Mask Creation Questions

Discussion in 'Predator Costumes' started by ThorKrohn, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    Hey Predatorium gang, I am new to the site, and have been poking around the forum for a few days. Lots of great stuff here! I do have a few questions and I know there is a thread somewhere I just havent been able to locate it if someone has a good link in mind:

    The most difficult part of this build, for me at least, is going to be a great mask. I have been hunting around, doing some research and trying to determine the best way to approach this daunting task. I would like to try sculpting my own mask/predator head, which isn't exactly the issue. What I would like to see is a good tutorial over how to apply and remove liquid latex to a sculpted head? I am open to suggestions and am no stranger to mold creation and plastic casting.

    I have found so much great help and info on this site and within this community, and this is the one place I am still hung up. Any suggestions, links and/or tutorials locations (remember I am an unblooded noob) would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks Predatorium!
  2. Predasaurus

    Predasaurus Blooded

    Well you wouldn't put latex on the sculpt, unless you were using it as a material for a mold, but that wouldn't make sense. What you would do for casting a latex mask is mold the sculpture using ultra cal 30, which is like a cement/plaster found online. In order to be able to release the sculpt from the ultra cal, you need to spray krylon krystal klear over it, then pull the two-part mold off the sculpture. Then clean the clay out of the mold, spray Krystal klear in the mold, put the two halves of the mold together, and then cast it in latex. Hope this helps

    LunaticNic likes this.
  3. predatoj

    predatoj Blooded

    Predasaurus is is quite right if your making a latex mask, you need to make a two-part plaster mold, then pour liquid latex in to it, then peel it out after. Bit confused. you want to make a wearable mask or display bust? You mention using 'plastic'??

    If you want to make a resin bust, (it sounds like that's what you want to do), always use RTV silicone to mold it, never latex. Latex shrinks and has a tendency to delaminate from the piece. Silicone is more expensive but you'll get a much better mold, less bubbles, no shrinkage and it lasts years longer. You would need to make either a plaster or fibre glass mother mold. You would probably need to make a two part silicone mold, I've never done it, but I've seen it done.
  4. MikaPred2

    MikaPred2 Young Blood

    I use a silicone from Smooth On to make the mold. After that is done and cured, I use plaster to reinforce and support. Only once the plaster has set and cured do I remove the clay sculpt.
    ThorKrohn likes this.
  5. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    I have worked with silicone molds before, but my experience is in plastic casting. Sorry for the confusion!

    I would like to make a wearable mask to go with the costume I am working on. I guess I wasn't very specific in my original post, I was looking to make a clay bust, then paint layers of latex in it and remove a final product. The more research I do on that method the less fesable I see it is. I have been toying. Around the idea of making the mask in parts, with the top similar to a helmet and the face out of something like latex or silicone. ISO appreciate the feedback!
  6. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    I do have lots of smooth-cast materials, silicone included, I am going to read up on the tritani plaster and ultra-cal! Thanks for the info!!
  7. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    This did help! I actually was Hunting online and found an instructables link close to what I was looking to do!
  8. predatoj

    predatoj Blooded

    I don;t really understand why you think you would paint latex over the sculpt to get a 'mask'. All your doing is creating a latex mold? which would be usless. The universal way is to build a mold wall out of clay, then paint/slap/pour plaster in layers with burlap strips inbetween layers for additional strength, until you have a mold about an inch thick covering the first half, then remove the mold wall and do the same again on the other half, (be sure to brush on petroleum jelly to the matting surface otherwise you won't get the halves apart!). Just remember to add pry points and keys to the mold wall before you add the second half. For pred heads every one creates the case line along the top of the crown and down the neck. When you cleaned out the mold you simply cast it in slip latex. Hey presto! one wearable mask. Check out my thread here:

    PS you have to mold the mandibles separatley.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
    Predasaurus likes this.
  9. predatoj

    predatoj Blooded

    Like this:


    Predasaurus likes this.
  10. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    Hey sorry it has taken me so long to reply; this is a great thread thank you so much for sharing!
  11. MikaPred2

    MikaPred2 Young Blood

    The only difference for me is that I put around three layers of silicone on the mask before using the plaster and burlap. The first layer is slowly poured a bit then brushed on with a 1" chip brush to capture all the fine details then the next two are done a little thicker to support and ensure a solid detail catch. Then the plaster and burlap are done to make a very strong outer shell for handling. Once one side is done, I remove the clay wall and repeat for the opposite side, making sure I don't let the two plaster halve connect and seal together.
  12. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    You create a two part mold, the silicone to capture the detail and a hard mold to maintain shape? Do you then cast your (mask in this case) using latex? Have you had any issues with the latex and silicone bonding in the mold? I was going to do a test piece to figure out so I didn't get into the build all the way to casting and have it all not work...
  13. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    Hey gang, got a bit of an issue: as I mentioned before I am new to working with clay; I have cast other items before but not with an initial piece made out of clay. Started on my predator mask, got a good start thanks to the Lair! Had to go to work (fireman, work 24 hours) came back and my what I had made began to harden, which I expected, but some of the thinner parts cracked and fell off. Anyone have any helpful tips for working with clay? Do I need to shoot for finishing a project in one sitting? Thanks again for all the help!

