Here is a very low cost gelatine infected zombie bit prosthetic. It is less likely to cause any skin irritation if you are allergic to rubber latex but still do all the usual tests with the materials to check for allergies prior to application explained in the next step.
The whole process takes about an hour after a couple of attempts and you can re-use your negative mould multiple times as the gelatine washes out easily, as long as your Plaster of Paris mix is strong. Normal ratio is Plaster of paris 2 parts to 1 part water. Simple plastic cups are the best way to measure amounts required.
The most important part of any prosthetic is to ensure you have thin edges for effective blending to the skin. This example is a little rough and needed more blending but it was done just to show the process and less emphasis was put on realism but it's still fairly effective and hope it gives you the basic idea.
Please be aware: Gelatine is extremely hot when melted (like hot toffee) therefore please don't apply it directly to the skin or you may create a permanent special effect prosthetic.
Step 1: Allergy Testing and Preparing Your Skin
With all the products used in these instructables there is potential for allergic reactions. Certain common things may be unlikely, but paints, latex and other fx supplies have the potential to cause reactions. Large numbers of people are allergic to latex, and you do not want to find this out after you have just painted it all over your face.
The most common way to test products for allergies is to place a small amount (a few mm across) on the inside of your arm. This skin is very sensitive, and is also not visible normally, so not so much a concern if you do get a rash or staining.
You can do multiple 'dots' for your different products, and it is sensible to do this a day in advance so you can be sure there is no problem.
To ensure a smooth makeup application, it is sensible to exfoliate your skin first to remove the layer of dead skin on top, which will ensure that any prosthetics you apply will stay in place as long as you want them.
After exfoliating it is a good idea to moisturise. This is not only good for your skin, but should also help the smooth application of the makeup, and provide a slight barrier to prevent any staining that you might get from, e.g. fake blood.
When applying prosthetics to skin, or anywhere you will be putting liquid latex, you will most likely want to shave any hair (certainly on arms and legs) as it is extremely painful to pull these off when they are attached to hair. When applying Gelatine prosthetics they are easily washed off with warm soapy water.
Step 2: Materials List
This is a very low cost prosthetic, it cost me approximately one Euro as I already had the food colours, but you only use a small amount and then you can use them for other projects as well as the modeling clay and Pros Aid.
- Krylon TV stick (for easy blending of skin colour) http://global.kryolan.com/product/tv-paint-stick
- Krylon Bruise Wheel
- Plaster of Paris
- Food colours - Red, Yellow, White and Green
- Plasteline (or any type of modelling clay or plastecine)
- Sculpting tools
- Mixing jugs
- Basic make-up pallette
- Strawberry jam
- Pros Aide
- Setting powder (or Talc)
- Mould release agent (or baby oil etc etc)
- Paint brush with soft bristles
- Mixing whisk
Step 3: Making Your Gelatine Raw Material
Measure out your raw materials below:
- 1 part golden syrup or honey
- 1 part water
- 6 parts gelatin
- 2 parts glycerine
Or follow these steps below:
I use a plastic cup as a measure and followed these simple steps. If you cannot find gelatine crystals then you can use gelatine sheets just follow the slight differences below when stated.
- Fill one small cup with gelatin crystals to add to the mix later OR gelatine leaf that has been soaked in water for 5 minutes then squeezed to remove some of the water. If you use the leaf gelatine you will have to melt it to pour it into the mix ( be careful it is very hot) and only microwave in a microwavable bowl in 5 second intervals to check it doesn't burn. It will be a runny consistency.
- Take another small plastic cup and half fill it with warm water, add runny honey or golden syrup to top it off and give it a gentle stir to dissolve the honey.
- Pour the whole cup of honey into your plastic jug.
- Refill the plastic cup with glycerine (obtained from most chemists or cake shops) and pour that into the jug as well and stir well.
- You want the mix warm to hot but NOT BOILING.
- When using gelatine crystals then add the cup of gelatine crystals to the jug and start stirring it, you want all the crystals to dissolve.
- Give the mix another 20 seconds in the microwave if the crystals won't dissolve. Keep stirring and heating as necessary to dissolve the gelatin and give a uniform colour and consistency. DON'T LET THE MIXTURE BOIL! or the gelatine will start to loose it's strength when in solid form and diteriate easy when working with it.
- Once the mix has become uniform and a sort of clear goldish brown colour, it's ready for cooling.
- Stick the jug in the fridge or the freezer and leave it for four hours.The basic mix is now ready. It will take fairly rough treatment at this stage, so force a finger between the mix and the side of the jug and pull out the 'puck' of rubbery gelatin mix.
- You can freeze your gelatine raw mix and use later.
- The gelatine is easily removed from normal household bowls as it melts easily with hot water.
