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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I think this is my first real post... other than the introduction. I'm more of a lurker. :eek: Anyway, here's some shots of my recent project.

We're doing a Voodoo Swamp theme at our home haunt this year. This poor soul has been cursed by the evil swamp witch.

The sculpt:
sculpt.jpg

The casting:
casting.jpg

The Molding:
Mold.jpg

I just started on the paint job last night. I hope to get more time this weekend to put some time on it. I'll try to post my final result.

Comments welcome.

Bobby

P.S. No, those are not my fingernails! But did you catch my daughters nod to Star Trek?
 

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Very cool work, look forward to seeing more. I haven't kept up with Star Trek though......
 

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LIVE LONG AND PROSPER to you daughter CheeseWeasel , your work is incredible by the way i wish i was as talented as you , it is very interesting for someone like me who did not quite know how many processes there are in the creation of a mask , i guess now i see why the good ones are so expensive , i too will be looking back to follow the processes and to see how the final mask actually looks .Is this something you do for a living or something in this field ? also your voodoo haunt sounds really great , i would like to see any other props that you have made for this as well because it is something we don't hear a lot about in the U.K. , and i like the idea of it , and also wondered what else you could create or need for the Voodoo haunt , i look forward to more photos when you have time .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi everyone,

Thank you guys for the kind words about my mask. pacman, you made me laugh with your greeting! :) To answer your questions; This is my first attempt at a mask. As a matter of fact, this is my first attempt at the many skills that it takes to make a mask - sculpting, casting, molding, airbrushing - they were all new to me. I will tell you that I did a TON of research. I watched hours of youtube videos and bought books and a DVD on the topics. I'm actually very surprised that it all came together so well.

So, anyway, I was lucky and had the time this weekend to get it painted. I spent about 10 hours over Friday and Saturday. Here's the progression shots:

Painting.jpg

And here's the final product with Perma-wet applied all over and 5-min epoxy on the eyes and around the mouth for extra slime!

CompletedMask.jpg

I had more details written about each step, but I removed them to keep this post brief. If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to answer any questions about my project.

Enjoy!
 

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I don't believe that this is your first mask. lol That looks great. Something I'd probably want in a collection. This character just seems to draw from so many different inspirations. :cool:
 

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OMG you have to be kidding i thought it was your full time job .... that is amazing , well then you have a natural aptitude towards handy-crafts then as for your first work it is incredible . The only problem is , now on your next mask you have to improve again , and that is going to be a challenge . Firstly there are a few questions that come to mind , i am assuming you have a good quality airbrush by the overall blending of the colors , how much practice time have you had with your painting techniques ? what would you say was the most challenging aspect of the build from all the stages ? are you making any other parts for your voodoo swamp creature , like hands or claws for the finished prop ? and in a rough ball park figure how expensive were the materials ? i have a thousand and one questions , but i would be taking too much of your valuable time which you should be using to create other amazing masks , please keep us updated , and i look forward to hear your reply .
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Haha! Shadowbat, I assure you it is my first! However, I've had it on my bucket list since about 5th grade!

You are correct, I took inspiration from many sources for this mask. I mainly studied close-up photos of reptile skins, eyes, toes, and their unusual features like nodules, bumps and just plain oddness. Alligators, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, even Turtles, you name it. I have a much greater appreciation for how varied, and even beautiful, reptiles can be. Their textures up-close are surprisingly surreal.

On top of that I definitely drew some inspiration from some of my childhood favorites. For example, "The Gorn" from Star Trek, "Sleestaks" from Land of the Lost, "Draks" from Enemy Mine, etc. I had to be careful though, I definitely wanted more realism then these creations had. I love them, but they are pretty cheezy. :)

I also pulled from many of the other reptile based masks out there. In fact, I really struggled with the nose. I eventually stole the nose right off of the CFX Viper mask. I love that mask. I'd also love to try my hand at creating a silicone-based mask, they are just so freakin' cool the way they move.

Also! I went to the "Haunt Convention" in Ohio (for the first time) this year and I happened to bump into Ed Edmunds from "Making Monsters" - a favorite show of mine, along with "Face off" and "Halloween Wars"! He was kind enough to chat with me and look at pictures of my sculpture. To my surprise he had some nice things to say. It stunned me. I had let the project sit with no progress for awhile and his positive words inspired me to get going again.

And if none of that worked, I just made some stuff up. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
pacman, thank you again for your kind words! I am happy to answer any questions you have. I love this stuff.

