The Topknot Build. New photos of torso life cast build. 05/07/2015

Discussion in 'Predator Costumes' started by alphatech686, May 2, 2013.

  1. ThePriest

    ThePriest Blooded

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    doesnt it look so freaky being clear after seeing it in clay for so long .. Nice work my man call me if you run into a snag on the paint up.
  2. NeoKazama

    NeoKazama Hunter

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    It looks amazing Jeff. Looking forward to see you paint this ugly *. How heavy is the mask, i assume is heavy since is made of silicone. Correct me if wrong.
    robotbuilder likes this.
  3. alphatech686

    alphatech686 Hunter

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    Thanks all and I am going to answer a few questions here. Last week the day I poured and pulled this all was good. At 2 am I woke up wondering how heavy this was on the underskull on my head. Well it was ridiculious. I knew about how heavy it would be but I did not know how that would feel on my noggin. I went back to bed to try to get a grip. I woke up at 6 am and started in. I cut the face off and placed it back in the mold and began to lay up silicone/cabosil with a brush to the back of the mask.

    This piece I cut off was 7 pounds of the 11 that the mask weighed. There were maybe 3 airbubbles on this.
    I figured I could lay up the silicone and build the fiberglass underskull adding maybe a pound and a half back to the mask.
    I was racing the clock as I was advised to get paint on this with in 72 hours. I spent 15 hours on it that day. Here is the underskull work.
    That last one is looking in the neck. I did as much as I could with the back of the mold off. From this point on it was laying up fiberglass with a brush on a stick. Here is the new underskull for the back of the head.
    This all worked well enough but I was very dispointed that I was having to do it in the first place. So, on with the story.
    I then placed the mask on the new underskull and placed that on the original underskull. I had to cut of the back of the old underskull to do this. I began patching. That all went well too untill I realized certain areas were not curing properly. At first I thought I had just not cleaned the mask well so I cleaned it again in a naptha bath. I Still had the same problem. The 4 areas around the madible tusks would not take a patch. I decided to just try spaying some paint on it. I did it before bed one night. When I woke up I thought all was well. It was not. The tusk areas the paint just rubbed off. On a side not the face was already 4 days old and took the paint great. I could not figure it out then it hit me.
    Here is the picture that solved the puzzle. This was taken as I assembled the mold to pour. Do you see that brown substance on the grey area by the tusk
    Here is when I was molding those to make the silicone copies.
    That is regular oil based clay. Not clean clay. Not the clay that allows silicone to cure against it. I forgot to scrub those tusk before I placed them in the mold. STUPID. This is all I can think it can be. That clay inhibited the cure enough in those areas to cause problems. At first I thought I would just repour those pieces and cut the old ones off and attach the new ones. After much deliberation I decided I had to call it on this mask. I am placing this one to the side and chaulking it up. That is 180 dollars in silicone. That is a hard bite to swallow. This all started when I thought I was so smart I could build a plug first then sculpt on that. BAD IDEA. I have not given up. I remembered I still had the most important part, a good mold of the sculpt. I am now going to do this the right way and use the mold to build a new plug. This will give me precise control of the silicone thickness. I know this is how it should have been done in the first place. So this week I will be working on that. I was fairly stressed out last week then I sat back and made myself realize this is suppose to be fun. My take on this is I learned a lot the hard way and if at first you don't succeed try try again. I remembered how many failures I had on my spear before I got that to work. That's my story of last week.
  4. ThePriest

    ThePriest Blooded

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    oh boy. that sucks bro.. but i see what happened there . on the next one are you sure you need to cut it all up. with some help somebody can work with you to get the mask on the mandables and that would save you a shitload of trouble patching everything together and it is seamless. if you can i would try it . I was able to streatch my mask on an entire head armature when i did mine by myself.
    i hope the next one works just trying to save you some valuable time
  5. alphatech686

    alphatech686 Hunter

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    Hey Tony, there isn't going to be any patching. With the new plug I'm making I will pour it just like I did the first one only this time the silicone will be a uniform thickness on the entire mask. I don't know what I was thinking trying to make the plug before the mask. I will have to make a new underskull off the plug then retrofit it to the mechanism. No problem!
  6. ThePriest

    ThePriest Blooded

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    cool man. it will work out. i know you wont give up .
  7. KmikzeKen

    KmikzeKen Blooded

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    I'm bummed to see this went south on you, but I know you'll get it fixed and it'll turn out even better. Looking forward to the updates!
  8. made007

    made007 Elite Hunter

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    Glad to see toknot is having great progress, been awhile since i stoped by your thread , take care man and krep going
  9. eaglewood

    eaglewood Hunter

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    Jeff, WHEN this bad boy is done, how many times are you going to wear it? My friend Bobby spent 10 years and $$$$$ making a full size running Batmobile so it could sit in his garage turned theater room and people could drool over it when they came by. One day we were sitting there discussing it and I said to him-- "Bobby, you know what you did here, what are you gonna do with it now? You should just sell it." He thought about it for like 30 seconds and said that , yep, it wasnt doing him any good just sitting there. Well, long story short, he made enough to move to Florida and buy a house. I guess the moral of the story is here, we spend numerous amounts of time , effort, money to create these pieces , only to do what with them-- Have them sit on display in our man caves, or possibly wear them every now and then. I so much applaud the talent and dedication that goes into everything that we do, especially when it is the level that Jeff is doing here-- Completely off the scale Jeff, Congrats. You Rock!!
    But at the end of the day, we have a bunch of latex, silicone, plastic, resin, electronics that we shaped into something awesome to do what with? Sit on our man cave so everyone can look at them? Wear them in the Halloween parade?
    I know there are those who use their suits a lot, but for what-- go to a con so everyone can stand next to us, pull our dreads, stop us after we have walked 2 feet, pull on our suits so they can get a selfie, keep us with their friends to take a pic when we are sweating our butts off, have to * and want to just sit down and get outta the thing? Sometimes I wonder if its worth it.

