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Author Topic: Ideas and help on figurehead hair please.  (Read 983 times)
SeVeNeVeS
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« on: November 13, 2016, 01:27:47 pm »

Me. alcohol and e-bay can be troublesome sometimes, that aside I've always wanted a ships figurehead, but the real thing can cost a fortune, so 6-8  months ago I purchased a shop dummy with this in mind.

This is a future project for next year and am just throwing it out to you wonderfull people for suggestions.

This is the kinda thing I'm aiming for.......
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I'm thinking paper mache for the clothing, but I have drawn a blank on flowing hair........ expanding foam? Here are a couple of photos of what I have to work with just dug from the loft so slightly dusty and hung quickly on a wall. Thinking chop off mid-drift get rid of the legs etc and use that base....... It's fibreglass so drillable, gluable, gripfillable and anythingable...........

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Thanks for any interest.
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2016, 04:29:48 pm »

If you've got any skill at carving a block of insulation foam (or similar) might work well, and would be lightweight enough not to pose a risk to the mount (just remember to only use acrylic paints). The only alternative suggestion I can think of is plaster bandage or similar over a wire frame, but that could end up being quite weighty.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2016, 04:34:32 pm »

Those old mastheads were probably sculpted in clay and then cast from plaster or other material.

You might be able to do the hair in oven-firing polymer clay like Fimo or Sculpy. You will first need a basic hardened form for the wig, which might have a wire frame or be of some material other than polymer clay, but which will be able to survive the oven. Once you have that, you should be able to build up detail, and re-fire it multiple times as detail is added; one of the useful properties of oven-fire clay.

When you get the surface detail of the hair just right, you can paint it, which hides any variation in the color of the clay which might be the result of the multiple firings.

This is going to take a lot of clay.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 08:05:35 pm by RJBowman » Logged
selectedgrub
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2016, 06:33:37 pm »

A most interesting project but I draw a blank on the hair sorry.
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steiconi
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2016, 07:59:46 pm »

What a cool project! 
May I suggest using cloth mache' for the clothing?  Dip fabric in stiffener/glue, then drape like real clothes (actually can be done with real clothes).  Stronger and more resilient than paper, one layer should be enough.  Paint to hide pattern and texture.

You posted several different hairstyles, which could be achieved through different effects. 
Long, flowing hair could be made from yarn, rope, string (a combination of different thicknesses might look best); shape (maybe over a lightweight form like foam or crumpled paper) and stiffen like the fabric, then paint.

White or PVC glue is more flexible than yellow/wood glue.  Flex is fine for drapey things, but the stiffer glue would be better for sticky-out things.  They could also have internal support.

I just saw a mention of sugru sculpting material on another thread, but can' t find it now, so I'll post it here.   You might actually be able to use it for some part of this project; it would be waterproof, unlike plaster...
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-Own-Sugru-Substitute/?ALLSTEPS
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von Corax
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2016, 08:02:09 pm »

A wig, a blow-dryer and really a lot of hairspray? Huh
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2016, 12:46:57 am »

Hello,

Sounds like a splendid idea.
What about about doing something like this. Hair would be an easy step from the wood effect. I make these using paper mache and air drying clay. It will shrink slightly and cause small cracks, which you can fill in with more clay or emphasize them as a feature.
If you want to know any more just let me know. I have other masks you can see here if it helps. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Marvellousmasks?ref=hdr_shop_menu



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RJBowman
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2016, 02:50:58 am »



I saw Jim Carrey in that mask once.
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Cora Courcelle
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2016, 10:44:20 am »

Cloth-mache, as Steiconi suggests; you can use wallpaper paste as the glue and a fine polycotton fabric drapes beautifully.
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walking stick
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2016, 01:48:51 pm »

Foam wigs done mostly with strips of foam. 
https://corporate.target.com/article/2013/09/chris-march-big-fun-halloween-wig-collection-targe
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Kensington Locke
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2016, 05:51:56 pm »

crazy idea #3:

buy a long hair wig (maybe one of those costume ones).  Lots of hair.

Glue it to her head.

Then, wait for the crazy...

tilt the sculpture back so it hangs way from the body and use many cans of spray acrylic.  This would presumably result in the flowing hair back toward the ship, sealed in plastic.  Which you can then paint.

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Wormster
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2016, 09:44:22 pm »

Those old mastheads were probably sculpted in clay and then cast from plaster or other material.


Not according to my MK1 eyeball, I've seen many in many different Nautical Museums, they're all carved from solid wood.

Moar info:
I can't offer any useful ideas to the O.P. for sculpting though!
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2016, 10:42:52 pm »

Those old mastheads were probably sculpted in clay and then cast from plaster or other material.


Not according to my MK1 eyeball, I've seen many in many different Nautical Museums, they're all carved from solid wood.

Moar info:



As someone with a background in Maritime History, I can attest to the truth of that. They actually took so much time and effort to carve that the Royal Naval Dockyard at Pompey (or Portsmouth to you land lubbers) had an entire workshop and team of craftsmen dedicated to making them.
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2016, 10:47:36 pm »

Really looking forwards to seeing how this turns out. I think I'd try a cheap, coarse nylon wig (the sort you can pick up from fancy dress retailers for a few pounds), or maybe a couple meshed together for volume, and then coat its fibres with something to give it rigidity. Maybe the spray acrylic Kensington Locke suggests, or the wallpaper paste as Cora mentions for the cloth. I feel it's definitely going to need some experimentation.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2016, 03:44:54 am »

Those old mastheads were probably sculpted in clay and then cast from plaster or other material...

