NEWBIE HELP: Hoping to sculpt and make a silicon mask

Discussion in 'Sculpture and Makeup Effects' started by avbat, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. avbat

    avbat Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    Hey all,
    I am taking a sculpting class and have decided that I am going to try my hand at making a mask on an bust of myself, but I NEED SERIOUS HELP.
    I thought the talented members here might be able to give a newcomer like myself some direction.


    i am not expecting myself to turn out an awesome mask or sculpt.

    What I think I want to do:

    1) I want to create a life-cast bust of myself that I can reuse in the future to sculpt on.
    A "master" ( not sure if that is the right term).

    2) gain sculpting and mold-making experience and techniques for future use.

    I really dont know where to start and need info on where to buy materials and what to buy.

    I am using this for credits in a class so I am on a sort of time table here to show at least some progress, but not to completely finish.

    The sooner I find out what to order and where to order it from the sooner I can start.

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks All!!
  2. SDGlyph

    SDGlyph Member

    Trophy Points:
    The first thing I'd suggest is not to start with silicone unless there's some sort of course requirement for it. Gelatine and latex are far, far cheaper and more suited to a beginner project.

    The second is to do some searching for tutorials on sculpting / lifecasting / prosthetics and makeup effects. Google is your friend here!

    Here's a few to start you off (hoping the forum doesn't spam-flag me for posting a bunch of links...)

    Learn Makeup Effects

    The FX Lab Special Makeup Effects by Lars Carlsson

  3. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    The thing I learned the first time I started dabbling is making a bust of yourself is a lot harder doing it by yourself.

    Get a friend to help out, if you can.
  4. avbat

    avbat Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    Yea I realize this project sounds insanely ambitious for my skill set, or lack of skill set, but this is how i like to learn. lol

    I appreciate the pointers so far guys i will look into tutorials for certain.

    Keep it coming guys!
  5. DethBecomesYou

    DethBecomesYou Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    I would suggest getting a cheap mannequin off Craigslist and start with that as your base. I don't know if you are planning to wear the silicone masks or not. If so, then you don't need your head cast. The silicone should stretch over your head just fine. If you aren't planning on wearing them, I would also suggest making latex casts of your sculpt after you mold it. Cheaper and you can gain a lot of knowledge on what works and what doesn't. Check out Jordu does amazing work and the masks you see on his sight are cast with latex. But you wouldn't know it based on how good he is.
  6. ianfxmen

    ianfxmen Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    making a lifecast is one thing.Showing someone else to make a lifecast on yourself that as never done that is asking for trouble..... and i would also make my teeth with smaller project to learn at a lower cost.silicone is 250$ a galon vs 30 $ for latex or gelatine.
    making a full head lifecast cost around 200$ in material minimum thats not counting if you modify that core to make silicone mask you will have to remold it after modifying so another 200$ mi minimum again in material so better screw up with smaller project first thats what i did many years ago.Good luck with some practice and hard work annything is possible.
  7. avbat

    avbat Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    I was thinking of doing a life cast mostly because I wanted to be able to wear whatever mask I made, and I wanted it to be 100% custom.

    Sounds like maybe I should make something smaller, and try moulding and casting that for practice?

    Makes sense to me. My professor was insisting on me using some type of wax-clay?
    I am not sure why, but it seemed like a cheap material to me? Is that good stuff to be using?
  8. Looch

    Looch Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    Did you want a full head and shoulders cast of yourself? It might be a good idea to start with just the face-far easier to do with a buddy who hasn't done it before, but definitely check YouTube and the like to see how-it's really not that hard. And, as far as supplies are concerned, are you in a big city or small town? Big cities usually have the resources:)
  9. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    I'd suggest something small like just for the face. That's how I did it. Smooth-On offers trial sizes/packs with just enough material for such a thing. It's relatively affordable until you move onto the heavier stuff. However, an old staple in make up effects is alginate and that's relatively cheap to get (Great to use if just for a temporary mold). Plaster bandages are low-cost and you can use that to make a support shell, cast your negative with plaster, also cheap, and you're good to go.

    The clay/wax your instructor said to use is for sculpting the piece, I assume.
  10. avbat

    avbat Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    Yea the clay-wax was meant for the sculpt itself.
    I think he wants me to do some form of a lost-wax casting. I am more interested in making a reusable mold
  11. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    Well, if you'd like to jump into it like I did; I started out with Smooth-On. They offer trial sizes of their silicone rubber and you can play with that.

    Don't jump in head first like I did or you'll be out a few hundos.:lol:behave
  12. fettster

    fettster Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    Ok. This can. Seem like a huge undertaking but once you know the theory behind each process and understand it. It's not that daunting.

    The best advice I can give you os buy Neill Gortons instructional DVDs. They may seem expensive as an initial outlay but you will very quickly make that money back as you will not be wasting money on mistakes and failed castings.
  13. TheBrothersRich

    TheBrothersRich New Member

    Trophy Points:
    hey man not sure where you are located at, but my friend and i are starting a actual life casting company. Well travel for jobs, teach, and operate a shop based out of Tiffin, Ohio. The shop will be opening up in about the month if all goes well. The website is but the web site isnt up yet but is close to completion but the face book page is up please like us to :)
    But we also operate two Halloween f/x companies too where we do masks props teaching and what not.
    Home Page
    Malicious Studios

    combined we have 0ver 13 years of professional experience, and have been doing this style of art for over 20. let us know if you interested, honestly to pay to learn is normally cheaper then to learn on your own and faster paced then what you would normally be able to achieve on your own. Hope we can help you.

Share This Page