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Prosthetic Makeup
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Clinically Insane
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May 26, 2014, 04:17 PM
 
Anybody interested in this, or actually do it? I need to whip up something along the lines of this



Just the Cyborg part. It's for a mechanical, zombie, Catholic school girl.

Anyone interested in giving me an exact measurement of how far out over my skis I am on this one?
( Last edited by subego; May 26, 2014 at 04:30 PM. )
     
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May 26, 2014, 05:19 PM
 
Not super difficult. The hard part and BEST part is making a mold of your face. If you can find qualified folks to help you, this is the best start. even if you don't wanna, shave our head for the adventure. The sculpt can be made of clay, and a casting in rubber can be made so it can be a little flexible. You can paint it, ad LED's and batteries and such too. The molds would be 2-3 part molds and depending on the appliance system you chose either baked in an oven or let set to set up. Replica Prop Forum will have lots more resources for this. Good thing I'm not "Hard Core".
     
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May 26, 2014, 06:13 PM
 
I was thinking it's not going to be that hard. I'm a halfway decent sculptor, but I'm rusty, and super smooth surfaces weren't my strong suit, however I'm pretty sure I can get back into the swing if I apply myself for a few days.

Though I'm stoked to do a face mold at some point, one of the advantages of this design is I'm pretty sure I can get away without one. Since it's supposed to look like it's bolted on top of her face, a "seam" between the build and the rest of her face is not only acceptable, but desired.

I have these flimsy "Phantom of the Opera" masks which I'm pretty sure I can both do the sculpt on and then attach the finished product to. It's sort of a "universal half-face substrate".

Another advantage is I already have the eyepiece by way of a mirrored, Speedo swim goggle. I think (but please point it out if I'm wrong), I can make a single, one-piece mold for the rest.

Never having done any mold making, the thing which strikes me as most difficult is applying the mold release in a way which isn't altering your sculpt.
( Last edited by subego; May 26, 2014 at 06:39 PM. )
     
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May 26, 2014, 06:28 PM
 
The universal half-face substrate:



This one is attached to a smaller, but more rigid half-face mask to get the curve right. As is, the flimsy masks are flatter than they should be.

Another advantage to this design is I only really need the front part of the mask to form a tight seal against her skin. If the back flares out, I can build something to make it look like vents or whatever. If I put a foam offset in the cheek, it tilts the leading edge of the mask into her face.

At least in theory. Things are contingent on how it's going to get mounted to the head. It's for a live show, so there needs to be zero chance of a wardrobe malfunction. Conceptually, this shouldn't have any kind of strap. It's supposed to be bolted on her head. I'd want any strap not to look like a strap. Whether I can use adhesive is going to be dependent on the final weight of the build.
( Last edited by subego; May 26, 2014 at 07:06 PM. )
     
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May 26, 2014, 09:20 PM
 
I'd just sculpt over the mask you have there, make a one piece silicone/plaster mould and cast it with PU resin. Then you can sand any rough sculpting smooth after you've cast it.
     
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May 27, 2014, 10:17 AM
 
That sounds like a good plan! The only thing I'm not sure about is if resin will hit the sweet-spot of low-weight and sturdiness.

Obviously, the resin is sturdy, but I'm worried it may be too rigid, and be susceptible to fractures, unless there's some form of skeleton inside. Which is adding weight.

But being able to file the finished product would be super-handy.
( Last edited by subego; May 27, 2014 at 12:02 PM. )
     
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May 27, 2014, 12:10 PM
 
We were originally going to hire someone, but they're suffering burnout and wouldn't take the job. When asked for suggestions as to other designers. His response was "if you want sturdy and looks good, I'm the only game in town".

My master plan here is to shove those words so far down his throat they hit daylight on the other side.

To be clear, this isn't because I'm that great, it's because he isn't.
     
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May 27, 2014, 12:17 PM
 
The offending piece:



I can so take this guy.

