Clockwork Droid Version 3? 4?

January 12th, 2012 admin No comments

I’ve pretty much moved to Google+ for posting my updates on stuff, but I noticed this morning that people still find this site somehow, so I decided to throw a quick and dirty recap for my new new Girl In The Fireplace mask. I really learned a lot while doing the last one, and applied it this version, including better sculpting, molding, and much better crackle finish.

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Project Johann

February 14th, 2011 admin No comments

Johann Krauss

I started my new project this weekend: Johann Krauss (double “s” in the film, single in the comic) from Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Target for his debut is Dragon*Con 2011, so for once I’m starting a costume with enough time to do it right. Also for the first time, I’ve set myself milestones. I’m not sure how realistic they are, but if nothing else it’ll help to be able to look back and plan for the next project.

Pieces I have to start:

I started collecting supplies for this a few months ago, and I’ve already become dissatisfied with the oval acrylic dome, so part of the plan is to vacu-form a new, more accurate one, while keeping the other as backup.

That’s probably going to be the most challenging part for me, since I’ve never done it before, but I’ve been building up my sculpting and casting skills, so I’m not really intimidated. I’ve also got some fairly ambitious electronics planned. That will be the last step if I have everything else done in time.

This weekend, I started on the “soft” parts by ripping the seams of the gloves and jacket (where needed) and removing the pockets from the coveralls. It would be more accurate to start with a pattern and sew the coveralls from scratch, but I’m sticking to what I’m comfortable with for now.

Viewing playlist:

  • Hellboy II twice
  • The entire first season of Downton Abbey
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Still working

January 27th, 2011 admin 3 comments

I wanted to post a picture of what the inside of the mold looks like while the resin is curing. I’m also posting a picture of a pre-aged paint job, using a darker blue and shinier yellow. I haven’t nailed down a crackle technique I really like yet. I have a self-imposed goal of the end of January to get this mask completed, because I’d like to move on to another costume project in February, so I might just finish this one off with the crackle glaze I have now, and save a casting for when I someday find the perfect technique.

The inside of the resin-coated mold

Happy with the colors, still not sure how to age it

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One step too far

January 21st, 2011 admin No comments

Ok, so now I know what NOT to do. Since I am still considering this a prototype, I decided to experiment with pushing the antiquing a little further, and applying a really thick coat of the crackle glaze. I hoped it would produce a more prominent craquelure pattern. What actually happened was that a lot of it ended up pulling away and flaking off. I applied the dark wash anyway, just to see what it would look like. You can see the results – it looks more dirty than antiqued. Now I know!


Scary, but not the look I'm going for.

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Prototype trimmed, painted

January 16th, 2011 admin No comments

I’m calling this first mask a prototype, as I’m trying out paint colors, techniques, trim lines, etc. After trimming with a dremel, I had to slightly widen the mask by softening in hot water, reshaping, then dipping in cold water to set.

Then I added trim along the edge by splitting an old cable, stripping out the wires inside, and using Gorilla Glue to adhere it.

As far as paint, I’m going to darken the blue next time, and maybe add some metallic gold to the yellow. The crackle glaze worked, but again, the cracks are smaller than I’d like. I THINK it’ll work better if I can get a thicker coat down, because the crackles were perfect where the glaze dried on my palette.

Please excuse the distortion in the photos – these were taken with my phone.

bright colors, they'll darken with the glaze and washes

a view of the inside, showing the trim

a view of the inside, showing the trim and proving it can be worn

after several washes of black and brown - trying to bring out the cracks and weather it

I like this view for showing the dimensionality of the cheeks

The cracks are much smaller than I wanted - I don't think you can even see them in pictures.

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First pull from new mold

January 10th, 2011 admin No comments

First layer of oogoo down.

I was somewhat worried about taking a mold of my cracked sculpey mask. I patched the cracks with fresh sculpey so hopefully the silicone wouldn’t flow into them (maybe I should’ve used an epoxy, but I was anxious to get the silicone down during a brief warm-spell last week). As it turns out, they didn’t pose TOO much of a problem, but I’ll address that later. I was able to get a couple layers of my modified oogoo silicone down while it was warm enough to work in the garage (this stuff stinks).

