Tag Archives: sfx

Question time

So while my online demonstration of mold making is not really optimised as it’s slow going but here is a question:

Can anyone guess at why I have been trimming the edges of my molds? I just cut back not only the excess drip marks but also the thin edge left behind.

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I am curious as to what might be presumed about this “extra step” 🙂

I’ll be posting a separate post once I have finished. But  few clues:

~ biggest clue- this mold is 50lbs (22.9kg)

~ I have seen professional mold-makers in action  so I picked up some habits used on large scale projects.

~ I have been making molds since.. well the late 90s (shhh) so I have a lot of experience in making and maintaining them (lots of experience at doing things in a rush as well as well planned)

~ think of these as objects in and of themselves as well as an intermediary object to make other things 🙂 And how you make the things from this.

~The mold is currently on the ground.

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togruta vs togruta

These are two casts from the same mold. I love my Ashara but I basically made her from an imperfect cast. The mold had separated a bit making for blunt montral and the tops of the lekku was too thin so I cut them off. This leads to the montral sticking away from the face.

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Just to show that Shara was an imperfect cast!

Again, my grumpy cast is doing double duty while my good cast has my horns 🙂

I am having a day of fatigue and turning it into a day of rest, and have been also having some antiinflammatories, which seem to be at least helping a bit so that’s great 🙂

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#Ahsokatano progress

This works! I love me some smart bb and wp!

#ahsokalives first texture pass. I need to let it all cool so texture can be carved in. Atm it’s all smooshing. Overnight will do it by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

Yes! #maleficent horn texture and #ahsokalives #togruta skin marking success! Now to do this over the entire sculptures!!!! by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

#ahsokalives #ahsokatano texture worked really well! My camera has low res though so had to do a close up. Next stop, #maleficent2014] bypinkdiamond, on Flickr

#ahsokatano sculpt prepping for mold making. Built up as much support out of foam as I could and melting clay while doing so. I may want to clean all of this after! Definitely will be mixing in some other colours. Purple and blue? by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

#ahsokatano from the side. Polystyrene and clay support them clay wall. That brick red? 2.5 kg. There are 2.24 pounds per kg. I think there is about 6kg of grey clay. It fills a crock pot anyway.
by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

#ahsokatano 10kg of ultracal plaster, about. 3l of water, big guess there though, and the top of. The mold is made!
by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

#ahsokatano left to rest. I checked and it is cool enough to leave it be. While it steams it is prone to cracking but this is quite cool. The towels are wet to help this cure. by pinkdiamond, on Flickr

So after a very long period of no progress I suddenly have some? It’s all to do with working on my Maleficent horns. And having already cast my Draenei horns. I just built up my skill set from last time so was able to not only work faster but get texture details I have not managed before! Rounded wrinkles of a certain size have been the bane of my existence! I’m now finding them fun, so all the work that goes into them has a positive result which yeah- makes the repetitive nature soothing rather than stressful


Side note, I now have a drywall trade account (well not trade trade, just a normal account). None of the mold supply company stocks it. But it’s still used by tradies for buildings. So… what the heck! Seriously, I haven’t found it in more than a year at any of the SFX supply places. So I grabbed the 22.5kg bag while it’s still in the country!

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Maleficent sculpt progress

I haven’t shared here, I have just been so tired after sculpting (it’s full body, standing, sitting, holding- something this size and floating in the air? yeah you need to use your whole body!)

The latest huge 10 update has also changed all my import settings and my phone is not happy! So I’m still waiting for my images to import before going further 🙂

October 8

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After reshaping the polymorph frame using a heat gun:

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October 9th:

After cutting back the polymorph with a dremel. Note the horns are so long the ends look disproportionately large from the rear view.

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October 10th, more cleaning, more reshaping of the flare.

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October 11 even more subtle shaping- mainly of the extra horn supports

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Detailing the supports more aggressively

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And then to show why I have been taking photos up close despite distortion, it’s more detailed 🙂 My phone does not like even lowish light. But here you can see the horn tips really are not like bunny ears!

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wow, it worked!

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That would be a 3D scan of my horns created from about 40 photos from my plain old DSLR! I have yet to find the “remove everything but the selection” to remove the background of my workroom but.. but.. I may be able to tidy the sculpt and more the table more centrally in my room and then mask off the walls. the few errors in the capture of the horns has a lot to do with not being able to get to the back of the stand.

