So after toying with the clay for a while I came to the conclusion that a straight clay puppet was not a good idea. They are just too hard to work with and stay consistent. So I decided instead to try a silicone puppet. So I watched more than 30 hours worth of tutorials leading up to the Denver Comic Con. They had a few panels that were covering it and answered a few questions and confirmed the process I planned to follow. So I went over to Reynolds Advanced Materials with my lovely and supportive lady and picked up a trial size kit of Mold Star 30 and Dragon Skin 10 Silicon.
Here is Cecil without his hair or eyes preparing to be molded for the first time. I could have molded the clay hair with him but I decided to go a different route which I will get into later.
The standard technique for molding is that you use a separate clay to build a base around half of your sculpture making sure that it is sealed against the sculpture to ensure it doesn’t leak when you add the mold compound. Then you build a mold box out of clay or plexiglass. I started with clay. It’s important to press holes into the base clay to create keys to line up the mold for casting.
This is me mixing part A and part B of the mold compound.
After it is mixed I start with a thin layer over the sculpture to help avoid air bubbles.
Then I top it off. Turns out I didn’t need as much as I used, but it was my first time so I gave myself a pass.
Then I stared at it for a while hoping that would speed up the 7 hour demold time. It didn’t.
After the really long wait I peeled away the clay mold box and the clay buildup.
It’s very important when doing the clay buildup on the first part to press holes into the clay to create keys. You can see the keys created in that last photo.
Then apply a mold release, fill it and wait another 7 hours.
After both halves are done you have your mold!
Mine is pretty rough around the edges but I like it. So I make a skull. It’s just something that the armature wire can hold on to.
I got a little cocky and tried to add armature wire to make a mouth. I put the skull into the mold, mixed my Dragon Skin silicone, added the pigment for color and poured it in. I don’t have a picture of the process since the stuff I bought only has a six minute pot life. Meaning I have six minutes from beginning to mix the compound until it begins to set. So I was in a hurry. But here is it after I poured it. It was messy.
Since I bought the fast stuff it only took 75 minutes to set. A mistake for someone new to this. Here is the first look at Cecil.
He had some major air bubble issues, which comes with the fast cure stuff, and his skull wasn’t placed well.
Here he is after cleaning him up a bit.
Next post will be of the second attempt at casting with the same mold.