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WIP. Bio Helmet: Samurai Shinto Predator


MeanGene
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Straight from Rob's amazing artwork.

Doing my best to recreate his set of sketches into a real life helmet.
This is my second time sculpting the helmet. First attempt failed when the clay dried out and cracked.

About 10 years later I am taking another stab at it.

Facts
Monster clay medium
Sculpted over a plaster bandaged foam block.
Will be molded in silicone to make Resin copies.

No idea what the paintwork will look like yet.

Overall the goal was to blend a Japanese Oni mask with a Predator helmet.

The challenging part has been to translate what a flat sketch is to a 3D object.
The goal is to stay true to the original design. The antenna/horns will stay.

The right side of the mask took approx 3 weeks of chipping away at it to develop the final look.
I took some liberties that made sense. Adding Oni mask, samurai helmet elements into this.
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Thought I would post up some helpful tips and tricks I have picked up along the way.
Most of which came from @Ptgreek Thank you George.

 

Work space - You need to plan on making a mess.
Clay bits are going to get everywhere, do not use over carpet.
A proper work table is a must.
Lighting is a must. Different lights from different angles cast shadows.
The shadows reveal the sculpture in different ways.
 

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Monster Clay - Probably the best clay ever. The medium grade is used on this sculpture.
https://www.monstermakers.com/monsterclaybrown
I used about 12 lbs, between the clay in the oven staying warm and the clay on the sculpture.
Clay is $30 per 4.5lbs
Important fact, you can reuse this clay almost indefinitely.
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Clay oven - You need some sort of way to heat the clay. 
Having it on standby at a warm workable temperature is so handy.
This bread maker was snagged at a goodwill for $5. If left on for too long it completely melts the clay. So I turn it on an off manually.
Other people use electric toaster ovens set on "warm". When I come across one at Goodwill, will definitely be sidelining the bread oven.
* Note, whatever you put the clay in is going to get ruined.

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Armature - Fancy term for a sculpting base.
My armature was a home depot can of spray foam. Cut into the general shape of a predator bio.
Over that I laid plaster bandages to get a hard smooth surface. 
I tried to be fancy and spray painted the plaster bandages black, this was an epic fail. The paint is flaking off the armature and getting into the clay.
Look close you can see the paint flaking. 
(Will need to melt and strain the clay later to remove this junk)

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Lazy Susan - for changes viewing angles.
This one is about 16" and turns smooth. Very useful to rotate the sculpture as you compare sides for symmetry.
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Tools: You don't need to get fancy, just need a variety.

These kidneys are soft rubber that you can use to smooth out the clay surface.
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These tools were reasonably priced and came with probably 2 of each.
Lots of people modify the tools and create their own with guitar string, hot glue and a wooden stick.
image.thumb.png.52ee27a81a931576eb2afbc013c100ce.png   2009432143_Shintosculpturewip(2).thumb.jpg.4583f74a6eb5736a123982640c4a636f.jpg

 

Solvent / Smoothing agent - You will need to remove your tool marks and make things smooth.
** There are lots of solvents that can be used. Most are toxic, do not use in an enclosed space.

I use D-Limonene liquid. Its all natural, made from oranges. Smells nice!
image.thumb.png.126b16c9cd1dc473b9c970ec80d111d8.png   1747223995_Shintosculpturewip(1).thumb.jpg.d80f84e73d41a68889252a797a04e67b.jpg

 

Space heater - Critical for warming up the sculpture. Got a cheap one on amazon.
Warming the whole sculpture makes it easier to work and smooth details.
 

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Mental Game - Get in the right headspace.
Happy Pumped Up GIF by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Set yourself up for success, Man.
Tell yourself this is going to be a long process, do not rush it. Take your time.
Surround yourself with reference images. Draw it out yourself.
Put on your favorite movie or playlist.
Do not be afraid to take a few steps back and start over.


I enjoy sculpting because it is a quiet meditative - focused time.
No other thoughts besides what is directly in your vision.

Humans have been shaping clay earth since the dawn of time. 
So in some way it is a connection to the past.

 

Will update this more as I progress...

 

 

 

 

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Rob man you had since day one I guess you say I'm revisiting down memory lane,this shit is insane I remember first I saw your Shogun preds my was mind blown away not P2 art I swear I would have thought you were crash McCreery himself but your styles are different but man I was13yrs old then I'm 33 now lmao😂

 

Your legend I still rant and rave about ya other side of the net still this day 18-20yrs later. But seeing sculpt is just insane brought to life can't see more! 😄 You are definitely one of my inspirations much respect Rob! 

