Tag Archives: television

Creating a Silicone/Fiberglass Mould

2 Apr


Step one was very similar to step two: once I has bedded in my hand, added the wall and then poured the silicone into the mould I allowed it to set. Once it has set I removed the clay walls and wiped down the silicone.


I then added a gel layer, followed by the two fiberglass layers. We shall talk through these processes in Step Two.100_4701



  • PPE
  • Gel Coat
  • Resin
  • Catalyst
  • Fiberglass strands
  • Small square fiberglass sheets
  • Covered board
  • Clay (to stabilise mould)
  • 2x Paper cups (plastic will melt)
  • 2x Wooden mixing sticks
  • 2x Disposable brushes


  1. Remove hand and clay from inside the Fiberglass/Silicone Negative – use water to wet the clay. You may need to remove the Outer Fiberglass shell to enable the silicone to be peeled away from the hand. Clean out the silicone mould – then sturdy horizontally with clay pieces.
  2. Mix together the gel coat and catalyst, ensuring through mixing. Coat the silicone in this with a disposable brush, ensuring there are no bubbles being trapped in the mould. This should only be a coating, not a full layer. Make sue edges are neat and all areas are covered. Then add fiberglass stands to strengthen this and ensure the fiberglass mat fuses properly.100_4711
  3. We then add the first fiberglass matt layer. After an hour, once it has “gone green” we cut the excess away and apply our second fiberglass matt layer (as second image). Once this has dried, we have our fiberglass positive and we are ready to start sculpting!


Creating a Plastaline Sculpt for Sponged Liquid Latex

31 Mar

Creating a plastiline sculpt for sponging latex layers onto, is quite easy as a huge amount of detail is not needed due to the top layer being what will be on show to the viewer – not the detailed under layer. However, it is important to ensure strong definition to allow the shape of the sculpt to show though. Below is a quick explanation of sculpting onto a plaster cast using plastaline.


  • Plastaline
  • Your Plaster Cast
  • Vaseline & Brush
  • A selection of Sculpting Tools
  • Liquid Latex
  • A Hair Dryer
  • Talcum Powder &  Brush


  1. In order to create the sculpt, I found it was first best to create a smooth and even thin second skin for my hand in the area I would be wanting to create my sculpt – this would enable me to create small, smooth edges with my latex. I did this using plastaline, vaseline and a range of sculpt tools a long with a small paintbrush for the vaseline.
  2. 1080729_10152388398892664_1618850967_nNext, I created my plastaline sculpt, using small pieces of the clay to create shapes as per my designs, blending them into my second skin.
  3. I then vaselined my whole piece, to ensure the following liquid latex layers would not stick to my piece.
  4. Once my sculpt was completed and sealed, I added liquid latex layer by layer – using a hair-dryer in between, on a cool setting so as to not melt my plastaline and alter the sculpt shape.photo 2 (2)photo 1 (2)
  5. Having completed 7 layers of latex, leaving thinner areas around the edges, I peeled away my latex skin, powdering both the surface and underneath so they did not stick to one another.

    This image was taken 2 weeks after being produced.. it has gone hard and darker orange! I'm guessing the latex is deteriorating.


The above image was taken 2 weeks after being produced… it has gone hard and darker orange! I’m guessing the latex is deteriorating. I am shooting my piece this weekend so I will just need to perhaps alter my brief from “aged skinny hand” to “fantasy aged skin hand” unless I can colour correct it slightly.

I tried using this method with cap plastic, as cap plastic blends out much better than latex. This didn’t work – not even after moisture and release sealing my sculpt.

photo 1 (1)

Failed Cap Plastic Experiement

Failed Cap Plastic Experiement

Heres a shot of my ear sculpt so far, that I have been creating using the same method. This piece has been produced to match my foam latex hand for my final SFX piece.

Photo on 2014-04-09 at 13.31 #2

Alginate Casting

11 Mar

Over the past couple of weeks I have been creating a plaster cast of my own hand, in order to then transform it into a fibreglass core, ready for sculpting onto for my final special effects project.



  • Tepid Water
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Alginate
  • Drill with Squirrel attachment
  • Plaster


  1. Mix together the alginate with tepid water until you have a porridge like mixture.
  2. Pour 1/2 of this mixture into the casting receptacle. Then place the body part you wish to cast into the mixtures, in this case. the hand. It is important to remove and bubbles that will be attached to the hand, we need to rub out the areas around and under the nails in particular, rubbing the fingers together to rid ourselves of any bubbles that may cause imperfections.

