Permanent alcohol based inks for painting/detailing urethane rubber puppet surfaces

I know this is a subject of beating a "dead horse" and I know that typically pigments made for urethane rubber are recomended/used for pigmenting/painting urethane rubber surfaces.Ron as I recal was using permanent markers diluted in alcohol (or was it paint thinner,or some other solvent?) and airbrushed in transparent layers and/or applied as washes to the puppet surfaces if I am not mistaken?I found some *NEW* Japanese markers at an art store(sorry,forgot the brand name).They are "alcohol based" and supposidly permanent,acid free,dry fast...all the *positive stuff* we like to hear.You can also get most of the the inks in liquid form and there are a good 50-100 different colors,shades and tones to choose from.The display case was HUGE.I was wondering if these art ink markers would be sufficient to use on urethane puppets for painting/detailing?Also(and this is a stretch),but can alcohol based inks be used on silicone puppets,or has that been tried and failed when attempted?

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Hello John,

I'm afraid I cant answer your question regarding the markers, but I wanted to comment on the silicone bit.
Generally the rule is: nothing sticks to silicone but silicone. Which can be great, as with a bit of white spirit you quickly clean off any dirt on your puppets. The bad side is of course, that most likely it will wipe those markers away as well. I haven't tried it though, so I'd be happy to find out!

I can give you, however, a little trick for painting silicone that I used:
If the rule is that nothing sticks to silicone but silicone, it also means that you can paint onto silicone with silicone. So all you need is some transparant bathroom sealant, mix in a drop of pure color pigment (non-water based!!) and add a tad of white spirit til it has a good paintable thickness to it. Now it's just like water colours :] It will dry within several minutes, so don't make big portions! I usually already mixed the pigment separately and just added drops of it in each new mixture.

Hi Bianca.Yeah,this is one of those "dog chasing its tail" subjects.For the most part,I am familiar with at least most of the "text book" knowledge and "do's/don'ts" surrounding silicone.I'm a bit unfamiliar with urethane rubber say from some basic info.I've heard both the pros and cons of using/working with both materials.I'm far behind the 8 ball as they say with any puppet or stop-motion progress.I simply haven't the time or $$$ presently to really sink into it as I would like to.I lack allot of experience (particularly "hands on" experience) with any animation. I draw extensively.My little icon you see here is an example of one of my illustrations/characters I'm working on.I do hope to get into some puppet fabrication of some of my characters.Some require insane armatures/facial controls or development in replacement animation components.Something of which escapes me and exceeds my abilities.More than likely some(if not all) of my charcters require some refinement and/or some simplification.They look great on paper,but might not be realistic designs as puppets.Many thanks for droping in and sharing your knowledge.Everything is always helpful.

Correct, I did use markers diluted with alcohol. (scribbled on plastic and quickly brushed alcohol over it) I know you can get it in bottles but, I never had a need to go that far because I was just tinting flesh tones with shades of reds and browns so, I needed desperately little.

I can assure you that the same thing WON'T work on silicone, it would just bead up and wipe off.

Be very careful using permanent markers. I believe they are probably still tolulene based. Very bad for your nervous system. Some artist who used markers daily in his career had to leave when he developed serious damage to his nervous system. I think it attacks your liver as well. And if you thin it with another chemical...well, you get the idea. Same with using rubber cement and tints, and thinning with their thinner, which also was tolulene based. A really small amount of marker might not be bad, but long exposure is something to be aware of.

Check anything you are using and use a respirator if necessary. The cost can be too great. This public service message is presented because I always assumed certain products were safe until Lyle Conway made a big point of telling me to be more aware of the dangers, and to protect myself. This also goes for silver solder which most have cadmium, and can mess with your heart without a proper filter in your respirator.

Wait, you mean it's a bad idea to keep sticking my Sharpie pens up my nose and taking a deep inhale like I do all the time cuz I like the smell so much???   (kidding)

Yeah,there are some nasty chemicals and chemical combinations out there.You can also develope a serious "health" sensitivity to fibergalssing with certain resins.Particularly using "epoxy" (direct skin contact) which surprises many because it doesn't have the strong "knock you out" odor that polyester resins do.You can become really sick if you are affected by the chemicals in the resin which I believe also attack your nervous system and liver.Nothing like a double whammy. I wouldn't think of really doing anything without some good charcoal filters and a resperator.I'll check later this week to see who the  manufacturer of these pens are and see if there are any other chemicals in them to be concerned over aside from the ink itself and the alcohol they are made of.Ron,the vials/amounts  you can purchase these inks in are small...maybe 1/2 to a max of 1oz volumes?Maybe that's still too much?I'd have to look to be sure because I don't remember. 

Hi

someone used it to paint Urethane rubber?

Brush-on 40

http://www.smooth-on.com/gallery.php?galleryid=421

I've never tried Brush-on 40.

After looking into it further,the inks I found are not light fast,they fade badly,almost immediately after using.I don't think they would be a good choice to use.I didn't know that about them originally,the art store had no fliers on them at the time.They appealed to me because they have a HUGE color range and that you can order them in re-fill bottles for pen re-fills or for direct airbrushing.Ron used a urethane rubber from somewhere else?Geese,I know it too and I can't think of it at the moment.I think it was Burman industries?I would think that it would /could work on almost any urethane rubber(using permanent inks),but I could be wrong.While urethanes are urethanes,they could differ greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer.I've seen the demo on Smooth on when someone was painting a rubber toad that was cast of Reoflex 30.There's a castable kind and one used for "painting".In the hands of a pro, the results are/were quite stunning.The  only problem I have with urethane rubber is that it tends to cure glossy and sometimes sticky too.While silicone has a dulling powder that gives it a flat finish,I am not sure if urethane rubber does,but others in here had thought that the dulling powder could be used just as easily on a urethane rubber surface  as it is on a silicone rubber surface.There's something to be said about experimenting,but experimenting is not with my budget.

I am just making a mould in urethane(Smooth-On Vytaflex50)for silicone casting. I noticed that when the poured half was cured, it was shiny and tacky. I use talcum powder a lot with latex and it seems pretty inert and doable in theory so sprinkled it on the back of the mould. presto change-o flat and not sticky. 

What silicone are you casting in your urethane mold,and what urethane rubber are you using might I ask?I have never received a clear answer from Smooth-On on that particular subject.The last I remember, I was told that there would be a bad chemical reaction between the urethane mold and the silicone cvast within it(at least with their products)."Technically",it should work quite well,a cast silicone puppet should be able to be poured/cast into a urethane rubber mold and come out "CLEAN".The only real issue I think would be trapped air,surface bubbles and seams that would need to be removed later on.I'm not concerned too much about seaming,its the trapped air/surface bubbles and possibility that there would or could be a chemical reaction creating an expensive, disasterous mess.

 

I've seen beautiful silicone castings come out of Polytek 74-30 urethane rubber molds. It works!

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