Varok Saurfang (My hubris finally got the better of me)

askernas

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Not a lot of progress over the weekend.
First off, my old handmade tools needed a bit of overhaul. I've used guitar string, which was nice and good, but I needed something slightly sturdier on my loops, especially for the details.
So, some brass tubing and piano wire later, I've made these new ones:

IMG_6729.jpg

They work really great and make the smoothing slightly faster.

I've finished modelling both eyebrows and 3d modelled the nose ring, as it is more of a diamond shape than the round clay bit I've used in the past pics. I popped it into my resin printer and it came out great!

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I'm very happy with that. The look is right and the size is just perfect. Now I just need to ding it up slightly and paint it.
I also took one of the teeth I had made, made a quick 3d scan (I need to learn how to use my scanner, so as good opportunity as any), scaled it down somewhat to allow for a 1-2 mm coating on the outside and 3d printed inserts for my fangs.

The main purpose is not to save on clay, but more to have a firm core inside the large fangs to avoid the small tip from wiggling when I do the sculpting.
I also added handles to them for better handling during sculpting and attached with hot glue, so they can be easily removed when it is time to cast them. I just love how isopropanol instantly removes the bond from hot glue!

IMG_6728.jpg


Next step is to smooth out the head to the point where it is silky smooth, first a bit more with tooling, then time to break out the white benzine that works great when smoothing out. (basically lighter fluid...)

Then, time to go down the path of starting to cast parts.. I still haven't actually cast anything in my life yet...
 

askernas

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
After carefully smoothing the entire sculpt out with sponges, water, and white benzine, Next step is to add wrinkles and pores.
This is challenging for me as I've never done anything before, but I started a bit, just to see how it would look.

If anyone has some tips or tricks and some feedback for me, I'd greatly appreciate it.

This was done by :
-carving in the larger wrinkles
-raking wrinkles on top of thin plastic
-poking the sculpture through thin plastic with a silicone tip (for pores)
-trying to follow some curvature on the face for wrinkles and such.

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I'm also trying to bear in mind that this will be a painted face mask that will be about 2 meters off ground, so tiny details will not pop as much, but I still want the complexity of a face be visible... if that makes sense.
 

joberg

Master Member
It's looking good. Love the fact that it's not symmetrical. As you know; our faces are different from one side to the other.
Maybe the right eye could be smaller (not by much) as to be closer to the left one. ;) I also saw that you've fixed the lower lip and it's smooth now.(y)
 

askernas

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's looking good. Love the fact that it's not symmetrical. As you know; our faces are different from one side to the other.
Maybe the right eye could be smaller (not by much) as to be closer to the left one. ;) I also saw that you've fixed the lower lip and it's smooth now.(y)
I’m a bit torn about what eye I like best.

I -think- I like his left eye better... Haven't made up my mind yet. Or a mix in between them.

I've got a week until my silicone gets here..

I do like his slightly crooked jaw though. That's staying.

I've also properly modeled his large and smaller fangs for his lower jaw and will do the rest of the teeth over the weekend.
 

joberg

Master Member
^^
The crooked jaw has to stay! The eye on the left (his left) is meaner than the right one. When you frown; your eyes tend to be an almond shape rather than rounder (like the right one);)
 

askernas

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
^^
The crooked jaw has to stay! The eye on the left (his left) is meaner than the right one. When you frown; your eyes tend to be an almond shape rather than rounder (like the right one);)
I've got a few more sessions with the clay coming up in order to finalize the skin texture.. and reshaping the inside of the right eye.
Thanks for the agreement of the jaw.. it gives personality, I feel.

Before my silicone gets here: Those of you who have done animatronics with attached silicone masks before..

How would you attach the face mask?

I have been considering using neodynium magnets on the underskull and moving parts and shim plates (or possibly magnets as well) on the inside of the mask.

But.. how would I glue metal shims (or magnets) inside the silicone mask in order to actually make them stick?
I would assume metal shim plates are easier to glue on than magnets...
 

askernas

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
A small update on the sculpt:

I've let it sit for a few days to get a break and also a fresh perspective before going at it again.

First off: I've remodelled the eyes. Mainly his right eye, but also some minor tweaks to his left eye.
More wrinkles, and added a lot more skin texture to him.

I found out we had an abrasive cleaning sponge at home that worked wonders when pressing into the clay to create small pores.

I've used that along with various foams and a sponge I had laying around to create a pretty ok texture, I feel.