1. I made the mistake of buying a nice $100+ Iwata "dual action" airbrush only to learn later that the latex paints I had planned to use would not work in an "internal mix" airbrush (which the Iwata is). So, I had to head back out to Amazon and buy a "Paasche H Kit" (it's about $50). It's not near as adept at detail work as my Iwata, but it did the job for this mask. If I wanted to do a really detailed mask I don't think I would use latex paints. I'd go rubber inks... or maybe experiment with thinned down acrylics. My understanding is that you can use an internal mix airbrush with both of these. Anyway, almost all of the paint on my mask was applied using the Paasche airbrush.

2. Saddly, I spent all of my practice time on my Iwata! The mechanism for painting with a dual-action airbrush is different from a single-action airbrush. Just like it sounds, with a single-action airbrush you just push the button and paint starts spraying out - sometimes in a splatter. It can be hard to control. Fortunately, there are several really good resources on youtube for airbrushing. I watched a ton of those. I also bought Steve Wang's DVD on mask painting. Look up his work... that dude can paint a mask. I think his DVD is largely responsible for my mask turning out the way it did. I watched the whole thing several times.

3. I'd say the sculpting and painting felt like the biggest challenges to me. I had no clue if I was going to be able to pull it off. The big thing I had to realize was that I could always re-sculpt or re-paint. I must have done 9 different mouths before I settled on that mouth. The first time I decided to smooth over my work it was more than a little painful. I remember thinking, what if my next mouth is worse and I can't re-create THIS mouth?! By the time the sculpt was done I was a wrecking ball if I didn't like something. Oddly, the casting didn't feel all that bad... and it should have. You basically get one shot at it. It wrecks your sculpture. If you screw it up it's back to square one!

4. This creature will be wearing a robe of sorts... so I'm planning on using make-up on his hands. I want him to be human/alligator mutant... so some features of both.

5. As for the cost, I don't have an absolute total, but the bulk of the cost was buying the "Basic Latex Mask Kit" from Monster Makers for $235. Along with everything else that you need to make a mask, that kit comes with a single-action airbrush but it is a REAL cheapo. Oddly, their manual recommends the Paasche H - which is why I went that route. They say the materials in the kit are enough to make two masks from a single mold. That proved to be basically true. The amount of latex that the kit comes with is 1/2 gallon and they recommend like 3 gallons to pour up a mask. 3 gallons allows you to fill your mold up to the top... otherwise you have to slush the latex around - which is what I did and it worked fine. Saddly, I spilled one of my quarts of latex and lost most of it so I'll have to order more to make another copy.

I hope I answered them all!

Cheese
 

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Haha! Shadowbat, I assure you it is my first! However, I've had it on my bucket list since about 5th grade!

You are correct, I took inspiration from many sources for this mask. I mainly studied close-up photos of reptile skins, eyes, toes, and their unusual features like nodules, bumps and just plain oddness. Alligators, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, even Turtles, you name it. I have a much greater appreciation for how varied, and even beautiful, reptiles can be. Their textures up-close are surprisingly surreal.

On top of that I definitely drew some inspiration from some of my childhood favorites. For example, "The Gorn" from Star Trek, "Sleestaks" from Land of the Lost, "Draks" from Enemy Mine, etc. I had to be careful though, I definitely wanted more realism then these creations had. I love them, but they are pretty cheezy. :)

I also pulled from many of the other reptile based masks out there. In fact, I really struggled with the nose. I eventually stole the nose right off of the CFX Viper mask. I love that mask. I'd also love to try my hand at creating a silicone-based mask, they are just so freakin' cool the way they move.

Also! I went to the "Haunt Convention" in Ohio (for the first time) this year and I happened to bump into Ed Edmunds from "Making Monsters" - a favorite show of mine, along with "Face off" and "Halloween Wars"! He was kind enough to chat with me and look at pictures of my sculpture. To my surprise he had some nice things to say. It stunned me. I had let the project sit with no progress for awhile and his positive words inspired me to get going again.

And if none of that worked, I just made some stuff up. :)

Sleestak was the first thing that popped in my head when I saw this. You did an amazing job on this and would love to see what else you could come up with. I've spoken to Ed before too, he is a great person to speak with. Funny and very down to earth. I love his designs.
 

