Using Wax and Silicone Putty

submitted by Mike Brent

Here's a nice little mini-tut I just found on the Sculptor's Forum whipped up by master sculptor Erick Sosa with text provided by super-talented up-and-comer Trevor - um, well sorry Trev, I don't know your last name buddy. This is a technique used by toy sculptors who need a lot of detail in a small sculpt, and wax is firm enough to allow carving all that detail without smashing anything while you work (which can be a problem with polymers or plasticenes). So to get the best of both worlds, they'll often do a rough in super sculpey and bake it up, then transfer into wax to go to town and do all the ultra-detailing.

The reason I'm posting it here is because wax can be a great product for casting replacement heads. It's common practice to sculpt a head and then make a silicone mold from which you would pull a series of wax castings that you can modify with steel tools heated over an alcohol torch. You can also dribble melted wax on with a tool called a waxer or a wax pen... I've never used one, but they say it's the closest you can come to drawing in 3 dimensions. You add wax where you need it and then carve it down and polish for an ultra-smooth surface. The ultimate wax pen is the Kerr Ultra Waxer, but most people go with the less expensive but still excellent Foredom Waxer. Both are available through Kingsleynorth.com

Well, without further ado, here are Erick's pics followed by Trevor's explanatory text:

 
"Silputty is a two part rubber for making quick molds.

in the first photos, you see Erick took equal amounts of the green and white parts of silputty and mixed them thouroughly. all you do after the stuff is mixed is pack it all around your piece (the head in this case) you can leave a small hole at the bottom of the neck, or do what Erick did, and just cut a hole after it sets up

the silputty sets up in half an hour, but that's more time then you'll need to work. it's very very soft so it packs in around your sculpture pretty well...I've never transfered anything with much detail, I just use the method to save time building up wax.

after it's set up, you cut a zig zag pattern on both sides of the mold to create a key so that when the mold is ready to be poured, it stays together. pull the sculpey rough out, and you're ready for the real fun!

I use Ralphs TMS wax, and for some reason it can sort of stick to the silputty. Other waxes might not do this. in any case, I rubbed a thin layer of vaseline inside my mold to prevent it from bonding to the wax. after you do that, you tape up the molds...the only tape that I found that sticks to the silputty is a duct tape, but it looks like Erick uses something else. anyway, the idea is to tape the mold really well so that it stays together and won't leak....leave the pour hole open of course.

after it's taped, you just heat up the mold with a heat gun/blow dryer. first you'll want to get your wax heated up and ready to pour. after you've warmed up the mold, slowly pour the wax into the opening at the base of the neck. you'll want to go to the brim, as the wax 'sucks' in as it cools. after it's poured, you just stick it in the freezer for 20-25 minutes. it's ok if it's still warm, in fact i find it's better if it's slightly warm. Then I just cut the tape off, and gently pry the mold open to pull the casting out.

I got five generic head pours out of one mold, and I could have gotten a few more if I had been more patient, so it can be a real time saver!

might have missed some details, but that's the basics! don't be intimidated, it really will seem easy after just doing it once"

Trev

___________________________________


Ok, Strider back. Time for a products listing:

Here's a good toymaker's wax made by the same company that makes the Silputty - Silwax

Unfortunately that company doesn't seem to offer an online catalog... you have to "call for pricing" and order over the phone - dealing with salespeople etc. If you're looking for more convenient online ordering try The Compleat Sculptor. They carry another toymaker's carving wax called Azbro Wax. Be sure to check that page for some good tips and info related to working with carving wax. TCS also carries a different brand of silicone putty similar to the Silputty called Resilpom

For more on working with wax and its use for making replacement heads for stopmotion, see Marc Spess' Wax Article .

One thing I should mention is that the molding method illustated above is good for one-offs or sculpts that don't need to all be identical, but if you want to make a series of replacement heads (which is often done using wax) you'd want to use a different technique, because the zig-zag cut in the mold results in a pretty imprecise casting that needs to be cleaned up and each head will look a little different. So for replacement heads you'd want to use a liquid silicone pour with a mother mold. You can find techniques for that in the sculpting/moldmaking section of the handbook. Also, you'd want to incorporate some kind of registration device ino the mold to ensure that all the heads will register exactly the same on the neck. There's some good info on this provided on a thread started by Josh Jennings called Replacement Heads. (not available at this time)

BACK

 

STOPMO JAM on Facebook

Tom Brierton's Kickstarter

A dragon teaches her child how to fly, but in doing so, realizes that her training will come at a price.

This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Mon, November 13 2017 5:23 PM PST.

Welcome To My Daydream: A Documentary about Will Vinton

A documentary about the father of Claymation and creator of the California Raisins + more!

On Kickstarter Now. Deadline is November 09, 2017 7:00 PM PST.

MESSAGE BOARD CATEGORIES

STOPMO NEWBIES
basic stopmo discussion

ANIMATOR TALK
experienced animators looking to improve

CAMERA & STAGE
animation camera, lighting and moco rigs

ANIMATION TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
animation tool and rigging discussion

STOP MOTION & COMPUTERS
frame capture, editing, and post-production

STORY
script, storyboarding and storyreel discussion

SOUND
lip-sync, sound effects and music

YOUR STOPMO FILM PROJECT
discuss your stopmo film

ARMATURES
ball & socket and wire armature discussion

MACHINE SHOP
metalwork tool & talk

SCULPTING
sculpture information and advice

HAIR & COSTUME
materials, patterns and technique

CASTING
foam, silicone and resin

CLAY
clay puppet construction

GENERAL PUPPET MAKING
other puppet fabrication issues

STOP MOTION SETS
set design and construction information

MODEL DEPARTMENT
miniature prop discussion

MATTE PAINTINGS
glass matte paintings and backgrounds

GENERAL SPECIAL EFFECTS

STOP MOTION FILM DISCUSSION

FAVORITE STOP MOTION CHARACTERS

PRO ANIMATOR DISCUSSION

FILM FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

ANIMATION SCHOOLS

STOP MOTION BOOKS

STOP MOTION ON VIDEO

JOBS & PROJECTS
post here if you are looking for talent to hire

SWAP MEET
stop motion items for sale

CHAT BOARD
general discussion

SITE FEEDBACK
report bugs, comments and suggestions here

SPAM ALERT!

StopMotionAnimation.com has been hit hard by spammers lately. They have been creating several fake accounts every day, contacting and harassing members and posting suspicious content. If you see anything suspicious, don't click on any links, instead, send me their User Name. I will suspend them. 

Questions & Feedback
Report Spam or Abuse

© 2017   Created by Anthony Scott.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

.xg_widget_forum_index_index .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_listForCategory .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_show .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;}