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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ear mold for helmet

 Because the ear pieces on red mans' helmet are such a unique shape I'm making a clay mold than vacuum forming the pieces. I had never actually made a mold before so this was a new experience entirely. And the only experience I had working with clay was from high school and middle school.

The materials I'm using are freezer paper for my workspace so I don't make a mess, basic clay sculpting tools (there really old actually), Paper clay and a spray bottle filled with water.

I start my making the center of the ear using a circular solid piece of clay. Once I had that nice and rounded I rolled out a flat piece piece of clay with a rolling pin and cut it out with one of my sculpting tools. I than laid it around the center piece and adjusted it so it fit snugly around it.

The clay that I used for this mold was paper clay. I read around that it worked well for costuming because it was cheap, user friendly, air dried (but you can also bake it), once dried can be sanded down and for any reason can add on wet clay to your already dried clay. It can also be found relatively easy in craft stores and online.

Since I used such thick pieces when I made the mold the clay would take months to air dry so I followed directions online to stick it in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 min. Unfortunately it took about 2 hrs in the oven to bake (even than you can tell through the bottom its still damp). That doesn't matter though since its gonna be vacuum formed anyway. I start sanding away at it to get a nice even and perfect shape. Since you can add wet clay to it I used it to fill in little imperfections than repeatedly sanded down. Rinse and repeat until satisfied with shape.

The paper clay is really easy to sand down so I only used a very fine grain of sandpaper. Any rougher would take huge chunks out of the clay.

Starting to take shape.

Added wet clay for imperfections.

 Got the mold nice and smooth for vacuum forming. I'm also really happy with how it came out. There are imperfections which I may fix later on but it looks really good for a first time working with paper clay.

Once I get more imperfections out I may cast and sell molds. Depends on the demand, which may not be a whole lot.

Will update later with pictures of the detailing and most likely the final product.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Redman Helmet

I have been working on my stuff so I'm not dead from exhaustion (Not yet anyway ). Its mainly paper templates right now, just because I need to plan things out. So here's a bunch of pictures!

I first went scouring the internet for a *Pepakura file that would resemble the helmet because I have no 3D modeling skills whats-so-ever. So I found a Kamen Rider helmet file that matched the rounded shape to Redmans. The file can be found HERE. I modified the hell out of it and only made the top portion of it since I didn't need the mouth or chin pieces.

*Pepakura- A program that lets you create and share 3D paper models. Similar to origami.

Printed it out (didn't modify the size), cut it, glued it.

All put together.

Modified it, cut it in half, and made a nose hole

Made the templates for the nose, only two pieces.

Bottom part of the nose.

4 different nose prototypes.

Left to right; Final design, Curved, Straight slant and slightly rounded with sharp crease.

Final design

marked where it fits just right on the helmet.

The helmet was a bit too big so I cut a bit out from the middle than glued it back together to get a feel for how it would fit.

Nose glued in! Not yet completely done modifying it but I got a lot done.

The first step to making my helmet mold was to cut down the center where I glued it originally since I plan on vacuum forming each half and it's going to need to be in two separate pieces anyway.

Cut down the middle
I actually found a cheaper and easier way of hardening the paper through THIS tutorial. Since I just needed to harden the paper for support to lay the clay on I found it much easier. Following the tutorial I first reinforced my pep by adding additional cardstock inside of it.

All I did was cut out strips of cardstock than glue them in on the inside of the helmet.

All done and reinforced.

After that the tutorial than says to use CA glue (also known as super glue) and spread the glue with your fingers around the card stock in sections. Obviously using gloves when doing so. I actually went through several pairs of gloves doing this, the glue ate away at them but they're also pretty cheap too. I recommend the brand of super glue pictured below as it was the same used in the tutorial. Also when you spread around super glue its going to dry faster as you thin it out, so its going to take a couple of coats for the glue to really reinforce the paper.

*Big warning when working with super glue (especially in large quantities) work outside in the open air and also wear a respirator. The fumes will start to permeate in the air, it can stain almost anything (even brick patio) and can/will cause eye/nose/throat irritation.Trust me, this stuff has stung my eyes and nose more times than I can count just from the fumes.

After 2 coats on the inside and outside of the helmets the paper was hard as a rock. The paper will also have a nice sheen to it much like when using fiberglass resin.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Blog 2.0! First post

I finally have time to start up a new blog since the disaster of the first one. Gist of what happened to the first one taken from my Facebook page:
"My blog has officially been deleted. I open it today to check on it and see that 90% of my images have been replaced with black and white dashs'. Apparently when I deleted connected albums from Google+ I also deleted where they were being stored by Blogger. And in order to get them back I'd have to replace ALL the images that had been deleted. My banner, my background and all my 22 posts. . . . "
But I decided to start over again since I hate having Facebook as my main source of material. Pain in the butt to organize stuff and keep it maintained. So I've started working on this one. Got the background up and running. Now I just have to organize the bells and whistles. This one's still a work in progress so things will be wacky for a couple of weeks while I'm working on it. But It'll look nice in the long run. Merry Christmas and happy New Year!