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Ideas, tutorials, questions relating to armour, costumes and replica props from the Star Wars universe
 #23150  by mdb
 Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:06 am
Okay! I have finally got all the images into BBCode (I love flickr but the inability to create multiple links is a drawback!

I began with my headcast and some clay and tinfoil. Pretty standard if really hard to visualise beginnings ;)

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After that I added rough clay of two shades (my various batches of clay have now been homogenised but here theere is a light and dark grey). I built the montral up and out as well as the lekku ends.
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From there I started trimming back and repositioning the clay.
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Voila! A reasonable facimile!
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But this all melted off my stand as I left the workroom too warm over that summer!

So I fixed the ends and tested the angles
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I had made the sculpt a shade smaller than I wanted as I was going to take a positive copy of this in resinned cloth and then backfill with expanding foam to make a very light support to do the detail clay work on.
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I started with the back. I used a stretch rayon so as to hold as much resin as I could (epoxy) and maintain a nice close fit.

I learnt about this technique by perusing car modding forums! It's a great way of getting a good impression, but as it is not spun glass it is very fragile. So really only useful if you are able to support under and/or over with real fibreglass :) So it's ideal for car modding as you will be working with reasonable number sof laminating layers.
I also used my experience with fabric being fragile once resinned (or glued!) to decide to leave this as a single layer so that I could easily remove it from the mold- I knew I'd need to make an ultracal mold and a rigid master is always going to be hard to remove!

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And then I clipped the fabric and started the front. The pins are to hold the fabric and resin in place
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Tapped to test size ;)

I then transferred the fabric shell onto a foam wig form- I knew again I'd be destroying the sculpt so it is easier to get foam remnants out!

By this stage I had been warned to stop using epoxy by two medical professionals who basically warned I could not just lose the use of my fingers but lose my fingers full stop. slightly sobering.
But I had already invested so much time!

So I used polyester resin hoping to avoid the allergy. And I did! But ugh, never using it again as it is so horrible to work with. The smell, the poor curing, the brittleness... I got so used to quality epoxy!

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Stinky.

But then it was back to the clay! I found that the expanding foam did not form well so there were pockets of air so unsupported surfaces. I also found that it distorted the shape somewhat so I had to do a lot of corrective work with the clay.

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And finally in this last month I got the courage to try some more advanced skin texture techniques. I knew the basics, but watched a few SFX pros and decided to just go for it! I made a few tools to do this:
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Tiny loop and heavy bristle raker :)

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It's not perfect but I managed to then build up some support to start molding. I decided I wanted the seams to follow the very side so added clay and foam support to hold the back in place. I ran out of clay so had to purchase some more.
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I used ultracal and made some fairly thick walls!

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Then I had to do the otherside obviously, I took the clay and foam supports and repeated for the back.
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I took the slow cure to trim all the flashings and rips and after managing to bump a bump on my arm with a tiny excess bump on the mold I took a lot of care to remove as many as I could.

I have hurt myself on the edges of molds before as well as found they can cause a point of weakness.

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And boom! It actually came apart really easily! But as I expected the rigid resin support was difficult to remove. So I put the molds in the sun to soften the resin and tore the front out, then the foam, then finally the back!
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I am now drying the molds at that spot as it gets high sun until about 11am :) And I'll get my spare toothbrush and isopro out to clean the rest.

And of course I had started patterning the leg armour. This I'm hesitant to work on. I had thought I would wetform some leather, then reports can out is was supposed to be more rigid, then the realistic style showed actually they probably are leather due to the wrinkling at the ankles. SO I think I will use the russet I have after all :) Possibly over my very thin fibreglass impressions I made for Shae initially.
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 #23157  by SlyClone
 Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:49 am
Awesome work so far on Ahsoka, you've got a thread on RPF that I've been watching as well. Can't wait to see the finished product, especially from another kiwi as I'd assumed you weren't from our neck of the woods when I read it over there.
 #23177  by mdb
 Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:01 am
Hi and thank you :)

