---------------------FX FACT SHEET: ONE---------------------
The kind of foam latex that I use was first developed for use in the film industry nearly sixty years ago, and is still by far the most popular product for the manufacture of prosthetic pieces for special make-up use, as well as in the production of masks. Over the years the process has been refined and perfected, till today we can produce foams in a variety of recipes from the tough and hard wearing, used in puppetry work, to the most soft and delicate structures.
However the compounds for producing this product are remarkably basic. You will need:
Used as a base, this is natural raw latex that has had a small amount of ammonia (approx. 0.6%) added to it as a stabiliser/preservative. You can purchase this from any art shop and many craft stores.
This is essentially a special combination of liquid soaps, which froth the latex in a mixer. Some products include other additives such as oils and plasticisers that help produce a very fine bubble structure and give the foam latex an extremely soft feel.
As it's name suggests, this is something that is added to the mixture (toward the end of the mixing process) to bind all the ingredients together and prevent the delicate foam structure from dissolving.
This contains sulphur as well as super fast accelerators, including anti-oxidants and anti-ozonants that add to the shelf life of the finished foam pieces.
A standard batch (a mixer bowl full) enough to adequately complete a face mask or even two, will follow the following amounts.
150 grams Liquid latex
30 grams Foam agent
16 grams Cure agent
5-20 grams Gel Agent
Precise mixing times are often a jealously guarded secret among FX houses, as each will claim to have the perfect recipe, but basic instructions often come enclosed with the products.
One last thing to mention: Foam latex is oven baked at about 100 degrees C for hours at a time (dependent on individual factors).
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© S y l a k S p e c i a l E f f e c t s
Sculptor/model maker: Sylak - Artist/painter: Nicky