Smoothing Monster Makers clay

Discussion in 'Sculpture and Makeup Effects' started by wholesomejoe, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    I'm working on a sculpt and I have it to where I want it, but now I need to smooth it down and get rid of the uneven spots.

    What's the process for doing that? I have some Naptha because I read somewhere I could use that as a smoothing agent?

    I bought it years ago when it just came in a block in a plastic bag. I don't know if it's the same thing as "monster clay".

    I have to heat it up to work with it. It doesn't dry, but it gets very stiff when at room temp.

    Suggestions? I also need tips on how to do a reptile skin texture, like a turtle would have.... yeah, it's a turtle.
     
  2. cunningham

    cunningham Active Member

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    Plenty of people have asked the same question on this forum. You can heat it with a torch of some sort, you can use your finger and it heats up with friction. I have melted it in the microwave and rolled it out like pizza dough with a wooden rolling pin to flatten it out evenly. I have used the rolling pin directly on a sculpted bust as well. Anything you can imagine really. That's the fun thing about using this stuff, experimentation.
    But to get the final smoothing effect, I have used mineral spirits, which dissolves the surface slightly and will get rid of many of the little flaws, dips, bumps, etc,. Some people have said that freezing the surface by using a can of that compressed air used to clean out your computers keyboard and holding it upside down. I haven't tried that, but it sounds logical as any surface is more easily smoothed when hard. Before ALL that, just old fashioned elbow grease to work the surface as good as possible. i would skip the naphtha as it stinks to all hell, the mineral spirits slightly less.
    As for textures, you can use anything found in your house, like leather, fruit or vegetable skins, or even shell out a couple of bucks and get some texture pads from Smooth-On. Monster Clay is some fun stuff, holds a texture better far better than regular clay, but it does take more effort to work it,in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  3. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    I actually have terpentine, not naptha.. not sure that makes a difference. I read somewhere that mineral spirits was not quite aggressive enough for the version of monster clay I have.
     
  4. carluccidesign

    carluccidesign Member

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    I just started using monsterclay myself. It is a pretty tedious clay to work with and slow. I use lighter fluid with a soft brush to smooth out fine details. You can also use a hair dryer on low...carefully to soften the clay on the form. I also put it in the oven for a few minutes on low.
    As for details I use clear plastic sheeting. Like thick plastic wrap. I lay it over the clay then I start to add wrinkles, pores etc. Or you can add all the details in pore by pore..wrinkle by wrinkle then soften with a brush and lighter fluid. Good luck
     
  5. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    This is what I'm working on, I have the shape I want, but there's still "lumpy" parts that need to be smoothed out, so they are all the same level. I would love to be able to apply the same theory as I would with bondo or something, where I sand it down with sandpaper.. how would I do this with clay?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ultraman

    ultraman Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    that's going to be a pretty cool turtle when your done!
     
  7. Westies14

    Westies14 Master Member

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    99% alcohol (like rubbing alcohol you'd buy on Amazon or in a pharmacy) melts monster clay and makes it pliable, very easy to smooth. You can also use a blow dryer or heat gun to soften/melt the clay, but go easy because if it gets hot enough it will pour off of your sculpt like liquid.

    There are a lot of ninja turtle texturing tips using this same clay sprinkled throughout the thread linked in my signature banner. Good luck with your sculpt - looking good!
     
  8. Sinned

    Sinned Well-Known Member

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    Before you get to actually using a solvent to smooth the surface, you should go over it with a rake tool, to help blend in the bumps, and help you better discern high/low spots.

    KenRake5.jpg
     
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  9. Lord Magneto

    Lord Magneto Well-Known Member

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    awesome work man.

    I really need to get off my * and order some clay and start working on a project.
     
  10. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    I have some turpentine already that we bought for some other project. I heard I could use that too. I don't think I'm to the stage where I need to use a solvent yet am I? I

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have some turpentine already that we bought for some other project. I heard I could use that too. I don't think I'm to the stage where I need to use a solvent yet am I? I
     
  11. clonesix

    clonesix Sr Member

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    You need a mechanical tool before you get to the Solvent part. A tool such as a metal kidney, a Rake, or Loop, will even out the surface.
     
