Zabrek makeup questions..

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Amanita, May 30, 2006.

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  1. Amanita Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2003
    star 2
    Some time ago, I asked about doing a Zabrek makeup job, and somebody here gave me a great idea. It involved a bald cap, prosthetic horns, a wig, and liquid latex. I am in the process of assembling the materials for this project as we speak. I've opted to use a fall instead of a whole wig- halloween wigs are very poor quality and would not give the realistic appearance I want. And I can't find a proper long wig for less than $200, which is a little more than I want to spend on something I may mess up. So considering that a good part of the bald cap will be cut away, I have opted to use a fall instead.

    Now for the questions- What can I use for a head mannequin to set this stuff up on? Foam wig heads are too small- I need a life sized head replica to build on. I know monstermakers.com offers one, but if I can find something cheaper, that would be great.

    I need a few smaller horns than the ones I bought, as I am going for an Eeth Koth inspired look. Can I make a plaster mould using the tip of one of my existing latex horns? If so, is it as simple as sticking the end of the horn into a cup of plaster after greasing it with something? And for making the small horns themselves, I have a bottle of liquid latex- is that any good for brushing into moulds? I've also heard you're supposed to powder the liquid latex after applying it to yourself or anything else, what do I use to powder it with?
  2. 1T-2D Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Hey!
    You've got some very good questions there, I think I might be able to help you. You should be able to make a plaster mold of your horn, just brush it with Vasoline. Don't completely enclose the horn in the plaster, leave the bottom open so you can pour in the latex. Once the plaster is set, (pull out your horn) allow it to lose as much of it's moisture as possible by letting it sit in a well ventilated area for at least a day. Brush the inside firmly with rubbing alchohol to clean out any Vasoline residue.
    Then pour in your liquid latex, let it sit for about 10min so it can build up a decent thickness, then pour it out. Turn the mold upside down and let the remaining latex drain, then just let it dry overnight. When the latex is dry, powder it with regular baby powder, peel it out, then powder the rest of it. You should be able to cast several horns that way before the mold starts to lose it's surface detail.
    Your finished horn will be slightly smaller than the original, latex shrinks when it dries.
    Feel free to ask any more questions, I'll check this thread whenever I come here.
    Good Luck!
    Todd
  3. abodeofthedamned Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2004
    star 1
    Ok...

    Don't ask a tough question or anything.

    I'm pretty sure I've seen this adressed in another thread somewhere, but...

    Since it sounds like you're not going for the Maul type Zabrak, you can get away with doing a Klingon style forehead piece.

    Start with taking a partial cast of your face and forehead. Get a baldcap, spirit gum, vaseline, some plaster bandage, a couple of bowls of warm water (we're talking mixing bowls from your local dollar store) and a friend you can trust. Apply the bald cap below your hairline and covering all your hair, gluing down the edges with the spirit gum. Don't worry about "blending" the edges as it won't make a difference anyway. Get the cap as tight as possible against your scalp. If you have thick or "poofy" hair, use a hair gel to plaster it down before applying the cap. Glue the back of the cap to the back of your neck. Next, vaseline your eyebrows and any facial hair as well as the first inch or so of the bald cap. Start planning out how much plaster bandage you need to use. You want at least 4 layers of thickness covering from your nose to the top of your head. Lay out the strips where you can get at them easily. Next have your friend start applying them. Wet the bandages before applying them to your head and squeegee of the excess water. Don't over wet them or all the plaster will wash out. Starting from the top of your head have them work their way down to the bridge of your nose smoothing out the air as they apply them. Once the bandage has dried, remove from your face. Just crinkle your forhead and get your facial muscles working to get the plaster to let go.

    Shoot, have to go to work...

    I'll continue this later.
  4. VillieGee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2002
    star 3
    If your horn that you plan to copy is made of latex, you won't need a mold release. Plaster won't stick to latex or vice versa. Also, DO NOT USE PETROLEUM JELLY as a mold release. When you go to cast your latex copies, any residual jelly in the plaster will get transferred to the latex, and will deteriorate your latex over time. Unless that isn't a concern. If you're REALLY worried about it, use some dish soap instead.

    Liquid latex (like the kind sold in makeup/costume stores) is a little different from the kind used to make masks and the like. If you don't want to special order mask latex, the kind of latex sold as a mold-making material (Michael's and Hobby Lobby has it) is pretty close. And yes, it can be as simple as putting your horn in a cup of plaster. The rest of 1T-2D's advice is right on though. Important bit: Mold should be as dry as possible. But it in the oven (at a super-low temp) if you have to.

