POTA inspired Gorilla masks

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SpaceCowboy

Active Member
As a long-time classic POTA fan, ever since I stumbled upon Jessica's Cornelius thread http://www.therpf.com/f24/cornelius-planet-apes-120680/ I've been itching to sculpt my own Cornelius mask. I haven't had the time, but I've come up with a project that will allow me to create two separate foam latex gorilla masks inspired from the Planet of the Apes. Although I did want to do Cornelius, gorillas are awesome so I'm pretty stoked about it (not to mention that unlike a chimpanzee, I can skip having to do the ears). The sculpts will just be generic gorillas, not Urko, Ursus, Marcus, or any specific characters.

The first gorilla appliance will be for myself. Although I'd like to skip any prep and start sculpting from day one, I started off this weekend by doing a functional life mask mold - functional from the sense that the life mask will only be what is on the inside of the foam latex, so it doesn't have to be perfect or smooth. I therefore skipped the alginate step completely and used only plaster cloth. The only prep was rubbing my face generously with petroleum jelly. I did the entire process in about 40 minutes start to finish, applying about 4-5 layers. It was a simple process, so much so that I did everything by myself without any assistance.

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I started laying strips on the outside and worked my way in. Obviously, since I was doing everything solo, I saved the eyes for last. I purposely freaked out my daughter and couldn't help but laugh a little, so the whole lower half of my face was already loosened and dry before I even got to the eyes. I admit I didn't let my eyes dry for long enough, so after I peeled off the mold I had to touch the eye area up a bit with plaster, but only to help with the separation process, as the eye area is irrelevant.

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Side view

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Interior view

The green lines above represent a secondary step where I added to the cast - adding plaster cloth (folded in double layers) to the space above my hairline in order to increase the volume of the casting pour. This was an easy solution that allowed me to have the volume I needed while skipping the head wrapping when casting.

The interior will be sprayed with liberal coatings of Krylon clear gloss sealer, and then tomorrow night I'll wipe the interior with petroleum jelly and pour the positive cast in plaster paris. Lord willing, Tuesday night I'll begin the sculpting process with sculpey. In the mean time... I'll be gathering plenty of gorilla reference pics.
 
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made007

Sr Member
Looking forward to the next update, i want to see some clay! ;), ill be watching this one, the new pota movie inspired me to do the predator helmet based on a gorilla
 

SpaceCowboy

Active Member
Hi made007, a gorilla based predator helmet would be very cool. Go for it!

The pull of the life mask was successful - hopefully no air pockets!
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Tomorrow night I hope to have time to start the gorilla sculpt. I put together a reference collage to work from. The two faces outlined in red are about the proporations I'm going for.
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The POTA gorillas have all sorts of looks, but I'm probably going with a mid-sized muzzle, not narrow like Urko's. However, I think I'll model the nose and wrinkles off of Urko. A lot of gorillas, particularly Aldo (in lower left of above pic), seem to have a really smooth jaw, which I think looks a little unbalanced with the rest of the face -so I'm going to go with a wrinkly jaw.

Can't wait to start!
 
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SpaceCowboy

Active Member
Yesterday I created a base with four keys for the life mask...

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... and tonight I worked on the sculpt. I don't know what on earth possessed me to pick up Sculpey, I've forgotten how soft it is. I should have gotten Super Sculpee Firm or some clay, but I was in a rush in the store.

This is just a first pass. I'll take a look at it in the morning with fresh eyes and see what changes I need to make to it. I'm definitely going to make the nose quite a bit smaller, and will probably make the jaw a little smaller and brow bigger... it's a start, at least.

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made007

Sr Member
Looking good, thats the same sculpey you can bake? I bought some at walmart, good stuff for small proyects
 

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SpaceCowboy

Active Member
Looking good, thats the same sculpey you can bake? I bought some at walmart, good stuff for small proyects
Yes, that is indeed the same Sculpey. I also bought it at Walmart, because it's so cheap there... in fact it was right next to plaster cloth selling for $4 a pop that I just spent twice as much on at the art store... oh well...

Anyways, I have a love-hate relationship with Sculpey because it's SO soft that it's hard to get good detail and also easy to damage your sculpt. On the flip side, it's also very easy add and detract to your sculpt (as I did this morning), not messy, and since I need to peel this sculpt out after I mold it (because of a ton of undercuts), it'll be very easy to do that (I'd love to bake it and preserve the sculpt when finished, but then it'd never come out of the mold!).

If detail and firmness are in issue, I'd go with Super Sculpey FIRM, but you'll probably have to get that at an arts / craft store.

Anyways, back to the sculpt. I should have never started work on it when I was so exhausted like last night... when I saw the pictures I took of it, it was immediately obvious that my proportions were way off. Just darn UGLY!!!! I've adjusted the nose, forehead, muzzle and jaw and I think the proportions are close now to where I want them. I'm imagining a pair of teeth in there, and I think it's pretty decent. I'll start with the detailing next.