Edited by mugen1r_design
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Forgot to mention. I sculpted this helmet like 10 years ago. But from WED clay, which ended up drying out on me when I made a rookie mistake.
The sculpture was much more basic. 
The plan was to make a casting and them sand it down smooth and remold it.
But nothing ever became of it when the sculpture cracked and dried out.

Made a video of the progress.

 

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On 2/7/2022 at 11:03 AM, MeanGene said:

Forgot to mention. I sculpted this helmet like 10 years ago. But from WED clay, which ended up drying out on me when I made a rookie mistake.
The sculpture was much more basic. 
The plan was to make a casting and them sand it down smooth and remold it.
But nothing ever became of it when the sculpture cracked and dried out.

Made a video of the progress.

 

Not bad and I feel you I've learned similar ways with smaller scale most work I do in 7inch scale but full size can't imagine how much pain was go back do over. I'm still learning mold and casting I'm slowly progressing. 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Carl said:

Gene, try using a crock pot on low to heat your clay instead of the bread oven

 

Thanks Carl.

I've been waiting for a crock pot or oven to find it's way to me. I keep browsing the local Goodwill's. Haven't seen one yet.

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This is such a cool project. Like Andrew said this is what all of us are here for.

Stan created an amazing character that we all love, but the Hollywood industry has f***** it up so much, with their idea of bigger is better.

Projects like this really shows the potential these movies could have. 

Gene, bring this beast to life and who knows, we might see a 12th century Japan based movie, inspired by this.

You know THEY are always watching US and our cool projects 😄

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Spent some time working on symmetry today. It's really difficult on a sculpt like this. So many lines and angles to coordinate.

Next steps are going to be texturing the surface.

 

Anyone have some suggestions of texture??

Battle damaged, smooth, rough texture, light textures??

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Here are some reference images for texture, details, and maybe even some final paint work.

I feel like this helmet could be a lot of things.

 

Overall I want to bridge the Gap between Japanese Oni Mask and a Predator Bio.

Just brainstorming. Give me some more ideas. I am all ears.

I'm close to finishing!

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I am at the point where I want to be done with this helmet. I've been staring at it for months and it has dragged on long enough.

 

I've got other projects that need tending to. So today I just started texturing. I didn't have a plan. So I started on the middle forehead area and did some dimpling. I kinda liked that look.

 

Then on the done I added dimpling but wanted to break it up a bit. So decided to start with some crosshatch lines. Almost like a skin type texture. Exploring what this might and could look like.

The more I experimented the more the idea crept into mind that this should be a mix of iron and flesh. In a similar way that samurai Armor is a mix of steel and leather.

So I am going to keep messing around and see where this goes.

If you have any suggestions I am all ears.

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Man you updated the sculpt! Looks amazing Gene I think one favorite things to your designs is gotta be jaw line and how cheeks pinch in like that similar to Celtic bio with tusk pieces. Speaking of suggestions I think be cool with some battle damaged scuffs marks and scratches look mean on the shinto bio.

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9 hours ago, mugen1r_design said:

Man you updated the sculpt! Looks amazing Gene I think one favorite things to your designs is gotta be jaw line and how cheeks pinch in like that similar to Celtic bio with tusk pieces. Speaking of suggestions I think be cool with some battle damaged scuffs marks and scratches look mean on the shinto bio.

Appreciate the kind words. Glad you see the Celtic influence here. Robs sketch had some of that element to it and I am glad it shines through on the sculpt.
Love your avatar by the way. Such a badass predator. As for the battle damage, I am going to work some of it in subtly. It was suggested by someone to do some samurai sword slashes across the face. I think I will save that for after a casting is made. Probably better to not put that in the master copy when it can be done later with a dremel tool in a custom way.

Call this sculpt the blank slate and castings made can be damaged up accordingly.

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Update.

Continuing texturing. Exploring what is possible. Trying to not restrict my imagination.

Looking for what people think.

Want to put some Predator glyphs on the helmet somewhere. Not sure where.

Where do you guys think?

Wherever they are, I am going to find a way to put them on in a caligraphy style. Blend the two somehow, both are very similar anyway so it should work.

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1 minute ago, MeanGene said:

Update.

Continuing texturing. Exploring what is possible. Trying to not restrict my imagination.

Looking for what people think.

Want to put some Predator glyphs on the helmet somewhere. Not sure where.

Where do you guys think?

Wherever they are, I am going to find a way to put them on in a caligraphy style. Blend the two somehow, both are very similar anyway so it should work.

You could put them coming down on the mask like the wolfs. 
Or underneath the eyes, and down the mouth part. 

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