Cosplay Do’s and Don’ts: Molds

Well, here we are with our first cosplay do’s and don’ts. I wanted to make a series of this, so you will definitely see more posts like this one popping up as we learn what not to do when working on cosplay!

Mario and I were working on an Arcanite Reaper, when we came across the problem of how to make the skull. Since it is on both sides of the axe, we wanted to make sure that both skulls were as close as possible to each other. We decided the best way to do this was to carve a skull out of clay, then make a negative mold of it, so we could easily duplicate the skull.


Don’t use Celluclay to make your mold, unless you have a week or two to let it dry. We don’t even think it’d work then, because you’re likely putting something wet into the mold to make the positive, and the paper mache doesn’t really like getting wet much.

This is me trying to speed up the drying process with a hairdryer.

Don’t use paper mache using tissue paper to try and replicate it, if it has a lot curve and bumps to it. It doesn’t work very well. We tried this while we waited for the Celluclay to dry, and the tissue paper just wouldn’t smooth out enough.

In our defense, we were in a hurry, since it was for a contest with a deadline, and it was too late to try and go to the store to find something else, so we were trying to work with what we had in the house. If you have the time, don’t use materials if you aren’t sure they’re going to work.


Do go and do a ton of research before you start on something you haven’t done before. Since we haven’t made molds that were any larger than a miniature figure before, we had no idea what to do with a huge skull. After some reading and running to the craft store, we found a quick solution. There are several ways you can make a mold, some take hours to cure, some just a few minutes. Since we had to get this done quickly, we didn’t have time to order materials, and so we worked with what we found in the store: Mix a Mold. I got two boxes just in case, and set to work making the mold according to the instructions. It said that keeping it cold would make it last longer, and since I was making it while Mario was at work, I did what I could to keep it cold because it was a temporary mold. Which brings me to another don’t:


If you’re using a temporary mold such as Mix a Mold, and you’re going to be using it that day, it’s okay to let it get to room temperature. I stuck mine in the fridge because I wasn’t sure how long it would last, but because we used pourable expanding foam, the warmth of the foam hitting the cold of the mold mixed with condensation made for a lot of air bubbles in the face of the positive mold. This didn’t present that much of a problem, though, since we were able to easily fill it in with our good friend modeling paste, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

That’s it for today! We’ll be back in just a few days with part two (of three) of the Arcanite Reaper tutorial!

2 thoughts on “Cosplay Do’s and Don’ts: Molds

  1. Pingback: Episode 001: Hey You. « the original pocket podcast

  2. Pingback: Arcanite Reapers and you. Part 3 | Arms, Armor and Awesome

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