So heres the problem. I’m HORRIBLE at putting on latex skins. They always fold funny when animated and I always have massive seams. Im lucky to get one on without an air pocket. I’m in preproduction of a film that other people are working on and I need to make my monster as realistic as possible. I thought of a solution: Instead of using skins, just coat the puppet with latex and sculpt on detail later. I know Nick uses a process similar to this. What latex should I use? Will this work? Will the latex restrict movement? (Also I use Monster Maker’s mask latex) Thanks.
Yes, I do build up a layer of latex to form a skin. It will also restrict movement a little bit, since it is more solid than the soft foam underneath. It works fine for hands, because the fingers are thin and it's ok for the latex to be painted on in layers so it is solid around the wire. If it is thick but over a big foam shape It can "fold funny" like a bending a rubber hose, flattening the foam underneath. So it is best to keep it as thin as possible. Also don't use latex with any filler in it that makes it hold its shape, which I think Mask Makers latex might do? With a mask you want the rubber to hold its shape by itself. I never see mask makers latex for sale here, but years ago I used to make lots of props from a firmer latex that had filler in it, it dried creamy white and had less flex. Great for making rubber shoes, or fake bronze sculptures. If Mask Makers is like that, I wouldn't use it for dabbing over the foam on a puppet.
So for puppets I use the thin spraying latex, or mix the thin stuff with the one with some thickener but that is still stretchy and clear brownish when it dries. I do tend to do a very light spray of upholstery adhesive onto the foam first, and let that dry a bit, so the latex soaks in less when I dab the first layer on. Then when that has dried a bit, dab on another layer. Then start adding the bumps.