SWNZ Forums

Ideas, tutorials, questions relating to armour, costumes and replica props from the Star Wars universe
 #24326  by Blaxmyth
 Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:48 am
Having been seized with the notion that I must build a Tusken costume and cast the metal parts in aluminium, I've been preparing by turning a few pieces on the wood lathe. I've already managed to turn aluminium by hand on the wood lathe, so the next step is to cast some scrap and try making the spikes, tusks and eye stalks. Well, that's the plan anyway. The wood prototypes turned out ok, so here's hoping.
IMG_0736.JPG (2.38 MiB) Viewed 8401 times
IMG_0738.JPG (2.67 MiB) Viewed 8401 times
IMG_0739.JPG (2.11 MiB) Viewed 8401 times
I've promised my son-in-law that we'll each cast a set at Christmas, so better get cracking. Wish me luck! :)
 #24328  by MattG
 Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:54 am
They look very nice.

Would love to do a tusken mask myself at some point... the picture of 3 sandpeople in the "Star Wars Storybook" from my childhood (below) is one of those images burned into my nostalgia circuits.
databank_tuskenraiders_01_169_f077ade3.jpeg (296.05 KiB) Viewed 8387 times
 #24330  by Blaxmyth
 Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:58 am
Thanks, Matt.

Those three Tuskens are certainly iconic. I didn't realise how different they were until I started this latest project.

Made some more progress today, cutting and welding the crucible for the aluminium. If we get some fine weather, I'll be able to test it soon...
 #24331  by badges2nz
 Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:18 am
Sounds like fun times ahead, will you be casting in sand?
 #24334  by Blaxmyth
 Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:52 pm
badges2nz wrote:Sounds like fun times ahead, will you be casting in sand?
Yep, green sand - trying the recipe of 85% white sand mixed with powdered kitty litter, which is bentonite clay. Been meaning to try it for ages. I'll use the coal forge as it produces more heat than my gas forge.

Will post progress pics as I go.
 #24361  by Blaxmyth
 Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:12 am
Some more progress. I've bought a bag of kitty litter, and borrowed my wife's mortar and pestle to crush it to powder. Ideally you would use a blender, but don't want to buy an old one until I see how the mortar goes.

I welded up a heavy duty crucible which will take up to a litre of aluminium - more than enough for this project, but I've always wanted something like this so it was a good excuse to build it.

Also, have turned up four eye stalk forms and four tusk forms. These will be embedded into the casting sand, which is packed tightly around them, so that when the forms are gently withdrawn, a hole is left ready to receive the molten aluminium. The wooden plugs will be screwed to the bottom of the mould box and they will form the inside of the eye, hopefully being able to be removed easily afterwards as I will be sanding a slight taper onto them. They will probably char, but I'm regarding that as instant weathering.

Hopefully will have some more progress in a week or so.
IMG_0742.JPG (1.44 MiB) Viewed 8334 times
IMG_0755.JPG (2.13 MiB) Viewed 8334 times
 #24362  by badges2nz
 Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:16 am
I like your crucible, its a pity I've just got rid of a whole lot of aluminum at the scrap metal recyclers along with some brass and copper.
 #24364  by Blaxmyth
 Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:09 am
Thanks, badges, but I've got about 10 kg saved up. Plus all my wife's empty beer cans...