Pred Specific Armature. Molding Help.

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TokyoRose

New Member
So,
I'm short on clay and extra spending money at the moment, so a few of my current projects are at a temporary stand still.
I had a little bit of a brain fart last week and thought of a good, zero cost project to do this weekend that I'll be using for a future build. Or several.

The biggest problem with my last Predator mask attempt is that I approached it without a proper head cast and no real idea of the proper measurements.
Also, I'm a big fan of practical armatures. I try to pre-conceptualize all of my builds and build an armature suited to what I think I'll need. Trying to eliminate the amount of clay used and the time spent on the build up. I like this method but it can also cause limitations with what and how you are able to sculpt.
You can see an example of what I'm talking about here:
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I was always worried that the sculpt was too small to be used as a mask and after browsing through numerous threads, and thanks to people like Usurper and Uratz who have made a point of noting and sharing some of their measurements during their builds, I've come to realize that it probably is. :) Maybe it will make a nice bust someday...


So planning ahead to my next attempt I wanted to ensure I got myself off to the right start. This is what I whipped up over the weekend:

The initial build:
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After some tweaking:
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I then paper mached the whole thing and topped that with a couple coats of resin:
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I want to use some Bondo and smooth out a few areas but I'm pretty happy with it so far.

I plan to do a closed mouth mask but by leaving the facial structure more or less blank I have lots of room to play around. I also chose to leave the top of the head flat and simple so that any number of crest and dome combinations could be created. Once I start sculpting I'm going to drill a few holes in the chin/mouth area in order to insert wooden dowels to use as support for the chin and the mandibles if necessary. This should save me a few hours on the buildup and probably 20 or 30lbs worth of clay.

I've included the measurements in case anyone is interested:
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Now to the question, THERE IS A QUESTION:

I want to mold this in order to make more copies for myself. If they turn out alright I may put a few up in the Member Buy/Sell/Trade section in case anyone is interested in purchasing one for themselves.

I've taken care to ensure there are no undercuts and am planning to do a 2-part mold. I would like to do a fiberglass mold and I know that's usually a bad choice with a rigid structure but that's the way I plan on going. I'd love to vaccu-form it but I don't have access to a vaccu-form machine right now.

What type of release can I use when molding fiberglass resin with more fiberglass resin? I've heard Johnsons Paste wax is a great, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere in Canada. Does anyone know of an alternative or something else that would work as a release? What about autobody wax?

I'll have a few more questions to come but that's it for right now. Thanks for looking and hopefully some of the measurements will be of use to a few people.

Sorry about rambling. I really need to learn to cut to the point.
 
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ptgreek

Active Member
why not make a silicone mold ..then fill those up with something like a 10lb rigid polyfoam ..then you could just crank out rigid foam armatures ( something like monstermaker's heads) They would be light (important when placing into a stone mold) and clay would stick nicely ..but more importantly come off easily when demolding. It would be so much faster and economical to do it that way. If you want an extremely strong armature that could even go in an oven for foam latex, you can use 1630 in that same silicone mold
 

TokyoRose

New Member
I'd love to go the silicone route, and may still. I've also been considering polyfoam castings.

I don't have any silicone on hand and want to give the armature a test run to make sure there are no big problem areas first. I have lots of resin and fiberglass on hand so I figured that would work well enough for the prototype version. I was planning to cast the positive in either Rondo backed with fiberglass or one of Smooth-On's plastic resins filled with rigid foam.

I might just skip that and take your advice though. I'll have to think it over a bit.
Which Silicone would you suggest? I have a Smooth-On distributor about 2 hours away.
Thanks for your input.
 

xdmray

Well-Known Member
if you do a resin mold, you run the risk of the casts locking in the mold and even possibly your initial armature.
idk man, i would be hesitant to risk losing the armature you made.
listen to george, he knows what would work best.
 

MEANGENE83

Sr Member
For what its worth, Everytime I have asked George for advice he tells me Exactly what to do. And when I exactly do it.... IT WORKS! He speaks from experience, if you wanna do this stuff right, spend the extra dough and time and you will thank yourself.
 

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ptgreek

Active Member
Ha.. Thanks for the vote of confidence guys. Even now some techniques are trial and error.. I learn every day.. I'm lucky to have some great teachers.. But in all honesty my first teacher was the talented folk right here on the Lair.. I honestly would have never gone the way of Pro FX if it wasn't for this place
 

Darth Pinhead

Active Member
For what its worth, Everytime I have asked George for advice he tells me Exactly what to do. And when I exactly do it.... IT WORKS! He speaks from experience, if you wanna do this stuff right, spend the extra dough and time and you will thank yourself.
And if it goes wrong, you can just blame George, :D

Just jokes, George, just jokes.

Seriously, if there's a guy to turn to, it's George. He's been ridiculously helpful to me over the course of the last nine months! I've learned A LOT from him...
 

TokyoRose

New Member
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I completely agree that George is the man.

I guess I'm just jumping the gun, I'm anxious to start throwing clay at this but want to get the mold out of the way first. Like anything worth doing though, it's probably worth doing right. Even if it is a budget, back yard style build.

Since I'm still extremely new to this when it comes to materials and being hands on and don't have access to vacuum degassers, would I be able to get away with using a urethane rubber for the mold? Like Smooth-On's PMC®-724 Urethane Rubber, or PMC®-744? They both say they can be used for fiberglass and resin castings, but would PolyFoam cure in this type of a mold as well? Or should I just go all out and stick with silicone?

I can ask Smooth-On or my distributor directly, but I'll throw it out here too.

Thanks again guys
 

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