    The talc isn't all that necessary when using mask latex, in my experience. It's just used to keep the latex from sticking to itself. The drier it gets, the less it becomes an issue. The liquid latex you mentioned is much more prone to sticking to itself. It IS used as an adhesive sometimes, you know. Talc would be a good idea if you use it.

    Oh, one more thing. If you need the latex to be thicker, just redo the pour/dwell/pour/dry sequence you did before.

    I was also about to not recommend the plaster bandages on your face, but when I reread it, I realized he's only talking about doing your forehead. Getting plaster out of your eyelashes would not be fun. lol

    Doing an entire head yourself would be about as expensive as buying one. Not sure what you wanna do about that.

    Hope that helps!
  5. abodeofthedamned Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2004
    star 1
    Oh yeah...

    Vaseline your eyelashes too. I've done a few castings this way and have had it done to me on at least three occasions and I still have my eyebrows and eyelashes.

    And yes this method can get expensive, but on the other hand you can use it for other projects. I'm just throwing this out there for anybody who want's to know. Incidently this is also the method used for making foam latex moulds. Only you would usually use alginate wih a plaster bandage mother mould as a moulding compound for a face cast as opposed to just bandages.

    The other methods mentioned above will work just as well if you want to go a simpler route. This method can get a bit involved, but as I've already started it...

    Anyway, you now have a negitive mold of your face. Now you need some sort of plaster or gypsum. I wouldn't use plaster of paris as it marrs and breaks too easily. Use a pottery plaster such as PSG 1 or better yet, White Hydrocal. Take one of your cheap mixing bowls and fill it about quarter way with water. Next sift the plaster or gypsum into the bowl until you start getting a "cracked riverbed" look. Mix the gypsum well with your hands, feeling for and breaking up any lumps. When you have a creamy consistancy you're ready to begin painting it into the mould.

    Start by putting in a splash coat, using a 1" to 2" chip brush, or any cheap disposable brush. Try to get a good covering with no air bubbles. Next you can start pouring in the rest of the Gypsum from the bowl. Bare in mind that you'll only have about a half hour working time, so work relatively quickly. If you dont have enough stone to fill the mould, use your second bowl and mix up some more stone. Try to apply it before the first batch sets completely or you might not get a good bond. Set it aside to dry for two hours. Once the stone has gone through it's thermal cycle and has begun to cool you can de-mould it. Useing only plaster bandage as a csing medium will make this part a bit of a challenge but it should come out okay.

    Now it's time to sculpt your appliance using plasticine. Just go for any $2 craft store brand. You don't need the $7 block of Chavant or Roma Plastilina for this. Sculpt the head using as much refererence as you can lay your hands on. All you should need is a simple loop tool to make your sculpture. You might also want to sculpt it a little further back along your scalp so you can sew your wig directly to the latex appliance for ease of application. (Old KAG trick) You can smooth out the plasticine using rubbing alcohol, mineral oil or even vaseline and a soft brush to get an even texture and get rid of any tool marks.

    Adding texture to the sculpture will make it look even more realistic. Make a "skin" texture stamp by painting about 8 coats of latex onto a orange or lemon. Dry the layex in between each coat using a hair dryer. Powder the outside of the latex before removal then do the same to the opposite side once you've removed the latex from the orange. Remove exess powder with a damp paper towel.

    After you've finished the sculpture and smoothed it out, lightly tap the texture stamp all over the sculpture to leave a skin like texture. Don't press so hard you marr your work.

    Finally, spray the finished sculpt with a clear spray, such as kryolan's crystal clear and allow it to dry. Do this outside or in a well ventilated area away from children and pets! Once it's dry, you may want to give a shot of Kryolans dulling spray which will give you more protection, allow a cleaner release from your mould and help in the next step which is casting your sculpture.
  6. Amanita Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2003
    star 2
    I don't know about the feasability of doing a full head cast on myself- I don't know anyone who could assist me, as none of my friends have ever done anything like this before. Tucking my hair up out of the way will be a huge problem as it's fairly thick and down to my waist. Cutting it for the sake of a costume is not something I want to do. The hairpiece I have now is a very close match for my own hair, so it should blend in with the natural stuff well enough to pass.

    What was suggested to me before was to use a theatrical quality bald cap- attach my wig or fall to that right where I want it, then use liquid latex to blend the wig and bald cap together, so it looks natural. Cut away the unneeded parts of the bald cap, then attach my horns to that.
    To wear, spirit gum the bald cap to my forehead and use bobby pins to hold the hairpiece in place. Will this work as well as I think it will?
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