January 22, 2017

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Zelda- Majoras Mask Tree Stump

June 27, 2019




 For those of you who don't know, Majora's Mask is a VERY popular game originally for the Nintendo 64 back in 2000 which followed other popular release The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, later remastered for the 3DS in 2015. Probably one of the most known game franchises. 


In 2017 I needed a base to display my Majora's Mask at a local ComicCon so i came up with the idea to use the tree stump seen at the game itself. It needed to be a 1-3 day build so nothing could be really molded or cast due to the short amount of time. So this blog post is mostly about working with foam and free form air to make a quick display prop in just 1-2 days. 

 For the base I basically free handed what I thought that it seemed an adequate shape for a tree stump on a 2 inch insulation foam board, slightly basing it on the only reference picture I had. An ancient 2000 pixelated tree stump screenshot. Hooray! I made a smaller piece for the 3rd and 4th layer to reduce sanding and cutting when shaping the piece. These were cut in a bandsaw but can be easily cut with a snap off utility knife. Which I'll be using to reduce the shape later on. 


Once i was happy with the shape, I used foam spray glue to glue them together. Make sure to align whatever your gluing really well because this thing ain't unstinting once you press those together. Glue is applied to both sides and let rest for a few minutes before pressing the pieces together. 


Once everything is glued together I cut with the utility knife as close to the shape as I want. It doesn't matter if it isn't flawless, as long as the shape doesn't have any major bumps. All the rough texture of the knife cuts now will be sanded with a 220 grit sandpaper all the way trough 400-600 depending on what you're texturing this for. In my case, it was a very organic shape so it didn't require a smooth texture in the end. 













I didn't take a picture of the whole process but basically i covered the whole base little by little with Free Form Air from Smooth On.


 For those not familiar with this material, it is a lightweight Epoxy dough. Imagine play dough, but lightweight, way more sticky and probably more chemical. Ok in a serious note, its a 2 part epoxy that is very flexible and doughy like when uncured, but once cured its very lightweight and solid, literally rock solid, when compact. I point this out because it can be brittle if used in very thin layers less than 1 inch thick. So have that in mind when using it. Make sure to test it out to familiarize with this material and know whats the best use for this, i assure you its very handy. Some examples here!

Free form Air can be very tricky to work with at first until you get the hang of it. make sure to wear gloves before use. (I feel I should mention this in all my blog entries, so you can imagine why I'm mentioning it here. Yes, I didn't use gloves at first and I later hated my life) It can be smoothed out with a little water to get it to stick a little better to what you're applying it to and not your gloves. I recommend getting a spray bottle to spray water while your'e applying the foam. 


Once I applied all the foam, around 1 whole trial kit,  the part holding the Majoras itself needed to be build and added. I have a box with over 20 of this tubing (ill link as soon as i remember the proper name) which i use for my Samus helmet, and they worked perfectly for what I wanted, a flexible sturdy core for the branch.