Is this the right Armature/Core?

https://www.brickintheyard.com/products/full-head-armature

I couldn't find the right category for the course in Silicon Mask Making Part 1 - 3 so I had to choose General. Is there a category for those 3 courses to have a discussion about? Because I want to know if Brick in the Yard's Full Head Armature core can be used for the Silicon Mask Making Part 1 - 3 courses. If not, what other cores can I find that work for the course? I think I find only one other that someone suggested to me last year here on the forums but the shipping was $100 probably because Im in the US. The shipping for Brick in the Yard is based in US.

Answers

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Hi Brian,

    The general category is fine to discuss this.

    The core used in the course is a custom core specifically made by Immortal Masks for their own products.

    The BITY core can be used for silicone mask making but is not identical to the custom cores used in this course.  As such, you may have to make adjustments to the process to work with this core, but it should work.

    /Chris
  • What adjustments do I have to make for BITY core? Are there any cores you would recommend that doesn't need adjustments?
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    I can't say what might have to be adjusted since I've not worked with the BITY core, and I don't know the nature of the sculpt you are making on that core.  Those are things you'll discover as you design your sculpt and mold. The BITY core is a good core to start with.

    Every core, sculpt, and mold will be different.  

    /Chris
  • If I'm trying to achieve a similar sculpt seen in Silicon Mask Making Part 1 - 3, how will I know the armature core I buy will work? What qualities should I look for in the core that is needed for for course? I worry I'll  spend $200 for something I wont be able to use as instructed in the course.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    You will be able to use the BITY core to create a silicone mask, as it was designed for the purpose.  That said, it is not identical to the core used in this course, as no off-the-shelf cores are.  We can't list any specific adjustments you'll have to make, as you are going down your own road.  But we are happy to help you out along the way wherever we can.

    Silicone mask making is not a simple paint-by-numbers process, so you will have to make adjustments and decisions while sculpting, molding, and casting that will be unique to you and your project.  This course covers the process in detail, but you will need to be able to take the materials and techniques and apply them in your own unique situation.  That said, if you run into any issues during your mask creation process we are here to help answer any specific questions you may have, so you're not on your own!

    The types of modifications you may want to make to your core will be based on how your first masks turn out.  You may decide you want a tighter or looser fit in specific areas or a different blend around the eyes or mouth.  Normally in silicone mask making the artist will create their own core, and adjust it over a period of years to meet their own needs.  The BITY core is a great starting point though, and I would personally use it in my own projects if I were not designing my own cores.

    You may also need to make minor modifications to the mold-making process so your mold works with this core.  This will mainly be related to how the outer mold and core lock together.  

    /Chris
  • Brian LeBrian Le
    edited September 30
    Is there a SWS course on making cores? How did you make yours? Which is more cost effective? Buying or making cores? How long does it take to make a core?
    Post edited by Brian Le on
  • Matt WinstonMatt Winston Admin
    edited October 1
    Hi Brian - I thought I'd weigh in here.

    It will be cheaper and easier BY FAR to buy a ready-made mask core than to make your own from scratch.

    However, if you wish to make your own custom core, be prepared to spend many, many hours and a lot of money on materials and labor costs (for the assistance you will need for the lifecasting process).

    To start, we have an excellent course that includes step-by-step guidance on creating a head lifecast here:

    https://www.stanwinstonschool.com/tutorials/how-to-life-cast-character-creation-tutorial

    Of course, you would have to hire two experienced makeup effects artists to cast your head for you if you take this route.

    Then, once you have created a positive casting of your head in plaster, you would have to modify it based on the excellent guidance about modifying head casts for mask cores shared by Andrew Freeman and George Frangadakis in Chapter 2 of their Silicone Mask Making course here:

    https://www.stanwinstonschool.com/tutorials/silicone-mask-making-part-3-casting-and-demolding?watch=1&&chapter=2

    Once you have made those modifications, you would need to remold the modified lifecast and then cast a new positive in epoxy and fiberglass. This new positive would be your new mask-making core, based on the dimensions of your own head.
    Post edited by Matt Winston on
  • How should I account for the fact there's a different shape of the BITY armature core that contrasts from the one used by the instructor? The one the instructor is using is just a head and neck, while BITY has an upper torso. Should I do everything the same but just order more material to use around the pectoralis geometry? How should I know how much more material is needed for making a mold around the BITY armature core?


