File puptcrit/puptcrit.0606, message 172

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Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 03:15:23 -0400
Subject: [Puptcrit] Thanks for all the Moldmaking tips! (bonus tips included)

Thank you all who helped with the modmaking techniques!

I will apply the clay wall and pouring method to my puppet's bodies this time.

Bonus tip #1:
In case of time running fast when on a deadline, hire a pro!

The two heads have been so hard to perfectly mold (three attempts and as many re-sculpts is enough for my too-fast approaching deadline) that I am hiring a collegue to do the molds on them (and the delicate hands I will be making). I would do it all myself, my developping ego wants me to, but there simply is no time for the learning now. My collegue can do it all in 24 hours, and while he's at it, I can work on something else. He wanted to participate in the movie anyways, so it is a win/win situation. He will get his pay, and full movie credits under moldmaking, of course!

He will produce the molds in urethane rubber (Brush-On, from Smooth-On) with a an ultracal plaster mother mold. No seam lines. I hate the Brush-On because it is stinky stuff, it stinks (to high heavens, especially indoors) for a year after the mold is done, but it works very well and has an outstanding life expectancy, I'm told.
I hope so. Cause the face mold I have now since about a moth ago is sitting in the shed outside, as I couldn't stand the headaches caused by the smell of it.
I don't know how well it will survive the hot/humid weather outside this summer...
I wish I had been told about this stench before I paid for the mold.

Thankfully, the molds for the movie can be destroyed once the parts and the movie are done (I'll make copies of the heads and hands for keepsakes, of course), or stored elsewhere than my small appartment. Come to think of it, I have the keys to the creepy basement in the building...Maybe I can store it all there!

More Moldmaking TIP:
Ultracal is amazing for mold making, in case you never tried it. It is much stronger than regular plaster, and the molds are much less dusty, which is a VERY good property in a small appartment, believe me! It really captures detail well. I can see the pores of my skin on the copy of my face that the same collegue made from alginate. I couldn't tell the difference of detail level between alginate and ultracal.
Maybe there was some difference. After all, I can't see like a microscope...

The casts and molds made of Ultracal are much more durable and chip much less!

Heavier than plaster though. Usually about the same price or sometimes less expensive than regular plaster.

Harder to find, of course. go to a ceramic supplier, or a BIG art supply supplier that caters to many industries, such as the movie biz.

NEVER use lumpy plaster.
This week-end I was trying a new brand of plaster, industrial grade, it said.
I like the word, industrial. So cool sounding, and appropriate for the movie's subjects. Then after trying it, What a mistake, I thought!
Lumps everywhere in the powder, it seemed to disappear in the mixing, but the result was grainy, set about 5 times too fast, and was oh so weak, even after two days of drying. Very brittle, close to a hard chalk. I can break the 2 inch thiock mold with two fingers without really trying!
Hardly useful for a push mold, wouldn't you say?

But after speaking to my moldmaking collegue, I understood that the plaster had been damaged by the HEAVY humidity we've been having in the last few weeks (my basil plants drowned in the garden after 10 days of non-stop HEAVY rain).
I will try to get re-embursed for the plaster, or get a replacement.
I was right all these years to refuse to buy a plaster that had been sitting outside.
I never knew how right I was!

Mathieu René Créaturiste
Marionnettes, Masques, Etcetera...
Puppets, Masks, Etcetera...
(514) 274-8027
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