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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving The making of a Moai in foam!
The making of a Moai in foam!
loco moke
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 23, 2006
Posts: 27
From: Portland,OR
Posted: 2006-07-08 9:21 pm   Permalink

Ah....feast your eyes on the forbidden fruit: FOAM!

I have had some request of how I work in foam. So I thought I would share the ongoing process with you as I attempt my first Moai!
The Moai is a great choice for newbies starting out because there is not alot of great detail involved and simple(yeah right) angular lines.
So lets get started:)


I am using a chunk of styrofoam with a 2lb density, because that is what I happen to have. I would suggest 1.5lb density, alot less sweating and cussing.
As you can see, I penciled a rough of the Moai on the block for your viewing pleasure. I usually freehand my sculptures beacuase the drawings slow me down and confuse my brain. Instead I usually have a pencill sketch close at hand that I refer to.



My handy B&D saw, it cuts just like buttah! It's like a turkey carver on steroids and you can find this at Home Depot. I still use my trusty hand saw too, like to reach through the middle of this 55" x42" x 21" block. I usually stay away from a chainsaw too because that really creates a mess. Did I mention sweating and cussing?



Now I start blocking in the shape and I want to err on the side of of too little instead of too much. We don't wanna have to stop and glue a piece back on. That takes time and gluing sucks.



The Moai takes shape!
No, it is not snowing, this is the mess that comes with working with foam...see that 42 gallon trash bag back there? It will take 21/2 of those bags to fill with the excess.
Okay at this point I have a fairly good idea of what I'm up against now, so I shake the foam off grab a cold beer and start shaping.


The nose was a good place to start and I could drink my beer while doing it. Just trying to define it a little at a time.



Now as you can see I've shaped the mouth in and have moved on to defining the protruding chin. I use this rasp, as well as a half round, almost exclusively as my weapons of choice to tear through alot of real estate when shaping.



More refining with a small hand rasp to get in those tighter spots which can be a mutha! Foam is fun but it isn't as easy as it looks.



Now I continue to shape all over, smoothing out spots and I've worked my way up to Moai's uni-brow to give him a proper look.



Now I step back after freshly shaving the Moai and look where I need to make adjustments.



Once I get the desired look, I then want to remove some of the rasp marks a bit so I do the once over with the palm sander.



Ah....smoothe as a monkey's behind.



I'll call the Moai good for today and will come back at it again another day. I'll post the second half soon of applying the faux stone.

Cheers,
Loco Moke























[ This Message was edited by: loco moke 2006-07-09 19:56 ]


 
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congatiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2004
Posts: 2464
From: wisconsin northwoods
Posted: 2006-07-08 9:58 pm   Permalink

Hey that's pretty cool Loko Moke...nice job.
Is it snowing there?

[ This Message was edited by: congatiki 2006-07-08 21:58 ]


 
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loco moke
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 23, 2006
Posts: 27
From: Portland,OR
Posted: 2006-07-09 10:08 am   Permalink

Hey Congatiki,
I have snowflakes in places you didn't know they could reach!

[ This Message was edited by: loco moke 2006-07-09 10:08 ]


 
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THOR's
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 30, 2004
Posts: 595
Posted: 2006-07-09 1:40 pm   Permalink

ALOHA LOCO!!

Hey, I am not on here nearly as much as I would like, but making it a resolution to get on here and enjoy it more often!! I saw this GREAT Moai in bead foam and your other post asking if anyone had worked in this medium much. I wanted to share an aplication where I used bead foam to simulate faux lava rock for our sign on one of the "Thor Stor"'s we just opened a few months ago in Waikiki.

I have, in the past carved some pretty convincing tiki's for sets that were to look like they were made of lava. Bead foam is excellent because of the weight though it is messy as all hell as you have discovered I am sure! One great "trick" you can try in case I missed it and this has already been mentioned here is to use acetone as a final surface effect on any bead foam sculpture that you want to make look like lava. Acetone eats away at the foam like muric acid eats flesh in a Vincent Price Horror flick, so you have to control it carefully. I put the acetone in a disposable squirt bottle you can get at a hardware store thetas used for glass cleaners..etc. You "spritz" the acetone on your final sculpture and it makes all sorts of tiny holes like lava rock bubbles. To make really cool larger holes, dribble a bit of the acetone in spots...the result is AMAZING! BE SURE to be in a VERY well WELL VENTILATED area!!! The fumes are VERY toxic gasses!!

