Best Material For Mask With Movable Jaw

Predasaurus

Blooded
I am about to start my next predator suit for next year, and I wanted try a material different than latex rubber. Right now my top choice is dragon skin, but I need other peoples advice. My goal is to make a mask in which I can move the bottom jaw. No motors or anything, just something without getting into a motorized mask. So what type of material should I use and how much of it? My idea for a moving jaw is that I would have a head piece on and a separate jaw piece which goes under my jaw is attached to the head piece. Any help is appreciated!


Eli
 
Well, silicone is the main ingredient for anyone wanting to make an operational mask.  It's both strong and flexible which makes it a favorite for molding and suit making.  As far as the amount of material you will need it really depends on the mask you create.  Hope that helps.
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
Thank you very much for the input guys. As far as Eco flex, is there any major difference in 30 or 20? And I have heard that silicone can be too heavy for a body suit. Is that true or can I use silicone for the pred body? Thanks again



Eli
 
Hey Dude I am building that very thing on Topnot's WIP right now. I actually purchased DragonSkin, Dragon Skin Pro, and Echoflex 10. I di dnot by these all at once but went through a trail and error phase.  I only got the test kits but still spent close to 100 bucks. Here is what I say, Echoflex 10 is the stuff I am using. The others are to stiff. I want the softess I can get to move with my jaw. If you call Smooth On they will send you samples of the finished product for free. I say EchoFlex 10.
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
All right, thanks. Actually your build is what inspired me to start a jaw mechanism, so thanks :). Anyway, do you think that I should use it for the actual body in addition to the mask? Or should I use silicone or a different material? And how much should I purchase for a mask/ mask and body? Thanks again everyone


Eli
 
I used Ecoflex 20 for my head.  I'd recommend that any day.  I don't know what the subtle differences are verses the Ecoflex 30, I haven't used it.

This might not be exactly how we use is but I did find this creepy comparison though.  o_O
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MDC73xnUSM


I got the 1 gallon kit and maybe used used 1/4 to a 1/3? on it.  I'm not sure.  I was more concentrating on the batch size so that I didn't mix too much for the slushing.  



I warn you that there is a learning curve with these processes and it could get discouraging quickly.  So, keep positive and roll with the punches.  
 
That looks like great stuff!  Don't discount latex, there are some different grades that may get the desired effect.  I asked this question to several pros who did the masks and animatronics in the films and they prefer the properties of latex for animatronic predator mouth.
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
Thanks for the info guys. And about the use of latex, would the brand of it matter? For my last mask I used the monster makers stuff, but I haven't use any other type. And as far as Eco flex, is it a two part solution or does it just air dry like latex? Thanks


Eli
 

ptgreek

Elite Hunter
Ecoflex is an equal part by volume A+B platinum grade silicone sold by Smooth On. Honestly guys.. Anything lower then Eco 30 and I'd highly recommend power mesh encapsulation .. Forcing animatronics against it may eventually cause tearing
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
Thank you very much, all of this is so helpful. And I was wondering what the difference is between normal silicone and platinum grade silicone? Is it a difference in density or something else? Thanks


Eli
 

ptgreek

Elite Hunter
as far as casting silicones there are tins and platinums ..as would be expected by name alone ..platinum is more expensive ..it has much more elasticity ..they are used in FX related pieces for silicone masks and prosthetic pieces ..Tin is predominately used for molds and prop body parts .it does not have the same elasticity as Platinum grade ..and you wouldnt want long exposure times of a tin product against your skin. It does have a nice translucency
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
Thanks for the advice and information. I was wondering if there wasn't something supporting the platinum grade silicone underneath, like a structure underneath the mask, would it just flop over or is it strong enough to support itself like latex?


Eli
 
seahunterr said:
That looks like great stuff!  Don't discount latex, there are some different grades that may get the desired effect.  I asked this question to several pros who did the masks and animatronics in the films and they prefer the properties of latex for animatronic predator mouth.
Generally, I have two reasons that I think that silicone is better for this type of project... elasticity and Grusderk.
 - The way that Scar looked at the end of AVP was pretty bad.  It was over stretched, just not done right or simply didn't come out like it should have.
 - Grusderk did his masks thin and had a pretty bad overall result by rushing and using substandard material.  Even if it's balloon latex I don't know if it would have turned out right.
Predasaurus said:
Thanks for the advice and information. I was wondering if there wasn't something supporting the platinum grade silicone underneath, like a structure underneath the mask, would it just flop over or is it strong enough to support itself like latex?


Eli
This may answer some of your questions regarding underskulls keeping in mind that this is just the way that I am doing it...
http://www.thehunterslair.com/topic/26372-another-p1-mask-silicone-and-animatronics-done/
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
Thanks for the information, very helpful. Do you guys think that smooth on is the best price/site to buy the supplies on, or are there other options of websites for the same products? Thanks


Eli
 

wonko

Hunter
I see you're in Tennessee.  I get all my Smooth-On stuff from a guy in Atlanta.  Prices are about the same, but usually shipping is cheaper, and is definitely faster.  Look around for a local supplier, and check their web site for authorized dealers/distributors... you may find something close by that will save you on shipping.  One more thing to keep in mind is this time of year many places will only ship certain materials over night due to the cold temps.  I don't know about silicone, but if latex freezes it's shot (I had a small amount in my garage that never gets below 40 go bad on me last winter).  I've seen instances where shipping costs more than the product this time of year.

As far as other options, BITY mold supply carries a wide range of silicone, as well as Burman Industries.  I've used products from both places and have had good experiences and results.  If you do a Google search for the material (not the name) you'll find many different options along with different places to get it.  

Brian   
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
Ok. Thank you for that. And since you're around the same location as me, have you ever had cases where your stuff freezes during shipping? And would air shipping cost more? And about materials, is silicone casting (such as Eco flex) much different than latex? I have casted my latex mask so I am fairly familiar with its properties. And I have molded a bio out of silicone, but still not completely comfortable with it.


Eli
 
Be careful ordering latex and temperature sensitive materials this time of year. If its shipped air.... It gets cold in the cargo hold too. I had an issue with this a couple years ago, never again, all materials from southern california now
 

wonko

Hunter
If you can wait that's the best thing to do.  Most places give the option of next day delivery or overnight shipping via Fedex (which if ordered from someplace close will be ground).  As far as cost, it's probably at least 3-4 times more than what regular shipping would be.  I just checked what shipping would be for a quart of latex from the place I order from.  For a $15.00 quart of latex standard shipping via Fedex would be $9.86.  To get it here over night is $87.71.  That should give you an idea how much shipping increases with faster delivery times.  Prices will vary depending on the distributor, but expect to pay 3-4 time what regular shipping would be.  Also, most sellers have a disclaimer on their sites this time of year warning about shipping in this weather, and letting you know that they are not responsible for damaged products.  Try going to the smooth on site and click on the distributors link.  That will give you an idea of where the closest dealer is to you.

Brian 
 
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