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Hey guys, long time no see! I'm cooking up a project about a time traveling warrior, so naturally the script needs an awesome medieval beast to duke it out with the protagonist. Problem is, I can't figure out how to mold the thing.

     I was able to get an awesome looking 3D sculpt of a griffin, with a semi dynamic pose. I printed it out, and I was really hoping to be able to do this in a 2 piece mold. I had planned to use a lighter to make the shoulders and hips melted, and while the plastic was pliable, spread the limbs out. This worked just fine, but the front legs are way too low on the sculpt to be able to fit the armature inside with a 2 piece mold. Here are some of my ideas to resolve this:                                                                                                                     

 1. Hire someone on fiverr to make the 3D model in a more neutral pose. I'm not exactly sure how this is possible, but it's been done before with professional studios.                                     

2. Make a really complicated, multi part mold. I might be able to pull this off, but I feel that the chance of error is high.

3. Make a horizontally "layered" mold. I don't know the logistics of this, and I've never done it before. I'm envisioning putting the sculpt in a container, glueing the keys in, pouring silicone, glue more keys on, and repeat. Has anyone tried this?

If you guys have had any experience doing this and can offer advice, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

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For a 4 legged creature, I usually spread the limbs out and do a 2 piece mould, back and belly. Easy with a lizard, since they splay out anyway, a bit unnatural for a mammal or dino that stands more upright.  Sometimes, I don't want to spread the legs that far (it might distort the creature too much whenI bend them back to normal position on the puppet), or maybe there is a ridge along the spine, so I do a left and right back mould. 

That is what I did for a plaster mould of a horse, it is 3 pieces.  The 2 back pieces, left and right, were deeper than the belly piece, so more room to fit the armature in those.  This is where I had a clay bed in place for the belly, and a clay wall along the spine, and was about to start adding plaster to make the first piece.   I cut the ears off, and made them separately.

But you are making a silicone mould, so it can flex to get it off the sculpt, and off the cast, so probably 2 pieces is enough.  You would need a Case Mould (aka Mother Mould) - a 2 piece rigid shell that fits around the silicone and keeps it in shape.

I don't like the idea of the layered mould - the more layers, the more seam lines where the flashing on the cast will need to be trimmed off and the line patched up.

Ah, thats a lot simpler than I was envisioning. I do think that I'll need to make it three pieces, just to be on the side of caution. Thank you!

I wonder if maybe you need to go a different route. There are some excellent videos by bluworm on making a creature using simple moulds for latex. Here's one of them:

https://youtu.be/hZw0CeO_w_8

That method would allow you to sculpt your own design adapted from something you have seen, and build it as simple or complex as you like. The videos are fairly old now, and the friendly plastic he refers to is now Polymorph. But he has done a more recent video about that.

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