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Wookie Skull Steps Clarification
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Todzilla ()
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:07 am    Post subject: Wookie Skull Steps Clarification Reply with quote

Hi folks, I'm new here (just introduced myself) and I attended the "Fringe Panel" at CBVI and was blown away by the info there.

I've been lurking around here and a lot of the other Wookie friendly sites and seem to have a good understanding of the costume. However, I seem to be missing a step from where you have your completed clay wookiee face to where the skull and dragon skin come in.

Keep in mind I'm familiar with life casting and casting hard plastic and silicon face parts, so I'm NOT looking for a "how to cast or mold", but more on the clarification of steps.

Once again I am a noob, so please point me in the right direction if this info exists, but so far I can't seem to connect the dots.
    1. Life cast your face [negative] (no need for the whole head as the back is covered by hair.)
    2. use Rigid Urethane Foam to create a "positive" of your head.
    3. using oil based clay, sculpt your wookiee face.
    4. once your face is complete, cast it making a [negative]
    5. use Rigid Urethane Foam to create a "positive" of your wookiee face.
    6. pour Dragon skin in the negative of your wookiee face mold, press in your positive of the wookiee face, strap, weight it and let the Dragon skin set.

Now using those instructions, I created my wookiee flesh overlay, however where did my wookiee under skull com into play?

Following the instructions from makingwookie.co.uk, I get lost after the clay face is cast, because when he brushes on the fiberglass, it pops out like a skull, then all of a sudden he makes a silicon face overlay. Dis he use the same mold to make his dragon skin? What did I miss? Because all the super detail is in the clay for the final skin, but in between your head and that skin there is a skull in there somewhere.

I apologize up front if there was a good description of this process that I missed somewhere. Thanks in advance for the help!
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Todzilla ()
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like I needed to go back deeper in the forums. I think I found more pieces to my puzzle in this post by SoloYT1300: Wookie Underskulls?

I also found Ducks old tutorial and this pic appears to answer how you space the skull away from your actual face:



Let me know if you have any suggestions/input.
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SoloYT1300 (Robert Kohn)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you sculpt the mask to your face you should not need much "filler" between the face and the mask... you want your eyes as close as possible. For my new mask I only have 1 layer of Mole skin foam between my mask and my skin. Try to understand Duck made his mask in a way that many people could use it (he sold them for a while as a kit). With a life cast (if propperly done) will fit you and only your face... unless someone is very similar in facial size.

I think one of the biggest puzzles is the skin and the mask. I think many of the mistakes take place there. It's where my first mask had its biggest issue... ironically the same ones on that link you posted. My mask was stretched over the hard skull... because they were the same size!

If you cast the latex (silicone) mask from the same mold as the hard skull they will be the same size... creating a streatched mask even before you have punched hair into the latex mask and placed it on the hard skull. The best way to prevent this is to cast the hard skull after you have made the latex mask. By leaving the completed latex in the mold when you make the hard skull you will have a perfect fit in the hard skull of the latex mask! The latex mask will then rest naturally on the hard skull... and not have to be "stretched" into place over the hard skull.

Once the hard skull is completed I worked on placing the teeth in place... many different ways to do that. Many costumers make the teeth part of the hard skull casting. I chose to build mine into the mask after the fact, just easier for me.

I hope that makes more sense...


Bob
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Todzilla ()
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input! Actually everything you said makes perfect sense. Especially the part about casting the skull with the skin in it.

The only part I'm not understanding just yet (probably wont until I actually do the casting) is this:

SoloYT1300 wrote:
If you sculpt the mask to your face you should not need much "filler" between the face and the mask... you want your eyes as close as possible.


It's true I'm sculpting the mask to my life cast, however when you cast the outside wookiees face, it's now the wookiees face, which is "+ the amount of clay". So there is that distance between the cheeks, forehead and mouth that should be offset. But I guess all the other parts should be a perfect fit to my head. They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words, so here we go, just don't make fun of my drawing skills LOL:



As seen in my horrible drawing above (last pic), when you cast the actual skull (keeping the skin in it for best fit) are you just making a thin 1/8" thick "skull". So in my head I keep thinking there is that gap (where the clay was during the molding process).

I apologize up front for not completely grasping it. Like I said, I think when I actually do it it will make more sense. The good news is, in less than a week, I've gained 100x more knowledge on this type of build.


Last edited by Todzilla () on Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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SoloYT1300 (Robert Kohn)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the most part the mask will be close at the eyes and cheak areas.. (at least was for me). The forhead was not too far away and only needed a small amount of padding. The top of head is a good place for foam or other ways to attach headgear.