No, they were not.  Ship's figureheads were carved from wood.

ETA:  Ah, that' s what I get for not finishing reading the thread first.

At any rate, no sort of plaster cast could possibly survive the weathering a ship's figurehead is subject to.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 03:46:37 am by Crescat Scientia » Logged

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Mercury Wells
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2016, 03:56:50 am »

Would you be willing to try an "Art Deco" style?
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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2016, 01:04:28 pm »

Those old mastheads were probably sculpted in clay and then cast from plaster or other material.

I think you'll find they were carved from enormous blocks of timber. Plaster casts wouldn't have survived for very long.
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Kevin C Cooper Esq
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« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2016, 01:11:25 pm »

Me. alcohol and e-bay can be troublesome sometimes, that aside I've always wanted a ships figurehead, but the real thing can cost a fortune, so 6-8  months ago I purchased a shop dummy with this in mind.

This is a future project for next year and am just throwing it out to you wonderfull people for suggestions.

This is the kinda thing I'm aiming for.......
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I'm thinking paper mache for the clothing, but I have drawn a blank on flowing hair........ expanding foam? Here are a couple of photos of what I have to work with just dug from the loft so slightly dusty and hung quickly on a wall. Thinking chop off mid-drift get rid of the legs etc and use that base....... It's fibreglass so drillable, gluable, gripfillable and anythingable...........

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Thanks for any interest.

I always wanted one too so when I started playing around with paper mache I decided to build one, I got a book on woodcarving which had a pattern based on the Jinny Lind figureheads. I made the basic form from two cardboard outlines intersected at right angles round the center line, made the form with chicken wire and finished it off with paper mache. Detailing was done with mache pulp and glue mixtures The ringlets for the hair were done with kitchen towel sausages soaked in glue then again finished off with pulp and glue. Sadly I seem to have lost the photos.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 09:07:33 pm by Kevin C Cooper Esq » Logged
Aubreay Fallowfield
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2016, 01:42:57 pm »

Quote
I always wanted one too so when I started playing around with paper mache I decided to build on, I got a book on woodcarving which had a pattern based on the Jinny Lind figureheads. I made the basic form from two cardboard outlines intersected at right angles round the center line, made the form with chicken wire and finished it off with paper mache. Detailing was done with mache pul and glue mixtures The ringlets for the hair were done with kitchen towel sausages soaked in glue then again finished off with pulp and glue. Sadly I seem to have lost the photos.

I can state it looks extremely good when descending the stairs from your workshop. Most disconcerting for a gay man faced with voluminous breasts looming as they do Tongue
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SeVeNeVeS
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England England



« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2016, 05:36:11 pm »

Crikey! alot of replies. I will go over them all in more detail later, but one quick question will cotton bedsheets, pillow cases and duvets soaked in PVA work for the cloth mache' ? only I already have approx 2 gallons of builders PVA and quite alot of old bedding kicking around the house (intended for dustsheets).

Many thanks for the ideas so far, better get my thinking cap on, the plan is to design now, experiment, buy stuff as I can afford it, then start building in the new year..... knowing me I''ll get carried away and end up with half The Santa Maria in my house Roll Eyes Grin

Still pondering about hair, might just cop out and stick a helmet on it Undecided

You guys are great and thanks again.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 05:44:26 pm by SeVeNeVeS » Logged
Kensington Locke
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« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2016, 08:55:08 pm »

if you go really out there, do it in steampunk materials.  So hoses or chains for hair.  metal or wood plates for clothes, rivets or brass tacks all over.

that might lose sight of your original goal to have a masthead that looks like it came off a ship...
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Cora Courcelle
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****
England England



« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2016, 10:44:51 pm »

Crikey! alot of replies. I will go over them all in more detail later, but one quick question will cotton bedsheets, pillow cases and duvets soaked in PVA work for the cloth mache' ? only I already have approx 2 gallons of builders PVA and quite alot of old bedding kicking around the house (intended for dustsheets).

Many thanks for the ideas so far, better get my thinking cap on, the plan is to design now, experiment, buy stuff as I can afford it, then start building in the new year..... knowing me I''ll get carried away and end up with half The Santa Maria in my house Roll Eyes Grin

Still pondering about hair, might just cop out and stick a helmet on it Undecided

You guys are great and thanks again.

Old cotton bedding would be fine, but to be honest I'm not sure whether PVA would work unless you made some sort of form to put the soaked cloth over.  The thickness of wallpaper paste helps keep the fabric in the draped folds while it dries and I don't think PVA would.  Mind you, it would probably be easier to get the general shape over a simple wire form any way and them 'tweek' the fabric into the flowing locks that you want; with paste you can adjust folds a bit while it dries too.
It does sound as if it's going to be an interesting project.
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Mercury Wells
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« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2016, 12:40:20 am »

Belle Epoch/Art Nouveau hair styles maybe?

Most important is what era do YOU like though?
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 12:43:34 am by Mercury Wells » Logged
Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2016, 05:03:37 am »

In the model railroading hobby, large lightweight terrain forms (such as rolling hills, not all that different from flowing hair) are often carved from insulation foam sheets. 

The stuff can be glued together if extra thickness is needed.  Don't use spray paint or solvent-based glues on it, as they are likely to melt it.
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SeVeNeVeS
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England England



« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2016, 06:31:24 am »

Belle Epoch/Art Nouveau hair styles maybe?

Most important is what era do YOU like though?
Could well be an option, my original thought was flowing backward to get a sense of movement.

I may Google hairstyles to see if one grabs my attention and also appears easy to re-create somehow.
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