Predator Mask Questions, Please Help

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XilianX2010

New Member
Okay, so I've been searching all around this site for some types on mask. Not Bio Helmets, the actually Predator mask. I'm making one this Summer, and I need too know these things:

1. Is there other types of Latexs, which one works best to make more of a rubbery, smoother mask than a foamy type, and how many layers do I need.
2. What is the best clay to use for sculpting a Pred's head, and is it cheap?

I know the admins hate people who ask questions that don't bother looking for it. But I searched up and down this fourm and it's all about the helmets, armor, and weapons. I tried to find the best thing for masks.

Thanx

~XilianX2010
 
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carss66

New Member
Hi and welcome.Not an expert and don't know your budget,but liquid latex+ thickener gel for mask.Probs monster clay,but not sure where you are.Hope that helps you abit.
 

XilianX2010

New Member
Hi and welcome.Not an expert and don't know your budget,but liquid latex+ thickener gel for mask.Probs monster clay,but not sure where you are.Hope that helps you abit.
Well I can't spend too much for this. I don't think monster clay would be in my area. Is there an alternate type of clay I can use? Plus is thickener gel expensive?
 

carss66

New Member
Thickener gel on ebay £40.W.E.D clay is cheap......newplast(modelling plasticine) is great and reusable.
 

XilianX2010

New Member
Thickener gel on ebay £40.W.E.D clay is cheap......newplast(modelling plasticine) is great and reusable.
I'm actually in America, so I'll try looking around on Ebay, or in my art store near by if I can. Thanx so much for the adivice :D
 

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Effects Guy

New Member
Using thickeners in latex does cause it to shrink more. You could always use a slip cast latex and build it up in layers, or, if you mold is more enclosed, you can just dwell it to get a thicker skin. Dwelling only works well in UC30 or Hydrocal molds. I hope that helps.
 

XilianX2010

New Member
Using thickeners in latex does cause it to shrink more. You could always use a slip cast latex and build it up in layers, or, if you mold is more enclosed, you can just dwell it to get a thicker skin. Dwelling only works well in UC30 or Hydrocal molds. I hope that helps.
I'm such a newb at this, and I have no knowledge whatso ever of any type of material. Is slip latex expensive? and how many layers would I need to make a durable enough and yet is still flexable enough.
 

Effects Guy

New Member
Slip latex latex is what latex masks are made from. Expensive is a relative term. I get mine from Frend's Beauty Supply, and I buy it for $170/5 gallon bucket. I think that is cheap. Layers vary by how you do it and they are never really even. If you have a two part mold, made of ultracal or hydrocal, that is only open at the neck, it would be easier and more even if you dwell it. Dwelling is where you fill the mold to capacity with the latex and allow the mold to start pulling the moisture from the latex touch its surface and creating an even skill. Most people, in a 75 degree room, usually dwell for about 8 hours. That should give you about 1/8 inch thickness. Then remove the excess by tipping the mold and emptying the still liquid latex back into the bucket, and allow the partially cured latex still in the mold to cure for 2 days in a warm room in the closed mold. Then you can open up your mold and start cleaning seaming, patching, and painting your mask. I hope that helps.
 

XilianX2010

New Member
Slip latex latex is what latex masks are made from. Expensive is a relative term. I get mine from Frend's Beauty Supply, and I buy it for $170/5 gallon bucket. I think that is cheap. Layers vary by how you do it and they are never really even. If you have a two part mold, made of ultracal or hydrocal, that is only open at the neck, it would be easier and more even if you dwell it. Dwelling is where you fill the mold to capacity with the latex and allow the mold to start pulling the moisture from the latex touch its surface and creating an even skill. Most people, in a 75 degree room, usually dwell for about 8 hours. That should give you about 1/8 inch thickness. Then remove the excess by tipping the mold and emptying the still liquid latex back into the bucket, and allow the partially cured latex still in the mold to cure for 2 days in a warm room in the closed mold. Then you can open up your mold and start cleaning seaming, patching, and painting your mask. I hope that helps.
I plan on just making a clay mold of a Pred's head, adding latex on top of it, and take it off the mold. I plan on using air-dry clay, cuz it seems checp, and liquid latex. $170 seems alittle to much, but I don't think I'll need 5 gallons of it. I thank you for the adivce, I just didn't know if Liquid latex would keep it flexable.
 

Effects Guy

New Member
Understand that liquid latex, in truth only refers to latex that is not cured, technically. Slip latex falls into that category, but so does Balloon latex, and everything in between. So, if your supplier calls it liquid latex, it could be almost any viscosity and have any number of fillers. Slip is what maskmakers use. How flexible do you need it? If you want crazy flexible, you could make a core, do your sculpture on that, and then make your ultracal mold, best to do it in 3 pieces not 2, so it does not lock. Then you could go it in foam latex, and that would be really flexible, but it would soak up all of your sweat when you wear it and degrade. There are ways to seal it. That said, you would need a mixer and an oven. You could also do a balloon latex skin and foam fill that with polyfoam, but you would need to wait a few weeks before wearing it, for safety. Polyfoam releases cyanide gas for up to a few weeks.

