GTA 5 Space Monkey Mask

Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
edited January 2015 in General
I am very new to this, but I have been asked to make the space monkey (Pogo) mask from GTA 5. This will be my first job to do. I have thought about it and figured I would try it. It's my first job in this, so how can I say no. He wants to where it for Halloween this year, plus for selfies. I figured a typical latex mask would work. If it is too loose. I will try to put poly foam in it to help it fit better. I am very excited and am going to get started right now. I could use any help on how to do stuff, so I will probably be asking as I get to them. So far everything I will be using I got from Hobby Lobby. I believe the only thing that won't be coming from Hobby Lobby is the latex.

Comments

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Great project, I loved all the masks in GTA5.  Latex poured into an ultracal/hydrocal mold would work great for that mask. 

    If you have any questions during your project I'd be happy to help answer them here.

    Best of luck!

    /Chris
  • Sounds like a lot of fun! Best of luck to you! :)
  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    Sculpting is first, I have only gotten to work on it for a few hours so far. I had a little trouble with the sculpt. I just didn't look right, so I had to take a step back and started adding and removing clay. Finally found out the face was to long. I will take a pic and upload it today, once I get home from my job that gives me the money for my hobby, lol.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    When replicating an existing piece, reference photos and calipers can come in very handy.

    Find a head-on render of the mask and take a series of measurements like:  top of head to bottom of chin, width of head, width/height of eye, spacing between eyes, height of outer edge of eyes from top of head, height of outer edge of eyes from bottom of head, ear location/dimensions, width/height of mouth, nose, etc.    Then do the same for the side perspective (and top if you can find it)

    You can avoid some math if you are able to scale up and print life sized reference of the mask, otherwise you'll have factor in the scale of your reference.

    If you are having trouble finding reference you can hunt down someone with the game and have them use the in-game camera to take some reference shots from the proper perspective.  Those shots can then be downloaded online from their profile.

    /Chris
  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    I will have to do that, thanks.
  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    I know it has been a bit since I have put anything up. I have been having problems finding time to work on my sculpt. Here is the update as of today. Any input, comments, or suggestions would be helpful.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Looking great, especially the hair texture!

    It looks a bit narrow, but that could just be an illusion because the ears have not been added yet, or the angle of the photo.

    In the head-on photo it looks like the two sides are a little asymmetric, but it could be because the head is slightly turned.  Having a set of calipers can be a big help there.  Just keep measuring and comparing features on both sides as you build up the forms.

    When it comes time to make your molds, you may want to run the cigar as its own piece.

    Amazing progress so far!

    /Chris

  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    Thanks! I really like it too. It has been a very slow process, but have been trying to make sure I find some time to work on it. I think I am running out of time though. I have been trying to keep the sculpt wet, and have been putting a bag closed around it, but it is starting to get really hard even by doing that. I used a clay that is called Moist Clay. I think it is like WED Clay. It was very soft and quick to work with, but it seems to dry out just as quickly. I will get a caliper soon. It is on my list. There are a few spots that are asymmetric. I have tried as much as I could. I stopped once I got to a point I was happy with it. It is still there, but not as much.

    You said, "run the cigar as its own piece". How would you do that? Also, Why do you say I should?
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    I would make the cigar its own piece just so the head is easier to pull out of the mold, and it could also then be molded out of another material, or done in a different thickness/base color.

    That's just how I would probably do it, but you could run it all as one piece.  It also depends on how you want to mold/cast the head.  If you want it to be a single piece stone mold to slush cast latex in, the cigar might be a tricky area to fill evenly, and could make demolding a bit difficult.

    As for the how, I would keep sculpting with it on the head and remove it prior to molding, leaving a socket for the cast cigar to fit into.  Then the cigar could be molded any way you like.  But again, that's just how I might do it, make it your own!  I know you mentioned time is a factor for you, so molding that piece on its own may not fit into your schedule.

    One thing you can do to help keep water based clay from dying out (in addition to putting a bag over it like you have been) is to cover the surface with damp (not soaking wet) paper towels.  They help keep air off the surface and keep the humidity up inside the bag.

    /Chris
  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    I will have to try casting the cigar as its own piece. I am almost there! It looks really good, even with the few things I see I need to fix. One is the right ear is bigger the the left. I didn't notice it until I took the pictures and saw it that way. I am already fixing it. I have been putting damp paper towels with it. It helps, but some spots it is just slimy on the outer layer and hard under that. At this point, I am using this weekend to try to get the sculpting done. I think the ear is really the only big fix. If anyone sees any other then I will try to fix it. Little things, I'm just going to let be. The ears were hard with nothing to really measure it. I will definitely get a caliper for the next sculpt. That would have save some time. Though I used string and a mirror to help me out, with out a caliper. Please let me know if you spot something that really needs fixed. I don't want my first job to have a major defect. I will post the ear fix once I get it done. Then hopefully its off to casting it.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Wow, that is looking great!

    The only thing I noticed is the bigger ear you mentioned.  Once the ears are balanced you are set.  Your idea of using a string as calipers is great, and should do the trick just fine!

    Fantastic job!

    /Chris
  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    Thanks, Chris! I didn't have time to take a picture of the fixed ear. When I went to fix it, I noticed that there were places starting to crack really bad. I filled them with clay as best as I could, but I rushed to finish the ear and have kept it greened housed since. I have resprayed once, hoping it will keep it good for the casting. I am getting everything ready today, but will be doing it tomorrow. The clay is too hard right now and I would have to chisel the clay out, if I did as is. I am hoping with one spray before bed and one more before work will have it ready to be molded. Right after this post, I will be finishing the preparation for tomorrow and will post what I will be using, and how I plan on doing it. Any comments or questions are welcome, good or bad. Chris, thanks again for the advice, so far, on sculpting. I look forward to your input on the casting as well.
  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    The casting process for the sculpt starts today. I have an area almost ready. Everything that will be listed in this I got from my local store, Hobby Lobby. They are cheap, and you get what you paid for, FYI.

