What material for masks?

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

TheScratcher

New Member
I would like to make a few masks (for the first time) but have problems finding the right material.
The current global event left me unemployed so it gotta be cheap.

- asked a couple of local carpenters for wood. they all said they´d have to glue pieces together for a mask that size and it will cost about 100 dollars.
I know for a fact that noh masks in japan are made from a solid piece of (specific - cant get in germany) wood.

- clay, can only find expensive clay like super sculpey where I live and the mask would of course become way too heavy (never made molds/casts, which would also be very expensive)

- foam. glue them together and cut them to shape. never worked with foam. can it be as smooth as sanded wood? can the paint look good? seen many cosplays that are obviously looking like foam even with a good paint job.

there are probably some materials I havent even thought of, advice would be very much appreciated.
thank you.

tengu_mask_by_justsantiago_ddfzlk1-fullview.jpg
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

udog

Active Member
What about sculpting, molding and casting?. If you are looking for light weight there are different choices with that technique.
 

udog

Active Member
As for foam, I understand you´re talking about rigid foam that you can carve.
There are PU Foam sheets or Extruded EPS sheets too.
Both can be carved and sanded and in the case of PU Foam there is a variety of densities.
To avoid the "foam look" you must cover it with some material like resins or similar, which can also make it stronger.
¿Are these wearable masks or only display masks?.
Carving them in wood can be a beautiful job on the other hand.
Clay would be out of the question for something that size as I see it. heavy and very fragile.
 

Dtrasler

Sr Member
If you're a sculptor, then I would recommend trying using foam to build the basic shape, then using bondo for the details. I'm a ham-fisted bodger, and I still get better results than I deserve. Bondo sands to a good finish, but it can be shaped easily with tools like a dremel.
 

TheScratcher

New Member
As for foam, I understand you´re talking about rigid foam that you can carve.
There are PU Foam sheets or Extruded EPS sheets too.
Both can be carved and sanded and in the case of PU Foam there is a variety of densities.
To avoid the "foam look" you must cover it with some material like resins or similar, which can also make it stronger.
¿Are these wearable masks or only display masks?.
Carving them in wood can be a beautiful job on the other hand.
Clay would be out of the question for something that size as I see it. heavy and very fragile.

thanks for the specific names "pu and eps" sadly i cant find any on ebay, which is the only place I can get anything from where I am from.
hardware stores here arent for the DIY folks sadly.
Ill try searching more.

when you say, coat it with resin. do you think several layers of varnish would do the trick as well? resin is way too expensive.
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

TheScratcher

New Member
If you're a sculptor, then I would recommend trying using foam to build the basic shape, then using bondo for the details. I'm a ham-fisted bodger, and I still get better results than I deserve. Bondo sands to a good finish, but it can be shaped easily with tools like a dremel.

Cant get bondo where I am, so I looked into "car filler" but that only comes in paint buckets or spray cans.
also its sold as acrylic varnish. i doubt thats what bondo is.
not sure what id need to get instead of bondo
 

Dtrasler

Sr Member
I get your issues here, and I'm sorry I can't think of a better solution. You're right about filler coming in paint tins - the stuff I use isn't Bondo (the brand) but this:

Big tin, but $30 can be a big cost if you aren't getting any money coming in. I've spent time unemployed and it's no fun.

A cheaper take might be paper mache - using glue watered down, and tissue paper. I get both from my local dollar store. The results can be lightweight but reasonably hardwearing, especially if you can spring for varnish as a top coat.

Best of luck.
 

TheScratcher

New Member
I get your issues here, and I'm sorry I can't think of a better solution. You're right about filler coming in paint tins - the stuff I use isn't Bondo (the brand) but this:

Big tin, but $30 can be a big cost if you aren't getting any money coming in. I've spent time unemployed and it's no fun.

A cheaper take might be paper mache - using glue watered down, and tissue paper. I get both from my local dollar store. The results can be lightweight but reasonably hardwearing, especially if you can spring for varnish as a top coat.

