Anyone know of a strong, lightweight modeling material?

I am an avid airsoft player and I have always been intrigued and interested in the fancy masks they sell. But honestly, I see no need to pay $89.95 for one with a design if a simple one can be less than $20. I plan on buying one of the cheap masks and sculpting on it the design and pattern I want. The only thing is, I can't think of a good material to sculpt with. Water-based clays dry fairly brittle, and plaster gets heavy.... SO INSTRUCTABLES COMMUNITY, what is a lightweight, yet strong material that i could sculpt with and NOT have shatter or break when shot with airsoft bb's?

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mitch3215 years ago

I think that sculpey would work as said above, ive been thinking of the same idea by making my own airsoft mask.. ive always preferred to design and make my own things and be different and as i am just starting airsoft i think i am going to attempt to make this:

As a full face mask with the camo etc, shall tell you how it goes and if the sculpey holds up :)
Model Magic by crayola is really easy to find and it's a foam rubber medium as well. It's flexable, but BBs might chip it. It is VERY lightweight and cheap. It also comes in colors.
Kiteman6 years ago
I would buy a simple, safe mask, and modify it by adding details made of foam rubber, covered with a flexible fabric in the colours or textures you desire (be it camouflage or gold lamé...).

The mask underneath will do the protecting, and the detailing flexes under the impact of pellets.

generaljuan (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
I am pretty new to this whole sculpting, and i guess this kinda falls into costuming thing too... what exactly is foam rubber and how do you sculpt it?

@frollard does sculpey flex after it bakes or will it shatter?
Like bath sponges, and you'd "sculpt" it with scissors.

rickharris6 years ago
I guess the commercial masks are expensive because they have to provide a measure of guaranteed protection. Your self made mask should do the same.

The materials should withstand any anticipated maximum force + a measure for safe working. This should be your first requirement will the materials stand a point blank (worst case) shot from the most powerful airsoft gun around.

After that you can think iof making it pretty - IF safety isn't a requirement make it out of paper.
kelseymh6 years ago
What Steve said -- Bondo.
generaljuan (author)  kelseymh6 years ago
I am slightly worried about the weight of bondo though.. from what I read, it is fairly heavy when globbed on...
I guess it depends on how heavy "fairly" is. You might also try Sugru, or Sculpy (as Frollard suggested), or even papier mache over carved foam.
frollard6 years ago
I would recommend sculpy bake clay/plastic

It's fairly light, stronger than me...and comes in colours/can be painted.
lightweight car body filler.