Once that cured, I added a mother-mold of plaster bandages, and finally peeled everything off to see how I did. The silicone did flow into a couple of the bigger cracks, but it wasn’t too bad. My worst mistake was cutting out the eyes from the clay. This created a problem when trying to release the mold from the master, as the deep sockets grabbed on tight and didn’t want to let go. Patience and persistence won out, though, and after cleaning any clay bits from the mold I was ready to slush some resin in there.

Second oogoo layer down

I’m using a white, 1:1 ratio casting resin from Alumilite. Since my test casting from the old mold came out with a ton of bubbles, I wanted to be much gentler this time around with my slushing. The resin came with little 2oz Tbs cups for measuring, so I used 3 4ozTbs batches which seemed to build up a decent thickness. I’d mix up a batch, pour it into the mold, and slowly roll it around, trying to cover the entire surface evenly. My biggest fear was that the nose would collect all the extra resin from each layer, and be filled up entirely at the end. With each layer I was very conscious of not letting it collect there, and I think it worked out. I let it cure for about 30 minutes before de-molding. As you may or may not be able to tell from the image, there were NO bubbles this time! The worst problem is a “crack” in the chin area that was present in the master, and was deep enough that it didn’t get covered with resin in the mold. Hopefully it will be trimmed off when I decide on the final trim line. I’ll try to correct this in the mold before I take the next cast.

Mother mold

This weekend I also stopped at Michael’s and picked up a couple different “crackle” mediums. Lynette had tried a spray version on her first mask, which did not give the desired effect. The ones I picked up were acrylic. One was to be used between two paint layers, where the top layer would crackle, revealing the base color. The other is a glaze or varnish, where you then apply a wash to bring out the crackle detail. The glaze gave the best results, looking more like aged porcelain, whereas the one that goes between layers looked more like paint chipping off antique wood furniture. I’m optimistic about the glaze, even though the cracks are smaller than I would’ve liked.

First pull from the new mold

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New Year’s Resolution

January 4th, 2011 admin No comments

These kinds of things work best when they’re declared publicly, so here goes: R2 will AT LEAST get a frame and legs this year – as they say on American Chopper, “rolling chassis.” I have a lot planned for other projects, including finishing the Clockwork Droid mask, crafting various other costume pieces for and with Lynette, and building my own costume for Dragon*Con 2011, but I WILL make R2 progress. 2010 was a complete bust for the little overweight glob of grease, but I have some new tools that will make the job easier (or that’s what I’ve been telling myself). I’ve been rediscovering my passion for this stuff, and I can’t let that go to waste just reading the RPF til 1am every night.

Categories: R2D2, Star Wars Tags:

Baking the master mask

December 28th, 2010 admin No comments

The best it ever looked.

Yesterday, after printing out my new reference images, I finished up the detail work on the mask. Now it was time to bake. I did a ton of reading on how to best harden the sculpey without cracking it, and popped it in the oven at 225F for 1 hr, then 170F for another hour. After that, I turned off the oven and let it cool down with the mask still inside. This was all supposed to minimize cracking. No such luck, it turns out. I am going to chalk this one up to the fact that the plaster base is still inside there, and there’s probably a difference in the amount of expansion/contraction that happens in the plaster and the sculpey. Anyway, I got a big nasty crack across the nose, cracks from the corners of the eyes going outward, a crack down the center of the nose, and a crack from the nose down through the mouth. You can see the one across the nose in the pic – the others hadn’t formed yet.

Visible crack across the nose.

It is possible I pulled it out of the cool oven too soon, but I honestly think there’s probably not much I could have done to avoid this besides just molding the uncured sculpey instead of trying to bake it. Either way, I’m fairly sure I’ll still be able to salvage a good mask from this by patching the cracks before molding/casting.

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Clockwork Droid Reference Pics

December 22nd, 2010 admin No comments

Screen-used Clockwork Droid masks

Lynette found an amazing source for images of screen-used masks, as well as great reproductions:

This is INVALUABLE to getting this mask right, and I’m seriously freaking out right now. Looking forward to figuring out how to get that craquelure effect.

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Sculpting a new master

December 20th, 2010 admin No comments

First things first, be sure to check out the new movie forum.

Now for some mask progress. I took a few hours yesterday to sculpt a new, larger master out of Super Sculpey. It’s built on the same plaster cast of Lynette’s face, but I built up the base another inch or so, and used a thicker layer of clay as the mask (to try to account for shrinkage). Work-in-progress photos follow:

Looking pretty creepy.

Still a little lumpy.

Need to make some of the detail lines thicker.

Hipster photo filter.

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