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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks, I have a few Styrofoam heads that I'd like to turn into creepy props, but I'm clueless as to what material to use if I wanted to build up the shape without carving the foam. For example, if I wanted to create a larger nose or more dimension for the cheekbones, and I wanted it to be durable and fairly solid, what do I use? Great Stuff? Plaster? I read somewhere that plaster of paris gets "hot" when mixed with water?! Really? ...And I'd rather not use paper mache strips. I guess I'm looking for something thick, but easy to work with. What would you suggest? Thank you in advance for all your input! :D
 

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Vintage Halloween'er
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I use paper clay instead of paper mache strips..but it is kind of rough and you have to sand it some, sculpey clay has to be cooked..so can't use it..I think some use DAS clay..its an air drying clay, some clay won't stick to the styrofoam, but you can wrap the head in foil and it will grab on to it..I'm sure some of the more experienced people here will have better answers! Good Luck!
 

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Since we've been working on our werewolf I've learned a few new tricks that might help you. The clays will work, but there are issues with each.

Sculpy clay has to be baked, but Sculpy doesn't stick well to Styrofoam, so you can form the elements you want to make on the head, take them off, bake them, then put them back on the head. The only risk here is make sure you don't distort the shapes as you're taking them off. What I do is pull them away to break the seal, then lightly put them back on to make sure the fit is still correct, then take them back off and bake.

I personally find air-dry clay to be the best medium to work in, but the problem with that is it can shrink and crack as it dries. The fix we recently found for that is to sculpt your shape, and once it's dried to the point where the edges are a lighter color than the center, which is usually before the point where the most shrinking and cracking begins, spray the clay with Flex Seal sprayable rubber sealant. This seals the clay and keeps it from losing all it's moisture, but at that point it's very stiff and more than hard enough to meet most needs. Another plus of using the Flexseal is the surface of the head will be uniform, so you won't be able to tell what's clay and what's Styrofoam. :)

I've tried using paper clay before, but I don't think it accepts the same fine level of detail that air-dry does, and if you have to sand or smooth it once it dries it starts to shed small pieces off and quickly becomes ruined.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just found a tutorial in which Apoxie Sculpt was used.
-Looks promising. Has anyone had experience using this product?
 

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I just found a tutorial in which Apoxie Sculpt was used.
-Looks promising. Has anyone had experience using this product?
I've used it in a limited way. It works really well. It sticks to just about anything and has a long open time. I've found that its best to rough out the shape when the stuff is freshly mixed and let it set for a bit until it firms up a little before trying to sculpt any detail. It sticks best when newly mixed and can be smoothed with just water. When it is fully dried it can be drilled and otherwise machined.
 

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I just found a tutorial in which Apoxie Sculpt was used.
-Looks promising. Has anyone had experience using this product?
I used it to make the lower dorsal fins on my Creature From The Black Lagoon and it works great! The down side is trying to find it. :( There's no retailers in my area who sell it, and if you have it sent to you, the weight usually means it's going to cost almost as much to send it as to purchase it.

If the amount of work is going to be fairly small, it's easier and cheaper to just go to Walmart or a home store and get a two-part epoxy product like Quicksteel or it's cousin for plastic. Some of these are quick setting (under five minutes) and some can be worked with for hours.
 

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Rutherford Manor Haunt
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I used Apoxie Sculpt on dollar store styrofoam skulls last year, it works well to add detail, depth, etc, it's easy to use. I love using it!! It's not cheap though, but I think the results are worth it.

 

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I have never tried it but a good friend of mine makes TONS of custom monsters using latex caulk on foam heads. He applies the caulk to the rough shape he wants and then lets it set up overnight. The next day the caulk is in a workable state and he shapes all the details. Once it is how he wants it, he lets it cure for a few days and then paints it. His finished props are pretty amazing and latex caulk is cheap.
 

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I was going to say latex caulk or gorilla glue,put on a basic shape mist and it expands like great stuff; then when dry sand and shape ,add more as needed.
 

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Reaper Queen
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I make all my prop heads, from a tutorial from lauriebeast who is the most amazing artist for props, I use her method which starts out with cellulclay to build up the shape, then paper clay for the features. It has worked well for me for years.


here is the first part of her tutorial, I am no where near her level, but have learned so much from her


http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutor...-tutorial-part-1-a.html?highlight=lauriebeast
 
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