    Guess Im just looking for something more out of things. Keep on doing what you do everyone-- Be proud of what you accomplish . But expand your horizons-- Dont get stuck in a rut if you create something that sells, dont stop there-- go on to bigger and better things.

    Again, Jeff, this is one awesome build my friend. Great work.
  10. predatoj

    predatoj Blooded

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    That's precisley the reason I stopped buying model kits, DVD's and lots of other useless things. I got sick of things that just sat on the shelf. You can only look at them or watch them so much, eventually they're just stealing usable space. I got into this hobby because I had a long standing love of special effects, since the age of 15 I always wanted to make a pred head, after 25 years I've finally just finished my P1 head (photos coming soon).

    I got into this to experience the whole process of sculpting, moulding, casting and painting. I don't do it for money but I probably wouldn't do it if I didn't feel I could sell a few peices and get all my money back, it's so expensive. When your young it's exciting creating this stuff, lost in your own sci-fi world, but when you get older you question, "why am I doing this"???

    It's also the reason why I devote myself professionally to work in sound for film because I know something will be done with my work, it will go out to film festivals and be seen (or heard) and be appreciated - The point is I'm not just doing it for myself.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  11. alphatech686

    alphatech686 Hunter

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    Hey everyone I have not quit. I did get the new plug made. I need to down load a couple of photos. In the mean time I decided to set that project down and regroup a bit so I decided to get at finishing my torso lifecast. Here it is. My wife helped me and it worked out well although it was sort of hilarious, at least my wife thought so.
    Here I am with the plaster bandages on. I did the arms separate from the torso.
    That "bonnet" is my bald cap. I didn't have one laying around and the beauty supply place was close and this is all they had. It's ok you can laugh. I decided to include my head for placement issues later.
    Once I had the cast off I layed in 1/8 inch of clay. I happened to see a Steve Wang video on suits where he mentioned shaving down lifecast so the suit would fit tighter. I figured he knew what he was talking about.
    I had these materials laying around so I put them to good use. This is the inside structure to hold the arms and give the neck some strength.
    These are after I poured in the rigid expanding foam and peeled off the plaster and clay.
    See the shim on the bottom. I fixed that later. (the last photo)
    After a good cleaning.
    This is the structure for the arm.
    This will only let me post 20 photos at a time so I will get the rest up later.
  12. ThePriest

    ThePriest Blooded

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    Loooking * good as usual
  13. alphatech686

    alphatech686 Hunter

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    Here is part 2. Laying up the clay in the arm.
    Peeling off the plaster and clay.
    The finished arm.
    Of course the other arm.
    The pour.
    These next few photos are the mechanism I designed to hold the arms in place. They fit nice and snug but I figured when they start getting clay on them they could be under some tension. It's probably overkill but here it is.
    And finally the 2 coats of Epoxacoat to give it a nice shell.
    I almost forgot, I mentioned this in the previous post. I did not get the torso pour plum on the base so I eventually cut it off and shimmed it to a new base. I knew later when I was sculpting in symmetry the off angle would screw me up.
    That is all for now. See I told you I haven't just been sitting around.
  14. alphatech686

    alphatech686 Hunter

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    Thanks Dude.
  15. Lowdmekon

    Lowdmekon Hunter

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    Joy Joy joy as always buddy
  16. Unforgiven Hunter

    Unforgiven Hunter Hunter

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    This has been such an awesome thread to read, and then re-read a bunch of times. I really can't wait to see what you come up with for the torso design.

  17. BonzRus

    BonzRus Hunter

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    Jeff, always good to come back every now and again to find that you are still "plugging away" no pun intended. It is always a pleasure to see your creative and mechanical aptitudes fully functional. You are extremely talented and this is one awesome build.

  18. alphatech686

    alphatech686 Hunter

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    Hey thanks all. I have set the pred down for a bit. I am working on something else for a while and I don't really know where to post the pics. I don't think we have an off topic section anymore.
  19. alphatech686

    alphatech686 Hunter

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    Hey there is an "Off Topic" section. Incase anyone wants to know I am working on Grommash Hellscream. I ran across a build Steve Wang showed on his Facebook and decided I needed to do a costume of it. It was very inspirational. I will post some pics soon on Off Topics. I haven't given up on Topknot just setting him to the side for now.
  20. spgfx

    spgfx Hunter

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    Heck - YA !!!!!! We want to know. Been waiting on some updates or new pics with more excitement than the new Predstor movie.
  21. LunaticNic

    LunaticNic Hunter

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    Have there been any updates on gromash or the pred? I would love to see either!
    Couldn't find anything about gromash in the off topic section either.
  22. alphatech686

    alphatech686 Hunter

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    Hey Man I've been posting a few things on Grommash on my facebook page. Jeff Shimek austin tx. You need to check him out
    LunaticNic likes this.
  23. alphatech686

    alphatech686 Hunter

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    In case anyone is interested I just started posting the Grommash build on Off Topics
    HAL1138 and LunaticNic like this.
  24. Mortal Immortal

    Mortal Immortal Elite Hunter

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    whooop whooop

  25. Isubomo

    Isubomo Hunter

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    Your work is truly a source of inspiration to us all sir! :)

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