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  1. Member Since
    May 2009
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    4
    Jul 13, 2009, 4:05 AM - scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #1

    Hello Everyone!

    I was going to direct this to stormtrooperguy, but I figure I should try and catch as much attention as possible to get the most help possible.

    OK, so here's the situation.
    I'm doing a scratch build of Captain Rex ( might do a regular trooper, don't like the paultron tooo much), I have minimal tools and minimal money.

    So far I've sculpted a head about my size out of insulation foam, covered it partially with bondo, found it hard to use, so I went to clay. The bucket is 80% done(in that it isn't a head anymore), it's just lumpy and off all over the place. I also bought plaster bandages to do the rest of the armor's base so I can build off of that, with clay? I don't know yet.

    My only problem with bondo is that, I have no garage so I have to do bondo work outside, and, if it's raining, it's hard to do. My power sander isn't the best thing in the world either, so.. Clay is preferable. Right now it's cracking up a storm, but I can fix that, that isn't the problem. I just can't get smooth, round, near perfect surfaces. OH, also, it's air dry, no firing needed.

    I realize I can sand the dome parts and stuff to smooth it out and level the edges.




    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. Member Since
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    Jul 13, 2009, 4:31 AM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #2

    not meaning to be unsupportive mate - but air drying clay is a night mare
    I tried it too - it contracts too much, its cracks easily and (this is only my opinion mid) to flaky for use. I take it that you are gonna use this helmet, not using it as a master to cast from?

    easier to go for the hasbro lid and modify? I am sure you can get a pretty cheap one nowadays?

    or if you up to it - there are various pepakura models, skip has some for sale at only a few dollars IIRC or theres a really low-poly free one on 405th site which can be modded up.

    vagabond on the clonetroopers site also has some pepa for the armor - cant comment on the accuracy though, as I am not that way inclined

    good luck
  3. Member Since
    May 2009
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    Jul 13, 2009, 4:45 AM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #3

    ok, thanks! uh. I just saw an instructable for a boba fett helmet made of cardboard and spackling, but I'll look into the models and Vagbond thanks alot

    I was going to use it as a master but.. I guess I shouldn't? should I crack off the clay and try something else?
  4. Skupilkinson's Avatar
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    Jul 13, 2009, 6:05 AM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #4

    Without a garage I can see why Bondo wouldn't be your first option, though it is far better suited to this kind of thing than clay, particularly air dry.

    Other than that, Heatshock covered it I think.

    Skip.
  5. mrbungle's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    Jul 13, 2009, 8:47 AM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #5

    if you are dead set on clay, used a oil based clay, it never dries and a you can sculpt on it for months.

    i use plasti-clay or van akne plastalina clay.
  6. clonesix's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2004
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    Jul 13, 2009, 9:38 AM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #6

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your first embarkment on a rewarding project. If this is th efirst time that you have tried to model something in clay, I would imagine that you have many questions, some of which can be answered here.

    If you search for "scratch building helmet" I am sure you will find many threads on that very subject. There are several methods from poster board, to welding steel.

    Here are some thoughts on your clay method:

    1) the sculpt needs to be supported so that it isn't just sitting on the table. A pipe with a mounting flange, screwed into a wooden base will do the trick.

    2) If you are going to use clay, you can only get a good surface with tools. If you look for clay tools and find then expensive, you can make your own. You will never get a smooth surface with your fingers.

    3) cover your sculpt with a trash bag when you are not working on it, and that will keep it from drying out.


    Lastly, if you don't have a garage, clay can mess up your carpet pretty quickly. Be sure not to track it around your house.
  7. Trooper937's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2009
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    Jul 13, 2009, 1:07 PM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #7

    It looks preety sturdy.What clay do you use?

    visit my tread ' custom pep helmet episode 2 '
  8. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
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    Jul 13, 2009, 5:00 PM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #8

    like other folks have said... air dry clay is rough.

    take a look at this thread over on animated-army for a nice, non-smelly way to do a scratch build:

    http://animated-army.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=85
  9. Member Since
    Jan 2009
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    Jul 14, 2009, 2:13 AM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #9

    Welcome to helmet sculpting. I'm sure you're discovering, it's not an easy hobby but, it can be a very rewarding one. The first bit of advice I'd offer you is this, don't try to sculpt a helmet. Instead practice sculpting simple geometric forms, teach yourself how to sculpt straight edges and curves, learn how to rake clay smooth and experiment with slicks and polishes to surface you work. Read up on automotive sculpture, as the techniques are transferable. Untill you have a grasp on some of the basic ideas, and have built up an understanding of materials, you may find yourself disatisfied with your results. Helmets are just bits of geometry pushed together, once you can sculpt the individual geometries, it's just a matter of putting them together in one work. Good luck, and have fun
  10. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
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    Jul 14, 2009, 11:58 AM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #10

    another idea... try picking up a hasbro voice changer helmet. they are only around 30USD. have a go at cleaning up the seams, fixing the visor shape, etc... it will help you get used to bondo, sanding, etc... without having to deal with the core shapes right away.
  11. Member Since
    May 2009
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    Jul 14, 2009, 9:58 PM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #11

    wow, thank you. Everyone! so much that I couldn't possibly have predicted!
    makes me very happy.

    um.. At first I used a white clay.. which seemed alittle rubbery which seems to last longer than the straight up clay I used over top of it.

    Right now, my main thoughts are to either rip off the clay, bite the bullet and go back to bondo.

    or

    build my vacuform table months early, pull the bucket as is, fill that with foam and go from there. Thoughts?

    I'm sure it'll come with experience but, I find bondo hard to work with in that with every micro layer I remove, it exposes more and more pited levels, I can never get the smoothness I need, nor the thickness to justify sanding relentlessly, the bondo under all that is pretty thin and only in the eye area. I acutally sculpted out the neck in the foam which was a mistake in that that's not how the bucket goes, so I need a filler that possibly isn't bondo because that could be expensive and time consuming.

    I've read most everything I can about all this, but I'm still learning alot.
  12. Member Since
    May 2009
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    Jul 14, 2009, 10:15 PM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #12

    so, I just did a search on auto sculpting, can't really find anything, but I'm definitely more pointed in the right direction. so, thank you

    It made so much sense when I read it, lol, cars!, of course!!

    most of what I came up with were classes, I was just looking for some small tips and techniques, or even a list of tools so I know what to make.
  13. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
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    Jul 14, 2009, 10:56 PM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #13

    i don't think vacuum forming would be particularly useful for a helmet.
  14. Member Since
    Jan 2009
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    66
    Jul 15, 2009, 12:02 AM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #14

    so, I just did a search on auto sculpting, can't really find anything,
    If you're serious about learning anything, you really need to go beyond what the internet has to offer, don't get me wrong, the net is great but, when you want good quality information the public library would be a good place to start. There are books around that cover in finite detail every single thing you need to know.
  15. Skupilkinson's Avatar
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    Jul 15, 2009, 12:05 AM - Re: scratch build minimal money, COMMENTS WELCOME #15

    He's right. I've found on many occasions that the library supplies me with the answer quicker and often better than a Google search.

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