Mask latex or foam latex or foam

This is my first run at this type of thing.  I usually only do the animatronics at the place I work and we just buy the rest.  I've carved out my clay, a giant snake head, and I will be putting plaster of paris on it tonight.  Next I need to understand the next step.  I've been watching the tutorials, 3 each month, but it seems the instructors (who are awesome by the way) assume you already know what each of these are.  If this works out, I will also want to make masks and other characters.   I'm not understanding the media to use.  How do I now whether to use foam latex or an RD-407 latex or should I use one of these for the outer part and just use pour foam to give it strength and a place for me to attach the mech to.

Thanks for the help.

Best Answer


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    Sorry to have missed this, if you have a place to get the supplies reliable and reasonably priced (shipping is a killer when you buy a 5 gallon bucket of something. Open to hearing what you have to sayy.
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    Thanks Chris.  I appreciate the answer.   Would it be fair to say that maybe I need both?  One for masks and the foam latex for props?   I plan on watching Alec's tutorial on the foam monster suit.  I think I have one open spot  :-)

    Based on what you said and what I've been reading for the past hour or so, it may be smart for me to get the foam latex and then maybe the expanding urethane foam to build the prop.  The bossman wants it to have latex on the outside for ease of painting but we need to be able to attach a mechanism to it to make it jump, so I could see just pouring urethane latex to create a grab point.

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    Monster Makers sells foam latex kits:  http://www.monstermakers.com/category/Monster-Makers-Foam-Latex-Components.html/

    As does Burman Industries:  http://www.burmanindustries.com/

    Once you have a mold you can brush a few layers of latex into it and back that with foam if that is more in line with what your boss is expecting.

    Here is another tutorial on working with foam latex:  http://www.makeup-fx.com/mirakeleng.html

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    Ted Haines new foam techniques video shows how to make a cheap foam oven & even takes you through the steps of mixing foam. Also most foam kits from e.g. GM Foam come with step by step instructions & approx. times to add the different parts.
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    I have made a couple of latex skins in the past, and also some silicone skin. All to be used in animatronics.

    Silicone is nice. But HEAVY..  Foam Latex is light but does not last as long... however when I went back to my old skins that I has stored badly, left in the sun. rolled up and shoved away - I was surprized that they had no damage. 

    So I am looking at foam latex again.  My biggest issue is shrinkage and how do reduce this.  I cannot change the inner and outer fibreglass moulds.

    So I will need to work with the foam mixture. Do I..

    1. Mix in a lot of air to make it very fluffy
    2. Mix in less air to make a heavier foam

    What will be the best way to cook the latex as in temp and time to reduce shrinkage

    Would you recommend doing a latex skin before I do the main pour.

    I do have all the tools i.e. Latex oven, Mixers etc.  I just need some advice on the best way to use them.  I also have Monster Makers 1 gallon foam kit.

    Many many thanks
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    Hi foamheads.

    Okay, so i know you can build your own oven from plywood and insulating material. BUT would a small plug-in oven not work? something like this: 


    The homemade oven looks great but I'm no Tim Allen and it looks like it might be a moneypit /timepit.

    Anyone know if these small ovens work okay for small pieces?
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    If your piece is small enough a toaster oven like that could work.  Just need a thermometer to make sure the temperature is in the right range.

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