March 28th, 2006

silicon mold woes

I can use some thoughts from those here familiar with molding silicone.

While casting some prototype fursuit parts, I used plasticine to fill-in and even-out some parts of my master. Now, those parts against the plasticine did not set properly, apparently because I used stuff that must have had sulphur in it. I guess I broke the myth that silicone was impossible to screw up..

I am loathe to scrap it and redo the whole thing, since most of it is still good, and I used a particularly expensive type of silicon for my mold (it's all I had on hand).

My question is how to 'reclaim' the parts that did not set well (they are sticky and thin. In one part the mold is actually broken through, as if the silicone had been slowly dissolved away) or how to entice them to set, if that's possible.

I'm wondering if I can cut or pull off the bad bits, then inject silicone into those spots (with the master inserted)? Or might this 'mess up' the details?

Or maybe resilicone the whole master before putting it back into the mold, and maybe that way i can be sure it will cure without a break in the details?

Or can I even do the second option without cutting out the non-cured bits? Will the new silicone cure against it?

EDIT: And how to clean off all the plasicine on my master? I do not have cleaning alcohol ATM... or I can't find it anyways.. would varsol work?

EDIT#2: Took off all the plasticine bits and redid them with regular clay. Cast a new mold. Cut off all the non-cured bits of the old mold and trashed them. Kept the good bits for later. Stuck some of the flatter pieces on the new mold. This will be the 4th or 5th attemped mold of this object (1st few times with plaster), hopefully this time it will work :)
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I've been reviewing my pricing, and I think it's in need of a couple of changes.
My concern is with heads. I'm worried that if I increase my prices I won't be able to make any sales, but they take longer than any other part of a suit and are the most difficult to do.

I was just wondering if people could take a look at my current prices and give me some tips on what I should really be charging:

Ears - $15
Tails - $30
Handpaws - $40, pads or claws extra $5 each
Footpaws - $50, claws extra $10
Heads - $100, extras negotiable
Partials - $350
Full suits - $900

What would people pay for my work?

Where to find fur?

So since I'm looking around for fur for this design, I was wondering what places you'd reccomend? I'd probably want about 1" pile fur or less, I don't know if it'd be better to go with short fur for this.

And how much fur would I need? It's going to be a partial suit, with a balaclava built head. I think there was somewhere that told you how to measure how much fur you'd need, but I can't recall it at the moment.

Trying to find a certain fur

I do not know if anyone can help me. I bought this orangish/rust color fur, about 1.5 -2 inch pile, from Hancock Fabrics store. I used it to build Brokken's Grynn Sabretooth. I am trying to find more of the fur. I thought I found the company that made it, they send swatches, but it is not the right stuff. I am back to square one here. I really need more of that fur to build my Sabretooth. Here are links showing the fur color and what it looks like. If anyone could point me in the right direction, I would be very appreciative. <--- Fur swatch of what I am looking for <--- Costume pic made with fur <--- Same costume, different lighting
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  • taren_

Ixion - update

Maybe I will have this ready for bowling on the 8th after all!

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To get stuff like this, the local science surplus store is awesome. A 12V 7.2Ah battery, two fans, and this LED car decoration cost roughly $20.

First, some advice. To get things like this horn secured, use lots and lots of hot glue. Of course I'm a bit trigger-happy with the glue about everything. For reinforcement with the moving jaw, I used cut-up CD's. I could have used anything thin and stiff, but these were handy (and plentiful). For the wiring, I simply spliced all the wires into one + and - lead and soldered them together. After soldering, I hosed the jointed with hot glue, a little trick I learned from modding/rewiring Playstation controllers. It protects the joint from getting pulled apart. Then I plastered everything down to the mesh frame, to keep it in place. When this head is done, it will simply have wires coming out of the head (on the inside of course) that will be connected to the main power grid in the body. The battery will be in a small backpack.

Now for some questions:
-I notice that while wearing the head as it is, the fans are hitting my hair. Should I attach some mesh under the fans to keep my hair from hitting the blades? My friend says that the fan blades could catch on my hair and get it all tangled up in the box. The question is, will mesh be enough, and will using mesh decrease the fans' efficiency any substantial amount?

-Are noisy fans a big faux pas? Those little muffin fans are a little obnoxious, especially since they're not quite in tune. Should I install a second switch to control the fans?

-Where can I get a decent shaver for fur? Walmart doesn't have freaking shavers. Any particular brands, types, or models I should look for?

Hope you like it! Next update will be when it's complete. Pictures everywhere!