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Thanks havok1919! Been wanted to do this and have been waiting for some extra funds and a good tut. Found the tut now need the $$. Maybe I will find some X-30 in my stocking this years?

PB
 

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That is some awesome work. You can never have enough skulls! These are some that I'm working on right now. About 20 peices. This isn't everything, just whats currently on the dining room table. (Wife wants her food table back!!!) These are all paper mache' and aluminum foil without the paper. My own extra thick mix. A good example of very cheap... Cait

Really great job and closer to what I need for my particular application. The Plastic skulls look like great quality. But I need quantity and I need to cut them to hang in our catacombs area.
 

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I used sand casting and various plastic skulls for impressions, with Great Stuff foam to make a couple hundred skulls this year. They aren't as realistic looking as the mache skulls, but when sprayed black they look pretty creepy.

I made two of these pillars. This one is three sided (doesn't kill the grass under it). The other houses (weather prooffs) speakers, amp, DVD player and projector for the Disney singing busts.
It had been misting so I bagged the fire pots in this pic (set up was in progress):



This is an early pic of the catacombs. About 75 more sand cast skulls were added to three walls in here:
 

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How many coats of silicone do you think you used? I am attempting this poject but it is not turning out well. The silicone justs wants to slide/drip off.
 

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Very cool Havok! You can never have to many skulls! I just wanted to pass on that silicone molds can last years depending on frequency of use and the material being cast. Other factors like how the mold was made can also help prolong the life of the mold but they do wear out. In most cases the silicone mold "stretches" and will begin to fold inside the mother mold before things like resin or foam begin to stick. I blow through molds on a regular basis due to production wear. But that said you do get great bank for your buck here with piles of skulls!!!! Awesome work, thanks for the post and photos!
 

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I'm doing this for sure. Can I use just foam instead of the plastic to cast these? I'll definitely be going with an expanding foam (not Great Stuff), so I'll be pricing out the products. Thanks for sharing!
I'm unclear about the difference between Great Stuff and expanding foam. I sprayed GS into a sand mold I had just "dusted" with WD40. Spraying it level with the sand resulted in a back half-globe that could be trimed to meet my purposes. I cut the back of the skull at different flat angles to mount them "looking" in all different directions. The finer the sand the more real looking, but my application used black painted skulls with LED eyes in most cases, so rough sand worked great and was quick to reform after each batch dried. FWIW
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Hey Everybody-- I haven't checked in in a while! (We did a commercial haunt in 2012 and that burned me out on Halloween for a bit!)

Misc. comments:

* Yes, you can can directly with foam instead of the first slush-casting with plastic. It won't be as strong (expect thin parts to break when demolding) and the surface won't hold detail quite as well.

* Great Stuff may work if you did thin layers, but I suspect that it would be hard to get it everywhere it needs to get and it probably won't cure very well compared to two-part foams in an enclosed space. (For a 'dish' type mold or the 'face' sort of sand molds GS will cure because half of it is exposed to the air, but putting it in a container like my full shell mold is really about like keeping it in a can-- so it can't fully react and cure solid.)
 

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I did a similar mold last month but bolted down to a board for a flat bottom. I'm using Smooth-On Foam-iT 5 (10x) foam with about 4oz of each. I found that the bottom of the mold (top of the skull) appears to get very hot during the expansion and it bubbled up quite a bit. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong as the rest of the mold turns out pretty good. The end result is still usable but I have to sand down the crown of the skull to get it smooth - just more work/time that I don't want to do... I'm guessing that the board is forcing too much compression or something but if I don't have it, it won't conform to the jaw line and other bits at the bottom of the skull (top of the mold).

Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I found that the bottom of the mold (top of the skull) appears to get very hot during the expansion and it bubbled up quite a bit. [...]Any ideas?
I've not used the Smooth-On foam, but the Tap Plastics stuff gets pretty warm too. Do you have a vent hole in the board on the bottom? (If not, I'd add one-- maybe ~3/4" or so-- and see how much foam comes out.) Maybe you've got too much foam and pressure/heat is building up and cutting back to 3oz or so might be better.

Do you have a rigid support shell around the silicone glove mold? (If not, the foam could just be exerting enough pressure to distort the mold at the weakest point.)
 

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Yes - I used the Plasti stuff to make the rigid form around the silicone mold. I do have a couple vent holes (besides the 1-1/2" pour hold) but they are pretty small - like 1/4" - mainly to ensure the air could get out. I will try a few bigger holes and perhaps a bit less foam mixture and see what happens. It's a bit like not getting the Christmas gift you wanted - spent all the time making the mold/shell and getting poor results makes it a little less fun... We'll see what happens - thanks for the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
You might give Smooth-On's tech support a call too-- they're really good about helping out with troubleshooting their materials...
 

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Hi, I'm new to the forum. My husband and I are going to try and make this. But he was keen to ask if you might consider making a mold for us and we'd pay you, and then we could go from there? Sounds silly, but I cannot find a good mold for sale on line and its almost absolutely going to happen that I'll mess it up if I try it myself. ;)

Thanks for reading!
 
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