Face Casting Part 3 – Sculpting and Casting a Silicone Prosthetic

Hi guys! If you missed the previous posts and are interested in looking at the process from start to finish just click the following links!
Part 1 of the tutorial https://kathrenelizabethmakeup.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/face-casting/
Part 2 of the tutorial:  https://kathrenelizabethmakeup.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/face-casting-part-2/

ImageSculpt Inspiration:
I really had no idea what I wanted to sculpt at first so to help inspire my sculpt I looked at several different sources in the hopes of finalising my ideas. I first started looking at some of my favourite make-up such as Greg Nicoteros’ zombies from the popular series ‘The Walking Dead’. I then looked at the make-up from the films ‘The Decent’ and of course ‘The Lord Of The Rings’. Although these make-ups are very different I think they could motivate me to experiment with different colours, textures and most of all help me think of ways in which I could distort the facial features to create something quite scary.
My final sources of research played the largest part of my design. With it being almost Halloween there are several classic images popping up all over the internet such as the classic Frankenstein make-ups from the film ‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ (1994). I have always been a huge horror movie fan and this is one of my favourites to watch around Halloween! I have also been inspired by the new make-up range by MAC and Rick Baker which has a ‘Frankenstein’s bride’ Make-up as an advertisement. However this is a little too pretty for my liking!
A million mind maps later.. I had finally decided on my concept. I wanted to create a Frankenstein inspired being that has an immortal soul and needs to constantly repair their body in order to live their eternal live in comfort.  The character will go to extreme lengths to find the vital parts it needs to replace it’s suffering organs. Murder is almost always the solution.
So I began sculpting! The material I used was Plasterline which I found really difficult to work with at first. It did get easier the warmer it was and the more I practiced. I didn’t want to sculpt in any stitches as I wanted to add them in at a later stage. I want to experiment with stitching into the silicon prosthetic before applying it to my model. Fingers crossed it will work!

Making a Silicone Prosthetic

Products/ Tools needed:

  • X2 strips of Mod rock
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Plaster
  • X2, 12″ by 12″ of Scrim
  • X3 Mixing bowl
  • Access to water
  • Chisel
  • Flat wooden board
  • Silicone part A, B and a accelerate
  • Weighing sales
  • 1/2 inch paint brushes
  • Paper towel

kathren elizabeth makeupWe first began by building a clay wall similarly to before however this time it was twice as tall. We also added a layer of Mod-Roc to provide more strength. Once the wall was complete we then used a cheap 1/2inch brush to paste a thin layer of petroleum jelly all over the exposed plaster on the face cast base. This step makes it easier to separate the top and the bottom part of the mould. I also used some left over clay to fill in any parts of the cast that may catch on the top of the mould.
kathrenelizabethmakeupWe then mixed up a batch a plaster and added a beauty coat over the top of the sculpture. This is to ensure we get a good coverage of the full sculpt. As we had previously applied a light greasy layer of petroleum jelly the plaster repelled at first but it did cover eventually.
scrim combo We then added poured a little more plaster onto the cast and allowed it to dry for a few minutes. We then added a layer of scrim over the top and added more plaster on top. In total we added two layers to add strength.
2013-10-21 10.37.35We then poured some more plaster over the top to ensure none of the scrim was visible. We then left it to dry for 1 hour to ensure it was fully set.
2013-10-21 12.06.04Once set we removed the clay and Mod-Roc wall and gently filed away any rough edges of the plaster with a metal file. This is not only for neatness by for health and safety reasons.
chisel comboWe then used a chisel to gently prise open the two parts. KathrenElizabethMake-upFaceCasting (32)

Next step was to clean out any of the Plasterline. A really helpful trick Martin showed me was to use a piece of left over scrim to rub away any of the Plasterline that was taking forever to come away from the cast.  I then left the white top part of the cast to soak in water for around 10 minutes. This is so the silicone doesn’t absorb into the open pours of the plaster. once soaked I then patted it dry ready for the next step

KathrenElizabethMake-upFaceCasting (31)

I then applied a very light coat of petroleum jelly to act as a releasing agent.

Mixing Silicone 
KathrenElizabethMake-upFaceCasting (35)As this has to be done quickly it is always best to have everything you need lay out ready to start. This can be quite sticky so we opted to put on disposable rubber gloves just for easiness.

PArt one of combinations page

  • Place the empty plastic bowl onto the scales making sure it is still on 0 (This is so we don’t include the weight of the bowl as the -measurements have to be accurate in order to get a good batch of silicon)
  • Add 500grams of part A of the rubber silicone
  • Add 50grams of part B (Silicone catalyst)
  • Add Desired silicone colour a little at a time

part two of page combination

  • Mix the pigment in thoroughly to ensure an even colour throughout the silicone
  • Add 5grams of the accelerant. This allows the silicone to set much quicker cutting the waiting time down dramatically.
  • Mix well
  • Once mixed thoroughly then pour into the top part of the mould

part 3 of combo

  • Once you are happy with the desired about of silicone immediately sandwich the two parts of the moulds together using the drilled dents as a guide to line it up correctly. You may need to use a clamp at this stage to tighten the two parts together.
  • Allow any excess silicone to drain out. This is a good sign, it shows that the mould is completely filled.
  • Then leave to dry completely for around 30-45 minutes. A good way to tell if it is complete set is to pour a small mount of silicone on the top of the moulds as this will act as a visible guide.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaOnce the silicone was completely dry we then used a chisel to gently prise open the mould to reveal our silicone prosthetic. The next stages will be cutting it down to size, applying and painting. Can’t wait!

Thanks for visiting my blog 😀 

Katy x

Reflections / Evaluation:
Overall I enjoyed this part of the process, I felt like I had a really productive day in the studio. At first I was a little stuck for idea’s but carrying out the research really helped me. I now feel confident in my concept and sculpting abilities after having the chance to practice with the Plasterline at home before sculpting my final design.
I didn’t particularly find the casting process difficult as Martin  walked us all through it step by step which gives me a chance to see how it should be done and allows me to make plenty of notes for future reference.
If I was to mix up another batch of silicone I would perhaps like to mix some different colours together to see what I could come up with. I am however extremely happy with the first attempt of creating a fleshy toned prosthetic. I am a little nervous about the cutting, blending and applying the prosthetic as I have never worked with silicone before. I am also unsure how to go about pointing the piece as I want to do the best I possibly can and not ruin my sculpt with a dodgy paint job. As we have made two casts today I will get the opportunity to have a practice run at painting and applying which puts me at ease a little.

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3 thoughts on “Face Casting Part 3 – Sculpting and Casting a Silicone Prosthetic

  1. I’ve been trying to figure out the best ways let my molds sit because I’m working on moving out of my parents house and don’t have a studio or anything; and I love how you used stools to place the molds in! What an awesome idea!

    • Hii!
      I can’t take credit for that I’m afraid! Was my tutors genius idea! Some of my classmates also used large bowls to rest the edges of the cast on which also worked out too. By the way thanks for visiting my blog 🙂
      Happy Halloween! x

  2. Pingback: Face Casting Part 2 | Kathren Elizabeth

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