Sculpting Props?

GeneralFROSTY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
What specific brand/type of clay compound do pro prop makers use to sculp props and such for feature films? I always see them using a redish/brown type of clay when sculpting miniature characters (like in Nightmare B4 Xmas) creature masks and such. Is there an online resource available for this type of information? LMK, thanks!
-JC
Scene10@comcast.net
 

propsculptor

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
As with any sculptor, it's a matter of choice. I used to prefer Roma-plastilina, now I use whaterver is handy, or whatever does the job.

If I had to sculpt a space helmet or something mechanical I'd use Chavant clay like they used for sculpting the Robocop suit, and the Batman suits.

For sculpting something like Halloween Masks I use WED clay which is a water based clay and very easy to use.

I don't know where you are located but I get my supplies at:

http://www.lagunaclay.com/
 

Hand-Schaub

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Production artists will use an oil based clay becasue of it's long work time and ability to revise an idea over and over. Cheant is a good high quality clay. The stiffer the clay the tighter the detail that can be achieved. For most of us the Roma clay is most available and most reasonably cost.

Production artists will also use high density foam extnsively. This makes for a good and light armature and can be cut quickly and with good detail. Downside is that it is harder to find and costly.
 

GeneralFROSTY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Are there any books -- or better yet, videos on the process/materials used in sculpting props? My main interest is sculpting small props (guns, matrix headplugs (LOL), and things of that nature) I am also interested in sculpting maquettes and characters like in NIghtmare B4 Xmas
-JC
 

propsculptor

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Try Movie FX magazine & the following issues:

Premiere Isue:
In the Shop
Jordu Schell, creature designer on movies like X-Files, Men in Black and Starship Troopers gives you a lesson on sculpting a maquette.

Issue 4:
Sculpting lesson 2
Hollywood creature designer Jordu Schell is back to show us how to sculpt a 1:1 scale monster bust.

Issue 5:
Half Mask Lesson
Creature Designer Jordu Schell is back to show you how to sculpt, mold, cast and airbrush a half mask!

http://www.moviefxmag.com

I have every issue except for the most recent (Not yet, but soon,it also has more sculpting lessons) and if I didn't have them all, I'd buy them!
 

GeneralFROSTY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for the tip. I just ordered the first issue. Could you make me copies of your back issues? Money is tight right now, and I want them all. Email me directly if you are interested.
-JC
 

propsculptor

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Sorry I can't do that. I like and respect Gary Barth too much to take money out of his pocket!

Someone here on the propboards was selling their collection so just ask around or even check Ebay they may have some back issues.
 

Clerval

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
A safety issue to mention...
Chevant is NSP, non-sulphurated plastiline. This is a good thing. You want to be careful about the material. As it dries over time it may discolor, get come odd marble texture to it, 'just look weird'... it's a natural process and you can still re-use it.

As for using high densiity urethanes and coating them... (you can also varnish NSPs and Plastilina, allows you to digitize, mold, etc--simply remove the varnish and you can rework the piece) you have to have a NIOSH respirator for this. The bits of urethane that flake off under a rasp or sandpaper or what not will get into your lungs and stay. Not good stuff health-wise. Same with 'feather-fills' or any skinning or filling agent.

As for other recommendations, really haven't got any. Roma Plastilina, WED and NSP (chevant) are great choices for you.
Have fun!
 

GeneralFROSTY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Does anyone recommend a great book about making molds of your sculptures, and what materials to use during replicating?
-JC
 

Rylo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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GeneralFROSTY wrote:
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Thanks for the tip. I just ordered the first issue. Could you make me copies of your back issues? Money is tight right now, and I want them all. Email me directly if you are interested.
-JC
</TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE><SPAN CLASS=$row_color>

Wha?!?
Dude, C'mon.
 

juno

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Propsculptor -- thanks for the tip on the Movie FX magazine -- well worth the price.
 

propsculptor

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You are welcome, I'm glad to help, I wish I'd had all these resources when I was interested in learning,
there wasn't the Internet, or Forums, just books and Magazines.
Now it so easy to get information on anything you can learn twice as fast
as most of us "Old" folks here did.

If you are in the Los Angeles Area and can fit it into your schedule, Jordu Schell teaches classes at his studio,
I've known him for years, he's great to learn from:
http://www.schellstudio.com/

Here's the link for classes:
http://www.schellstudio.com/classes.htm

Originally posted by juno@Apr 14 2006, 03:36 PM
Propsculptor -- thanks for the tip on the Movie FX magazine -- well worth the price.
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juno

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I wish I lived in LA -- I'm stuck in Ohio.

My friends and I always joke that if the Internet had existed when we were in school, we'd be in prison.
 
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