Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Reaper Mask, from Overwatch

Ignore the ear!
Overwatch, a new and awesome looking Blizzard game was announced at Blizzcon.

It looks super exciting, and was announced with a Cinematic that made my cry, and was utterly brilliant.

The game has a range of very, creatively designed character!  And then one goth one that every liked, including my boyfriend and, you know, it's been a while since I've done anything with polyurethane casting so, lets give it a go.
Time to Reap

So, first step as always is to isolate the mask itself, get the best images I can, scale all the reference images off a human and make a scaled copy of the mask on paper.

These are not the reference images you're looking for.
I scaled this off my Boyfriends face, him being a standard male nerd guy.  We both have 'large' sized head I'd say, that being better than us being too small for most people.

So, I have two options for this sculpt really, something resistant, or something soft.  I did play around with using rigid expanding foam with the intention of coating it with a rigid apoxie resin that I could then sand down for a nice edge.

But since I've just come off a very long sculpt with WED clay(My Dragon Sculpt), have a bunch of it laying around, and feel pretty confident in it I stayed with doing a soft sculpt and just trusted myself to give it good finishing.

My blank sculpting armature.
My sculpting table begins.
Sculpting through time!
A night of sculpting lead to a base 'anatomy' of the mask that fit the reference but was pretty basic, and missing a lot of correct scaling.

End of second night of sculpting.
 After my second night of sculpting, I got to something that I was very happy with, it was all as accurate as I could make it, some of the edges weren't exactly perfect, but I would carry on with that in surfacing and texturing.
Details coming now!
Details and surfaces take as much time as half the sculpt.
Good care for a WED sculpt, a water based clay, is to put your sculpt to bed each night, covering it with cling film and plastic bags.  However, if you leave it out overnight it doesn't dry out straight away but gets a leathery surface, harder, better for doing details and texturing.

This third night of sculpt involved a lot of glaring at a screen, picking out every detail on the mask, copying the position of the rivet caps, the crap, the nicks and getting everything as crisp as possible.
Lots of nasty spray in an enclosed space.

Now this was an odd step, I'll admit.
After leaving it to dry out a bit, I sprayed the sculpt with a grey paint.  Then used a very wet mix of clay to go over uneven parts that stood out, before hitting drying it out with a heat gun and hitting it with another coat of spray and repeating until I had a complete surface and edges that I was 100% happy with.
It also smoothed the divide between the rivet and the clay.  For easier mould making.
Everyone who knows how to make moulds is allowed to cry seeing this.
 Speaking of mould making.  First you build the walls around your sculpt!
Time to Mould!
Then your poor an un-thickened layer of silicone over it.  I actually did two layers of un-thickened silicone over that, as my walls aren't very high.  However, doing a really thin layer of silicone means the fact that I have no ability to de-gass my silicone doesn't hurt as bad.
After this I did a large batch of latex with it's Thixo agent to turn it into a really thick, very stable mould silicone mould.
Finale stage is a mother mould.  This is a solid plaster outer shell that holds the silicone in shape so my final moulds will all be a consistent shape.
I was bouncing around the house when it actually worked.
Then the thing came!
It actually came out and looked real good!
Looked like a mask, just like something a person would buy!
If I say so myself.

Now, this was basic Roto Cast, Polyurethane plastic rolled around in the mould, helfted around for like, fifteen minutes.  That was left to set for a bit, then another small amount of plastic sloshed around to reinforce any areas that I had missed.
Grrr, I look fierce.



Next step took half an hour of solid work.  Cleaning the casting off with a rotary tool, a mixture of a cutting disk and a grinding tool for sanding everything.  It required a surprisingly small amount of cleaning up.
It was also now that I got to see where the plastic pools in the mould and where I need to be careful next time.
Remember, protect your floors.
Painting.  This is the part I feel very confident about.
First a base coat, I airbrushed on some black and white over their respective areas, then went over all the bone area with some wonderful System 3 Acrylic paints, they're wonderfully permanent and can go on basically anything.
Then an hour with more paint, making sure the bone all looked even, giving it a nice texture, then shading with an airbrush.  Then some dry brushing to get highlights and give more of a bone effect.
After this, I added the dark colours, the metals, then highlight the metals to give it a nice metallic effect.

These finale steps included adding some semi-opaque black cloth around the eyes, cheeks and mouth because the face of the character is always in shadow and you can 'just' about make it out and this worked perfectly.
Oh, and since it's a rigid plastic mask, I put some foam pads on it and an elsatic strap!

All this equalled this:

Time to Frizz!

That, that, just, that is something I was very happy with.
I am thrilled with the outcome!

Now, I'm going to spend a few weeks making copies of this for all the Reaper Fanboys out there!

>> Check out my Etsy store to get your mask before Christmas. <<