Fibreglass is where i want to be working, so it was ideal to be learning this key element to prosthetics. Before starting the process of Fibreglassing i found it quite overwhelming as it looked quite diffciult and time consuming. We were given a lesson on how to use the fibre glass technique, the rest we learn from watching others around us. There is quite a process before the actual fibreglass technique. As i was quite unaware of how to perform any of these processes, i took a few dvd out and youtube clips of makeup artsits that have been well established in doing this method.
I started with face casting my model, the face cast i am used to and have done before in previous project so i dint find it that difficult although its working against time, so i had to be quick and accurate. i asked my fellow makeup artist to help me and assist on the face cast as working alone wouldn’t be safe. During the face cast i started to run out of alginate, i didn’t have enough to cover the shoulders, fortunately this worked out well as i didn’t need the shoulders, the chest piece that i am sculpting on was covered. I was really happy with the outcome, in my previous face cast the alginate bubbled and i had small air holes, i learnt from this and was careful of creating airbubles, this made my overall outcome of my final cast perfect. After laying layers of mod rock over the alginate, i filled the cast with plaster and left to dry overnight, In the morning this was ready to peel away the alginate & mod rock, while leaving a plaster cast of the face.
After this stage i used the slicer, and rough sand paper to smoothen out any lumps, extra plaster or rough edges. Once this was compete, i needed to build my plaster cast up with clay underneath to make it as straight as possible, as well as building a clay wall around the face and neck, to act as keys. Once i had finished the clay work i cover the plaster face with 2 layers of shilac, this acts as a barrier and stops the plaster absorbing any materials. A mistake i made was painting shilac all over the clay as well, luckily this didn’t make a difference but it learning curve that could have saved me time.
Once the shilac was Dry, i needed to add a layer of Tinsil 8020 over the face cast, it combined the 2 materials and made a paste will a runny texture and poured it over the face from a high angle. The high angle stops the silicone forming air bubbles. With the left over silicone from my first batch i used to create 6 square keys, i used a trick of filling the cubes of an ice tray up. I left this layer to dry over night, meaning it would be dry for my next layer the next day, Day 2 i i used the same process of mixing the tonsil 8020, but this time i added thickener. This made the silicone into more of a thick paste that i just smoothed on with my hands rather than pouring, i cover the full face and then added my keys that i made previously on top, in 6 positions, 2 on lower head, 2 on the bottom and one on the forehead and neck, these will act as release keys when fibreglassing. I then had to leave it to dry for a day.
Once my second coat is dried, it is then ready to take away the clay wall, clean up and wax the board. I used a Pva liquid mould release to do this. I applied A layer of Gel mixed with a catalyst over the silicone, and waited 20 minutes until it went tacky, Then this was ready for me to start applying the fibreglass. I cut lots of various sizes of Matt glass, and covered it in _______ until it was flexible and then used a brush and a dabbing motion to apply it onto the silicone mould. I applied 3 layers all over the mould, and then 4 in the more sensitive areas, and the outer ring, this needs to be strongest part of the mould.
I mixed 2 percent catalyst with the gel. Using chemicals like this, is dangerous, so a number of safety checks. I needed to make sure to wear gloves, two if needed, as the catalyst can burn skin. Once the gel was applied and left to set for 40 minutes, the gel became tacky and allowed me to go on top with Fibreglass, Using matting and soaking it in resin and catalyst, softened the glass matting making it more flexible and easier to work with when applying.
i Covered it all over in three layers, i found this difficult at times, as the product could get sticky, it was chemically dangerous on the hands, meaning always wearing gloves, Trying to avoid air bubbles was another issue, but i worked out that taking the time to get every small detail, and work the matting it would eventually work it out. I made sure the clay wall around the mould was layered thicker as this needed to be stronger when pulling the mould off the board. After a few hours the matting eventually turned to rock hard glass, This became a healthy and safety issue, as sharp glass could be potentially harmful to me, i took all pro cations.
Once Finished i used a chisel and a hammer with great force, to release the mould from the supportive board. This took a lot of strength, always wearing goggles as there was chances of chipped glass. The releasing of the mould from the board was made easier from my first step of applying wax to the board to create a release agent, without this the fibreglass could have gripped to the board and been stuck.
Another tool i used in this process was the Vibro saw. The Vibro saw is a tool used to cut into hard objects, perfect as it won’t cut into skin! I used this to create a smooth edge and remove any sharp or excess glass around the edges of my mould making it easier and safer to work with. This was my first time working with any of these tools so i was quiet nervous at first and made sure to get demos and health and safety guidelines to follow. Once this was done it made it easier to carry and work with. The next step was opening it and to CLEAN! Once i opened it, it was obvious it was very dirty and i didn’t want this transferring onto my fibreglass mould head, so i gave it a good clean, There was no need to wipe out the fibreglass shell but this was needed for the silicone layer as it was covered in brown shellac.
I found it hard to get this really clean, i used a few different methods, water and scrubbing and then tried IPA. with both these methods together i finally got my silicone layer cleaned out. I found this mentally straining as it took a long time. Once i has it cleaned to the standard i needed, i could then start fibreglassing my mould to make my fibreglass face, this was really exciting as it was final step before i could start sculpting. When placing the silicone layer back into the fibreglass mould, i had to be careful that all the keys were slotted back into place as this could effect the mould in later stages.
After this was ready to go, i applied another layer of gel into the silicone mould, just up to the edge and not covering the keys. I mixed the gel with a tint of red so that my fibreglass face would come out red and easy to work on. I waited for the gel to go tacky this took about 40 minutes. As i wasted to gain the detail of the face i decided to use chopped strands and mix it with the resin to create a paste like effect, this was easier to get into fine areas of the face. This acted as a first layer, and then i went over this with the sheets of matting soaked in resin.
After about 3-4 layers i stopped applying as it was thick enough. I found that when working with fibreglass i could be a lot neater. If i had of been neater this would of made it easier for me in the next step.
Once this was left to dry over night, it was ready to remove. When removed as i didn’t work very neat it has a lot of edges, i used the Vibro saw to remove these, as they were to sharp to keep on. Once this was Cut off, i was ready to Sculpt.. My favourite part.