I know my limits though. We need a robogauntlet for the same costume. I had already started preliminary work until I saw a picture of some (different) guy's work. I immediately stood down and said "hire him". No question that guy was better. Unfortunately, he's too busy to provide one in a timely manner, and a non-rush job costs over a grand.

I've ultimately been assigned that job as well, but have mentioned it could bite us in the ass.
     
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May 27, 2014, 12:39 PM
 
I should throw in there, the original plan was to go for something similar to that mask above, which I wasn't planning on doing any molds for. The Lincoln was just for inspiration. My key building component was going to be this resin impregnated, carbon fiber tape shit, which is bulletproof, and can be formed into the arc-like shapes I needed. Cures too fast, but that's not a deal breaker, it just means more waste.

The only issue at that point was the eyepiece, which for a live performance means ideally, the performer can blink without discomfort, even if they can't see out of it.

My prototype used that steampunk stalwart: the welding goggle. It was agreed that was too large, so I went the next step down in size.

The plan was to attach something "lens-like" to the front of the goggle. Once the director saw the goggle, he was "I actually like this as is".

That gave us two choices. Have the goggle be contrast with the steampunk, or dump the steampunk and go for the full Lincoln. A process I determined would need castings, or a machine shop.

So, that's how I end up challenging someone to a duel with a weapon I've never picked up before.
( Last edited by subego; May 27, 2014 at 01:19 PM. )
     
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May 27, 2014, 12:48 PM
 
Here's the "prototype" and one of the swim goggles below it.



This wasn't meant to be anything remotely like a finished product. It was more of an "audition" for the director, and for myself as well really. The idea was: this is what I can make in two days of work with the shit I have on hand, extrapolate out more time and more materials.
     
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May 27, 2014, 01:17 PM
 
don't have much to add for technique, but the swim goggle would have a less borg-like appearance, and possibly be more unique. However, it would require the rest of the mask to also be less borg. Quasi Egyptian?
     
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May 27, 2014, 01:23 PM
 
We're thinking similar to what's on the Lincoln tattoo, which I'd call heavy metal album cover meets chrome Harley.


I guess that's redundant.
     
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May 27, 2014, 02:09 PM
 
Can anyone think of a good reason not to use real cap nuts and the like on the sculpt?
     
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May 27, 2014, 07:49 PM
 
I use PU resin quite a bit, and it's tough stuff. A cast that's anything over 3mm thick won't break easily.

Re: Nuts. You can use anything you find to make the sculpt (nuts, screws, computer parts, etc). In fact it's easier to find interesting shapes than to make them IMO. Keep in mind that you have to be able to pull it out of the silicone mould, so try to avoid underside faces becoming too entrapped.

How long have you got to make it?

That goggle lens looks quite sci-fi.
     
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May 28, 2014, 12:14 AM
 
Thank you much for the advice! I'm going to use it!

The first performance is in a month, so I've got some wiggle room at the moment, but with contingency time for multiple failures, my instincts tell me I'll be coming in hot.

I armed myself with a pound of plastilina today, but was stymied by what I would use as a form to mount the UFS on.

Drag Queen shop to the rescue!



Ain't she a beaut?


Despite her looking more human than your typical wig display, I still think I'm going to need to get my hands on some calipers and measure the performer's head. Then I can build this out with plastilina to at least appoximate the size of her head.

Sorta like Gorky Park.
     
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May 29, 2014, 03:10 PM
 
You can mold the part right to the side of the wig stand/head using some of ACE blue clay. Then use latex to make a mold of the whole thing. Cast the silicone part into the latex mold, remembering to use lots of mold release. Paint the silicone part with lacquer based paints airbrushed on. now you have a flexible appliance part, a mold to make others, and the experience to try even more advanced stuff. the Replica Prop Forum has a whole area for make-up effects. REALLY worth the time to join. I've been reading the AT-AT thread(studio scale Imperial Walker armature construction etc, and even more astonishing is this guys studio scale Jawa Sandcrawler with 1800 + parts JUST in the never seen engine area!
     