    Hand in Alginate

    Hand in Alginate

  3. Continue to pour the rest of the Alginate in, until the hand is covered and part of the wrist.Leave a 0.5-1″ gap at the top of the receptacle.
  4. Leave the mixture for about 5minutes until it has gone off, then slowly wiggle your hand and finders until the suction is released. Be careful not to carry out this process too quickly as the suction strength may cause the interior to fold in on itself.image62
  5. Mix up the plaster in a ventilated area, until the consistency of double cream. Pour a thin layer into the mould and rotate around the mould, ensuring the plaster coasts every orifice, then pour this plaster out again.
  6. Pour in another layer of plaster, again coating the whole mould, allow to settle in the bottom, tapping gently to release any bubbles. repeat this process until the mould is filled to the brim and then leave for two hours to set.image63
  7. Once the plaster has set, remove the receptacle and use a blunt wooden tool to carve away the alginate, ensuring the plaster mould is not touched.





This method is particularly good as it picks up fine details very easily and efficiently. For information on the next step of this process, please look out for my “creating a fiberglass core” post.

Eyebrow Blocking

29 Jan

Today as a class, in broken down groups we demonstrated to each other different ways of blocking out eyebrows; discussing the process, products and uses within the professional industry. The purpose of this task was not only to learn the obvious, but stretch our experimental abilities; questioning what was being asked of us and trying to formulate specific ways in which brow blocking worked for us personally.

I was in a group with Leanne and Emily, we split the task between us, sharing research, display and practical task. Prior to the presentation day, we did a trail run.

Despite our mistake in the size and cut of our eyebrow piece, we concluded that our process was the most successful in terms of visibility when done correctly. However, cap plastic application may not be required if dealing with a theatre production, as the detail will not be visible from far away. In reality, if dealing with a HD production, the actor would need to shave off or wax their eyebrows; as such small details would easily be recognised on the screen, rending coverup redundant.

Cap Plastic Application

Cap Plastic Application

Below you can see examples of the other groups’ work.


Soap Application


Wax Application


Pritt Stick Application


Pro-BOndo Application

2014 – Y2S2

28 Jan

It seems not so long ago that I was filled with excitement to start this course, now it is almost over!

So, as previously mentioned, this semester I will be focussing on technical processes in the special effects workshop, whilst still paying attention to design and artistic development.

During the first two weeks, we will be doing casts of hands and ears, as well as recapping (excuse the pun…) our wig cap and eyebrow blocking processes. Today we started with the ears…



  • Tepid Water
  • 2x Mixing Bowls
  • Alginate
  • Blue Roll/Thick Tissue
  • Cotton Wool
  • Thin Plastic Sheeting
  • Vaseline
  • 2x Strong Card Cups
  • Clay
  • Modrock
  • Crystacal Plaster
  • Your model, and a helper!


  1. Follow PPE! Get your overalls on and ensure your model is also covered to protect their skin and clothing.

    I need overalls of my own.

    I need overalls of my own.

  2. Lay the model down on their side comfortably, with support for their head/neck, ensuring the ear is level. Now Vaseline the hair away form the area, keeping it smooth.
  3. Next, cut a 2-3″ slit in the thin plastic, positioning over the model’s ear, again making sure all materials around the ear as as flat and smooth as possible.
  4. Insert cotton wool into the ear – not too deep, just enough to ensure no alginate mixture is able to get inside the body.unnamed
  5. Place the larger half of the up over the ear (with both ends exposed, not covered). Place the blue roll around the  base of the cup to ensure that the Alginate does not seep onto the face and body and out of the protective wall.
  6. Mix half a cup of tepid water with Alginate, until a porridge like mixture is formed. You have 2-3min until this mixture goes off so you need to work quickly. The hotter the water temperature, the quicker the mix will go off. Use your hands to combine the mixture and squeeze out any lumps. Now pour this into the cup slowly, aiming behind the model’s ear.DO NOT pour excess down the sink – it will block it! Instead, wait for it to dry and peel it out of your mixing bowl and place in the bin.unnamed-2
  7. Once the Alginate has set, carefully release the suction by working around the base of the cup (removing the supportive blue roll), then working with the direction of the ear, peel away the mould case. Make sure to leave the cotton wool attached to the Alginate. Remove the plastic sheeting if you are sure it will not effect the mould shape.unnamed-4
  8. Now, position the second cup over the top of the first, again leaving both ends exposed. Create a clay/modrock bandage to attatch the cups together.unnamed-1unnamed-3
  9. Create your plaster, working in a ventilated area and adding the plaster to half a cup of tepid water slowly until islands are made on the surface.  Once all dissolved, mis with the hands to ensure consistency is even and of a double cream thickness. Now pour this into the flood walls, ensuring to tap out the bubbles. Again do not pour any excess down the drain, wait for the plaster to sediment and pour away the water, wiping out as much of the plaster as possible and placing in the bin. Now we wait!!

    please excuse the bad pictures!