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Thanks for taking the time to answer me questions , CheeseWeasel , with the amount of work you put in obviously now you must be psyched to continue on with your work , have you already got something in mind or because this went so well has it kind of taken you by surprise how great your first attempt was ? The paintwork looks excellent , i wondered what is the major difference between the two types of paints as such , you said if it was a really detailed job you would use rubber inks , why so , what is the difference in the latex paint and the rubber inks ? i wondered as i tried latex paint once before with a prop is it the consistency of the paint ? i have always wanted to try and see how to make a mask but i really didn't appreciate quite how much work is involved , but with the results you have i am sure the inspiration is pumping now , please keep us updated on the voodoo swamp creature , i am so looking forward to the finished creature .
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for taking the time to answer me questions , CheeseWeasel , with the amount of work you put in obviously now you must be psyched to continue on with your work , have you already got something in mind or because this went so well has it kind of taken you by surprise how great your first attempt was ? The paintwork looks excellent , i wondered what is the major difference between the two types of paints as such , you said if it was a really detailed job you would use rubber inks , why so , what is the difference in the latex paint and the rubber inks ? i wondered as i tried latex paint once before with a prop is it the consistency of the paint ? i have always wanted to try and see how to make a mask but i really didn't appreciate quite how much work is involved , but with the results you have i am sure the inspiration is pumping now , please keep us updated on the voodoo swamp creature , i am so looking forward to the finished creature .
pacman, you're right, now that I've been through the process I feel more confident in being able to do it again. I've sketched out an idea for both an insect creature and an alien. I'm excited to get started on one of them, but I have so much to do for our haunt that it'll have to wait until after Halloween! I am, however, working on a stitched burlap mask with my daughter. It's looking creepy. I'll post some pix when she finishes it.

As for the difference in paints, I'm not really clear on it either. On the DVD I mentioned, Steve Wang uses rubber inks and he airbrushes with a Iwata dual-action airbrush. I get the feeling it's related to how thin the paint is. Latex mask paint is pretty thick. You can thin it a bit with water or ammonia, but they say to not thin it very much. Also, in case you weren't aware (I wasn't at first) latex mask paints are different then the latex paint you get at the hardware store. Mask paints are specifically developed to be used on latex rubber masks and props. As for acrylic paints, I've read to not use them on masks that you will wear because the paint will de-laminate. However, I've seen a few youtube videos that indicate you can use acrylics as long as you seal your mask with something like perma-wet.
 

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Thanks again CheeseWeasel , for answering my questions when you are so busy , i can appreciate the amount of work you have for this Halloween as i myself am behind with my new gravestones , but i can also imagine that because of the resounding success of your first mask you want to crack on to the next mask , i love the sound of a insect type mask , and even an alien , but i am really stoked about the burlap [ we call it hessian over here in England ] mask as some of the props i have seen on the net with a burlap or a scarecrow type look are so menacing , and give be the creeps . Acrylic paints i was aware of sealing them if you use them for any reason on external props etc , but i did not know the latex paint for masks was different to the normal latex paint , i wonder if it is because with a mask it has to be more flexible and has to be able give and stretch as a mask would do ??? i wonder with the burlap mask could you use the burlap to lay on the clay to get the texture or would that not work ? forgive me its just very interesting and i look forward to seeing more photos when you get the chance .... bring on the voodoo swamp lizard man ..... keep us all updated , i know everyone is looking forward to more of your work .
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks again everyone. I appreciate all of your comments.

I brought the mask into work yesterday and... well lets just say, this is what a crocodile-mutant would look like if it chose software development as its profession.

TechGator.jpg

Cheese
 

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Discussion Starter #20
All,

On a whim I sent an email to Steve Wang asking for clarification of his use of "Rubber Inks". He was kind enough to respond. Since we've had some discussion on the topic I figured I post his reply in case it is useful to someone else.

Hi Bobby,

I like your mask. It's a very good first time effort.

As for your question, You can get rubber inks from www.unionprocess.com under stamping inks. They are solvent based and is thinned by naphtha which is very toxic and recommend using in a well ventilated area and wearing a filter mask. One of the problems with Rubber inks as I've explained in my video is sometimes it does turn green. Mostly caused by having the mask exposed to the sun or indirect sunlight for prolonged period of time. so it can be risky to use.

I would recommend using createx's tim gore bloodline paints. http://www.tcpglobal.com/CRE-5083-00.html?gclid=CLnvpYaOoMECFROTfgodSy8Ahg#.VDbHufldV8E

I use them for all my masks and it's flexible enough to not rub off, especially if you seal it with some liquitex gloss or matte medium after. You can mix both the get the right amount of sheen or matte effect. It also sprays through an iwata very easily.

https://www.google.com/search?q=liquitex+gloss&espv=2&biw=1095&bih=525&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=iMc2VN6TI8ieoQTe3IK4Aw&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=Yfa2mykvl5Zo1M%3A;LkLWUNz7mFm9sM;http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.dickblick.com%2Fitems%2F006%2F18%2F00618-glossmatte-group3ww-l.jpg;http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dickblick.com%2Fproducts%2Fliquitex-gloss-and-matte-mediums%2F;600;524

Hope that helps.
 
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