It did take all night, and I may have to make sure the model doesn’t accidentally wind up published but yeah. I can probably also scan the head cast for fully 3D sculpting! And I will be able to get my hands done too 🙂

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Wig frankensteining

I have three lace front wigs that were not entirely perfect. The first was just a size too small for my head, the other two were slightly too dark for Elsa.

Step One: A new wig cap.


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This is a strip of high quality powernet (the rest is set aside to redo my Pink Diamonds costume) with the lace top and strips from one of the wigs I cut apart. There are strips of the wig powernet in peach on the sides.

Step Two: Add the lace front to the nape of the neck.

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I added a strip of stable net and lace to the nape, to help support and reduce stress on the delicate net. This is to disguise the wig fully and the hair can be styled up or down.


This is the interior view of a strip from a lace front. It is curved and has the front lace clipped already.


It does blend well.

Step three: stitch lace fronts in

(no pics, as this was a process of frustration and photos that don’t illustrate this well enough!)

Step Four: add wefts


This is ongoing, and I’d also like to add a couple more lace strips back in to help stabilise the vertical stretch. Start from the bottom to avoid having to flip the wefts out of the way.

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And more molding process with ultracal

Yesterday I built up clay walls and supports for the horns. I made sure to really support them as the ultracal winds up very heavy during the molding process.


Here you can see the shallow keys cut into the clay walls.

I used a brush to apply the product and so totally was unable to get in progress photos! Anyway, I mix and apply with the same 2″ brush so that the molds are nicely raised and evenly applied. And yes, there is a vertical lay up element. This is possible because ultrcacal forms a gel like structure as it cures. So while there is a lot of slumping you can brush upwards and get it to stay vertical.

I usually use warm water to speed the curing process and so avoid slumping as much as possible however today I did not.

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This process is messy and I did splash over the clay walls so I transferred the entire piece on to a wool blanket.


Here you can see how much clay I used to support the weight of the molds. I could only do this because it is winter and the clay is extremely solid when cold!

After this I used a small craft saw and a metal paint scraper to remove excess plaster. I normally do this earlier but it’s been a while!

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I had to be careful as the plaster is still damp and so not at full strength. This made breaking off the very narrow pieces easy but I could also have potentially cracked any part of the mold that was fragile.

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Draenei horns ready to mold

So I thought I’d share how I matched one side to the other 🙂

After tidying up the proportions I started to transfer the lines by using a divider (scribe compass.) I did this along the top section on the inside as well as the outside.

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After that I used the needle point picker from my sculpting tool set. I pressed the long end across the clay to start and then matched to that line from each side.

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And then I did a crazy thing. I took a paint scraper and pressed it in to the clay by a few mm using the edges to line up smoothly and precisely.

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This deep but narrow line was then beveled with a silicone tool



This was imperfect so I spent some time buffing the surface with a cloth in one direction.

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After this I used a large smooth bristled paintbrush dipped in vaseline to further smooth.



Now that I have set in for the night I can see the last bit of evening up I need to do!


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Multiple horn making

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Currently working in three fandoms. While each set of horns is being made in clay I am using slightly different techniques to support them. I’m also hoping to find some way to scan these, though scanning is very expensive as there are very few people with them as opposed to printers!

The weather has continued to be very chilly, which is perfect for sculpting in oil based clay. Well for me 🙂 I much prefer carving so pressing clay, I find I have much better density control if I can carve.

Oil based clay melts in direct heat, softens in indirect and then sets solid when chilled.

When working with chilled clay I need to quickly wave a heat gun across the cold surface- our environment is very damp so a fine film of water can form which blocks the clay from sticking. When heated the surface gains a little traction and winds up bonding to the new clay much more firmly.

I heat my clay in a crock pot (dedicated!) and use a heat gun for spot melting. As this warms up and melts I can brush it on, as it cools down I can form hand molded shapes to press.

But the warm clay softens the cold so there is a limit to how long you can work before the bulk of the clay moves too far.

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madame vastra side two


by admin, January 29, 2015

Yep, masking tape to help measure 🙂 The tape is now gone. The lines are balanced but definitely individual on each side 🙂 hoping to get this back half done this week. But I am permanently fatigues and this is making time management difficult.

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