Creating a Permanent Master for Production Casting Using Free FormŪ Epoxy Dough
Ryan Sparks of Terror Anatomical, LLC specializes in casting accurate, realistic body parts for clients that use them for films, stage productions, Halloween exhibits, medical demonstration models and more.
A recent project for Spencers Gifts national retail chain called for making several hundred silicone and urethane plastic castings of a Werewolfs arm display piece. Normally, Ryan would sculpt in clay and make a mold from that for production. Anticipating that this piece will be used for years to come, however, something more archival than clay is required.
Ryan found Free FormŪ Earth sculpt-able epoxy putty to be the perfect medium to create and archival master. His process is chronicled below.
1 - For this project, a lifecasting of an arm is used as the armature for the Free FormŪ Earth.
2 - Free FormŪ Earth is a 1:1 professional grade sculpting medium that is easy to use.
3 - Equal amounts of part A and part B are scooped out of the containers for mixing.
4 - Parts A & B are immersed in water for a few seconds.
5 - Free FormŪ Earth blends easily to a consistent neutral grey color; perfect for seeing details.
6 - The consistency of the Free FormŪ Earth allows for quick build up over the armature.
7 - Simple water is used to smooth out the Free FormŪ Earth and help keep anything from sticking to the dough.
8 - Free FormŪ Earth is easily tooled with a wet Popsicle stick.
9 - More Free FormŪ Earth is mixed and added to the armature for quick build-ups of material.
10 - A combination of water and additional Free FormŪ Earth are used to quickly smooth and build up structure on the armature.
11 - The density of Free FormŪ Earth allows for the sculpting medium to retain shapes when heavily tooled with sculpting aids.
12 - Water from a mister is sprayed on a piece of cellophane to be used to create texture on the Free FormŪ Earth. The misted water keeps the cellophane from sticking to the epoxy.
13 - The tool pressing into the cellophane over top the putty allows for soft natural looking wrinkles to be pressed into Free FormŪ Earth.
14 - Free FormŪ Earth reflects the detail captured with the tool.
15 - Long potlife allows for further refining and addition of more putty without worry of the Epoxy hardening up while working it.
16 - Details such as veins can be quickly added by rolling up pieces of Free FormŪ Earth, attaching them to the sculpt and blending them in using water.
17 - More Free FormŪ Earth is mixed with water and added to the armature
18 - Once again, water is used to blend and smooth the Free FormŪ Earth onto the existing sculpture.
19 - A variety of tools and common items can be used to work the Free FormŪ Earth into the desired shape.
20 - More tooling and detailing is done using the cellophane method.
21 - Free FormŪ Earth reflects perfect detail and texture.
22 - Resin claws are test fitted into the piece to make sure they are registered correctly. They will eventually be pulled back out and cast separately.
23 - Here an ordinary cat brush will be raked against the cellophane to make soft skin texture in the Free FormŪ Earth.
24 - The raking of the cat brush on the surface makes very believable skin texture.
25 - After a 24 hour complete cure, the master is finished, archival, and ready for production molds to be made from it.