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LordTrilobite

Building A Woolly Rhino Skull

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LordTrilobite

I've been collecting woolly rhino (Coelodonta antiquitatis) bones for years now and trying to make a compilation skeleton. But Skulls are pretty rare.

So I decided to make a skull replica out of foam. And I thought it would be cool to share the building process here.

I based the blueprints mostly on the skeleton from the Natural History Museum in Paris. Piece by piece I cut away pieces of foam to get the correct shape. I've never done anything like this before so it's an interesting project to do. Now that I have the basic shape I plan to cover the surface with something so I can add more detail and colour too. But since have little experience with this I thought maybe some of you guys have some ideas what kind of material I should use for that.

Anyway here are some pictures of the carving process. Tell me what you guys think.

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I've also added more foam to fill in some holes and errors I made but I'll post pictures of that later.

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Kosmoceras

Looking good! :D Nice work!

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Uncle Siphuncle

wow! there is a whole career awaiting you in china...

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Ramo

I'll be watching this with interest. I'm in the middle of a similar project. I have this mosasaur skull I found, and I'm in the process of carving a replica out of pine. I'll let you know how this goes.

Ramo

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32fordboy

Very, VERY cool.

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32fordboy

For the surface, you can use Magic Sculp. It comes in a variety of colors and is a 2-part epoxy putty. It has a work life of about 45 mins to an hour and can be smoothed with water. When it cures it becomes rock hard and can be sanded, added to, drilled, painted, etc.

If you use epoxy putty, make sure you are familiar with getting your sculpting/detailing done in 45 mins or you'll have a wasted batch. You can do small sections at once using basic clay tools. Or, if you make a latex texture stamp, you can just stamp textures into it.

Paintning will require various methods that, if done right, will look very real.

Magic Sculp should be foam-safe.

Edited by 32fordboy

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LordTrilobite

I'll be watching this with interest. I'm in the middle of a similar project. I have this mosasaur skull I found, and I'm in the process of carving a replica out of pine. I'll let you know how this goes.

Ramo

Your project looks really cool as well. Wood is also a nice material to work with, also probably good for those thin parts of the Mosasaur skull. I chose to make my rhino skull out of isolation foam because it's so rediculously easy to carve. The downside of course is that it's hard to add details.

For the surface, you can use Magic Sculp. It comes in a variety of colors and is a 2-part epoxy putty. It has a work life of about 45 mins to an hour and can be smoothed with water. When it cures it becomes rock hard and can be sanded, added to, drilled, painted, etc.

If you use epoxy putty, make sure you are familiar with getting your sculpting/detailing done in 45 mins or you'll have a wasted batch. You can do small sections at once using basic clay tools. Or, if you make a latex texture stamp, you can just stamp textures into it.

Paintning will require various methods that, if done right, will look very real.

Magic Sculp should be foam-safe.

Hm, I'll look into it. Thanks for the tip.

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Ramo

My mosasaur skull doesn't have any individual piece that is over 3/4 inch wide, so I'm just using pine.

Ramo

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ghost1066

Yep Magic Sculpt is the way to go. I have been using it for years. Have some on the workbench now.

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LordTrilobite

Thanks for the positive comments everyone. I've looked up Magic Sculp. It looks nice. but if I want to get enough to cover the whole rhino skull it could turn out pretty expensive. Not sure what I'm going to do yet.

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32fordboy

Magic Sculpt actually goes a very long way. Paleo Sculp by PaleoBond is essentially the same thing, so you can compare prices. Start with a 5 pound kit and see how far that gets you. I bought the 5 lb kit to restore the rear portion of a rhino jaw (both sides) and had WAY too much left over.

I'm willing to bet one or two 5lb kits will be more than enough if you smooth it down to a thin layer.

Nick

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Indiana

Nice work, that looks great.

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ghost1066

You can thin that stuff down to incredibly thin sheets. I use a rolling pin and add a bit of water to keep it from sticking. Works very well. I use a little water on my hands or tools to slow the cure down a little, too.

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