  14. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    Added a bit of water and more clay, it will hold for now but anyone have any ideas on how to keep this beast from cracking again?

    predatoj likes this.
  15. predatoj

    predatoj Blooded

    Is that Terracotta?? eek. There are two routes you should go. Either Chavant clay that doesn't dry out like I used, I'm sorry to say its expensive though for the amount needed. Or you can use WED clay which has glycerine in it, so why it does dry out it doesn't dry out as quickly.

    molding in silicone doesn't make sense to me as latex wouldn't cure. The whole point is the moisture is wicked into the plaster leaving a skin behind, Liquid latex takes long enough to dry without cuasing a barrier that the moisture would have no where to go as would be the case with a silicone mold.
  16. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    Good eye! It is terracotta! And with a sealed it seems to be doing good! But I do see what you are saying with the latex...I may have to develop a plan B....

    Thanks again for the feedback! I do appreciate it!

  17. Wreav

    Wreav Community Staff

    I was always recommended either Chavant NSP Medium or Monster Clay. I chose the more expensive latter, out of the fear that I would mess up during the final stages of me making my Predator. A way to stop your terracotta from drying out is to use cling film as it locks in the moisture. I believe this was shown on the SWS monster creation tutorial.

    Benefits of plaster = it's stone so it naturally aids the curing process so it can take less time than fibre glass or silicone. But over time the plaster will degrade and more finer details will be erased.

    Benefits of fibre glass = holds all the key details, takes much longer to cure. 'Light weight in comparison to the plaster' 'storage effective in comparison to the plaster. And it lasts longer.

    Silicone = only for resin, it's recommended to use silicone if you want to keep all the details and create a resin version of your sculpt. This is a way to duplicate your work so that in future if you want to rework your piece you can add clay over your head and re detail it. (This was also in SWS)

    Three options.

    I've heard other individuals found it like 'a race against' time whilst doing the finer details. All the best I hope it doesn't crack.
    LunaticNic and ThorKrohn like this.
  18. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    I will look into the plaster route...I don't seem to be the best at adding detail to my sculpture as it

    Thanks for the feedback! It was helpful!
  19. MikaPred2

    MikaPred2 Young Blood

    It does take longer to cure with a silicone mold, I won't lie about that. But it does hold the finer details without degradation. It's a case of balancing out the priorities. Quicker cure versus details, etc. I've just never had any luck at all with using only plaster molds.
    ThorKrohn likes this.
  20. predatoj

    predatoj Blooded

    I've hear of it being done with foam latex but that's baked. I'd imagine liquid latex would take weeks. I don't understand why an activator hasn't been developed for slush latex, its a painfully slow process.
    ThorKrohn likes this.
  21. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    First of all I want to say thanks to the community again for all your help getting started with this! I am happy to report that the clay I used, after a bit of sealer, seems to be holding together good! I have a few more layers to put on this head specifically as I learned that I should have expanded the actual foam head underneath the clay more than I did, mask is a bit small.

    Second, as I am new to working with clay, applying details to my clay has been a bit challenging. Anyone have any tips on tools and methods for applying things like skin wrinkles, textures etc. for a good Predator look?

    Thanks again gang!

  22. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    Here is a size comparison against my Halo 3 helmet, as I said, still a bit small...

  23. Wreav

    Wreav Community Staff <- I highly recommend watching this, if not purchasing it if you need it. I was recommended it by Predatoj, as well as A Hunters Moon it came in very handy. You also have a list of things to purchase. The stream lasts for a life time. So in future if someone close to you wants to try something like this they can always refer back to the stream and so on. To make scales I recommend using cling film, pressing it over the wet clay and slowly (not piercing the film) create diagonal lines ones that cross hatch one another.
    ThorKrohn likes this.
  24. troggs

    troggs Hunter

    I definitely recommend the Stan Winston courses as Wreav suggested, and at the moment they've got 50% off for 48 hours. One more thing to take into account is latex shrinkage, it can shrink by 20% so ideally you should make your sculpt 20% larger to accommodate this.
    ThorKrohn likes this.
  25. ThorKrohn

    ThorKrohn Unblooded

    I remember hearing/reading that it can shrink 20-30%.....there is a lot to take in with this type of casting! Thanks for the info and for your reply! I will turn out a decent mask sooner or later because of all the help! Seriously thanks, I appreciate the feed back! I am making a notebook with all this info to refer to as I go!

    On a unrelated note, I used to do a lot of advertising before I went to work as a firefighter, so I put together a quick logo for my fire shift and my captain is considering lettin my shift use it!
    NeoKazama likes this.

Share This Page