If you make a silicone cast of a body, what do you put under that to keep the weight down, and keep it flexible. For a stick thin character, I'd imagine silicone would be fine, but if a character is a bit fatter and you still want silicone skin, etc, do you pad the body out before finishing it off in silicone? With latex, you'd use foam, but I think I read that silicone soaks into the foam, so wouldn't be as good.  Any advice would be, as ever, much appreciated :-)

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Im a newbie and was wondering the same thing? I put a link below to an awesome tutorial by Nick Hilligoss that id like to try. But the foam latex looks difficult to get right and then theres the whole oven problem. So same question, can you make a puppet like that except substituting silicone instead of Foam Latex?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm9kzZYWbIQ

You can use upholstery foam, but you need to put a barrier between it and the silicone, otherwise it will soak in as you said.

I've not had a ton of experience with silicone -- just a few castings -- but I'd imagine you could use plastic wrap around the foam covered armature as a barrier.  You'd just have to be careful not to wrap too tightly, as you don't want to bind-up the joints.

One thing I have tried a little is to use builders' silicone, the stuff that comes in a tube usually for sealing baths and kitchen sinks. There is a version that is called 'neutral cure' and this is the better. less aggressive sort.

It is possible to smear this over cushion foam to create a thin barrier to prevent the skin silicone from soaking in. The thickeners in the silicone are what make this possible.

Alternatively you could create the skin first, by placing a layer of clay into each half of the mould and making a plug from plaster or whatever your mould material is. Then the silicone skin can be poured in and the foam used to fill the gaps.

Around joints what you need to do is wrap PTFE tape. This is sold as plumbers' tape for sealing joints. It is white and very thin.

Hi David, I didn't see it was you posting... 

Perhaps we can do some of this together sometime? I am a little tied up just now with sailing, but in the autumn I want to get some Soma Foama and do some skin making.

Hey Simon, thanks. That would be great. Be good to meet up again, and would appreciate your help as always! Let me know when you're back. Loving the sailing blog :-)

I am hoping to do a demo/workshop of homemade moco rigs at Roos and Joseph's studio in Bristol in the autumn, and maybe we should organise something on silicone puppets?

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