Air dry clay is going to be a pain in the ass. You will not be able to achieve smoothness and great detail. Building up latex over the sculpt means no texture, and no detail. You will get a formless mass. Not too successful. Better to sculpt it in WED or Chavant clay and make a stone mold of that. Make sense?
 

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XilianX2010

New Member
Understand that liquid latex, in truth only refers to latex that is not cured, technically. Slip latex falls into that category, but so does Balloon latex, and everything in between. So, if your supplier calls it liquid latex, it could be almost any viscosity and have any number of fillers. Slip is what maskmakers use. How flexible do you need it? If you want crazy flexible, you could make a core, do your sculpture on that, and then make your ultracal mold, best to do it in 3 pieces not 2, so it does not lock. Then you could go it in foam latex, and that would be really flexible, but it would soak up all of your sweat when you wear it and degrade. There are ways to seal it. That said, you would need a mixer and an oven. You could also do a balloon latex skin and foam fill that with polyfoam, but you would need to wait a few weeks before wearing it, for safety. Polyfoam releases cyanide gas for up to a few weeks.

Air dry clay is going to be a pain in the ass. You will not be able to achieve smoothness and great detail. Building up latex over the sculpt means no texture, and no detail. You will get a formless mass. Not too successful. Better to sculpt it in WED or Chavant clay and make a stone mold of that. Make sense?
Thanx, that helped alot. You jusr saved me from making my project a fail. I do want my mask to be flexable yes, but not a foamy type surface, more of a rubbery, smooth surface. So I can go for Slip Latex, but do I need to fill like a mold or something with it, or is it possible to make a sculpture of a Pred's head, and put the latex on top of it, so it will just make a mask out of that? Because I don't know how to make fill in a mold. I plan on getting a plastic head (human head), sculpt the pred's head on that, put the layers of latex over it, and then carefully cut it off.

I don't want to be annoying with these questions, I really don't, but I don't want to mess this up, I'm really looking forward to it.
 

Effects Guy

New Member
The problem with your idea, is that by putting the latex on the outside, you will get a mask that has details on the inside and a melted ice ream look on the outside, so it will not really look like anything. You need to make a mold if you want to make a mask. That is the simple truth. Where are you located? Knowing what country, and depending upon the country what city, you are in will help with mold material recommendations. A two part mold will work best for a hollow latex mask. You can slush it in, but using the dwelling method will provide more uniform results. Also, know that foam latex, or balloon latex skinned polyfoam does not have a foamy texture. Foam latex is what the Predator was made of in the movies. It is really about how you paint it, and what you paint it with.
 

XilianX2010

New Member
The problem with your idea, is that by putting the latex on the outside, you will get a mask that has details on the inside and a melted ice ream look on the outside, so it will not really look like anything. You need to make a mold if you want to make a mask. That is the simple truth. Where are you located? Knowing what country, and depending upon the country what city, you are in will help with mold material recommendations. A two part mold will work best for a hollow latex mask. You can slush it in, but using the dwelling method will provide more uniform results. Also, know that foam latex, or balloon latex skinned polyfoam does not have a foamy texture. Foam latex is what the Predator was made of in the movies. It is really about how you paint it, and what you paint it with.
Ahh okay :/ man I'm screwed, just when I thought I had an idea down, I have to start from scratch again >_< Okay I live the US, In New York State, near the Finger Lakes. So,how do I make a mold? I perfer the easiest way, because my skills are next to nothing with this stuff. I could go with Spill Latex. But if I sculpt a Predator's head on plastic (human) head, how do I fill it?
 

Effects Guy

New Member
To make a mold, you do the sculpture and then build up your molding material over the sculpture, in two halves, front and back. To be fair, what some people call easy, others call difficult. Here is a basic description of how to make a mask mold, using ultracal and burlap, the simplest way to make a mask mold.


Two Piece Stone Mold for Slip Latex Masks

This is probably one of the easier two part molds. Typically Masks are sculpted in water based clay, but nowadays it seems more and mold people are using oil wax based clays. Regardless of clay type, this method works just fine. I like to seal the mask sculpture with 2-3 coats of aerosol acrylic lacquer and a coat of dulling spray. You have a choice with this type of mold. I like to do these lying down, but you can do it standing up as well. If the sculpture can handle being laid down to mold, I would highly suggest doing so. Be sure to protect the back of the sculpture with plastic wrap and some soft foam. Whether standing up or laying down, you will need to build you clay wall along the sculpture, dividing it perfectly in half front to back. You can use knobs of water clay to support the wall from behind if standing up. If lying down, just build the wall up from the work table. Typically these molds are strapped shut, so you do not need a flange. However, if you favor the clamping method for closing your molds, then make the clay wall about 2 &frac12; wide and add a lip at the end to act as a guide for the flange thickness. If you process without a flange, the make you wall about 1 &frac14; inch wide. Be sure to add keys. You can also place a 1 inch wide collar of clay below the end of the sculpture to create a nice clean opening for the mold.