    Shona's Ear Cast

    Shona’s Ear Cast

Tomorrow we shall be working on eyebrow blocking. Stay tuned!

Ah! PS. I also received this amazing book in the post, to help me with my creature design!



Media Postiche: Task 1 Assessment

19 Nov

Today I did my Task 1 Media Postiche Assessment on John Godbolt.

My Victorian Style Player Shot.

My Victorian Style Player Shot.

The brief I had created was to produce a character look for TV, being filmed in 2003. The reason I chose to change my filming era was due to the fact that post 2005, HD netting would have been used. Pre 2005, HD TV was not used widespread and therefore more dated and thicker forms of net mesh would be used, such as the one available to us for use.

I decided to base my character on cricket player Billy Murdoch (though not the total look). As the TV production was to be set in 1981, Billy would have been around 37. 1981 Falls into the Victoria era, therefore the look was to also be of this period; meaning I needed to consider both historical fashion and ageing makeup in my final piece, as my model is currently 28 and of 21st Century appearance. In addition to this, environment and social influences would also need to be considered.


(Left Image: Van Loop Photography)

CREATING OLD AGED SKIN (28 aged to 37)

  1. Apply a light foundation. I used a wax palette from P.A.M. as its can be blended out to appear almost invisible, yet it still balances the subtle colour change. I used a slight green tint to colour correct undesirable red areas. I then used an HD makeup forever powder across the T-zone and cheekbones to protect against shine.
  2. Next, I used my Skin Illustrator palette to break up the youthful looking skin and create a more worn and broken down look. I added blue and green pigmentation across the skin to dull it, paying particular attention to the eyes, nose and under the cheekbones.

  3. Thirdly, I used my skin illustrator to emphasise John’s natural wrinkles, asking the model the scrunch his face so I could see where those would be. I used a blue/red/brown mix, blending out and then highlighting with the lightest colour in my palette
  4. I then added a red/orange pigmentation across the model’s upper cheeks and nose, to give the impression of a light sun-kiss, as his character regularly played cricket outdoors in the sun.
  5. I then added the pre-made moustache with spirit gum. I don’t think spirit gum works very well for this detailed work due to its colour and gloopy texture, in future I would use Pros-aide. I then styled the piece out, though I found this very hard with it being Yak hair, not human hair. I am not very happy with the overall finish, one side is thicker than the other and they are not evenly placed or styled – this need much practice but at least I got the colouring correct.
    Final Makeup

    Final Makeup
    Click for a larger Image!

    My next assessment will be Tuesday, with the beautiful Natasha modelling and amazing Scott Salt photographing her. Stay tuned!

Sue Day: Silicone Painting & Hair Punching Lesson

12 Nov

Today we had a session with Sue Day, who works at Madame Tussaud’s. We have been working with Martin from Madame Tussaud’s for a few weeks now on life casting, however Sue came in to teach us about painting silicone and hair punching.

Using a ready made silicone piece (originally of David Beckham), we practiced colouring. We used a silicone/turps/oil paint mix, creating the consistency and colours ourselves.

I wanted to work with a “flesh” coloured piece so I could create a more realistic look, but instead was given a opaque red-pink piece. I instantly gave it  green wash to try combat the horrible colour; though not knowing yet how to use the paint, I did leave a few green dots – oops. Using the flicking technique with a stiff brush and light washes with a small brush, I built up layers of colour to create a human skin pattern, paying attention to where certain colours would lie in the skin, such as more blues for the thin eye skins, where veins would show through.

Colour Build

Colour Build

She then showed us how to punch hair, the actual punching is pretty easy.

All you need is a normal needle; cut the end off the eye so you have a fork-like implement, then mount this in a needle grip handle (the same one used for a knotting needle). Next push the hair into the silicone, the key is the angle and direction. You need to study how the hair grows out of the skin to ensure a realistic growth pattern,  keeping the needle very horizontal if you want the hair to lie on the skin surface, vertical if pushing away from the body.

We were meant to use curled hair (curled by wrapping straight hair around a chopstick and boiling), however I wanted to create old man eyebrows, which often are quite messy and stick out a lot, so I used straight human hair.

Initial piece, next to the finished piece.

Initial piece, next to the finished piece.

Next stage is colouring and punching our own silicone piece… stay tuned!