Lizard mask - Final sculpt and molding
The lizard mask is nearly done! I've just finished the second half of the mold shell. Once it has a chance to cure overnight, I'll open the mold up and see how he turned out!
In the images above, you can see how the scales sculpted into the clay look before and after smoothing. It's possible to smooth oil-based clay with either heat or certain chemicals. In my case, I use mineral spirits, which break down the structure of the clay just enough to allow it to soften and blend together, without losing the sculpt's structure or texture. As you can see, it makes a big difference!
Here's how the final sculpture looks, just before molding. I coated the clay with a layer of Krylon Crystal Clear gloss acrylic spray and allowed it to dry thoroughly overnight. The spray makes the exterior of the sculpture slightly tougher and more resistant to nicks and dents. It also makes for a much smoother and cleaner molded surface.
The sculpture is then covered in layers of a brushable silicone called Rebound 25. The initial couple of layers are applied with a chip brush and I take a lot of care to make sure the silicone material gets into every detail. After that, a few more layers (2 or 3) of thickened silicone are added, this time applied with a spatula-like motion, using wide-sized popsicle sticks. I also add some keys to help it fit properly into the final outer shell.
In the second photo, you can also see the clay wall I've built up to divide the outer shell into two halves.
The silicone by itself would be too flimsy to cast, so it needs a hard exterior mold. I like to use FreeForm Air, a type of lightweight epoxy putty. Here, you can see both halves of the exterior mold applied and waiting to cure fully.
Since I decided not to mold the lizard mask with the cheek and chin horns attached, I created this mold to be able to cast all eight of them at the proper angles, to ensure they'll fit the final mask properly.
Posted by Sarrah Wilkinson on 8/5/2014 - Page last updated: 8/5/2014
Keywords: mask, sculpt, mold, male, argonian, lizard man, reptile, Skyrim, Elder Scrolls V, costume, work in progress, WIP, horns, silicone, epoxy, Rebound 25, FreeForm Air
Linked to: Ataraxia (Male Argonian)