I wanted to learn more about prop fabrication—namely silicone mold making, slush casting, and vacuforming—so I built a Daft Punk helmet using Volpin Props' work as a general guide.
It took a lot of time to take a bubblegum pink ziggurat and turn it into a hollow helmet, but I'm glad I got the experience of translating raw material into a finished product. I also managed to break even by selling a few casts and visors to cover the cost of materials. A few important things I learned:
- Bondo dissolves foam.
- Any form of sulphur will interfere with silicone curing.
- Slush casts are heavy—The mold and the cast helmet weigh as much as two gallons of water. Imagine lifting and turning that for fifteen to twenty minutes.
- You can actually build a vacuformer custom to fit in your oven. It's a very simple machine when reduced to its fundamental components.
- I love that magical moment when there is nothing in the world but you and the object and you forget all about the passage of time.
Seriously, don't try this unless you are dedicated to seeing it through because it will take a lot more time than you expect, especially if you are a perfectionist when it comes to details like I am.
For the full gallery, visit the gallery on Flickr: