Alex Camacho
Crosby, TX, United States
Born in Houston, Texas and raised all over living the life of an Army Brat. I Went to eight different schools (three elementary, one middle school, four high schools) and have one little brother who’s not so little anymore. I’ve been married for nearly fourteen years now to a woman who rocks my world and I've been blessed with two wonderful children. Our dog, Sally, is a big black lab saved from a local shelter.
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Friday, October 17, 2008

Fun With Fiberglass

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There hasn't really been a lot going on around here other than the usual but that isn't to say we've not been busy. With Halloween just a few weeks away I can honestly say that I really doubt I'll have a costume in time this year. I really wanted to work on mine and Lana's. I was going to be Frank the Bunny and Lana was going to be Gene Simmons. Ah well. I should have known better than to wait so long but the good news is that I'm pretty sure Marcel's will be done.

I've been really happy with how well it's coming out so far. It's taken a few years of hands on working with fiberglass but I think I finally got the hang of it. Now if I could just get my hands on a DA sander and a planer I'd be in good shape for making super smooth surfaces.

  • The backpack is done and just needs straps added.
  • The blaster body is done with a working light at the barrel and just needs paint.
  • The chest emblem is done and needs paint.
  • The shoulder armor needs final sanding and then paint.
  • The helmet just needs the side emblems added and paint.

It's gone pretty good. I do wish I had the time and money to make my molds in RTV silicone or even latex. They would have come out incredible but my plaster molds did the trick even if they needed more finishing work. I honestly see this costume as being the best so far. So long as I manage to not fuck up the sewing part. I'm nervous, to say the least, about sewing four way fabric. Keep your fingers crossed, I'll probably start sewing sometime next week...

Well, I'm off to lose some more money on Full Tilt while I listen to the new Metallica Death Magnetic. I might put out the Reaper tonight if I'm not too tired when Lana gets home from her party. Later!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

That Time of Year Again

halloween2008_01So we're officially in Halloween mode around here. I always say I'm going to get started early but I never do. It really sucks too because things are coming together really wonderfully. After a few weeks of telling Marcel I need a costume idea I finally gave him an ultimatum. Four costume ideas in twenty four hours or he gets a store bought costume. He was a little horrified, trust me. He came up with Batman (gray suit), Batman Beyond, Megaman, and a Zombie. Batman would require lots of latex, a new head bust, more vinyl, plus all all the molds (mask and glove spikes). Just too much work and not enough time despite how much I would love to do another Batman costume. The Batman Beyond would be a lot easier but would still require a headbust and lots of latex for the mask so it too was a no-go. The Zombie idea was great but without liquid foam latex and a small oven to cook it in it just wasn't feasible. So Megaman won by default really.

So I usually take Olivia to the garage with me, open up the garage doors, turn the radio on and put her in baby jail (otherwise known as the Pack and Play). She absolutely loves it. She loves watching the tree rats (squirrels for you rodent lovers) play, the cars pass by and dances to the music when not playing with her toys. I was really surprised how much she likes being in there with me which allows me to get a lot of work done.

So far, it's coming out awesome. In just three days of work I got the backpack and chest emblem forms made), molded and cast. The helmet base is made and ready for great stuff foam to sculpt and the shoulder armor bases are done. Today's mission is to cast the big part of the backpack, shoot foam on the helmet base, start sculpting the shoulder armor, and assemble the backpack. Sound like a lot? It does to me too but really it's not that time consuming considering most of it will be spent waiting for fiberglass and milkshake to cook. What's milkshake you ask? Just the most badass, super-awesomeo stuff for making smooth casting!
And here's the recipe!

Milkshake Mix

Ingredients

  • 1 part Fiberglass Resin
  • 1 part Body Filler (Bondo, Gold Rage, etc.)
  • proper MEKP value for Fiberglass Resin (Methyl ethyl ketone peroxide)
  • proper hardener cream volume for Body Filler volume


Things You'll Need

  • a scale that measures ounces
  • disposable plastic cups
  • disposable brushes
  • petroleum jelly or another mold release
  • mixing stick



Set up your work area before starting! This stuff cooks pretty fast. You have roughly around five minutes before it gets too hard to work.

First thing to do is prepare your mold with a mold release. Petroleum jelly works great with resin and body filler and is super cheap. Just take a brush and cover well with a thin layer. If you want to get rid of the brush strokes take a heat gun and lightly go over the petroleum jelly. Now you're ready for the first cast.

Pour the proper amount of resin into a cup and weigh it on your scale. (It takes fourteen drops of MEKP per ounce of resin but remember not mix too big of a batch since it cooks pretty fast). Then add an equal part Body Filler by weight to the cup. Now add your proper amount of MEKP and hardener cream and mix thoroughly. Mix quickly, but completely, then take another brush and begin painting your Milkshake into the mold!
I suggest doing at least two layers to allow for final sanding on the finished product and then adding a layer or two of standard fiberglass for added strength.

This recipe will give you a smooth casting with the strength of fiberglass resin and the smoothness of body filler. Enjoy!




In case I have time, I'm going to be Frank the Bunny from Donnie Darko and Lana wants to be Gene Simmons. I really would love to do the Kiss costume so even if we don't get done in time, I'm doing this one. :)

Marcel's costume takes priority over everyone though so it's off to work for me!