Once all of you clay is in place, add some keys along the wall. Either hex keys or half round keys would be just fine. Seal the water clay with a few coats of aerosol acrylic lacquer and a coat of dulling spray. Now you are ready to mold.

These kinds of molds are best made in stone because the latex needs something porous to cure in correctly. The harder the stone, the slower the cure time, but because you want this mold to last a long time, using Ultracal or Dental stone would be fine. If you need your pieces cured fast, use a medium weight stone, like Hydrocal.

Brush on your detail coat, building up a thickness of about &frac14; inch. When it is dry by not hot, with a matte surface, you can mix the batch for your reinforcement coat, Rewet the surface of the first coat with some stone from this new batch and a wet brush. Now, start applying your stone soaked burlap. As always, I like to do this two layers at a time. Be sure not to trap any air bubbles between the detail layer and the burlap. Also, fold the burlap at the edges of the mold to create a nice strong edge. I would suggest at least 4 layers of reinforcement for this. When your reinforcement is finished, add a thick pasty batch of stone and smooth it over to make a surface coat. You want this coat to be no thicker than about 1/8 inch. Make sure during the whole molding process to avoid extended the mold material over the edge of the clay wall. This will just cause unnecessary mess and thickness.

When the mold is finished, cover with a plastic bag and allow to fully cure. When the mold is cool, remove the back and turn it over. Remove any protective plastic and foam, and then remove the clay wall. Wash off any residue gently and carefully with a soft damp brush. Now, apply mold release to the stone of the mold wall. You can use Vaseline or even paste wax, but I really like the aerosol petrolatum release because it goes on so thin. Also, be sure to add a few thin strips of clay to the wall in about 4 places or so to make pry points. I also like to apply release to the exterior of the first half of the mold to make clean up easier later. You can also add that collar of clay at the bottom of the sculpt to give the finished mold a nice clean edge. Spray everything with some dulling spray and then you are ready to mold.

Same as with the first half, start with a detail coat, building to a thickness of about &frac14; inch. Then follow with at least 4 layers of stone soaked burlap, and a surface coat of about 1/8 inch. Be sure to avoid run off flowing down the first half of the mold and avoid a buildup of overflow at the edges of the mold wall. When the mold is finished, cover with a plastic bag and allow it to fully cure.

Now, you can remove the bag. If there was overflow and you cannot easily see the seam line of the mold then you can carve off the overflow using rasps, plaster shavers, and chisels. Try to do so a little at a time to avoid any damage to the mold. When the seam line is fully visible, then you can insert strong heavy flat head screw drivers into the pry points and slowly and carefully open your mold. Now, clean out all of the clay. For water clay, a few wooden tools and some water and a brush should be enough. For oil clay, you will need to use solvents with your tools and brushes to dissolve the residual clay. When the mold is clean and dry, you can patch any holes using a thick batch of stone and a wet finger or tool.

If your sculpture is more complicated you can do a 3 piece mold to ensure that it will open correctly without damaging the mold. Sometimes predators need a three or four piece mold. It depends on the sculpture. You MUST use WED clay or similar or Chavant NSP or similar for this, do not use air dry clay or the mold will not work.


I can email out links to photos, as you cannot link to Facebook here.
 

XilianX2010

New Member
To make a mold, you do the sculpture and then build up your molding material over the sculpture, in two halves, front and back. To be fair, what some people call easy, others call difficult. Here is a basic description of how to make a mask mold, using ultracal and burlap, the simplest way to make a mask mold.



Two Piece Stone Mold for Slip Latex Masks

This is probably one of the easier two part molds. Typically Masks are sculpted in water based clay, but nowadays it seems more and mold people are using oil wax based clays. Regardless of clay type, this method works just fine. I like to seal the mask sculpture with 2-3 coats of aerosol acrylic lacquer and a coat of dulling spray. You have a choice with this type of mold. I like to do these lying down, but you can do it standing up as well. If the sculpture can handle being laid down to mold, I would highly suggest doing so. Be sure to protect the back of the sculpture with plastic wrap and some soft foam. Whether standing up or laying down, you will need to build you clay wall along the sculpture, dividing it perfectly in half front to back. You can use knobs of water clay to support the wall from behind if standing up. If lying down, just build the wall up from the work table. Typically these molds are strapped shut, so you do not need a flange. However, if you favor the clamping method for closing your molds, then make the clay wall about 2 &frac12; wide and add a lip at the end to act as a guide for the flange thickness. If you process without a flange, the make you wall about 1 &frac14; inch wide. Be sure to add keys. You can also place a 1 inch wide collar of clay below the end of the sculpture to create a nice clean opening for the mold.

