my sculpts (progress) and questions

attackinglife

Jr Member
Hello everyone. As you can likely tell, I am new to the website and armor making in general, but I have read through most of the pinned topics and I am fairly well versed in the ways of the forum.

Despite the warnings of others, I have gone with the sculpting and silicone molding process for making the armor because: 1) I know its expensive but have some money to use. 2) I do not think I can get the best results through pepakura. 3) I believe my sculpting skill is relatively good. And 4) I enjoy a good challenge from time to time.

Right now, I am using Chavant Le Beau Touche (very similar to chavant NSP) sculpting with just my hands, some fishing line, and a plastic spoon and plastic knife.






Please ignore my hand. I simply included it for size comparison.

Now, I have had most of my questions answered by this great forum (thanks Adam) and all its wonderful members (thanks everyone else), but I have just a few left. If I were to use a little water to help me sculpt my pieces (would it cause any issues during the silicone mold making process (inhibiting the curing or causing related issues)? I am afraid to use water because the instructions for the silicone say that a sealant must be used on water-based clays. My next question is: Would water even have any effect on this clay? It seems a bit waxy. And finally, do I need some kind of sealant for making a silicone mold of this clay?

Questions, comments, advice, and criticism are all welcome.

-attackinglife
 

drgon47

Well-Known Member
Congrats on the sculpt. Looks great. Whats your next piece going to be ? Good luck!
 

attackinglife

Jr Member
drgon47 said:
Congrats on the sculpt. Looks great. Whats your next piece going to be ? Good luck!
Thanks. I really appreciate the encouragement. I'm trying to start small and work my way up. The helmet is tempting, but I think I'm going to either do the forearm or the foot pieces next.
 
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tipper

Jr Member
Something small and working up is a very good idea, especially when it comes to clay and silicon.

To answer your questions, all I know is that whenever I use clay, I use water to shape it because it creates a smoother appearance. That's about it. No matter what kind of clay it is, water will have an effect almost like sanding. It just depends on the pressure it is applied at and what you are using it for.

I don't have any experience with silicon, but if you need answers, try testing it on two small pieces of leftover clay and experiment. That's what I do when I'm making things and I have no idea what I am doing.
 

attackinglife

Jr Member
tipper said:
Something small and working up is a very good idea, especially when it comes to clay and silicon.

To answer your questions, all I know is that whenever I use clay, I use water to shape it because it creates a smoother appearance. That's about it. No matter what kind of clay it is, water will have an effect almost like sanding. It just depends on the pressure it is applied at and what you are using it for.

I don't have any experience with silicon, but if you need answers, try testing it on two small pieces of leftover clay and experiment. That's what I do when I'm making things and I have no idea what I am doing.
Thanks for the input. I'm glad I could have one of my questions answered. I knew that with most clays water works well to help the shaping process, but I wasn't sure. I may try a test of the silicone on some extra clay (shaped with water) tomorrow, but I hope to have my question answered here... (silicone rubber is a bit expensive...)
 
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BenStreeper

Well-Known Member
on that kind of clay water will have no effect (as i believe chavant is an oil based clay) however paint thinner will help you to smooth out the clay. Use it sparingly. When you make your mold you will have to seal the clay first. I recomend sealing it twices, first with a spray sealer like krylon krystal clear, second use Super Seal. This is made specifically to help the mold agent release. After you have applied 2 coats wait on hour befor applying a Mold Release Agent, this will also help release the mold from the clay without damaging the model.

Any more questions just let me know I have made many molds, and casts in my time as a costumer.

*edit*

Le Beau Touché and Le Beau Touché - HM are two distinctly different products with some very similar characteristics. Both are sulphur free modeling clays that were introduced because of their exceptional smoothness and adhesive qualities. Le Beau Touché products are used by many types of artists who often are looking for a product that will stick to basically any armature material. Both Le Beau Touché formulas hold very good detail, carve and shape easily, have tremendous flexibility and will not dry or crack. Le Beau Touché - HM is preferred by clients working in warmer climates, above 90° F. It is very similar to the original Le Beau Touché but is slightly firmer and less tacky at room temperature. The original Le Beau Touché is very sensitive to heat variations but the HM formulation will remain stable even at higher temperatures. Le Beau Touché and Le Beau Touché - HM are every smooth and even flowing products. The smallest amount of heat, just friction from rubbing it in your hands, will soften the original Le Beau Touché. These clays may feel slightly firm in the original extruded blocks but slicing off small amounts will make it very manageable. The Le Beau Touché product line is commonly used by artists for the creation of sculpture or to build dams when making splash molds. Both formulas are available in Brown and Gray-Green. Handling Tips: Le Beau Touché can be warmed to soften but as it softens it also becomes sticky. Le Beau Touché - HM can be warmed to soften and will work quite nicely at about 105° F. Using small amounts of citrus-based solvents, lighter fluid, latex paint removers, turpentine or mineral spirits as a lubricant on the surface of the clay will help to attain a smooth surface.
 

attackinglife

Jr Member
BenStreeper said:
on that kind of clay water will have no effect (as i believe chavant is an oil based clay) however paint thinner will help you to smooth out the clay. Use it sparingly. When you make your mold you will have to seal the clay first. I recomend sealing it twices, first with a spray sealer like krylon krystal clear, second use Super Seal. This is made specifically to help the mold agent release. After you have applied 2 coats wait on hour befor applying a Mold Release Agent, this will also help release the mold from the clay without damaging the model.

