Many eons ago (mid 2012), I sculpted a statue that I thought would be a bit of fun, would end up on my shelf and never be touched again. Cthulhu!
Originally I wanted to make a Deep One statue but I couldn't come up with a nice design I liked so ended up making the big chap based on the description from the Call of Cthulhu story. You can see some of how I made him on the blog on my website.
After making it, I thought "How could I cast this up? Can't be that hard, I've done some before at uni." and so I went for a browse round my local craft shop. All I could find there was latex which is a good enough casting material so I bought a big bottle of the stuff and set to.
It took weeks.
Honestly, latex is one of the slowest ways to make a mould. Its also one of the smelliest. The sulphur released was making my eyes water.
Its a case of layer, upon layer brushed on but you have to wait until its dry before putting the next layer on and that can take hours. I was layering it up with thickener as well to get some of the thickness once the first few base layers had been put on.
And so, the first few Cthulhu (Cthulhii? What do you call a group of Cthulhu) arrived via the latex mould.
It was very hard to get them out of the mould. Latex doesn't stretch very much so it was tough demoulding them.
During the next year I made another Latex one and then started to try out other materials for making moulds. At some point I tried Dragon Skin from SmoothOn which is silicone that can be used for either mould or casting.
Here's two latex moulds, on the left, and two Dragon Skin ones on the right.
Apart from the toughness to stretch the latex moulds, they had started to corrode from the heat when you pour the resin in. The Dragon Skin is far stretchier and can take a bit more punishment.
The first Dragon Skin mould was made in 2013 and the second was made in 2015 and is finally starting to give up. Bits come away in the fine detail areas and it becomes harder to remove the casting so I knew it was time to make a new one. Four years is a pretty good run for something that gets used a lot.
Over a couple of hours, one Sunday, I made a new mould by layering up Dragon Skin over the casting. As it flows quite freely, its great for getting into all the nooks and crannies but it does mean it runs everywhere. It takes a few layers to get a good thickness and you have to apply it as its nearly set. Another thing is to make sure there are no big air pockets in overhanging areas.
After 24 hours to fully cure the mould peeled off easily, ready for the first casting.
It does look odd inside out...
My Cthulhu sculpture is available here on NerdyChicken in a different range of finished including bronze, copper and green. I also can do custom versions if you have something more specific in mind, feel free to contact me on here to find out more.
Dave Kirkby is a contributing blog writer for Nerdychicken and when he's not sculpting terrifying idols and statues, he's out dressing up and whacking people with his long sword.