Once all of you clay is in place, add some keys along the wall. Either hex keys or half round keys would be just fine. Seal the water clay with a few coats of aerosol acrylic lacquer and a coat of dulling spray. Now you are ready to mold.

These kinds of molds are best made in stone because the latex needs something porous to cure in correctly. The harder the stone, the slower the cure time, but because you want this mold to last a long time, using Ultracal or Dental stone would be fine. If you need your pieces cured fast, use a medium weight stone, like Hydrocal.

Brush on your detail coat, building up a thickness of about &frac14; inch. When it is dry by not hot, with a matte surface, you can mix the batch for your reinforcement coat, Rewet the surface of the first coat with some stone from this new batch and a wet brush. Now, start applying your stone soaked burlap. As always, I like to do this two layers at a time. Be sure not to trap any air bubbles between the detail layer and the burlap. Also, fold the burlap at the edges of the mold to create a nice strong edge. I would suggest at least 4 layers of reinforcement for this. When your reinforcement is finished, add a thick pasty batch of stone and smooth it over to make a surface coat. You want this coat to be no thicker than about 1/8 inch. Make sure during the whole molding process to avoid extended the mold material over the edge of the clay wall. This will just cause unnecessary mess and thickness.

When the mold is finished, cover with a plastic bag and allow to fully cure. When the mold is cool, remove the back and turn it over. Remove any protective plastic and foam, and then remove the clay wall. Wash off any residue gently and carefully with a soft damp brush. Now, apply mold release to the stone of the mold wall. You can use Vaseline or even paste wax, but I really like the aerosol petrolatum release because it goes on so thin. Also, be sure to add a few thin strips of clay to the wall in about 4 places or so to make pry points. I also like to apply release to the exterior of the first half of the mold to make clean up easier later. You can also add that collar of clay at the bottom of the sculpt to give the finished mold a nice clean edge. Spray everything with some dulling spray and then you are ready to mold.

Same as with the first half, start with a detail coat, building to a thickness of about &frac14; inch. Then follow with at least 4 layers of stone soaked burlap, and a surface coat of about 1/8 inch. Be sure to avoid run off flowing down the first half of the mold and avoid a buildup of overflow at the edges of the mold wall. When the mold is finished, cover with a plastic bag and allow it to fully cure.

Now, you can remove the bag. If there was overflow and you cannot easily see the seam line of the mold then you can carve off the overflow using rasps, plaster shavers, and chisels. Try to do so a little at a time to avoid any damage to the mold. When the seam line is fully visible, then you can insert strong heavy flat head screw drivers into the pry points and slowly and carefully open your mold. Now, clean out all of the clay. For water clay, a few wooden tools and some water and a brush should be enough. For oil clay, you will need to use solvents with your tools and brushes to dissolve the residual clay. When the mold is clean and dry, you can patch any holes using a thick batch of stone and a wet finger or tool.

If your sculpture is more complicated you can do a 3 piece mold to ensure that it will open correctly without damaging the mold. Sometimes predators need a three or four piece mold. It depends on the sculpture. You MUST use WED clay or similar or Chavant NSP or similar for this, do not use air dry clay or the mold will not work.


I can email out links to photos, as you cannot link to Facebook here.
I think links will be neccierry. my Email is t.abbigail@yahoo.com
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Latex-Mask-with-a-2-part-mold/#step1
Is all that you just said like this? Because I got lost in the 3 sentences of the second paragraph.
 

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Effects Guy

New Member
It is similar, except you want to make the dividing wall out of waterclay, not metal so that it is nice and clean and neat. You can make the keys out of clay too. Also, they use some European materials, you will want to use Ultracal 30 and Burlap. One 50 lb bag of Ultracal should be enough. I emailed you some photos of molds I have made in this material, using the described method.
 

XilianX2010

New Member
It is similar, except you want to make the dividing wall out of waterclay, not metal so that it is nice and clean and neat. You can make the keys out of clay too. Also, they use some European materials, you will want to use Ultracal 30 and Burlap. One 50 lb bag of Ultracal should be enough. I emailed you some photos of molds I have made in this material, using the described method.
Thank you for all your help, I'll need as much as I can get XP
Maybe when I start my project I'll update my progress :)
 

Effects Guy

New Member
I shot you an email, with photos, in there I noted that I do consulting on these kinds of projects, if you need extensive help.
 

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