    Starting off, I will us my clay to form around the top of the head, down the sides, to the start of the neck of the bust. With some areas to help support the clay. I am not sure if I want to use Van Aken Plastolina clay for the sides, to have a different color, so I know what is the wall and what is the sculpt. Or if I should just use the Moist Pottery Clay, cause I got plenty of that and its cheaper per pound.

    Either way, I will then just use Pottery Plaster on the sculpt. I will be using more water to try to get the plaster in the details. Once the first layer is covered I will put on the second with the usual plaster consistency. Once that layer is down I will then start with the E-Z Form Plaster Cloth Wrap. Doing 3 layers of the wrap to give it strength.

    Once that is done, I will flip the sculpt and repeat the plaster part on that side, with some clay to make sure there isn't too much of a mess. Once its tried for a day or 2 I will open it up and hopefully everything went well.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to state them.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Sounds good!  

    I'd be careful about adding more water for the details.  As long as you don't add too much you should be fine.

    I've not tried using plaster bandages in place of hemp/burlap/etc. to strengthen a mold.  I usually just use the bandages as a shell on life casts.  Let me know how that works out for you!

    /Chris
  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    I am on a hold for now. I cast the clay, and have a crack in it. I am just going to leave it be, cause its on top of the head in the hair. After doing my taxes I owed, so I haven't had the money to get the latex yet. I will start back up after a few. I will post pictures of the casting once I get a chance.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    You should be able to polish down any ridges created in your mask by the mold crack.  Thankfully it'll be easier to hide with it up top (better than on the face!)

    I look forward to seeing your first pulls from the mold!

    /Chris
  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    Hey, finally got my taxes back! Finally can start back on this.
    Now, the next thing I need to do is make the latex mask and paint it. Is there something else I could add to it. To keep the latex from drying out and to make it last?
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Glad you are back on the project, I can't wait to see how it turns out!

    I'm not familiar with any additives that will prolong the life of latex.  The only additives I know are to soften it, thicken it, or gel it.

    Here is some good info about latex properties, including RD-407 latex:  http://www.monstermakers.com/content/materials.html

    I would suggest going with the RD-407 latex as mask makers report it lasting a lot longer and being better quality than other latex formulas.

    The tips I know to prolong the life of latex masks/props are:  Keep them away from direct sunlight, heat, and oils.  And keeping the mask on a head form is a good way to prevent it from deforming or creasing.  

    I have a latex prop I made years ago that got exposed to some oils, and it's slowly turning to goop.

    Brushing talc onto the mask will also help absorb moisture and help the mask last longer.  I keep my latex nurnies in sealed bags with a bit of talc, and they have lasted for years.  They are also not made with higher quality latex like RD-407.

    Here's a good discussion with some mask collectors talking about preserving latex masks:  http://michael-myers.net/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=97208&start=0

    If you ever find out about any good additives, I'd love to hear about them!

    /Chris
  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    Here is my first pull. There are a lot of things I need to fix in the cast. The ear is the main one. The back of the head has a lot of pockets. With practice I will improve on that part. Other than the back I think it was a very good first ever attempt on making a mask.

    Here is some shots of the mask, after I have used scissors on it. I need to get smaller and sharper scissors to get it really fine. After I clean it up a little bit more, I will fix the holes in the cast and then make 2 more masks. I will probably move quicker now, so pictures may come soon.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Looking good.  Trimming and patching is not fun, but inevitable!

    Some cuticle scissors for the fine trimming will help.  And you can sand down the seam lines by hand or with a dremel.  Same goes for all the little bumps.

    I like to use a dremel with the wire brush attachment for slowly grinding down bumps and seams if I can get away with it.  It's not as helpful on castings with a lot of fine textures, but might work for you.

    Congrats on the first pull and keep up the great work!

    /Chris
  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    edited July 2015
    I am having problems with the cigar. I casted it in sylicon, with a plaster shell. Filled it with liquid latex, and for 4 days now i have been trying to get the inner latex to set...
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    For latex to set it needs to be exposed to air.  Normally you cast latex directly into stone (ultracal, hydrocal, plaster), rather than silicone, so the stone can wick away moisture and allow the latex to dry (forming a skin) while things are sealed up.

    One option (if it is a 2 piece mold) would be to leave the mold open, brush in latex, let it dry (or use a hair dryer to speed things up), repeat the process a few times to build up a thick skin, then join the halves later.

    Otherwise I would just cast the cigar in a material that does not require air to day.  Any kind of 2 part resin or foam should work.  (if using expanding foam make sure it has somewhere to escape so you don't ruin the mold)

    If you are casting a resin and want to keep it light weight you can hand roto cast it.  All you need to do for that is mix up some resin, pour it in the mold, then rote the mold in all directions as the resin cures.  This produces a hollow plastic piece.  It may take some trial and error to find the right volume of resin to produce a shell thickness you are happy with.

    You can also inject a hollow roto cast resin piece with 2 part foam to make it a bit more durable.

    /Chris
  • Eric ShortEric Short Springdale, Ohio
    I am doing one part mold so no cleaning needed. I guess I wasn't really thinking with the silicone. I did silicone cause since I wanted to do one peace I new it would be hard to get the clay out of the mold. I figured silicone inner peace would solve the problem. Didn't think about it causing issues for the latex. Thanks for the useful information.
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