Saturday, October 29, 2011

Replacement Heads

I decided to go with replacement heads for the characters. The characters in tomato Soup were made this way and I've found that its the quickest and easiest method when there isn't alot of different expressions needed. Replacement heads also cancel out the need to smooth out any joins in post production if using replacement face pieces like in Coraline.
The first step is to sculpt the two characters heads, for this I used a dark grey Super Sculpey. Sculpey is a modelling clay which can be baked in the oven to harden it.

Here is Gary's head sculpt started, I sculpt with grey sculpey as I find it is the easiest colour to work with. Any imperfections show up easier than with black or white sculpey. From this picture I noticed the right eye was bulging out alot more than the left, I fint that taking pictures as I go along gives a different perspective and you'll see things you never would if you were just looking at the sculpt.
Here is both the character sculpts just before the final baking, Mollie will be baked without the hair as she will have 3 replacement silicone wigs.
After baking I gave both heads a coat of white primer, a light sand and they were ready to be cast.
Looks like this will be a picture heavy post!
Each head was then hot glued to a stick on a base.
Then I hot glued a cardboard tube around the heads. These are now ready to be cast in silicone.
I mixed up a batch of silicone and poured it to fill both tubes, its not shown in the picture but poring is best done from a height  so you get a very thin flow and its also best not to pour directly onto the face, these tips help prevent air bubbles forming in the silicone which may cause extra work later on.
Here is both molds filled with silicone, I left these overnight to ensure they fully cured.
The next night I pulled the silicone out of the cardboard tubes. The next step is to pull the original heads out of the molds. to ensure the mold sits back together nicely I cut it in a zig-zag and made sure I didnt cut into where the face will be. Eventually I got the original heads out and the insides of the mold looked like it had picked up the detail perfectly.
The next step is to pour two part bi-resin into the silicone molds. The resin cures within about 20 minutes so I could do all the heads over one night. Im at the stage now that I have six heads for each character. This should be enough but I always have the option of casting more if needed. The next step will be to alter the expressions on each replacement face, this hopefully will be my next post.

Phew, anyway Ill try get the next post up soon, thanks for reading!!


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