Any more questions just let me know I have made many molds, and casts in my time as a costumer.

*edit*

Le Beau Touché and Le Beau Touché - HM are two distinctly different products with some very similar characteristics. Both are sulphur free modeling clays that were introduced because of their exceptional smoothness and adhesive qualities. Le Beau Touché products are used by many types of artists who often are looking for a product that will stick to basically any armature material. Both Le Beau Touché formulas hold very good detail, carve and shape easily, have tremendous flexibility and will not dry or crack. Le Beau Touché - HM is preferred by clients working in warmer climates, above 90° F. It is very similar to the original Le Beau Touché but is slightly firmer and less tacky at room temperature. The original Le Beau Touché is very sensitive to heat variations but the HM formulation will remain stable even at higher temperatures. Le Beau Touché and Le Beau Touché - HM are every smooth and even flowing products. The smallest amount of heat, just friction from rubbing it in your hands, will soften the original Le Beau Touché. These clays may feel slightly firm in the original extruded blocks but slicing off small amounts will make it very manageable. The Le Beau Touché product line is commonly used by artists for the creation of sculpture or to build dams when making splash molds. Both formulas are available in Brown and Gray-Green. Handling Tips: Le Beau Touché can be warmed to soften but as it softens it also becomes sticky. Le Beau Touché - HM can be warmed to soften and will work quite nicely at about 105° F. Using small amounts of citrus-based solvents, lighter fluid, latex paint removers, turpentine or mineral spirits as a lubricant on the surface of the clay will help to attain a smooth surface.
Thanks for the info, your advice is much appreciated. I was hoping to not have to use a sealant and etc., but if that is what is necessary, I suppose I can work with it. If I do seal the clay model...will I be able to use the clay again for other pieces? (I assume the answer is no)
 
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BenStreeper

Well-Known Member
actually you can just heat the clay with a hair dryer and it will become workable again. Also the second seal agent mentioned in my post comes off with soap and water, but for that clay you shouldn't worry to much about it. It's very re usable
 

attackinglife

Jr Member
BenStreeper said:
actually you can just heat the clay with a hair dryer and it will become workable again. Also the second seal agent mentioned in my post comes off with soap and water, but for that clay you shouldn't worry to much about it. It's very re usable
So It wont create a film or anything? Sorry if this is a stupid question, I have not really worked with sealants before. And once again, thanks for the help.

**edit: sorry if I'm overusing the quote function, Ill ease up on it a bit.
 
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BenStreeper

Well-Known Member
no it will clean up with soap and water, the krystal clear will absorb into the clay after you heat it and rework it for a whil, assuming that you wanted to make a new piece from the clay.
 

attackinglife

Jr Member
Don't worry, I'll keep you updated... I'm hoping that I will have the mold for this by tomorrow. Also, I'm gonna start on the foot pieces next because they don't have too much detail ans I don't have a lot of clay at the moment. Anyone know of any other more common products that I may be able to get locally (like at home depot or something)? The krylon wont be an issue, but I don't live near any smooth-on distributors...
 

attackinglife

Jr Member
Okay, so rather than clog the forum with a new topic, I'm just going to use this topic to post my progress on my armor. Today I began sculpting the toe portion of the foot armor. Currently, it needs finalizing and smoothing, but here you go:






My shoe is included for size comparison.


Once again my foot is just for size comparison.

I know that from the front it looks as though the sculpt is crooked, but that is probably due to positioning for photography. Also, because I do not have very much clay, I made it hollow (I will fill it in for the mold making process), which may have also caused the crooked appearance.
And I'm not sure if it is that my feet are big or master chief's feet are small, but it doesn't really matter. Please do not make comments on my foot size and waste forum space though.

Again, Questions, Comments, Advice and Criticism are all appreciated.
 

falcon NL

Well-Known Member
Well it seems that your off to a good start. The hand piece looks goods, but I'm hoping you not already done with your hand piece. Because if you leave imperfections in your clay, the imperfections will be in you mold. This means that you need the fix every part that comes out of the mold. You need to do this anyway, but if you invest a bit more time in you sculp these parts need a lot less at the end and you finish product looks much better.

The best way to do the shoe part is building the clay one the shoe that you are planning to use. This way you can get some reference point and you will know for sure that the pieces will fit on the shoe.

Im looking forward to you process
 

attackinglife

Jr Member
Thanks for the input. I thought about sculpting on my shoe, but I kind of need to wear it. The piece should fit, as I extensively measured and resized during the sculpting process to be sure it would work. I also thought that if I sculpted on the shoe, it could end up a little too big because of the space that the clay takes up.

For the record, I am not done with the hand yet, because I am still deciding which of the aforementioned products to use to smooth it out. I also had some tools ordered that arrived today so I used those to sharpen it up some. I didn't want to post more pictures because I did not deem it necessary and I prefer not to waste forum space.
Would anybody like to make a specific recommendation as to what would be the best for smoothing out the clay?
 
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