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Discussion Starter #1
So I was thinking yesterday, while looking at props done with Monster Mud, that there could be an alternative to creating the same effect without the wait or having to weather proof the prop.

I work with composites and the way a MM figure is created is pretty much the same way a custom speaker box is made for a vehicle. A frame is built, then wire mesh, or chicken wire, is fixed over it for shape, and cloth is laid on top of that. The difference in building custom speaker boxes is instead of using joint compound, polyester resin is brushed on. After that sets, after only about an hour, fiberglass mat is laid down to build up strength.

Well, instead of using fiberglass, the burlap and cheese cloth would be be brushed with the resin. It dries almost completely in just a couple of hours, and can be tinted any color so it's uniform all the way through. Just add layers of material and brush on, or spray if you have the equipment. It's weather proof and ready to paint in just a couple of hours after you are finished.

The draw back to using resin, or even gelcoat, is the smell, but if you do it outside, and use the proper safety materials, like gloves and even a respirator if you've never done it before (I'm too used to the smell to notice it), and use a drop cloth under your project, you could literally shave days off your project.

I haven't tried it yet, and I don't know how well it will work, but I'm pretty confident it will. Anyone here tried it? I'd be very interested to know how it turned out.

Crash
 

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Shadow box dancer
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what's the cost difference?
I am not sure of the cost difference but this does save the extra step of having to waterproof(which adds extra cost to MM). So if you are monster mudding and then waterproofing and not really sure even if you waterproof it if it will last more then one year, then it might be a better alternative to go with the resin. That way you will only have to do it once.
 

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The draw backs I could see would be the cost of the resin just a quick google search polyester resin is about $23-35.00 a QT. the other prob is you would have a glassy look like a boat as opposed to the stone look of mud. But I'm sure there could be a use for the method.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Because I work with resins all the time, the hassle for me is negligible, but for a first time user I could see how it could be considered a hassle.

Fiberglass , Epoxy , Composites, Carbon Fiber - U.S. Composites, Inc. sells several types of ester resins. The product I would use is a General Purpose, or GE, resin. It's only $25 per gallon on their site and you can get the catalyst from them as well. Because it is a hazardous material it can only be shipped ground.

The possibilities on this are really great, at least that's because I'm biased in my opinion.

To counter any gloss, which would be painted over to get that creepy look, anyway, you could use a wax in the resin. Surfacing Agent Wax is used to give the resin or gelcoat a cured surface, which will be dull. But I don't think we want to do that. When resin or gelcoat cures without a wax agent it remains a little tacky on the surface so other layers can be laid to it without any sanding, and it will bond together. After the resin, or gelcoat, has cured you can just go straight to paint, and the only gloss there is will be whether or not you use a glossy paint.

I've done this, but only on industrial applications with fiberglass. However, because cloth will soak up the resin just like a fiberglass, or carbon fiber, the result will be the same, a rigid material, but waterproof for life! It will never lose its weatherproofing properties.

I can write a tutorial on how to use resin properly if anyone would like to know more about it. Because I am busy just trying to make money right now I don't think I'll have the time to do a test, but like all things I believe will work I'm usually right. Not because I'm cocky, but because I've done it for so long.

Again, just throwing it out there. Incidentally, I talked on the phone with a guy who was in charge of a Haunt in Salt Lake City, which received many awards for the best Haunt in America several times, but is now shut down, and he told me about the MM and stated that what I do is much more technical than what he does. He meant it as a compliment, but I really looked up to him because of what he's done.

Crash
 

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Shadow box dancer
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I would love to hear from anyone who has done both. The thing that seems like a draw back of the resin is the price. However if you do MM and you want it to last more then a few days and plan to use the prop year after year you have to water proof it. By the time you do the MM and then waterproof it how much money are you going to save over just going the resin route to begin with? I don't really have anything to MM or I would try this process my self. I have thought many times about building my tombstones with the speaker box process. They would last forever and would have a certain heft that you just can't replicate with foam. However I get foam for free(ironically from an industrial fiberglass company) ;) so I think I will stick with foam.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If I were to do a life-size grim, or ghost, I would probably use about a gallon, or less, of resin. At the price of the US Composites GE resin, this would only be $25, and would probably take about 2 hours to do, if I brushed it on. If I sprayed it on it would take about an hour.

Let that cure and spray it, which would take about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, unless I wanted to airbrush some details into it.

I've got to make some time to test this out!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Crash, I'd be very interested in seeing some pics or a vid on how to apply the resin. If you have something you can post, please put it up.
It's pretty straight forward really. Because it's like paint, you just mix the catalyst in, give it a good mixin', and brush on. The fabric should soak it up fairly easy, and that's a good thing. I know that MM will leave a residue, and if you want your prop to show the pattern of the fabric, you won't have any problems. If you don't want the fabric to show, then on the last layer of fabric I would suggest waiting for it to cure, then brush on another layer to cover up the pattern. Gelcoat is thicker than resin, and I've got a whole lot of black gelcoat. I'll give that one a go.

It sounds like I just need to buckle down and take some time to do it and post pics of the results. I think I may just do that tomorrow, except we're in for more snow. I'll do it this week. I just need to make money, too.
 
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