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May 29, 2014, 09:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
You can mold the part right to the side of the wig stand/head using some of ACE blue clay. Then use latex to make a mold of the whole thing. Cast the silicone part into the latex mold, remembering to use lots of mold release. Paint the silicone part with lacquer based paints airbrushed on. now you have a flexible appliance part, a mold to make others, and the experience to try even more advanced stuff. the Replica Prop Forum has a whole area for make-up effects. REALLY worth the time to join. I've been reading the AT-AT thread(studio scale Imperial Walker armature construction etc, and even more astonishing is this guys studio scale Jawa Sandcrawler with 1800 + parts JUST in the never seen engine area!
Some of those RPF folks are insane.

I think you may have your latex and silicone bass-ackwards. Silicone mould + latex cast. You won't get paint to stick to silicone. I'd use hard resin, but that's what I do. No experience here with latex. Is it easy?

As I sit here and type, I've got silicone moulds to my right and behind me, as well as a box of 'em in the back room and a few shelves of them in a rack outside. Silicone everywhere! It's kinda taking over.





ps: Build up over the eye to give it a little clearance.
     
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May 29, 2014, 10:07 PM
 
Edit: this was originally directed at BadKosh, but I'd love your opinions as well!

What's your take on the mold release altering things? I'm concerned about details getting filled up with the release.

I originally discounted the idea of sculpting it right on the wig stand, but since you mentioned it, I want to be sure I'm giving the idea a fair shot. The issue which concerns me (in my head) is the stand is smaller than a real head by a problematic margin. If I used the head straight, the finished product would be too concave to wrap around her face properly. This is why my next step is going to be building up the wig stand to kinda-sorta make it the right size. I could then build directly off of that, but I'm worried I'll lose track of where the built-up head ends and the mask begins. If I use the UFS, I can use that as the "lines" in the coloring book, as it were.

I'll definitely check out the Replica Prop Forum, so thank you for that and your other advice!
     
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May 29, 2014, 10:22 PM
 
Personally, I'd use the mask form you have above to build upon. Have the wearer try the mask first to see how it fits and where you could possibly customise it. Any side gaps you could fill with black foam.

Mould release is a thin film from an aerosol can (at least, mine is) so you won't lose any detail. In fact if it's a one piece mould*, you don't need release - it's generally used to stop silicone sticking to itself when you make two-part moulds.



*If you're using silicone and resin. Dunno about latex.
     
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May 30, 2014, 02:07 AM
 
I was playing around with the UFS, and I may be a little screwed.

Firstly, I've convinced myself building out the wig stand is a fruitless endeavor. It's just too small compared to an adult human. The template you see drawn above was done to a human face, and is supposed to end at about where her lips start. On the wig head, that line ends up below the chin.

I probably could probably use my wily charms and get her to let me do a face mold, but I'd be using up more than one bullet to get there. Don't think it's worth it.

I can not bend the UFS, and use a flexible casting material. I'm leaning away from that because what I'm modeling isn't supposed to be flexible.

My one potential saving grace is if you slide the trimmed UFS piece back towards your ear, and down a bit, it more or less forms a seal. The big questions, for which I get answers on Sunday, are:

1) Have I cut the UFS to small for the director's tastes, especially since I don't want the whole design to go up to the edge, just parts of it?
2) Does sliding it back mean you can't see enough when viewed head-on?
3) Will something which fits just right on my big head fit just right on a girly head?

An added pain in my ass is I only have one unmolested UFS left (the template in the pic from above), and the place I got them from weren't sure if they can get more.
     
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May 30, 2014, 02:27 AM
 
You could mould and make another one.
     
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May 30, 2014, 11:04 AM
 
Faceache nailed it. The mold release agent should be dry and very thin over the mold. Latex shrinks and gets harder over time. Some of the new casting materials will be flexible, and even 7-of-9's prosthetics were flexible.
     
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May 30, 2014, 11:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Face Ache View Post
You could mould and make another one.
My thought process even went steps beyond that.

