Member
i haven't tried those places purely on the basis that shipping will cost me more than i could save...

anyway, went to the suppliers shop in dublin yesterday and got some chavant. Got 5 blocks of the hard stuff.. only because it's all they had and i figured it'd make the sculpt more durable when finished... so if the mould fails then i will not have to redo it all over again. But damn it's hard stuff... only started sculpting today and did it by cutting the chavant into little bars and microwaving it on a low setting... gives me about twenty minutes to work with the pieces. I started by making an outline/border to the sculpt, and a kind of skeleton framework, then fleshing it out. It's much easier to sculpt now that i know i have the right material! Oh and it's the sulphur free stuff i got! i also got silicone rubber and some plaster of paris for the mold...

This is going to take a while to sculpt, anyone have any tips on how to smooth out the dome once i't happy with the overall shape?
 

jaybible

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
haha yeh its pretty hard alright:p.. What you need to get a hold of is a heat gun(i.e powerful hairdryer:p). You can pick them up anywhere. I got a nice Dewalt variable temperature one for like 35euro.. you can heat the area as you smooth. A metal spatula with a large flat surface is great as it is smooth and also conducts the heat which keeps the surface smooth... not too hot or it will melt away ur finish:p

I've heard ppl using pure alcohol and rubbing it smooth but i've never done that.. water works just fine at the end to give it a polished look
 

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Doc Savage

New Member
figured out that lighter fluid works as a polish as well... gotta get a heat gun though!

they would put all their melting temperatures in Fahrenheit wouldn't they?
 

clonesix

Sr Member
Doc, You can use water-based clay, but DO NOT let it just sit and dry. Keep it moist by covering it with a wet towel and plastic wrap. You do not need expensive oil clay, though I would reccommend white clay, as opposed to red, because of the finer texture. The red clay will work fine if you remember to NOT let it dry completely.

The advantage of water clay is that is changes consistency as it dries. Meaning: When it is wet, it goes on fast, and blocks-out (rough sculpt) quickly. As is dries, it gets firmer. Firm is good you can make great detail with firm clay (the consistency of leather) You can cut SHARP detail into it when it has reached the consistency of soap.

The trick is to keep it covered with plastic wrap, and NOT let it dry out. You can also spray lacquer on it to keep it from drying out. Put 20 layers of lacquer on it and it is like "spray-on plastic wrap" the sculpt can continue to be smoothed under the lacquer.

You really don't need chavant or clean clay. You can use what you have, without buying more stuff.

Also, good smooth sculpts are done with tools and not just your hands.

Be sure to post pics.
 

Doc Savage

New Member
i'm afraid the red clay i had was cracking while it was about the consistency of mud... ie you could push a finger through an inch or more of it with little effort! as soon as it got a little drier it started to split... to keep it moist i was spraying it with a little water then covering it in a plastic bag... anyway i have the chavant now and am looking forward to finishing it up!

anyway the red stuff was nice and easy to get the rough sculpt done and that practice will help me a lot!

thanks again lads!
 

fleefromme

Active Member
im using modeling clay for my subzero mask and i would like to know what to do when im ready to cast this thing, and what materials to use. step by step instructions would be awesome.
 

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