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  12. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    Okay, so I've been working on this and it still seems like a never ending battle.

    I'm working on the top of his head, and i've been at this for 2 hours tonight. I know human bald heads aren't totally smooth, but the turtle heads in the movie looked fairly smooth.. but maybe the skin texture covers up where it might be a tad bumpy?

    [​IMG]
     
  13. BoltFX

    BoltFX Active Member

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    The skin texture you use next will really help with any final small impurities. When I sculpted mine I had the same problem (I used wed clay though). Get it as smooth as possible, and then use a texture stamp and you will see a lot of it goes away.

    Good luck!
     
  14. Dericrw

    Dericrw Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Same as Sync. Your "heading" the right direction.

    Quick question: do you plan to make the sculpt into a mask? Looking at the armature used it may need to be larger.... but its difficult to tell.
    GREAT WORK
     
  15. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    Thanks guys! Dericrw the pictures are probably deceiving in that regard. It's sculpted over a full size head bust. It's not MY head, but I measured my head against it before I started to make sure that it was going to be the right size. I also measured it against the measurements you gave for yours in your thread as a guide. I think the angle of the photos are just making it seem like it's smaller than it actually is. I also looked at the ones the prop shop makes, and they looked "small" to me as well.

    I've gotten it pretty smooth. The biggest issue is the really minor hills and valleys that are impossible to see up close, but are noticeable from a distance and can be felt with your hands. I fix one, which creates another one and so on, and so on.

    Here's a better photo showing things around it so you can get an idea for the size.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  16. BoltFX

    BoltFX Active Member

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    Looking really good! Love the look. Remember that latex shrinks a bit so if you plan a latex mask it has to be a bit bigger than you want.

    Good luck! Can't wait to see it.
     
  17. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    Hmm, do you know the rate of shrinkage? I am trying to get a good size for my head in proportion to the suit. I've seen alot of the heads/suits being too big/bulky by just a tad but I also don't want it to be too small. The prop shop masks look too small to me when I see people wearing them... for example.
     
  18. BoltFX

    BoltFX Active Member

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    You are right. The prop shop one is small to my liking as well. Latex shrinks normally about 10%. The reality is a range of like 5% to 15%.

    And don't forget that latex shrinks in all aspects. Some people look at the circumference of the sculpt and forget the height aspect. For instance, what if it shrunk a bit and suddenly your chin didn't fit inside? Keep that in mind.
     
  19. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    Sync I was actually watching the one video you posted on youtube the other day of your mask lol.

    Are there any mask making materials that don't shrink?

    I don't think it's going to be a problem. Yours does look a lot bigger than my sculpt in the video, but the guys in the original suits weren't huge guys either. It definitely will "fit" I just don't want it looking too small once I have everything else.

    How wide does yours measure across? I'd guess about 14"
     
  20. BoltFX

    BoltFX Active Member

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    I made mine to the measurements I found online for the originals masks. My end result mask is 12 inches side to side, and 14 front to back.
     
  21. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    I just measured it with a tape measure.. It's a little over 14" from front of beak to back, and about 12" from cheek to cheek.
     
  22. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    Sync, I know Dericrw used a texture stamp from monster makers, what did you use?
     
  23. BoltFX

    BoltFX Active Member

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    Texture stamp as well. A couple of them.
     
  24. Mr Mold Maker

    Mr Mold Maker Sr Member

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    As said above, you really need to rake out the sculpture before going to it with solvents. The hills and valleys you've mentioned would be easily remedied by proper use of a rake. You can buy or make quite a few. I'd start with a jeweler saw and progressively work your way down to a guitar string. It will kill the hills and show you where to fill in the valleys.





    Here are the three most commonly used rakes in my tool box for reference. IMAG0507.jpg
     
  25. barbquebutt

    barbquebutt Active Member

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    I haven't worked with Monster before, but in my sculpting experience, tapping lumps lightly with the back of a metal or heavy plastic spoon does wonders. Don't slap it or hammer on it, just tap it like you would a tiny nail. Work carefully enough and you can usually get pretty close to what you're looking for. Anything remaining could probably be smoothed out with the mineral spirits.
     
  26. Looch

    Looch Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I use Citronella to smooth my clay with fine sandpaper.
     

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