What if I put the UFS on her face, and then cover it in clay to keep it's shape...

And then make a cast of her face from it... which I then attach the UFS too!
     
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May 30, 2014, 06:59 PM
 
Played around with the mask on a female of the species, and I think it's not going to fit the way I want it to.

I'm getting closer and closer to having to punt. Right now I'm thinking moldable wire mesh as a quick and dirty mold of her face, and putting the UFS inside to get the curve. Fill the UFS with clay, take away the wire mold.

If I keep the UFS stuck to the clay I filled it with, that should be close to the proper curve. I'm imagining too tight of a curve to be better than too loose.
     
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May 30, 2014, 07:47 PM
 
To bodge it (and I'm pulling this completely out of my arse) you could maybe lay some cling film over the relevant part of her face, and drape a plaster of paris soaked piece of hessian over it for ten minutes until it hardens.

The trick would be to look like you know what you're doing.

And don't get it in her hair.
     
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May 30, 2014, 09:32 PM
 
That's a pretty badass idea...
     
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May 30, 2014, 09:36 PM
 
That is actually how we made face molds for a school project, when I was a kid. At least with this half-face mold, you won't have to shove straws up her nose so she can breath while the thing dries. I also recall vaseline being under the cling wrap. It was a sticky mess. Get a swim cap for the hair.
     
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May 31, 2014, 08:10 AM
 
I've been thinking of alternate construction materials for your project and 1/8" - 3/32" thick dense sponge comes to mind. I've seen it at Michaels I think. I think its used for the bottoms of large bowls, lamps, sculptures and such to protect the surface it sits on. You can shape it with xacto's and Dremel tools and paint it with latex paints. You can glue layers over top with silicone bath caulk to keep it flexible.
     
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May 31, 2014, 08:37 PM
 
Here's the armature wire mesh crap. Too quick and dirty?



It's certainly not horrible.




[WTF is up with imgur today?]
     
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May 31, 2014, 10:23 PM
 
Ha! I think I've got it!



If I crumple up the edge where I want the seal to be, that part stays rigid enough to hold once I pull it away from the face. I don't necessarily have the cleanest mold of the face, but the curve defined by the edge is pretty friggin spot-on.
     
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May 31, 2014, 10:27 PM
 
Next step I'm thinking would be a light brushing of resin so it holds its shape for use as a mold (for plastilina castings I can sculpt on).

I'm ditching the UFS for the moment.


Edit: something I can bake to harden would be better for the castings, I reckon.
( Last edited by subego; May 31, 2014 at 10:43 PM. )
     
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Jun 1, 2014, 11:00 AM
 
Sculpey? It's a bake-able polymer clay that is relatively light (if you make it thin enough). On the other hand, if you can get a decently solid positive mold, this looks like a job for vacuforming. Vacuformed polystyrene is VERY light, and rigid enough to serve as the "metal" base for the cyber-parts.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jun 1, 2014, 12:02 PM
 
One of my first ideas was vacuum form. It's close to a perfect candidate for it. Getting my hands on a table is the problem. I'd even build one, but I'm worried about space and time constraints.


I've also thought more than once "you know how you kept telling yourself not to get a MakerBot because you don't really need it... yeah, you're an idiot".
     
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Jun 1, 2014, 04:49 PM
 
Oh... Sculpey sounds like a good call. That and plastilina were standard issue back when I was taking 3D animation classes.
     
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Jun 1, 2014, 05:53 PM
 
T minus two hours until making the mold out of mesh.

Luckily, experimenting on myself, I had a "worst case scenario", which was a little piece of broken wire poking me in the eyelid. About a half-hour ago I came up with the plan of staying loose around her eyeball region in the beginning, and then putting in a piece of eyelid shaped gaffer tape as a pad.

Then, I'm going to let her do the pressing into the eye.

I also learned pressing hard on your eye can knock it out of focus a bit, which kinda scares the shit out of you. I also also learned that that goes away.


I'd feel more comfy if I let her wear the goggle, but the mesh is too coarse to fit in the crevice between the goggle and her eyebrow.
     