Best of luck.

Your are right, I actually looked into paper mache as well and found some GODLY work. Like this for example.


All these people make clay sculpts
(cant find cheap but large amounts of clay, only expensive super sculpey or childrens clay thats expensive in tiny amounts)

because of the long drying time I cant let it dry on my face.
Do you think tha following will work?

put plaster bandages on my face as a negative mold.
put plaster bandages inside the negative with...maybe aluminum foil between so it doesnt stick together?
then basically have a face sculpt.
build up tons of paper mache and sculpt it to the thickness and form i want?

all the others sculpt with other materials what they want and put a thin layer of paper mache on top.
maybe its not possible to use it as a sculpting material?
the photo uploaded represents what i want to make fairly well. mine would have an even longer nose though.
not sure how that would work out.
 

Dtrasler

Sr Member
Wow! That's seriously impressive stuff!
Your proposal sounds feasible, but here's a potential shortcut for the face cast:
I tried a variation of this method to kick off my Hiccup helmet, and it worked as a base.
WP_20140813_004.jpg
Another thing to remember is that you don't have to use a mass of mache to build up features, like the fox snout. You could make a cardboard form and just use mache for the surfacing and details.
 

TheScratcher

New Member
Wow! That's seriously impressive stuff!
Your proposal sounds feasible, but here's a potential shortcut for the face cast:
I tried a variation of this method to kick off my Hiccup helmet, and it worked as a base.
View attachment 1310571
Another thing to remember is that you don't have to use a mass of mache to build up features, like the fox snout. You could make a cardboard form and just use mache for the surfacing and details.

So simple, yet so logical and easy!
Great idea.
basically make a papercraft from cardboard or basically a "sceleton" of the mask, then add paper mache on top as a smooth "skin"
That might totally work.
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

udog

Active Member
do you think several layers of varnish would do the trick as well?
No, I don´t think so. If you want to get rid of the foam texture you want something that covers it and that you can sand down.
The paper mache could be a good way to go. Look for a good recipee.
 

JPH

Sr Member
aluminum foil, paper, tape, and playdoh, then coat over with something rigid like fiberglass.

I regularly start helmets or mask with aluminum foil, 2-3 layers, then work from there. It also keep the voices out, and prevents aliens from reading your mind

If you want to make a few, you are best off getting a starter pack of mold maker then slush cast with resin. Plaster o Paris for rigid outer mold.

Time
Cost
Ease of use

pick two.
 

TheScratcher

New Member
aluminum foil, paper, tape, and playdoh, then coat over with something rigid like fiberglass.

I regularly start helmets or mask with aluminum foil, 2-3 layers, then work from there. It also keep the voices out, and prevents aliens from reading your mind

If you want to make a few, you are best off getting a starter pack of mold maker then slush cast with resin. Plaster o Paris for rigid outer mold.

Time
Cost
Ease of use

pick two.

Would you know of any video that shows the process you discribe?
would orthopedic fiberglass rolls for casts work? cuz thats the only fiberglass available here.
I wonder if you can sand these smooth.
 

JPH

Sr Member
Would you know of any video that shows the process you discribe?
would orthopedic fiberglass rolls for casts work? cuz thats the only fiberglass available here.
I wonder if you can sand these smooth.

Um, I don't want to sound mean but, just get a few oversized sheets of aluminum, roll the edges around themselves, put them on your face, make holes for eyes and nose and mouth, make rigid with fiberglass, then add clay to sculpt. The nose can also be aluminum foil, but you don't really need an instructional video to crinkle aluminum foil into shapes. Press it up against your face, make holes where you need em.

Ortho fiberglass might help with the foundation, but for more detailed you should use something like Bondo or Freeform Air. Doesn't orthofiberglass come in a fabric sleeve? See if you have plaster of paris, it is cheap and when wet,you can shape.

The nose on that mask if going to need some support, so, aluminum tightly compressed or a metal rod would really help.

Make sure you have a mask if sanding fiberglass
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Top