- I also use the raw mix above as an alginate to pour onto clay (when cooled a little) to get good detail then cover with plater of Paris strips to add as a strengthening shell. You can then pour rubber latex into the negative mould several times, drying between coats to create a rubber latex prosthetic.
Step 4: Optional Foamed Gelatine
Now that we have the basic mix you can foam it to use instead of foamed latex. It is used in exactly the same manner as foamed latex, but does not require any sort of special baking or foaming agents.
You can see from my first ever failed attempt that all the mix sinks to the bottom if you don't first make your raw mix then let it set, re-melt it then add your 2 -3 drops of washing up liquid and mix.
The other picture is the finished product but this one had a little too much washing up liquid.
Foamed gelatine is good for prosthetics with less detail as it is more brittle and will tear easier than the raw mix when attempting to remove it from the negative mould.
- Place a slice of the prepared gelatin into your plastic jug and gently re-heat it in the microwave until it becomes liquid. DON'T LET IT BOIL!
- Give it a stir to make sure it is nicely mixed.
- Then add two or three drops of washing up liquid to the jug.
- Get your small electric whisk and starting on the lowest speed begin whisking the mixture.
- Once it has started to take air you can increase the speed.
- You want masses of tiny uniform bubbles.
- I whisked mine for around five minutes until it had taken on about 3 times it's original size.
- Put the jug in the freezer for four hours. Then pull out the large plug of foamed gelatin. It is very much softer and more pliable than the standard mix and will make really lightweight masks and prosthetics.
- If the gelatine is very hot but you still have a little lump just keep stirring it and the heat will melt it like jelly.
- Note that foamed gelatine will stick to plaster of Paris moulds even when using a moulding agent release therefore I would recommend sticking to the original raw mix as opposed to foamed which to foamed.
Step 5: Sculpting Your Clay
I use Le Beau Touche (Hot Melt) as that is my preference and it is a little sticky but doesn't stick to the Plaster of Paris. For basic prosthetic sculpting even plasticine is acceptable it depends on the level of detail or 'refinement' that you require.
- Make sure you add a water tight seal around the wall of your sculpt as in the picture above or you will spring a leak. Just smooth the clay into the join well.
- Most of the refinement to add texture is done by scraping, poking or scoring the clay with a piece of plastic like a transparent bag on top to prevent the tool marks being too obvious. The video above gives you some more 'refinement' advice.
Step 6: Making Your Negative Mould
Carefully remove the clay wall then brush of any tiny particles of clay that may be a little stuck.
- You can use a cotton bud dipped in a cleaning agent such as makeup remover to thoroughly clean your negative mould but remember Plaster of Paris can be a little brittle.
- Also you could scrape the clay of the work surface and make sure you pick out any tiny plaster particles and use it again.
Step 7: Colouring Your Gelatine Mix
I use a tiny amount (5 drops) of acrylic paint to colour the gelatine to skin colour but it can weaken the prosthetic therefore food colouring will work just as well.
Pour it into your mould then into the fridge for four hours.
This Wiki is good to explain how to mix effective skin tones.
Step 8: Testing and Applying Your Gelatine Prosthetic
Peel the gelatine very carefully from the mould.
Always try a a test piece onto your hand first and try colouring makeup and what makes it stick.
I use Pros Aide which works well just make sure you apply it to the skin and prostheic then let both dry to create a stickable surface then apply more pros aide to the prosthetic taking care to cover all the edges and apply to the sin smoothing out the edges.
- If the edges are to thick simply place your prosthetic onto a plate, heat up a teaspoon taking care not to burn your fingers then smooth out the edges. Allow the edges to dry then peel back off the plate.
Step 9: Colouring Your Gelatine Prosthetic
Play around with the makeup style you want, here I decided on a bruise, infected wound style and filled it with strawberry seedless jam. Just to keep the cost down. Use normal fake blood or make your own gelatine blood and dry with a hairdryer for a more stable effect. There are tonnes of videos on You Tube to make fake blood and prosthetic gel but here is a simple link:
Step 10: Top Tip 1
You can pour your excess gelatine mix onto a plastic bag and use for other applications later such as skin for wounds or covering eyes.
Step 11: Top Tip 2
If you use foamed gelatine straight onto the Plaster of Paris even with a de-moulding agent it will still stick to your mould and not work very well as you can see, therefore I would recommend sticking to the straight gelatine mix or latex to make your prosthetic.
You can also see that some of the prosthetics lose their strength if the paint or food colour mix is too strong.
Step 12: Top Tip 3
The prosthetic should peel off easily, just use the normal Pros Aide remover if it is a little sticky.
If you use gelatine with food colouring then the prosthetic is edible, but I wouldn't recommend it.
I make my raw mixture in large batches which saves lots of preparation time and will last in your freezer for a long time.
I hope you have enjoyed this instructable, have fun making your prosthetics and creature creations.