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Jun 1, 2014, 06:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Luckily, experimenting on myself, I had a "worst case scenario", which was a little piece of broken wire poking me in the eyelid. About a half-hour ago I came up with the plan of staying loose around her eyeball region in the beginning, and then putting in a piece of eyelid shaped gaffer tape as a pad.
Dunno if gaffer tape will, uh, cut it. I'd cut the handle off a spoon and put the bowl piece over her eye. Save you accidentally blinding someone. lol.

I think your mesh is going to warp.
     
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Jun 1, 2014, 06:36 PM
 
The resin will warp it?
     
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Jun 1, 2014, 06:53 PM
 
As for the eye. I took your message to heart. I'll just use the goggle and lump it.
     
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Jun 1, 2014, 07:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The resin will warp it?
You might accidentally bend it as you work on it.

I think plaster would have been the way to go, but then the art of bodging it all about making it up as you go along. You might have great success with the mesh.
     
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Jun 1, 2014, 08:01 PM
 
Job's done!

No photos yet. I had to leave right afterwards, and it's delicate enough I'm going to want the car.

Not too delicate though. I very gently tried to give it some flex, and it was resisting.

At the least, it's not a bad job for what can be accomplished in a 15 minute window without slimy shit.
     
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Jun 2, 2014, 12:56 PM
 
Chomping at the bit to get at it, but have to wait until tonight.

I think my best bet is to harden it, and make a cast as planned, then use that cast as a quick and dirty reverse mold, make a cast (using whatever) and see what kind of seal I get on her real face.

I think the forehead will work well, I basically got a great mold of the top of her skull, where there wasn't much skin in the way. Below her eye and over her cheek is a little more worrisome. I should have started with that. By the time I got to it, the mesh had bunched up around there and was too stiff to work properly.
     
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Jun 2, 2014, 09:28 PM
 
Picked up an 8 pound block of Sculpey, and some PU resin. As much as I want to play with the real mold, I figure I should try this out on a dummy mold before I trash the real one.

It's supposed to be my day off, but I suck at days off.
     
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Jun 2, 2014, 09:49 PM
 
Oooh... loves me some two-part liquid epoxy type stuff.
     
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Jun 2, 2014, 10:03 PM
 
Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?



Now?
     
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Jun 2, 2014, 10:33 PM
 
Thinking about this more, I've come to two conclusions.

1) There probably wasn't much point to doing this test with the resin. It's not like I have a better idea if it doesn't work.

2) Assuming the resin works, I'm not worried about flex before it gets hardened. In fact, I'm getting more and more worried about the opposite. It was just too stiff a material to get a good mold around the squishy bits of a petite, girly face. No question I would have gotten a more accurate mold from the plaster family.

My only hope goes back to wanting the "bolted on" look rather than the normal prosthetic look. The choke point right now is my reverse-mold test of what I can cast from the hardened mesh mold.


Any ideas what I should use to cast from the reverse-mold? The PU resin seems to drippy to paint on.
     
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Jun 2, 2014, 10:44 PM
 
It's probably not the worst thing I did the test. Gave me a chance to work with the material a little, and I'll be able to stress-test it until it fails.
     
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Jun 3, 2014, 12:09 AM
 
PU resin isn't for painting onto things - it's for pouring casts.

If you want to just block the holes in the mesh, how about papier-mâché?
     
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Jun 3, 2014, 12:24 AM
 
If it isn't for that, then what did I just do? I think I may have invented something!

I did ask what they recommended for it at the art supply store and didn't have any ideas. I'm not trying to block the holes, I'm trying to harden it so it won't flex.
     
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Jun 3, 2014, 12:35 AM
 
But yeah, you're right. I don't think this is going to work. Too thin a coating.
     
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Jun 3, 2014, 01:33 PM
 
Looking like if I want to go the paint-on hardening route, I should go to the hardware store instead of the art supply store, and check out what Bondo has to offer.
     
 
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