Sunday, November 18, 2007

Silicone Case Molding a MONSTER!

Molding the body of Ascaras was a big task. Most of the materials including: Bubblegum Clay, and Silicone can be found online at the Burman Industries website called Monster Makers. The fiberglass resin and mat I used came from my local hardware store. OK! First, he was sealed in plastic wrap and covered in an even thickness of 3/8" water base clay. Photo 1 is of the finished clay layup, which is ready to start fiberglassing!

The clay layup is what makes the outer shell of the fiberglass jackets. After 3 days of working on my back porch, the fiberglass shell was finally ready to be assembled over the sculpture and to begin pouring silicone. This particular shell is in 3 pieces as seen in picture 2.

Picture 3 looks like a leaky disaster, but actually the fiberglass jacket is filled with small air holes so when we pour the liquid silicone all the trapped air can escape. I used 3-inch zip screws to plug the holes after I let them bleed out a little. The white stuff around the mold are fast setting plaster bandages to help seal the fiberglass jackets together. I wanted leaks, but not at the seams of the mold. Then 8 hours later the silicone sets up and wallah! We have a silicone case mold! I then carefully take off the jackets and cut the seam line of the mold to free the sculpture within.

After cleaning and prepping the mold I poured a hard resin casting. I use this for a master tool. Which basically means when the mold dies after many castings I can re-mold Ascaras using this master tool. If you are serious about Case molding I recommend looking for how to DVD tutorials online from Gnomon workshops or Mark Alfrey DVD's on how to's. Remember that a mold maker’s best friend is his release agent, which is most likely Petroleum Jelly!

In the next post I'll show the final poseable casting of Ascaras and explain the process.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cannabilizing A Creature!

When I started this Blog in 2006, I showed some of the beginning steps of my Ascaras puppet. Now that I'm back, I feel like I can post some more images on just how Ascaras was made. I used a combination of different clays over a resin base from a former sculpture called Syferous (first Image). I used Syferous' torso as the base, and then created Ascaras' chest and head in supersculpy, because I had a specific design in mind. I made his arms and thorax in Magic Sculpt. Epoxy clay is great for free form designs. Magic sculpt gives you a time limit, so I had to work fast when I took on some of the larger areas.

I used an oil-based clay for his claws; I was in a hurry to finish him at this point. Also, notice the resin pieces parts I cast and used for mechanical details. I'm always on the lookout for interesting parts to jam into my sculptures.

As for the legs, I decided to make 4 instead of 6 on the character (easier to animate). To also make things easier, I just made one leg sculpture out of Magic Sculpt, plastic/resin parts, and some neat bones I found on the beach.

Then the leg was molded in a two-piece silicone mold. Here I am finishing up the clay wall that my buddy Jason King started for me.

Molding the body of Ascaras was a much harder undertaking, which took me about a week. I'll get into that on my next post.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Well, it’s been a while since my last, here I am with some long awaited news. I did a comic to extend the story STASIS, which reveals 3 new characters including SYFEROUS. I decided to try and maintain the same feel and look of the original STASIS stop-motion animated short by using photographs of the actual puppets and sets. Of course Photoshop had a big hand in the creation as well. The first 32 page issue is now available on my revamped website for $4.50, including free shipping along with some of the puppets and props from the film and brand new book.

It was a long road and a lot happened in between the making of this comic. I started it at the end of January 2006, and about 3 weeks into the project my bother was in a terrible car accident. I sat in the hospital watching, hoping, and praying for my brother to hang on. After 2 months in a coma and 3 major surgeries, he made it out alive enough to start a full year of rehabilitation. I think I could write a book about what my family went through that year. I don't think I actually got back to the book until 5 or 6 months later, but I had a new perspective on life.

My bro is now almost fully recovered, with his wife, and newborn daughter; life is a miracle! After getting back, completing the story, and showing it at Comic-Con 2006, I decided that the book wasn't done, so I revamped the entire comic and released it for Comic-Con 2007. The response has been great! We sold about 150 issues at the Con and the continuation is going to be another animated short, which I am tentatively calling A.R.K. I'm very excited about this new project and will start getting into the habit of posting more so please visit again!! -J.Hite