The Oscar statue, otherwise known as the Academy Award of Merit, is the prize presented to film industry winners at the Academy Awards each year. Since the real awards cannot be bought and fake copies are not legal to sell, it is difficult to acquire prop Oscars for use in amateur plays, costuming and other hobby pursuits. The best solution is to create your own prop Oscar statue, using classic prop making techniques, so that you can have complete control over the look and size of the statue without the hassle. To make your own Oscar statue from plaster and fiberglass, complete the following instructions.
Things You'll Need
- Sculpey clay sculpture
- Mold release agent
- Polyvinyl alcohol
- Modeling clay
- Protected, well-ventilated working area
- Vapor filtration mask
- Burlap strips
- Latex gloves
- Laminating resin
- Fiberglass cloth
- Bowl and stirring tool
- Masking tape
- Particle mask
- Files and sandpaper
- Sealing spray
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Create a clay sculpture of the Oscar statue out of Sculpey, using photo references from the Academy Awards website or other images on the Internet. You must make your own sculpture to have a true representation of the Oscar, as the copies sold in stores are deliberately inaccurate. Bake the Sculpey in the oven, as directed on the package, then sand down the surface with sandpaper.
Divide the Oscar statue sculpture in half lengthwise by building up a wall of modeling clay along the middle. Coat the whole sculpture with a mold release agent.
Create a small batch of plaster by mixing gypsum into water, until you have a soupy consistency. Paint an impression coat of plaster from this batch onto one side of the sculpture, all the way up to the modeling clay line, then let the coat cure for six hours. When the coat is fully cured, mix up another batch of plaster and apply a second coat. Over this wet coat, apply strips of burlap, then another coat of plaster. Let this coat dry to the touch, then continue adding layers of plaster and burlap until you have a thick, sturdy mold side. Turn the sculpture over and repeat the plaster process on the opposite side. Let the entire mold cure for six hours.
Remove both mold halves from the sculpture, and clean the insides free of all clay. Paint the inside of each mold half and let it dry, then coat both halves with polyvinyl alcohol.
Create a small batch of resin by mixing the resin with the catalyst, according to the directions on your particular product. Paint an impression coat of resin on the inside of each mold half, then let it set completely. Over the impression coat, lay strips of fiberglass cloth, covering all areas, and paint over it with another coat of resin. Continue adding layers of fiberglass and resin until you have the desired statue thickness, then let the fiberglass cure for a few hours. While the fiberglass is still flexible, pull it out of the mold halves, then place it back in to continue curing.
Remove the fiberglass from the mold halves when it is completely hard. Cut the excess fiberglass away from the edges, then fit the halves together and tape them in place. Along the seam, lay down a few pieces of fiberglass cloth and paint over them with resin. Remove the tape as you work. Let the fiberglass cure completely.
File and sand away the raised fiberglass along the seam, so that it fits in with the rest of the statue. Paint the fiberglass Oscar statue gold, like the real Oscar, then coat it with a sealing spray like Krylon Crystal Clear.