Prosthetics – Week 5 (Semester 1) of Year 2 Makeup Artistry & Special Makeup Effects

My character work continued in special effects classes this week. The next stage was moulding my character’s face onto my mould base using plaster line. As I was creating Minnie Mouse, one of my favourite all time Disney characters I decided to emphasise features such as the big chubby face with round cheeks, a huge smile from one side of the face to the other, and a tongue on show. This is an image below showing the shape.

Once I was happy with how it looked, I built a clay wall surrounding my sculpture using clay and bandages for strength.  This wall is a necessity for holding the plaster. I brushed Vaseline onto the areas of the face that I was not building on so that these areas would not hold. I made up a mixture of plaster and poured it all over the face and wall until it was covered completely. After cutting up pieces of scrim, I placed them all over the plaster, overlapping (for strength) before finishing off with another layer of plaster on top. This was left to set.

After approximately two hours I carefully took apart my sculpture and mould base and was ready for the next phase which was drilling four holes into each corner of my mould base before painting all over with shellac (this was left to dry for the rest of the day).

The following day I cleaned my sculpture with cold water to remove any remaining plaster and then let it lie in a bucket of water for roughly 10-15 minutes to soften a little. Afterwards I fully dried it off, ready for the next step which was to cover my mould base in Vaseline so that it would not hold. 

To make silicone I firstly I added 500g of Part A (base rubber) to a mixing bowl (as I was working in a group of three, 500g is ample amount). I then added 10% (50g) of silicone oil to make the silicone piece softer. Silicone pigments were added after this (a pin drop of red, yellow and then white.) Next I stirred the mixture well until it resembled a flesh tone look.  1% (5g) of PA39 accelerator was added to speed up the setting time (approximately between 1-2 hours). Finally, Part B (catalyst) was added to set all the ingredients. Ensuring my sculpture was on a slight angle I rested it on a plastic bowl and poured the mixture into the bottom half of the face where my piece will be formed. Subsequently I placed my mould base directly on top of the sculpture, pushing it down tight (fitting into the four holes that I drilled). This removed any excess fluid and I then clamped both pieces together and let it set for 1-2 hours.

I plan to make three of the exact same silicone pieces so that I can have a couple of practice pieces to paint before completing my final.

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