Foam Latex bake oven

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

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Queen of Blades tutorial Step Five: The Dreads

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

Queen of Blades Tutorial Step Four: Sculpting your prosthetics.

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

Queen of Blades tutorial Step Three: Resin arms with removable fingers

Now that you’ve made a mold of the stone hands (and if you’re having issues getting the stone out of the fiberglass mold, because we did, then we ended up having to chisel it out, and shatter and break the stone out of the hand) you can finally cast some arms with fingers that come out. If you’ve forgotten, the reason we need these for gloves is so that when we take the glove off of the arm after we’ve cast it in foam latex, the glove won’t tear with you taking it off, since the fingers will come off and you can then take the fingers out. If you used a stone hand to bake these in, then you have a very real possibility (I almost want to say 100%, but there may be someone out there who got lucky) that the fingers will snap when you  take the glove off, or even sooner, when you make the fiberglass mold of the glove sculpture.  Continue reading

How to: make a fiberglass mold! (also: clay walls and a quick tutorial for silicone molds!)

This tutorial is to go along with my Queen of Blades tutorial series, but can be used for any fiberglass molds! It also covers silicone molds really quickly, since you can use the same clay wall to make a silicone mold. I’ll cover stone molds next!

Continue reading

Queen of Blades tutorial step two: Smaller lifecastings

Okay. Now on to the smaller castings of your body parts. We purchased 15 lbs of alginate from Monster Club, we got a lot of our materials from them and Frends. We may have used 12, maybe, but it’s best to have extra, and to make sure that in case you mess up (we did the first time, you have to learn how to feel when the alginate is about to set up). We also purchased 4 boxes of 12 rolls of bandages, and we almost used all of them up. We suggest prepping your area before you begin, of course. We put a cardboard box on our table to protect it, but you could use a cheap plastic tablecloth instead. Have at least two people other than the person getting cast to help, one to wet the bandages and help apply alginate, and one to apply and mix alginate and apply bandages. Also, make sure you cover the floor you’re working on, plaster is pretty hard to clean up if it gets into carpet or tile, you have to scrape it off and I know you don’t want to ruin your floors! Continue reading

Queen of Blades tutorial Step One: The full body cast.

The absolute first thing you need to do after research and gathering your materials is make your body cast. If you are lucky enough to have the exact dimensions of a mannequin, you’re welcome to use that as what you sculpt on for your body, but you need to make sure that mannequin has the exact height, weight, and measurements of your body. A few inches off, and the body suit will not fit you correctly. Also make sure that it’s not going to melt if you stick in into a 100 something degree oven.

We did my body cast before we did everything else, because if we couldn’t do the body cast, then we couldn’t do the costume. I went by this tutorial  and I suggest you do the same, but here are some things you need to keep in mind:

Cover the floor where you are doing this. I used two tarps from the hardware store. Continue reading