I was mainly talking about the eyes nose and cheeks not needing much foam.
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firebird ()
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick tip: If using fibre glass for the under skull, place a layer of cling film over the dragon skin before applying the wet resin to it. On a test piece I did , the resin caused the dragon skin to swell a huge amount. Maybe it was just the brands I used but if I had not kept them separate my mask would have most certainly been ruined. Smile
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Todzilla ()
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoloYT1300 wrote:
For the most part the mask will be close at the eyes and cheak areas.. (at least was for me). The forehead was not too far away and only needed a small amount of padding. The top of head is a good place for foam or other ways to attach headgear.

I was mainly talking about the eyes nose and cheeks not needing much foam.

Thanks Bob! When I start the sculpting build I'll definitely post pictures for feedback.
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Todzilla ()
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

firebird wrote:
Quick tip: If using fibre glass for the under skull, place a layer of cling film over the dragon skin before applying the wet resin to it. On a test piece I did , the resin caused the dragon skin to swell a huge amount. Maybe it was just the brands I used but if I had not kept them separate my mask would have most certainly been ruined. Smile

Thanks for the tip! What are the alternatives to fiberglass? I noticed most of the skulls I've seen are fiberglass, and I've worked with it before, however I'm opening to trying new materials.
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both marty and I are using urethane foam from smooth on. I'm using the 10 lbs density.
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Todzilla ()
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GotWookiee wrote:
Both marty and I are using urethane foam from smooth on. I'm using the 10 lbs density.

Hey Matt, is this the product you guys use? FOAM-iT!® 10 - 1A:1B by volume - approx. 6X expansion

My only question is unlike fiberglass which you brush in layers in the mold, foam expands. My guess is you do like Bob does, you cast with the Dragon skin in the negative of the Chewie face, but then how do you control foam as it expands from the "back"?
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used my lifecast. I used the eyes and the neck for alignment. I used some clay to full in undercuts around the nose, eyes, lips, etc. then I placed a sheet of plastic wrap over the lifecast to prevent the foam from sticking to it.
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Todzilla ()
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GotWookiee wrote:
I used my lifecast. I used the eyes and the neck for alignment. I used some clay to full in undercuts around the nose, eyes, lips, etc. then I placed a sheet of plastic wrap over the lifecast to prevent the foam from sticking to it.

NICE!!! So technically the foam skull is almost like a "Frankenstien" prosthetic, but instead of attaching it with spirit gum or latex adhesive to your face, you wear it like a jason voorhees hocky mask. The reason you use the clay on your lifecast is to create the "voids" where the mouth and nose are. I believe I just had my "Eureka!" moment.

I think I got it from here, but if anything I said up there sounds off, please let me know.

Thanks again Bob & Matt for all your help.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, the clay is to simply fill in undercuts and keep the skull from locking too the lifecast.

The voids for the nose and mouth are carved with a dremel.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some other thoughts:

Despite what the chewie costuming resources site says, sculpt the skin first and fill in the skull.

Make sure your sculpt is thick enough to accommodate the skin and skull. Your skin should be about 1/4" thick. I recommend making the sculpt 1/2"thick ave no thinner except around the eyes.

Be sure the sculpt extends far back in order to accommodate the hinge, which is very far back near the ears.

Also make sure mouth is at the same height as your own mouth.
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Todzilla ()
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GotWookiee wrote:
Make sure your sculpt is thick enough to accommodate the skin and skull. Your skin should be about 1/4" thick. I recommend making the sculpt 1/2"thick ave no thinner except around the eyes.

Got it, so basically add a 1/2" layer of clay on the whole face of the life-cast as a base (except around the eyes of course) then build up your wookiees features on top of that.

#2 Cast the lifecast of the wookiee head sculpt
#3 Cast the dragonskin in the negative of the wookiee head
#4 Leave the dragonskin in the negative, protect it with ease realease and saran wrap
#5 cast the foam wookiee skull.

My only question is then do you have an unmodified life cast of your head (or just the one with the clay removed) to be the opposite side if the negative wookiee cast? My guess is yes. Because not only do you have to have the side the dragon skin is on, but the side with the shape of your actual face.

I think I FINALLY understand the whole process. Again, if I'm still wrong let me know LOL. But good tip on making the sculpt overall a 1/2" thicker. That's something I wouldn't have thought of, but the logic is right because if your skin is a 1/4" that leaves you a minimum of 1/4" for skull thickness.
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