Good news:

I have most of a whole half side of russet left over after Ventress so I'll be able to make the leather and greaves easily. I also found my greave molds which is brilliant. The chest armour.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BMA8dvKhqvA ... i.chimaera
The mold now rings like a bell which means it is cured enough to take a cast :) And so I have moved about 2L and a small bottle of latex thickener into my workroom. Chipping brushes and paint to tin and we will start tomorrow:)
The mold is nearly free of clay, today I had to clean my workroom

Also ot some scaling going on for the light sabers. This will make modeling them so much easier. I'm tempted to just use forex as I can dremel quite nicely, but I do know sketchup- I just hate the way it assumes a mouse move means one thing, due to how the panning and scrolling works ;)
 #23215  by mdb
 Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:26 am
Thank you :) I usually do share as much as I can, but getting all photos in one post was a bit more diffcult than it needed to be (IG and flickr are great! but they don't really have easy bulk sharing options.)

I made the mistake today of slushing the mold- by mistake I mean I mixed my latex (thickener and pigment so that I could brush the latex in a nice heavy initial cost) and forgot to let it air and release most of the ammonia. So I accidentally got a good lungful.
And then I forgot again and just repeated the exposure.
Note to self, if I don't have the right respirator I get the cold fan and work upwind.
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#ahsokalives mold has been slushed. Should be enough as it is but I may just do one more swish while it's still wet enough to not warp. But woo for latex thickener and acrylic paint for making this much easier! by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

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#ahsokalives slushing in progress, also accidental advertising (and yes recommend as a retailer will be getting more.) by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

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#ahsokalives slushing, tip from side to side and then pour excess out the ends- actually did this both sides, it's also harder than it appears.[/url] by pinkdiamond, on Flickr
 #23216  by oota goota
 Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:40 am
nice one mdb that's a massive amount of progress on your mold and sculpt look awesome! More pics please
 #23217  by badges2nz
 Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:44 am
Hey mdb nice work so far, I love the detail that you put into your work, ever thought of going on face off. :D
 #23218  by knock
 Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:59 am
Amazing work :) I'm always blown away with your build threads. Looking forward to seeing the rest :)
 #23226  by mdb
 Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:29 am
Thank you all :) I managed to pull the latex free today and as suspected it's a tiny bit too thin to be self supporting. But there is a fix :) It's just a little tricky working on the inside of a convoluted shape like this :) But a quick test drive showed that it still fits and that the shape is really pretty nice :) And it uses much less latex than budgeted for which means testing other options are now doable :)

Yesterday I managed to template all the leather details, and today transferred them to russet. The legs and chest plate were tough. I was very lucky to have a friend help, and even so it was a big old tangle of tape! So next supply replenishment will be tape. And chipping brushes. So many brushes...

But it was about a 1/4 hide, so if it wasn't a familiar technique it would have been really nerve wracking! And unfortunately while I have had amazing discounts from LAPCo for everything else vege-tanned russet is not something they can discount.

So more brushes and then tomorrow breaking out the tooling gear :)
 #23230  by mdb
 Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:12 pm
Photos of said process :)
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#ahsokalives skirt armour all pathed and printed. I am having trouble with some of my PSD files but hey I got to print them ready to transfer to russet.[/url] by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

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#ahsokalives transfering line art to leather. I did wet this section and then realised I didn't need to :)[/url] by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

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#ahsokalives close view of the hide. There will always be imperfections so try to avoid them. I managed to miss this but have a couple of tiny holes in the greaves.[/url] by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

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#ahsokalives not sure if it is obvious but I altered the design. I was using the concept art which has a few bumps that get exaggerated with scale! My error so I will tidy the graphic file once I know that this works.[/url] by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

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#ahsokalives the transfer is a series of dots that will be merged once I do the tooling proper. I do love this work, but it is delicate as the surfice will take an impression of nearly anything that touches it![/url] by pinkdiamond, on Flickr