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Scared Silly
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm still here, guys!





I've been asked to do a few pieces for a production of Beauty and the Beast, and the first is a mask of the old beggar woman.


It's very much a work in progress, but I'm excited to post it here because it feels like a return to the sort of characters I used to sculpt for the haunt.


This sculpture is in WED clay. When it's done, I'll mold it, cast it up in latex, and figure out the paint scheme.


And yes, she'll make a good witch prop, too! More to come.
 

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Simply awesome, your sculpting skills are amazing.

Unpainted like that If you placed a old tattered cowboy hat on it - It would look like an old grisled rancher I once worked for. ;)
 

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Looking Great Mr Chicken !!

How snug would this fit on a Lindburg skull? Anywhere near the size of the "skins" you used to make for the 3 axis skulls??
 

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Mr. Chicken - you do some great work and I like this mask. I may even be interested in a purchase depending on the color scheme.
BUT.... I have to tell you, that when I saw the picture in your 1st post, my immediate impression was Mr. Magoo! LOL!
HM
 

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Scared Silly
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks folks!

Hallomarine, as far as colors go, this first pull for the show will be pretty basic caucasian, but I may branch out in the future. Haha, I see the Magoo in there, now that you mention it!

It's all about textures now. I'm going a little oversized with everything because it's for stage. I'm not really sold on how some areas (like the forehead) look as far as texture goes, though, so there may be some revisions before it's all over, too.

 

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What Hump?
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I've posted a walkthrough of the moldmaking process on my blog: http://chickenhaunt.blogspot.com/2014/01/moldmaking-tutorial-for-latex-masks.html
Great walkthrough, Mr_Chicken.

I have a couple of questions:

Do you mix multiple batches of ultracal-30 to make the alternating coats of ultracal and burlap? My experience has been that it takes about 15-20 minutes from the time I start mixing the ultracal until it starts setting enough to hold its shape on the sculpt. From that point it starts really setting within about 5 minutes and I have to act fast, with a helper or two, to get even one layer of burlap on before the ultracal sets too much to work with any longer.

I do my key/keys a little different; I cut a groove around the entire dam (mold wall), but I don't necessarily create "pry points". I just make sure the mold is thick enough all the way around so that when I need to pry it apart, the parts that chip are far from the sculpt. I'm not sure I'm seeing the pry points in your walkthrough. Can you explain what the are in a bit more detail and point out on one of your photos what they look like?

Great work!
 

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Scared Silly
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Discussion Starter #15
Do you mix multiple batches of ultracal-30 to make the alternating coats of ultracal and burlap? My experience has been that it takes about 15-20 minutes from the time I start mixing the ultracal until it starts setting enough to hold its shape on the sculpt. From that point it starts really setting within about 5 minutes and I have to act fast, with a helper or two, to get even one layer of burlap on before the ultracal sets too much to work with any longer.
Well, it took me 2 batches for each side of the mold, though it ended up being thicker than necessary, so I could have used less. There's definitely an art to catching the plaster at the right stages and working at the right pace. What I tend to do lately is brush on the detail layer/splash coat while it's still fairly fluid, then puddle up enough more plaster that I'm confident I won't disturb the surface when I start going at it with the burlap. The burlap I dampen very slightly before dipping it in the plaster and applying it to the mold (carefully so as not to trap air under it). I do that when it's beginning to thicken. If you have all your materials prepped and ready to go, it can be done in one batch, but two makes it a little easier.

What you're experiencing with the consistency may be related to having too thin of a mixture.

Remember that you can spritz a little water on the ultracal as it's setting to keep it workable for another minute.

I do my key/keys a little different; I cut a groove around the entire dam (mold wall), but I don't necessarily create "pry points". I just make sure the mold is thick enough all the way around so that when I need to pry it apart, the parts that chip are far from the sculpt. I'm not sure I'm seeing the pry points in your walkthrough. Can you explain what the are in a bit more detail and point out on one of your photos what they look like?

Great work!
My pry points are the smaller, non-tapered rectangles. I basically alternated keys and pry points going around. The difference is that the keys are represented on both halves of the mold, so it "keys" into the other half.
Look at this photo. If you take the head as a clock (and turn it so it's straight up and down), there's a pry point at 12:00, a key at 1:30, and another pry point at 2:00.
IMG_2416_zps84ba2791.jpg

The pry points remain as voids on one side, so I can insert a screwdriver or something and gently apply pressure, inserting wedges (popsicle sticks) as it slowly parts. Having the pry points means you don't have to chip into the mold or be searching for a way to get leverage, because you've built it in.

You can see here where, while I've peeled out the clay from the key in the bottom right of the photo, I've left the clay in the pry points on either side (top right and bottom center). I actually decided to add another pry point below the ear on the other side of the mold (bottom left).


I looked up your thread on your zombie mask. Keys for hard molds (like plaster) aren't usually done that way. The groove all around is more common with flexible molds. The reason it's not done, as far as I can figure, is about the way the halves come together. When you have one big squiggly shape like that, the halves of the mold have to come straight together, or you risk chipping the key. The separate keys are shaped so that the mold can be opened or closed on any angle, and the keys simply help it slide into the right position. When using flexible molding materials like silicone, that snake key can be very helpful, as you can go around and lock the halves together my pressing down on it all the way around. But that's also because a flexible mold could bend at any point and not come together, so having it keyed in all the way around is important. It isn't necessary to do that on a rigid mold, though, since it'll hold its shape.

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have further questions. :)
 

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His profile reminds me of the bust of an ancient Roman politico. Do you ever use actual people for models? I was out in public at a local sporting event when I saw a very strange looking person who if modeled would have made quite an interesting mask . (No birth defects or injuries,just genetically odd and sad.) She had friends and was very involved with them publicaly, normal in that important aspec of life....of course SHe could have seeing me and thinking that I might be a execellant subject for a Halloween mask!? And prob. she would have been right!
 

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Heather McAdams , the cartoonist told me "JIm, you have the perfect job! The older and uglier you get, the better it works!"
So True.
 

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Let me know if you have further questions. :)
I have further questions :)

I'm getting ready to create the mold from a sculpt I just completed.

(It's actually a hag's/witch's head too. I didn't copy you I swear :). I'd been planning this for a while for use in both a cauldron creep and a rocking granny prop. Your thread spurred me to finally do it, though.)

I notice that everyone else that sculpts in WED clay, you included, uses white clay (EM-210) for the dam wall. I've always just used more WED clay. The only reason I've seen stated for using white clay is that it's easier to see the difference between the sculpt and the dam wall when removing the wall.

Are there other reasons I am missing?

I'll be going with WED clay for the dam wall again this time because the nearest location where I can get white clay is 75 miles away and I'm not going to making the drive tonight. I'm just curious for future sculpts/molds.
 
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