Fiberglass Bio-Mask

Predasaurus

Blooded
Hey everyone,
I am thinking about making a bio for my actual predator mask, and I was think of the cheapest way possible. Has anyone just applied fiberglass over a bio sculpture, without molding or casting, and the final product is the fiberglass?
 

wonko

Hunter
It's possible, but seems to me the long, tedious, difficult way to do it (compared to the standard mold/cast process).  I guess it may be a little cheaper materials wise, but I would think the time involved in getting a clean, smooth, finished piece wouldn't be worth it (at least to me).  The other thing is, by molding and casting you'll be able to produce  multiple copies cheaply and quickly, which could help pay for the initial cost.  When I first started my build I really tried to cut corners and do things cheaply, and I had allot of cheap, and less than "good looking" parts that ended up in the bin.  I learned the hard (and expensive) way that doing something the right way the first time saved me from having to do the same thing again.  That's not to say that there is only one "right way" to do things, or that you wouldn't be able to produce a good, professional looking bio using your method.  Think about it this way... by fiberglassing over the sculpt, you're only saving yourself one step (the molding).  I've priced out what it's going to cost me to mold the bio I've been sculpting for ages, and with the silicone, fiberglass, and everything else I need to mold it, I'm looking at barely over $100.00.  That leaves me a mold that will produce a bio for me over and over (for the life of the mold) for $10-$20.00 worth of resin.  I may be different from others, but my time is worth more to me today than the materials I buy, so it's not hard for me to spend an extra buck or two if it's gonna save me some time.

Brian
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
I see. I was also wondering, instead of doing it the way I thought of, what type of resin would you use to cast a bio? Would it just be fiberglass resin?
 

wonko

Hunter
Most use a urethane resin, like smooth cast 320 or 321 for example.  The bio that I wear with my suit is made in a mold from fiberglass cloth and resin.  I did try straight polyester resin to make a few dread beads, but they came out on the brittle side.  I've never used epoxy resin, so I can't comment on that.

Brian
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
Thanks Brian. Another question,how would you attach a bio to the mask? I was thinking by magnets/Velcro, but I wasn't sure if it would tear the mask at all.
 

Kammo

Blooded
Magnets are probably your best bet. You could get a small thing of latex and secure it inside the mask with that, than just gorilla glue he magnet on the inside of the bio. Just make sure you line them properly lol
 

wonko

Hunter
No need to thank me, I'm always happy to help!  I use rare earth magnets in mine.  I know a few guys that wear a half mask that just use velcro.  My mask came foam filled, so I had to cut through it down to the latex to install the magnet.  I have 3 total... 1 in the crown and 1 in each mandible, all attached with Barge rubber cement.  They do a great job holding it in place (almost too good lol)

Brian
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
Alright. Oh, and one more thing partially off topic. When I make a mold for the mask out of ultracal, can I use foam latex, instead of just normal rd-407/latex? Or would I need to make a core and all that.
 

wonko

Hunter
As far as I understand it, using foam latex is the same as silicone, with the addition of baking it.  In other words, you use a body cast of the model you're making the suit for (in this case you) as the armature and sculpt on that.  After the sculpting and molding is done, you remove the clay from the body cast and use it as a plug inside the mold.  The foam latex is poured into the mold around the plug and baked in an oven to cure the product.  I'm not sure if you've ever seen the show Face Off on syfy, but most of the artists there use this method.  The advantage of foam latex is not only weight, but it moves with the actor much better than RD 407.  The 2 biggest down sides are the process involved (having to bake), and the life of the finished piece.  It's my understanding that foam latex breaks down much quicker than RD 407.

Brian 
 

wonko

Hunter
I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean.  The "plug" would be the life cast of whatever you're sculpting.  In other words, you would have someone make a mold of your head/body and cast it in resin (which is then usually foam filled).  Then, using that copy of your head/body as an armature you would sculpt the head/body on it.  Once the sculpt is done, you would mold it using either fiberglass or plaster (ultracal 30 is the most popular).  Once you have a complete mold, you would remove the sculpt and clean off all the clay on the armature (life cast of your head/body).  Once it's clean, you use the life cast inside the mold to act as the "filler" or plug that would leave a space inside that fit your head/body perfectly.  since foam latex "rises" or expands when it's baked, you need the plug inside the mold to create the hollow space inside.  Now I could be wrong here, but I'm pretty sure that's the way most silicone suits are made as well, minus the baking part.  If you went with RD 407 you could eliminate needing the life cast (you still need some sort of armature unless you wanna use  a TON of clay) and having to use a plug.  The RD 407 is slush cast inside the stone mold in layers, creating a skin inside the mold that results in the finished piece.  There's tons more info available both here and on the web, and YouTube has many step by step videos that will show you what I'm trying to describe.  Hope this helps.

Brian 
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
Ok, you answered my question. Now as far as a life cast, I didn't have the resources to make one, so I bought a cheap foam armature. It is pretty much the same size, by seeing it and measuring it in comparison to my head and neck. I can just use that right?
 

wonko

Hunter
Predasaurus said:
Ok, you answered my question. Now as far as a life cast, I didn't have the resources to make one, so I bought a cheap foam armature. It is pretty much the same size, by seeing it and measuring it in comparison to my head and neck. I can just use that right?
sure

Brian
 

Predasaurus

Blooded
So I have some foam latex, about two quarts from monster makers, and I'm wondering if that would be enough, or should I order another gallon or so?
 
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