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I've been able to, with much advice, instruction, and reading on this and other sites, create a lot of masks and small props by sculpting the prop in WED clay, making a mold of the sculpt in Ultracal 30, and taking a cast out of the mold with latex or other materials.

That's all well and good, but now I want to go bigger.

What happens when I want to create a 6 foot tall foam body form? How about a giant skull?

The limiting factor here seems to be the Utracal 30 mold. A 6 foot tall, two piece, Ultracal mold is going to weigh hundreds of pounds.

From watching shows like "Making Monsters" and "Face Off", I think that the answer to the larger mold material is Fiberglass, but I've never worked with it before.

Has anyone here worked with molding and casting on that type of large scale?
What recommendations would you make?
Is fiberglass the way to go?
Where would I obtain the materials?
Where can I find some good web-based training resources (I'm apparently not using the right keywords in my searches).

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Hello Abunai. Here is what I can offer to try and help. I think fiberglass is a good way to go for large scale props. It has great strength and a relatively light weight. To get the material you can check with a boat dealer. They use fiberglass to make and repair boats. Of course there is always an internet search for bulk fiberglass. You will need the fiberglass sheets/strands and the resin. As for training, I would check for videos or articles on 'fiberglass mold making' or 'fiberglass casting'. A quick YouTube search brought up some videos in each category. Side note - you will want to add wood bracing to the mold to give it some rigidity to help prevent cracking and to be able to move large pieces.

Recommendations......use it in a VERY,VERY,VERY well ventilated area. The fumes are unbelievable.

I am sure other forum members will have info to contribute as well.

I hope this helps a little. Best of luck and have fun!
 

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I have been working with fiberglass for my latest glove mold/mother molds. The stuff does put out an overpowering order. I only work outside with it.

The good:
1. Fiberglass materials are somewhat cheaper than epoxy or polyester resins
2. You can get these materials at the hardware or auto parts store
3. Sets very quick

The bad:
1. The stuff dries sharp if you have any burs in the fabric. I have cut my hands handling my molds.
2. It really does stink


I have been thinking about using hard foam sculpting for larger items. This guy seems do very large amazing pieces.


http://www.tomspinadesigns.com/custom-theme-props-characters-foam-carving-sculpture.html
 

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This guy seems do very large amazing pieces.
Very cool sculptures.
I wonder what his HF name is :)

Thanks for the feedback, guys.
I bought a quart of resin/hardener and a bag of fiberglass mat from the auto store today.
I'll play around with it and see how well it holds detail and see how will it works for my purposes.
I'll need to wait for a warm day so that I can work outside.
 

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Fiberglass does take some getting used to. It can also be difficult to get any fine details. I use it as a mold shell. I cover my sculpt in wet paper towels and a layer of WED clay (about 1/2") and then make a 2-part fiberglass mold around that. Next, I take off the shell, remove the clay and wet paper towels and fill the gap with silicone for the detail layer. When that sets up, I cut the silicone and take the sculpt out. Then I remove the clay from the bust/form and put it back into the mold. I can then fill the gap (the mask space) with latex or foam etc. It works pretty well and I've even been able to use the same shell with more than one sculpt if they're similar enough in size.
I suppose if you're making something really big you wouldn't want to use silicone (you'd have to mortgage the house to pay for it!) but maybe my process will give you some ideas.
One important thing to know: fiberglass resin melts styrofoam/rigid foam. So, if you sculpt in foam and then want to make a fiberglass mold or just coat it in fiberglass, be sure to first cover the sculpt in aluminum foil to prevent it from disintegrating.
Can't wait to see what you make!
 

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Thanks for the feedback, Intellagirl.
I still haven't found the time (the nerve?) to use the fiberglass I bought.
I have about six different projects going on. I need to just focus on one or I'll never get any of them done.
I'll make sure to post the results of my fiberglass experiment.
 

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Thanks for the feedback, Intellagirl.
I still haven't found the time (the nerve?) to use the fiberglass I bought.
I have about six different projects going on. I need to just focus on one or I'll never get any of them done.
I'll make sure to post the results of my fiberglass experiment.
I would use Shell Shock from Smooth on.com Back that with Plasti Paste. Its lite weight! Works Great!
 

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I would use Shell Shock from Smooth on.com Back that with Plasti Paste. Its lite weight! Works Great!
So, even though the Shell Shock is rigid when dry...it would be used to pick up the detail, and the Plasti Paste would be used to add thickness and strength to the overall mold?

They would adhere to each other to form a single mold, right? (as opposed to a flexible mold/mother mold combination).

I'm seeing the gallon sized kits for both of these products listed at ~ $65.00 each at Reynolds Advanced Materials.
 

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on you tube there are a few life casts that do the whole body,and after they mold then they wrap like a cast over the mold using ultra cal and gauze strips.look up life casting on you tube and you can see how it's done.
 
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