Questions For Ted



  • Thanks everyone.
  • Hey Ted, question just for future reference. What type of foam would I use for a creature that would be acting in the water?
  • Reticulated foam. Or L-200. But of course L-200 is very buoyant, you would maybe actually have to weigh it down. The reticulated foam will let the water flow through it and not rot or absorb water like upholstery foam. While the reticulated, or Scott foam, will not absorb water, it will catch it in its cell structure. It will drain out but not immediately. The performer wearing it will definitely be caring some weight as they come out of the water.
  • Ted I know we discussed carving the legs out of foam. With the suggestion of making the leg bigger to accomindate for the head I thought I would try the first method we discussed. But it leaves me with some questions? I am using L-200 and I will add cousin foam spacers. 1. Should I make a hip on the creature and attach the legs with seatbelt material, to allow for movement? 2. Should I keep all my parts separate attaching them the same to allow for articulation? Thanks
  • When you attach the legs to the body you will want to do it with elastic. You want it to stretch. Webbing would just tighten things up.
  • Hey Ted, the glue on my foam body suit began to release in some sections. Id like to note that I have been keeping it in my garage. Is it possible that the heat caused it to do this?
  • What kind of glue are you ussing? Almost any spray glues will delaminate with heat. 74, 77, 90 or any foam spray glues. Just make sure that you are doing 2 layers of glue and letting the first layer dry before applying the second. And glue down the second when it is still tacky but not wet. I hope this helps Justin.
  • Will you go over painting on Saturday? I have been painting my foam latex with strained oil paint/99% IPA with air brush and then covering in BJB sc-92 which is a flexible elastomer paint or something like that. I got these instructions from "special makeup effects for stage and screen" which is my favorite book so far.


    For anyone else reading this: You have to buy this book if you want to know how to cast and mold almost anything and work with all the different types of materials. It's the complete "face off" instruction book basically.

  • The question was: I don't know if the way I've been doing it is the best way. It's difficult to strain the paint so I'm hoping theres a simple way.

  • that sounds like a lot of work. If not using pax paint, I would mix my own rubber cement paint. You can get large containers of rubber cement and rubber cement thinner at Michael's. The only downside it that it puts benzene in the air so you HAVE to wear a respirator. I have painted a ton of latex masks in this fashion. The paint I am going to use is Freak Flex thinned with alchohol then sprayed with a flexible sealer.
  • Peter BondPeter Bond ✭✭✭
    edited September 2013
    Are you talking about foam latex or reg latex? I've heard using Rubber cement paint on Foam latex reduces it's movement. What sealer are you using?
  • Also, I have about 3/4 of a gallon of foam latex base that got pretty thick. Think it's still usable for wet foam? could I dilute with water or ammonia to get it back to the right consistency?

  • I have never had a problem with rubber cement paint, but I thin it out quite a bit to spray in my airbrush. I plan on spraying a thin layer of latex on the wet foam before painting & durability. I am using a liquitex sealer. The method I am planning on using I learned by watching Steve Wangs painting tutorial on the site.
  • PETER... Nooooooooo!!!!!!! Not oil paint. How old is that book? You could paint/color with... RMG (rubber mask grease paint) this is an older technique but it works. You do this using An RMG palette or "Schmink palette". Can also be done with make-up colors like Ben Nye make -up. I'll bring these on Saturday. Pax paint, which I'll talk about on Saturday and/or rubber cement paint.
  • Peter, the paint Mchael is talking about, rubber cement paint, works for both foam latex or rugular slip latex.