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SpaceCowboy

Active Member
Well, I cleaned this feller up some and here's where he stands now. I think I'm going to make teeth for him tomorrow so I can get a better overall feel for him.

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This weekend I plan on making the second life-mask for gorilla number two... it'll be interesting to see how a different face dictates a different gorilla.
 
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Korban

Member
Okay, everyone remain calm, but... I've never seen the original Planet of the Apes. In fact, I've only seen the 2011 version, and that was last week. I feel like I really need to get on that now.

I'm excited to see a new project from SpaceCowboy, and this one is turning out to be really cool. Not a sculptor myself, I've always been impressed by the awesome things people can do with it.

This weekend I plan on making the second life-mask for gorilla number two... it'll be interesting to see how a different face dictates a different gorilla.
QFE, I'm looking forward to seeing those results, too.
 

SpaceCowboy

Active Member
Okay, everyone remain calm, but... I've never seen the original Planet of the Apes. In fact, I've only seen the 2011 version, and that was last week. I feel like I really need to get on that now.
Wow, you have been deprived! You definitely have to check out the 1968 Planet of the Apes! As a kid I was nuts about the Planet of the Apes, and I still love all the classic films and the television show! I didn't like the Tim Burton adaptation that much (even though I generally love Burton) and while I thought the 2011 version was very good, it pales when compared to the original, which was revolutionary in its time for makeup and special effects and created a pop culture phenomenon - the new adaptation is just another CGI film... It could have been a lot better if they took makeup applications to the next level instead of relying just on 3D.
 

SpaceCowboy

Active Member
I made some chompers for the gorilla. I think the addition of teeth does take it up a notch. I may cheat and use the same teeth mold for the second gorilla (I doubt anyone will notice).

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This puppy goes on the back burner for a while as I concentrate on setting up the life mask for gorilla number two.
 
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yodakiller1138

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looking good. But technically the teeth on the real appliances were made seperately out of resin and glued in. You're going to have a hard time making a mold with the teeth in their.
 

SpaceCowboy

Active Member
Thanks for the compliments!

Looking good. But technically the teeth on the real appliances were made seperately out of resin and glued in. You're going to have a hard time making a mold with the teeth in their.
The teeth are separate units, made from baked sculpey; they're just sitting in there loose. I was planning to cast the teeth out of liquid latex and glue them in. I thought, however, that the original teeth were slush latex, am I mistaken?

I prepped the life mask for the second gorilla over the weekend and will be posting pics later. Tomorrow I'll start the second sculpt... then I'll go back to fine tuning the first one, add the bleeding channels and whatnot.
 

SpaceCowboy

Active Member
Armed with plaster of paris, plaster cloth, vaseline, and sculpey, I take on the second life mask

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My friend jury-rigged a whisk to a power drill that alleviated the woes of the plaster hardening too quickly when hand stirred. It works like a charm!

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The plaster cast is held up on sculpey pegs, with sculpey keys added at the four compass points.

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The base plate has been poured, and this puppy's now ready for sculpting!
 
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SpaceCowboy

Active Member
Seriously, if you mold that piece as-is with the backing and teeth in place - if that's possible - that would be an awesome wall-hanger.
Ha! Thanks, that's a cool idea... I may do that! First, though, I want to get the prosthetic appliances done.

Here's some shots of gorilla number two. By request, he has a narrower muzzle.

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His nose is lower, more like some of the gorillas from Conquest of the POTA. After comparing it with the first sculpt, though, I think that I'm going to raise the nose up some.

Then I want to go back and play with Gorilla number one again, particularly rework his muzzle some, as I'm not satisfied with it yet.
 
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SpaceCowboy

Active Member
I love it! If you DID offer the first face up as a resin wall hanger, I'd get one!
Thanks, Slave1, I'll definitely keep that in mind.

I'm going to do some overhauls! I was going through the POTA television show looking for references, and looking at reference shots on a moving actor seems to have a total different effect than looking at still shots, the gorilla muzzles appear smaller than I imagined them to be... (actually, even smaller than I like, as one thinks of the gorillas as big and tough) I need to resize the muzzles (especially gorilla no. 1) and probably have to redo the teeth as well...
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
I think using reference from different films and the TV series is a bad idea. Stick to one film and one character pr version you are doing. Trying to merge the different sculpts in the movies into your stuff will make it difficult to get yours accurate - unless you want it to be a amalgam of all the styles.

Your first style looks to be inspired by the first two films, while the second style seems to be from the later movies, where the make-up work wasn't as well made as before due to the financial constraints.

I like the looks you have now on the two styles, but understand your wish to go further and improve... just choose your reference carefully and stick to one look pr style, if that makes sense.
 

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