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I was very worried as my latex thickener took a while to arrive and my molds wound up soaking too long. But it’s all good 🙂 But the latex I had was certainly bad. Not so bad that it couldn’t be rescued but rescuing requires a lot of work 🙂



Thickener and coloidal silica 🙂 I probably should have grabbed microballoons, explained later 🙂



I used up as much of my latex as I could- two bottles of thickener will turn 2.5L of latex into a very thick consistancy, but it does still run, not immediately but over a few hours.


What have I done here you may ask. Well here is the answer 🙂


Self supporting latex


In order to have self supporting horns but an adjustable thickness tentacle latex layer I first lay up a thick layer of the thickened latex (for this also with some added silica to limit warping) then  a layer of peeled foam in 5mm or 10mm thicknesses soaked in a latex and water mix. I push the foam into the latex just enough to adhere but leave a layer of just latex to create a skin to the foam.


This is tricky! If the environment is too warm the latex well turn tacky while working with it causing deformities. This has been my fifth run and it’s the first time this hasn’t happened because it was much cooler yesterday than any other day this summer.


The peeled foam is very soft, very soft and not at all self supporting alone. In fact its use is to pad and create a soft layer.


But once soaked in latex and left to cure it becomes fairly rigid. The cells become rigid but the air pockets remain.


The foam also tends to not pull away from the walls of the mold while the latex is curing. This makes it much easier to be able to control warping of large pieces like this. It also reduces weight and can be stitched then glued/latexed to hide the join. It is also possible to pare back the foam with a knife to thin it out for the tentacles.


This is sort of a reverse industry standard method of skinning foam for creature effects. Having a mold means I control the skin texture a lot more but means working a bit blind in terms of being able to know exactly how thick that skin is.


This standard method is how I make my lekku in general. And as I work to finish this piece I’ll be able to share tips on how to do that- it still requires skill to avoid limiting stretch of the foam and adding  weight! I also want to update my Rachi Lekku and Talon lekku 🙂

pinkdiamond: (Default)

Whoops, I miscalculated yesterday. The figure is actually 135mm from heel to crown. And the saber definitely is shorter than inside elbow to knuckles.


So


x/168=23/135


x= 28.622


30492887806_b8d8f53d6d_o ahsokascalere2 ahsokascalere


So that actually works. I know this is shorter than in the show, and is shorter if I go by the same calculation of the concept art. That is by all the means possible- comparing the length of forearm or hip to knee or straight up measurement from crown to heel.


So I think if I go for 12″ or 30cm (probably 30cm as I can more easily work out wall thickness based on current 3D printer specs) I’ll have something that is as close to perfect as possible.

pinkdiamond: (Default)

I’ve taken the concept art of Ahsoka and scaled her to my height- so 168cm from heel to top of head- so I cropped the montral off and the heels of the boots.


And I have checked head height is accurate, height from waist to should is right..


Her “big” lightsaber hilt winds up 34cm long! And yeah in the concept you can see it goes from about hip crease to above the knee.


It just feels very weird!


I’m going to check the scale on the figure because I don’t think they follow that proportion. The figure is about 125mm from heel to crown.


X/168= 21/125


X= 28.224


Hmmm. I wonder if I should just say 30cm/12″? I know one person has gone for 12″ and it does seem to be the middle ground.


I grabbed these images as screencaps, her arm and saber are approximately on the same angle, mirrored, and then in line:


ahsokascalere ahsokascalere2


I used a line tool for the length of the light saber then copied to a new layer and altered the angle to follow the arm.


In both cases they line up.


And that is as close to 30cm on me as can be fairly judged.


To note, the saber is curved, quite definitely so, but I have printed out and used my ruler to compare length from top to bottom along the surface and at right angle to the top. It’s very similar.


So, now that I have a dimension I am happy with I can actually start work in Sketchup!

pinkdiamond: (Default)

So while my online demonstration of mold making is not really optimised as it’s slow going but here is a question:


Can anyone guess at why I have been trimming the edges of my molds? I just cut back not only the excess drip marks but also the thin edge left behind.


sm_dsc_0785 sm_dsc_0787


I am curious as to what might be presumed about this “extra step” 🙂


I’ll be posting a separate post once I have finished. But  few clues:


~ biggest clue- this mold is 50lbs (22.9kg)


~ I have seen professional mold-makers in action  so I picked up some habits used on large scale projects.


~ I have been making molds since.. well the late 90s (shhh) so I have a lot of experience in making and maintaining them (lots of experience at doing things in a rush as well as well planned)


~ think of these as objects in and of themselves as well as an intermediary object to make other things 🙂 And how you make the things from this.


~The mold is currently on the ground.

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