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  1. DP74's Avatar
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    Apr 29, 2009, 10:19 PM - Kind of Clay? #1

    Hey guys!
    Ok, so After I signed up and got ever so slightly involved in posting and such, I vanished a bit and I'm now eagerly awaiting my complete Fett from Bobamaker (holy cow his stuff is insane!) to go with my complete Vader and eventual application into the 501st for both...and the whole time I've been lurking, reading and learning and being outright amazed by the work you all do. So my wife had hit me with a suggestion. That I try my hand at making custom items of my own for myself and my wife & kids who are also really into the idea of costuming. Now, doing Star Wars related or any other IP related things isn't my goal at all, as I've always been interested in doing my own original types of things.

    So I thought that I would hit you guys up in this section for a few quick, general questions so I know where I should be looking in terms of a direction for my goal.

    I want to learn how to make fiberglass armor and helms, foam weapons, and latex masks - all my own work from my own noggin. So my question to you all is this....what type of clay do you all suggest I go with to do these things? I have read up and researched to hell how to make silicone molds with a fiberglass support "casing", I've researched on about pulling from molds, how to use the molds, even the coating, but I have yet to really nail down the best type of clay to use to begin this whole process of creating. Through this site and the sticky thread, I have come across two places that seem to be the best : http://www.smooth-on.com/ and what I think seems to be REALLY close to the mark : http://www.monstermakers.com/product...aking-kit.html

    Now, in your opinions, do you think that the kit linked from the monstermakers site would be the best for what I'm looking to do? Or would I need to go more specialized for the each. I mean, I know that obviously for fiberglass armor you use fiberglass, latext masks are latex, and foam rubber weapons are foam rubber, but what I mean more is, would that one kit be able to take care of my needs? Is there a specific clay I should be using for a specific type of project or will the things that come in that kit do me just as well?

    Thank you all in advance, I really appreciate everything you guys have here and while I may not post much, I lurk like mad and I poke at my wife and my young kids to see all of the fantastic creations and talent in these threads. Thank you!

    DP
    Last edited by DP74; May 1, 2009 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Title Edited for Clarification
  2. DP74's Avatar
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    May 1, 2009, 11:21 PM - Re: Kind of Clay? #2

    Just a quick bump for title edit. Can anyone please offer up an opinion?
  3. clonesix's Avatar
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    May 2, 2009, 1:28 AM - Re: Kind of Clay? #3

    If you are new to all this and you are trying to learn, then I recommend plain old water clay. Yes, the same type that you made ash trays out of in school. It is $10/50lbs, and you can practice all you want for $10.

    My second recommendation is try a few things in scale going full size. It will give you the same exoerience for less time/money/materials/space. If you want to try making a helmet, try sculpting it in 1/4 scale. mold it and cast it. If you are going to make mistakes, and that is what knowlege comes from, do them on practice pieces that can be done quickly and thrown away if disliked and start over.
    Last edited by clonesix; May 2, 2009 at 5:22 PM.
  4. DP74's Avatar
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    May 2, 2009, 3:20 AM - Re: Kind of Clay? #4

    Thank you SO much!! I'll do just that!
    As for graduating, the oil based clay is ok? Or is there really a specific?
  5. clonesix's Avatar
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    May 2, 2009, 5:46 PM - Re: Kind of Clay? #5

    Oil clay is good stuff, and can be use again, as it doesn't dry out. It comes in different levels of hardness. The harder it is, the more precise detail you can do with it. For the same $10, you get 1 lb. That is 50X more expensive than water clay. So if you are not 50X as experienced, then it is a lot of money to spend on learning.

    The thing that I like about water clay is that is changes hardness as needed. Meaning this: First out of the bag, it is squishy and workable. It is very easy to apply to your armature and block out your shape fast. If you want to experiment and change the shape around, it is much easiear than oil clay.

    You cover the sculpt with a wet towel and a garbage bag, and it won't dry out. You could leave it for months and come back to it, and start working again.

    If uncovered, the clay will begin to lose moisture and go from squishy, to pliable, and then to firm, and eventually to leathery. As the clay firms up, you can go into more detail and sharper edges. In it's leathery stage, you can cut the sharp detail into it.

    Once you have the sculpt to where you like it, spray it with a few coats of lacquer to seal it. If you seal it well, it will protect the sculpt from drying out completely and allow you to mold your project.

    Here is a suggestion: When you get your first bag of clay, cut a few 2" cubes of clay. Wrap one in Saran Wrap, spray one with lacquer, and leave one just plain. Let them just sit in the garage over night and come back in the morning. After 12 hours of sitting there, the wrapped one will be squishy, the spayed one will be leathery, and the bare one will be firm like soap. This will give you an idea of how fast it dries, and what the clay is like at various stages.

    Good luck on your project.
    Last edited by clonesix; May 2, 2009 at 9:20 PM.
  6. DP74's Avatar
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    May 2, 2009, 8:56 PM - Re: Kind of Clay? #6

    Thanks a ton again! You've given me alot to work with. I appreciate the detailed explanations on this. Hopefully in a few months I'll be posting some WIP threads.
  7. Member Since
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    May 3, 2009, 12:54 AM - Re: Kind of Clay? #7

    Just a suggestion from an oil clay user, but I've found Klean Klay to be really good. The regular firmness is hand pliable, but also firm enough to have a pretty good level of detail retention. Also if you go to www.sculpturedepot.net they have it for $1.75 per lb, which is the cheapest I've found it. It's a good place to start when it comes to oil clay, although not as cheap as the water clay.
  8. DP74's Avatar
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    May 3, 2009, 4:15 AM - Re: Kind of Clay? #8

    Link saved. Thanks for the head's up.

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