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. Continue reading
For foam latex, there are many ways you can paint it, and each way has significantly different materials and its important to look at the positive and negatives of each method. I’ll list the ways you can paint it first, then detail the way we painted our suit. We decided to airbrush our body suit, due to the fact that paint brushes are poorly suited to the task, and using sponges would take way too long.
Materials to paint foam latex with:
RMG paint Continue reading
Finally, after you’ve molded your parts, sculpted your pieces, and cast your molds, you can cast them in your material! We used foam latex, so that’s what this tutorial is for.
To bake foam latex, you need an oven that you do not cook food in, that will go as low as 160 degrees Fahrenheit. It must also be able to fit your molds into the oven, which is why we built a huge one, to fit our body mold in there. You also definitely need a scale that measures in grams. Continue reading
So last week, Mario told you all how he put together the skeleton structure of the wings. We were going to add how we finished the wings but we felt like the post was getting a bit long, so here you go!
Once we had the skeleton of the wings taken care of, we took the wing stand that Mario built using some scrap wood and the base that the body sculpture was on outside so that we could have more space to work on the foam. Continue reading
Alice has been diligently updating every week so I’m sure you can see how complex this build truly has been. It was a learning experience at every turn, and during a trip to our local Tap plastic I found they carry a machine wound fiberglass tube in several sizes. We decided to by one and see just how strong it was.
After some testing, we were willing to give an idea that I had running around in my head a try. I had spent some time in my youth backpacking an I knew that if there was any way to make the wings full sized then the weight would have to be carried on Alice’s hips.
We had already looked at a using a corset to help “enhance” Alice’s figure and it would also lend its self nicely to a mount for the wings. Continue reading
Now, one of the things that was the least stressful for me, stone molds. The basics of making a mold (no undercuts, mold line, the dreaded clay wall…) are covered in the fiberglass mold tutorial, so check that out first, I’m just sticking to what makes a good stone mold in this.
As with the fiberglass molds, make sure there is a key in the stone part of the mold, to help line up the mold with the inner piece when you’re casting. Put a layer of clay covered with saran wrap under your sculpture so that the details aren’t ruined by laying on the table, and make sure to mark out your mold line with a sharpie. Continue reading
So I’ve already covered how to make a fiberglass mold, these are just tips about how we went about doing the body mold.
If you are making a body suit, or making a mold of something just as large, then have at LEAST one other person who knows what they’re doing with fiberglass working with you, but try to get more people to help. The more people who are making the mold, the quicker it will be done. Mario and I worked two 17 hour days, only stopping for quick meals, to get the body suit finished.
Make sure to have proper ventilation, and wear gloves and masks. If your suit has a lot of detail, it’s crucial to do a layer of gel coat. We used clear gel coat to help us see any air bubbles. I covered all of this in the previously mentioned post on molds. We had some issues with the gel coat sliding, thin layers are better than thick, trust in the material. It’s better to do two or three layers of thin gel coat, than one thick layer. Make sure to read the directions on the can for multiple coats, because it’s specific on timing.
Oh, another important note, when you clean out the clay from the body form, make sure to put it in a bucket, and measure it so that you know the amount of foam latex you’ll need for the suit. Also, work quickly but also take your time with laying the fiberglass, so that there aren’t any air bubbles, or messiness.
As always, let us know about any questions or concerns. Happy crafting!
If you’re going to work with foam latex, then you will need something to cure or “bake” it in. You can not use an oven you bake food in, because of chemicals put off by the baking process of the foam latex that would make any food cooked in it, toxic. The design that we used is a slightly modified version of one we found online. The key difference is we doubled the dimensions which ended up increasing the volume of the oven by a factor of five!! This may not sound like much but the more air there is in the box, the long your heating will take and more power you will need to maintain the heat.
I would love to tell you have a set of plans that I could link or that I could build another should I need it, but if you have followed the progress of this costume then you know we did a lot of this from intuition and a couple good guesses. Continue reading
Now, the dreads took us a little while to figure out the right material, but we settled on expanding polyurethane foam. The only place we could find it is Silpak, and we had to phone order it, ended up using two gallons. We used the SP 200-4 type, it was the lightest foam. If you live in the Burbank/Los Angeles area though, you should be able to go to their storefront and get the foam there. The dreads were still pretty heavy, after some messing around we finally balanced them out so they wouldn’t be a bother, but that’s a later post.
So, we made, I dunno, maybe 60 dreads. That may have been too many, but I was concerned about bald spots, so I made sure that everything around the side was covered, and that we had enough different sizes in there to look right. Continue reading
We used two different clays for our sculptures, Laguna WED clay (we went through maybe 150 lbs using it to sculpt the body suit, and using it for all the clay walls) and also Chavant Le Beau Touche (for the gloves, feet, cowl and dreads).
Let me just say, I despise sculpting. I was always so stressed to put in every little detail that was in the statue, but I knew it wasn’t possible with the time we had and the skill I had, and it made me so critical. I just didn’t enjoy sculpting at all.
Things that are important to have for sculpting for prosthetics: Continue reading