Some minor tweaking around the eyes and the forehead, mostly, and we're left with this:

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I'm not sure what/if I should/need to do anything else to this sculpt before the silicone arrives tomorrow.

Friday marked the arrival of my vacuum pot, so I'm starting to get ready to actually do this. Exciting!
The main tools I used for this sculpt are pictured below:

Some diy tools, some old ones I've bought a long time ago, some brushes, plastic bags, foams and the abrasive cleaning sponge.

IMG_6802.jpg


Finally, I've done a base model of the teeth. I will revisit the teeth and sculpt the upper teeth and middle teeth in the lower jaw as well.
For the main lower jaw fangs, I figured I'd keep it quite plain, and add more ridges and damage with my dremel once it is cast in resin.. might be a good idea, might be a bad idea, but at least it IS an idea =p
IMG_6803.jpg
 

joberg

Master Member
Good stuff; that abrasive sponge does wonder for the skin pores(y)(I'll steal that idea:p)...I think the eyes are pretty good now and transforming the fangs after molding is also a good way to perfect them;)
 

animator

Sr Member
The sculpt is looking nice. I applaud you for taking on such a challenging project!

You mentioned having silicone coming. Since this is your first time, if you are planning on the mask being silicone, I wouldn't mold it in silicone, personally. What is your plan for molding and coring the mask?
 

askernas

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The sculpt is looking nice. I applaud you for taking on such a challenging project!

You mentioned having silicone coming. Since this is your first time, if you are planning on the mask being silicone, I wouldn't mold it in silicone, personally. What is your plan for molding and coring the mask?
My plan was, to mold this in silicone (to get a soft mold, as I need to get it out of the mouth cavity), back it up by plaster bandages to create a firm backing.
The plan was then to spray it with release agent, and do a brush on cast from the inside, to get the proper detail.

I had no plans of making an inside core per se. I have a 3d printed face mask that I can use as an inside core for the forehead, but as there is a lot of clay on the sculpt from my eyes and down, my plan was to build it up in small layers until I get the mask as thick as I'd like.

There will be some inside mechanics as well to allow for the jaw to operate and also create a snarl on the upper lip.

This is based on looking at quite a lot of videos, and also some Stan Winston videos on molding and casting.

As I have said, it is my first time doing something like this, so I'd be very happy to hear about what you would do and your experiences?
Cheers,
Micke
 

animator

Sr Member
I am just a hobbyist with limited experience, so please keep that in mind. Hopefully more experienced people will chime in as well.

If there is a Reynolds Advanced Materials store close to you, I would suggest taking some pictures of your sculpt and driving in to talk with them about your project. The store where I live has been wonderful in giving me options and ideas. I would never have succeeded without them.

Also, I would call Smooth-On's help line (Reynold's parent company). They have been amazing in consulting with me on projects.

I'm assuming you are using Platinum silicone. I know it is possible to use silicone for a mold and a pour, but I have also heard it can lead to disaster. Also I would want a stiffer silicone for a mold and a much softer silicone for the mask.

You mention brushing the silicone on the mold to build up the mask. I'm sure that can be done, but you will need rather stiff or stiffened silicone and good access to do a brush in. That might work.

Normally, I would have a mold with a core and pour the silicone between the two. You can even make the mold, use clay in the mold to take up the thickness you want the mask to be, and then pour resin (maybe plaster) or something into that to make a core. I used this mold, clay, resin pour method in the "Dragon for silicone puppet" thread I have in sculpture. I've had good luck with that process.

Just like you I use Stan Winston videos. They have saved me literally thousands of dollars and been super helpful. I rewatch them constantly as I work on something.
I would suggest watching "Silicone Mask Making" with Mike Cooke (this is an epoxy mold process I have used a few times) and "Platinum Silicone Mask Painting" with Jamie Grove.

Epoxy molds like they use in the Stan Winston video get really expensive which is definitely a consideration. Think about how many times you want to cast this so you aren't over-engineering the mold. I've recently used Compat 45 to mold a sculpt and cast silicone. That might be an easier, cheaper option, not that Compat 45 is actually cheap. I'm sure there are lots of other options, I would just really consider the best process before moving forward even though you already have some silicone.

Consider undercuts. You may want to fill in the mouth with clay before casting.

I love how complex your project is! You're making great progress. Good luck!
 

askernas

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I am just a hobbyist with limited experience, so please keep that in mind. Hopefully more experienced people will chime in as well.

