I tried making my first 2-part mold for the first time, and made the rookie mistake of not making a key for the mold to pry open on the outside. Also, I used plaster of paris, so the mold inside the mouth broke off. For mass production, should I use a silicone mold?

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And here is Richard making latex skin.  Interesting, he uses some Friendly Plastic to hold the eyes and mouth wire in place, and it while it is warm it is soft enough to shape it to the latex.  Otherwise he casts the latex the same way I do.  Except, I notice he uses cornflower to dust the back so the latex doesn't stick to itself.  I still use some old talcum powder I have from 20 years ago, the stuff people used to put on babies, which I believe is not considered safe now so these days baby powder is usually made of cornflower.  Either way, does the same job.  I wipe it off with a damp cloth before sticking the latex skin on to the foam body.  He doesn't make a front and back piece mould to join together,  the sections of skin are cast separately.  They can be blended on the edges with liquid latex dabbed on.

This seems to be a thick enough skin to hold its shape.  Like my monster, the mouth opening goes back far enough on the sides that it can act as a hinge, so the latex has no trouble bending. A realistic human face with cheeks covering the sides is harder to stretch open, and if it closes too far from its original sculpted position, the cheeks bow out.  Anyway, this gives a good idea of the alternative.  I know he has other videos showing the skin being stuck onto the puppet.

Those were two awesome videos there, Nick! On a similar subject, in that first video, did I see you using epoxy putty to make the "claws" on that monster? If so, wow! That's a great idea, solves the problem I was having of giving the characters in my film a flexible hand with hard "hoof" fingers. Any tips or advice with how to do it right and make sure the finger/hoof/claws keep well?
Use a longer setting epoxy so you have time to adjust. Also, pro tip : Don't use thermoplastic and cut the shape out after. I think I am unrecognizable by my left thumbprint because I accidentally cut half it off with a razor while making hooves on my minotaur. Yeah. Also, notice in the video how glue was also put onto the wire. If you use thicker wire, you can use a dremmel and make small indents to lock the epoxy in place, too.

Hi Ben,

Claws:  Yes, epoxy putty from the hardware store.  Easy shapes to make, so the quick setting putty works fine, if I needed more sculpting time I would use Aves Apoxie Sculpt or similar, with 2 or 3 hours working time.   I model it on a bit of wire the same as the wire in the fingers, and wiggle it  few times as it is setting to make sure I can get the wire out.  Then when it is hard, I sand it down a bit, to sharpen it up.  A dab of epoxy glue on the finger wire and I slip the claws onto the fingers, then add liquid latex around the base to build up the finger a bit.  I also use it for horses' hooves, cyclops hooves, and sometimes teeth, though delicate pointy bits can be breakable.  Similar to polymer clays that you bake like Sculpey or Fimo, though not quite as breakable. That was a problem with a hand puppet where the jaws had to snap together, the Fimo teeth collided and some broke and had to be glued back on.    It helps if the wire goes right to the tip - a little wire may show when you sand it down, but that can be painted over.

 

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