    Foam latex that has gone bad will not set up correctly. Unfortunately, scrap it.
  • I guess this guy does pax first, then strained oil/IPA mix. Todd Debrecini ..? I'm not doing anything yet, so I'll find out on Saturday. My latex is barely 6 months old :(
  • Troy and some guys recommended that I tint some latex with acrylics. I tested it on one of my hands and so far it looks good. I'll obviously be adding other colors and textures later, but so far I'm pretty happy with it.
    There is a sample nail up there in the middle finger that I haven't painted yet. Its just a piece of a Orange juice bottle that was the right texture and curvature.
  • Peter, foam latex or any chemical can go bad within months. If it's not used, agitated, mixed and just stored improperly (which isn't hard to do) it will go bad. I had a 5 gal kit of rigid polyfoam go bad within 6 months and that's pretty hardy material. Having it sit in any fluctuating heat and create moisture will mess up the material. Your first thing to go bad is the other foam components like the foaming and curing agents. And in that case your foam will never set properly no matter how long or hot it's baked.
     Also, I've never heard of painting over PAX with oils. You can go straight over PAX with regular acrylic paints, airbrush paints and then sealed with clear acrylic paints or even just powdered.
  • James I love the finger nail. Perfect use of, "what can I use that's just lying around".
  • Okay I got a couple. I'm gonna start the wet foam on Wed I think


    1.Should I use less gel than normal to get more working time, or is that risky that it won't ever set up?

    2. What do you think about using a pvc syringe to lay it, pour it,  on the upholstery foam? That's what I have used for laying it into molds.

    3. Do you think pax-acrylic-sealed with glossy acrylic, or rubber cement paint is going to be better paint? What lasts longer?

    4. Does the top part of the oven get hotter than the rest? Should I rotate it halfway through?


    5. Should I mix the universal tints with latex and water to spray on my armor parts, or arylic-latex-water? I think maybe the tints are oil and won't mix with the other parts.

  • Also, I'm gonna cover spandex for the eyelid. I'm thinking I should cover it seperately and attach to eyelid and then patch onto the head. Or should I put in an eyeball form and do it all on the head at one time?
  • Great questions Peter.

    1-A LITTLE less gel is OK. But not too little. If its cool where you are running and applying your foam, then I'd go with regular gel. A little warmer, a LITTLE less gel.

    2_ I would say no to the syringe. It's an extra step that is completely unnecessary. You want to get the foam spread on to your piece as quickly as possible and the extra step just takes time away from you. Also are you saying that you fill open molds with a syringe? Again completely unnecessary. Taking the time to fill a syringe to fill an open mold makes no sense to me. I've seen people out here do it as well and I don't understand it. Now if you'3-Paint-Bothre filling a mold that has a core and has been clamped shut, then by all means use the syringe. It's the only way to fill a sealed mold.
    3-Paint- Both the Pax and the RCP are durable enough. However the RCP will bond the rubber a little better. As it does chemically bite into the foam.
    4-YES, the top of the oven does get hotter. As you where all watching on Saturday I ran off screen for a moment. I had my oven on and baking out the gorilla head. I had the heat gun on high, aimed at a leg of the oven and it collapsed. I thought I had it on low but didn't look. And the gun slipped when I wasn't looking. ALWAYS watch what you're doing. If I wanted to put the temp on high I should have made a few escape vents at the top on the sides. But, Oh well.

    Hope this helps out Peter... and all of you.
  • As for your eye question Peter. I think I would do it at the same time as the head. You could just do a seperate batch, just to do the lid, but I would attach it before wet foaming.
  • Hey Ted or Chris,
    Would camp fuel also be a good thinner for the Rubber Cement (for painting with universal tints)? I heard that could be used, but was warned that the Coleman fuel turns a tad blue when it is mixed and dries. A Home Hardware guy told me today when I went to explore their lighter fluid- I wanted to check with you guys first before I purchase it.
  • Thanks Ted. The reason I use the syringe is because I've had trouble with bubbles in my molds. I'm not good at pouring I guess :)


    I do paint a layer in first though.

  • Tom, I've never heard of ussing "camp fuel". But if it works...
  • Peter, you can also, lightly, brush foam latex into molds. Use a 1/2" chip brush, 1" for larger molds. Don't scrub it in, just lightly brush it in. That may help.
  • Thanks, Ted :)
  • So camp fuel is essentially Naphtha. But I guess some of the Coleman brand has a chemical in it that makes it a bit blue. I'm going to experiment with it and let you know.
  • Let me know how it turns out Tom. I woudn't think that the added chemical would affect paint.
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