Below is a picture of the sign we did for our first Store. I cut a big slab of bead foam and carved the main shape and cracks. I then did the acetone trick, followed by a coat of universal paint primer. After that dried, I gave the whole thing a coat of almost black, flat latex paint, making sure it went into all the holes and cracks. Lastly, after that dried, I "dry brushed" the black slab with some drk brown latex paint. This brought the texture to life and accentuated the cracks and holes very well.

The lettering was done on the computer and laser cut in acrylic plastic, painted in the hot red to orange and mounted on pegs about 2: away from the surface of the lava slab. When lights are on this sign..it can be seen from hundreds of feet away on the Waikiki strip! I made this sign for less than a few hundred and was given an estimate of a few thousand by sign makers to duplicate this sort of sign. So..cheap and effective! Bead foam saved the day!!!!! Good luck! Great job on the Moai!!


~~~ ~ THOR




[ This Message was edited by: THOR's 2006-07-09 13:53 ]


 
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loco moke
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 23, 2006
Posts: 27
From: Portland,OR
Posted: 2006-07-09 10:06 pm   Permalink

Hey Thor
Thanks for the comments about the Moai. It's always great to get feedback and even better when others share some of their own experiences in return. Reading your bio you seem to have a strong knowledge on materials used in theming, I hope I can pick your brain in the future.
Again I appreciate the positive feedback.

Much success to the new store
Loco Moke

[ This Message was edited by: loco moke 2006-07-09 22:07 ]


 
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hewey
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4278
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2006-07-10 7:23 pm   Permalink

Wow - cool.

When is someone going to make a subterranian tiki bar with faux rock surrounds? Like the treasure cavern at the end of Pirates of the Carribean...
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Lingam
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 23, 2006
Posts: 48
Posted: 2006-07-12 10:15 am   Permalink

<quote>I'll call the Moai good for today and will come back at it again another day. I'll post the second half soon of applying the faux stone.

Cheers,
Loco Moke
<quote>

Loco Moke,

Where do you get your foam from, and when do we get to see the update. I am thinking about doing my tiki god in foam and then finishing in Concrete. I would love to see other peoples work that have worked with foam.

Lingam


 
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Benzart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2006-07-12 11:43 am   Permalink

hey Loco, you have a pretty darned excellent Moai there and you carved it out just like it was tomorrows lesson assignment. How long have you carved tiki? Do you have pic's of more of your work? Got a feelin you're holding back!! Welcome to TC btw.
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Tiki Duddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 04, 2006
Posts: 759
From: Manitoba, Canada
Posted: 2006-07-12 12:10 pm   Permalink

that is looking really good i must say. it looks a tad bit messy. you should show more of your work. good job.

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loco moke
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 23, 2006
Posts: 27
From: Portland,OR
Posted: 2006-07-12 5:01 pm   Permalink

hewey:

glad you like the sculpture. Hmmmmmm....subterranian tiki bar with faux rocks now you got me thinking!

Lingam:

I'm fortunate that I can get my foam locally here in the NW. My suggestion to you is to use the pink or blue board you can get at home depot it works just as well as the white bead foam. It sounds like you are using it to just block the shape and the final will be shaped in concrete. My hardcoats vary depending on the final location of the sculpture. If it is up and out of reach then your coating doesn't have to be really heavy duty. However, if everyone is rubbing the tiki before they take a straight shot then you better beef up on the hardcoat.
I want to encourage you to take the step and just go for it. What I found out is this: there is no right or wrong way. However you do it is your way...as you progress through trial and error you'll figure out shortcuts to improvement. When I first started out I researched everything. So much so that I wasn't creating anything! Jump in and do it, post some progress pix and maybe some of us can help you along the way!.

Benzart:

Thanks Benzart for the compliment about the sculpture. Believe it or not, but this truly is my first stab at a Moai. About six years ago I started dabbling in foam after deciding I wanted to "biggie size" from sculpting in clay. As luck would have it they were filming the movie "The Hunted" in town and I found out where the prop department was and got myself in the door. I struck up a little chit-chat and got invited back the next day to watch them fabricate life size logs and faux brick walls. I went right out and got a block of foam and started carving.
I've posted other items here but I think most of you probably thought they were made of wood. Here is a link to some tiki items as well as a few other samples I've made in foam.
http://www.bradkaufman.com/fabrication.html
Cheers!
Loco Moke


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