Queen of Blades tutorial Step Ten: shoes, attaching dreads

In this post I’m going to discuss the little things that didn’t really have enough content for a post in itself. One of these items are the heels of the shoes. The first thing I did for the feet after we cast the shoe covers in foam latex, is trim the excess foam off, and have Mario make the seams disappear- we’ll cover seaming shortly. Then, I glued the covers to the shoe using the same rubber cement we used to make the paint. After that, I grabbed some two part epoxy clay (we used Magic Sculpt) and sculpted out the heels.

Now, the Magic Sculpt didn’t take the rubber cement paint very well, so we had to paint them with acrylic paint.

Next, the cowl. As I’ve said before, I did not sculpt the hairline on the cowl far enough down on the face because I didn’t account for how much it would be pulled back with the weight and volume of the dreads. To attach the dreads, I made sure there were spots all over the cowl to make the dreads look like they were coming out of the cowl. Then I marked them, to help me count them but also color coded them so that I would know what size dread to put in each hole. After that, we colored the scalp part of the cowl so that the dreads would blend in better, we made it kind of a purple color.

Also for the cowl, to make it easier to put on my head and also because we were going to use it more than once, I cut up the back of the neck (it was reinforced with cloth when we cast it in foam latex) and then sew clasps up the cut so that it would be closed easily. To attach the dreads, we put a rounded shaped piece of foam inside the cowl (we used a kid’s foam hat that we cut the excess off from Michael’s, I have a small head so it fit perfectly inside the cowl), cut holes where each dread would come through, then carefully pull each dread through both the cowl hole and the inside foam hole, pulling it in from the outside, if that makes sense.

We started at the front with the smallest ones, and worked our way back. Each hole was not filled, because that would have given too much volume to the head. We put dreads all the way around the edge of the hairline, with several rows going back in the front to give it the right look.

After each dread was through, we had to be really careful to make sure none of them fell out as we turned the cowl over, to look inside it, and glued all the ends of the dreads in with epoxy. We also glued in straps that would help with the weight of the dreads and hold it to my head. This is also why I had to use the face prosthetic, I initially wasn’t going to but with the weight of the dreads, the straps had to be there.

To make sure the dreads stayed back, I glued back one layer at a time using a high strength spray adhesive from 3M.

Now for the seaming: The process is pretty simple, foam latex is a rubber. All rubber will melt and it is one of the only materials in the world that shrinks when heated. Using a wood burning tool and a variable power supply we were able to get a good heat that with a bit of practice would melt the seam line flush to surface of the prosthetic and remove any trace of molding process.

First step is a manual seaming with a set of cuticle scissors to trim the excess flashing off and leave about a 1/16 of an inch of material left.  Some people in the industry suggest removing more material and leaving an indent in the prosthetic, then Cabo-Patching the seam line back flush to surface of the prosthetic.  We found that with good time and practice this wasn’t needed and we preferred to just melt the foam flush to the surface and then move on to painting.

Once you get done heat seaming you will be left with a darkened line around your prosthetic. We sponged over this rubber cement paint to blend it back in to the color of the natural foam latex before painting.

Well folks, that’s it for the Queen of Blades tutorials. If there’s anything we may have missed, or if you need more information on something, please let us know!

2 thoughts on “Queen of Blades tutorial Step Ten: shoes, attaching dreads

  1. I’ve got a question for ya… what is the material you put on the shoes? Where do you find it? I’ve try many think and it always cracks or fells down >< cause the shoes need to moooove o_O

    • We used a material called foam latex, it’s a material they use for special effects prosthetics in movies. It’s soft and flexible, so it doesn’t crack, and it’s glued to the shoe so it doesn’t fall down! The downside is it’s expensive, and needs an oven only for baking foam latex that can go down to a temp of 160 or so to bake it in.

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