If there is a Reynolds Advanced Materials store close to you, I would suggest taking some pictures of your sculpt and driving in to talk with them about your project. The store where I live has been wonderful in giving me options and ideas. I would never have succeeded without them.

Also, I would call Smooth-On's help line (Reynold's parent company). They have been amazing in consulting with me on projects.

I'm assuming you are using Platinum silicone. I know it is possible to use silicone for a mold and a pour, but I have also heard it can lead to disaster. Also I would want a stiffer silicone for a mold and a much softer silicone for the mask.

You mention brushing the silicone on the mold to build up the mask. I'm sure that can be done, but you will need rather stiff or stiffened silicone and good access to do a brush in. That might work.

Normally, I would have a mold with a core and pour the silicone between the two. You can even make the mold, use clay in the mold to take up the thickness you want the mask to be, and then pour resin (maybe plaster) or something into that to make a core. I used this mold, clay, resin pour method in the "Dragon for silicone puppet" thread I have in sculpture. I've had good luck with that process.

Just like you I use Stan Winston videos. They have saved me literally thousands of dollars and been super helpful. I rewatch them constantly as I work on something.
I would suggest watching "Silicone Mask Making" with Mike Cooke (this is an epoxy mold process I have used a few times) and "Platinum Silicone Mask Painting" with Jamie Grove.

Epoxy molds like they use in the Stan Winston video get really expensive which is definitely a consideration. Think about how many times you want to cast this so you aren't over-engineering the mold. I've recently used Compat 45 to mold a sculpt and cast silicone. That might be an easier, cheaper option, not that Compat 45 is actually cheap. I'm sure there are lots of other options, I would just really consider the best process before moving forward even though you already have some silicone.

Consider undercuts. You may want to fill in the mouth with clay before casting.

I love how complex your project is! You're making great progress. Good luck!
Thank you for sharing your experiences.as I've said, I'm totally new to all of this. Sculpting, molding, casting...

On the other hand, one could see it as: "I've never failed at molding or casting anything in my life" ;)

I appreciate you taking the time to do some valid pointers. Unfortunately, I live in Sweden and don't really know anyplace here that would be good to talk about molding the sculpt to begin with.

Great tip about making the core by putting clay inside the mold, will definitely think about that. I would just need to make sure that the silicone would reach all areas properly.

The mouth will be (mostly) filled in, and I won't be making a mold of it for at least a week as I've got a conference for work coming up and a few other quite heavy things to deal with this week.

The plan was to use Rebound 25 to make the actual mold, along with some Thi-vex to thicken the silicone when needed.

I have also bought some Dragon Skin 10 to make the actual mask with, and it might be a better idea to add a core to control the thickness. I just need to figure out from what angle to pour the silicone and where to make sprues for the air to seep out and not have anything show in the final mask..

I would hope that I wouldn't need to cast this very many times. I'm only interested in making a good one for myself really. That, and a test cast to try out paint methods on before I move to the "hero" mask.

I would also consider making a plaster cast of the face once I have a silicone mask, just to save the sculpt for the future.

My first moldings and casts would be the teeth though. Small pieces to just try it out, to get an idea of what I'm getting myself into. I have some good quality clear resin I bought a year ago sitting in the workshop waiting to be used...
 

animator

Sr Member
I didn't know you were in Sweden...

I've used both Rebound 25 and Dragon Skin 10 with great results. Dragon Skin 10 is the silicone I use most.

Smooth-On also has email help. I would still suggest sending them an email with a few images and explain your project and the products you already have on hand. They would be able to give you good information on the best way to release the mold. Smooth-On's tech support is fantastic and very knowledgeable. It's free and you are using their products.

"Lab Work for Animatronic Characters" on the Stan Winston site has an ET mold that he pours silicone in and then presses the core into that. Since your sculpt is a mask, you might be able to just press a core in the back rather than having it completely surrounded by the mold and mother mold. Just a thought. Another option is your core having a channel for pouring silicone and a couple of bleeder holes so you don't need to patch the front.

I can't wait to see your progress!
 

askernas

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've put a lot of updates in the "Sculpture and Makeup Effects" about the process of making the mask, as it is more catered to that crowd.

Once the mask is done, i will continue with muscle suit, foam build and all that.

If you want to see the mask progress, it can be done here in the Mask Making Thread.

For the rest of you, here's a WIP:
1663014965051.png
 

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