  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    That depends on the type of mask you wish to make.  Some masks include a bit of the shoulder, chest, and back. 

    Anywhere you put clay on the core will eventually be replaced with silicone when casting, so you can choose where the edges stop based on where the clay ends, and the outer mold will touch the core.

    As far as how much material is needed, that depends on your final sculpture size, thickness, etc.  Always order a bit more than you think you need to account for waste and estimations being slightly off.  The more molds you make, the better your estimation will get.

    You may also want to watch some of our other mold-making lessons to get familiar with how the process can vary, since you are doing your own thing.  

    https://www.stanwinstonschool.com/pathways/molding-and-casting-online-courses-for-intermediate-to-advanced-mold-makers-and-lab-technicians

    /Chris
  • Brian LeBrian Le
    edited October 18
    Can I lay the clay walls around the shoulders? Or can I lay them right on top of where I marked the red circles? Will either ways need a different amount of material used by the instructors?


    Post edited by Brian Le on
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Hi Brian,

    This type of core is generally used to make masks that extend down to the shoulders and have a flap over the chest and back, which is the main difference to the design used in the course.  You would design the clay wall the same as in the course, just along the outside edges of your core's shoulders.  As such, you will need more clay than the instructor used.  A single 25lb block should be plenty for you.

    Here's an example of what your mold wall might look like.  Just a quick sketch, you would not want it to be quite this wide.


    Don't be afraid to make mistakes, as this process often takes a few attempts to fine-tune for your first few times.    That's just part of the journey, as every design and mold is a little bit different. 

    /Chris
  • Will all the other amount of material be about the same as the ones in the course? Like the amount of all the other material including but not limited to gelcoat, fiberglass, or silicon?
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    As it would be a larger mold you would need a bit more of all materials. 

    How much silicone you need depends on the design of your sculpted character.  

    /Chris
  • How do I know how much more material? The sculpture looks like the size of an adult human male, so same amount of silicon as they used?
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Hi Brian,

    As I mentioned, the amount of silicone used will change for every sculpture.  Depending on how thick you make the clay in different areas, how far down the neck you want your own sculpt to go, how large the overall character is, etc.   Even for an average human male sized character, I can't really answer that, as you can use as much or as little clay to get the mask thickness you desire.  A thicker mask could use up twice the material of a thinner mask, and that's a pretty big margin.

    My advice is to keep track of how much clay you use during the sculpting process and use that as a guide when calculating the volume of silicone you will need.  Once your molds are finished you can also measure the internal volume by filling the mold with water (or rice if you don't want to get it wet) and then pouring the contents into a container for measuring.

    After you know the volume of your own mold you can buy your silicone, and get a bit extra for waste.  I also suggest getting enough to make two castings, should anything go wrong with the first.  

    Best of luck!

    /Chris


  • @Matt Winston
    In another discussion seen here https://forums.stanwinstonschool.com/discussion/10014/silicon-mask-making-part-1-3#latest, you brought up Bruce Spaulding Fuller's course on How to Sculpt Character Makeup. My clay and core has arrived, but my core is hollow. I took the course but I don't remember if he said his core is hollow. He seems to he using some sort of rasp to remove the ears. Do I just rasp away at the ears of my core as closely to the visual references seen in the course regardless of the core being hollow or not? This could be a $200+ mistake for me if I choose the wrong decision.


  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Hi Brian,

    The video you are referencing is for makeup appliances, and not for silicone masks.  His core is made out of stone, like Hydrocal or Ultracal 30, and is from a lifecast.

    The core you have purchased was designed for silicone mask making and does not require any such modifications.

    Silicone mask-making cores are normally hollow to reduce weight and make the molding/casting process easier.

    /Chris
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