This is the process I used to make a robotic glove and eye appliance inspired by the Terminator films. The eye piece needed to be partially removable so that I could see through both eyes at my job, while also having a functional led inside of it. The glove had to be very form fitting so that it would look like it could have once been covered by flesh. Both parts are made of latex rubber. Here is how I did it.
Step 1: Casting Your Body Parts
Since I wanted the pieces to fit very closely to my body I decided to work off of life casts of my face and hand. I used Alja-Safe Alginate from Smooth On to cast my face and hand and then poured plaster into that. The Alja-Safe sets up in about 10 minutes and I let the plaster cure overnight before demolding. Here is a test cast I did showing the demold.
Step 2: Sculpting the Eye Piece
I sculpted the eye piece using plastalina plasticine. I also sculpted a bumpy border to simulate torn flesh (not pictured)
Step 3: Sealing and Pouring Plaster for the Eye Piece
I built a plasticine wall around the sculpted eye piece and coated the everything in oil soap. The soap acts as a mold release. When the soap had dried I poured the plaster in. After the plaster had dried I cleaned out the plasticine and was ready for sealing. I sealed the plaster with mod-podge so that the latex would release easily. I poured 5 layers of liquid latex into the mold slowly rotating to make sure every part was covered. I let the latex cure for at least 8 hours between layers.
Step 4: Demolding the Latex Eye Piece
Latex loves to stick to latex so it is important to use plenty of baby powder during the demolding. The baby powder sticks to the latex and takes away the tackiness. I used a toothbrush and some water to clean of the remnants of mod-podge and then trimmed off the excess bits of latex with a pair of scissors.
Step 5: The Removable Eye Socket
I cut the eye socket part out with a precision knife. So that the piece could be easily installed and removed I crazy-glued little magnets into the socket and cut little squares of metal from a steel can and glued them on the eye part. Making this piece removable means I will be able to see out of both eyes when I need..to for like work and stuff. It will also allow me access to the LED battery.
Step 6: Painting the Eye Piece
I first airbrushed a white acrylic primer over the piece. Next I airbrushed the silver and brushed on the red. I used acrylic craft paints from the dollar store I thinned the paint with distilled water for airbrushing. I experimented with an ink wash to darken the recesses but I preferred airbrushing the parts I wanted darker and then dry brushing with the silver and a lighter red to give more depth. I used clear nail polish to give the red parts a wet look.
Step 7: The LED Eye
I used a red Led and resistor with a flat disc shaped 3 volt battery. I made a disc of latex to hold the battery in place and used more latex to "glue" the parts into place. The battery is replaceable. The lens is made of 2 part epoxy resin I used a googly eye as the mold for the resin cast.
Step 8: Sculpting the Glove
I covered the plaster copy of my hand with a layer of plasticine about 4 millimeters thick. I wanted the glove to be snug but removable and fairly flexible. I squared up the fingers and palm and started to sculpt the joints and other parts. I used bits of straws and googly eyes glued to a popsicle stick to add details that simulate nuts and bolts. I also used straws to add some uniformly straight parts along the back of the hand and thumb. The glove took a whole day to sculpt. Phew!
Step 9: Plaster Casting the Glove
The next step was to plaster cast the sculpted glove. I made a mold box out of foam board that I hot glued to a cheap cutting board. I caulked all the corners and seams with the hot glue to prevent any leaks. I also glued a couple of support pieces inside to support the fingers of the sculpture during the casting. To seal the "wrist" of the sculpture I used some more plasticine. First I cast the palm and bottom half of the fingers and after that had dried overnight I smeared petroleum jelly on the fresh plaster as a separation agent so that I could cast the top of the glove sculpture. I built a retaining wall out of plasticine to hold the wet plaster in. and to fill in some of the unused space to save on the amount of plaster I needed to use.
Step 10: Demolding the Glove Sculpture
After the plaster had cured it was time to demold the glove sculpture. I lost a few finger in the process but the casting was fairly complete with a few bubbles on the palm which I was expecting. I carefully cleaned the mold and filled some of the medium sized bubble holes with more plasticine. Next I sealed the mold with mod-podge which will let the latex release easily.
Step 11: Slip Casting the Latex Glove
I reassembled the empty mold and wrapped it with tape to hold it together. Then poured about 4 layers of latex. For each layer I had to slowly rotate the mold to make sure every part got covered by wet latex. Each layer had to cure for at least eight hours. I let the excess latex drip out of the mold opening and collected in an old margarine container. Between layers I checked inside of the mold to make sure there were no wet latex spots and if there were some I used a hair dryer on the cool setting with a paper funnel to get the air inside the mold.
Step 12: Demolding the Latex Glove
The secret weapon for demolding latex is baby powder or just plain corn starch. The powder keeps the latex from sticking to itself. I used a generous amount on the inside and brushed lots over each half as they were demolded. There were thin flaps where latex had seeped into the cracks of the seams these were easily trimmed away with some sharp scissors.
Step 13: Painting the Glove
I used acrylic craft paints from the dollar store to color and texture the glove. First I airbrushed a white primer then a coat of silver metallic next I got the cracks and "deeper" areas with some black. The paints were thinned with some distilled water for airbrushing. I dry-brushed the glove with a sponge and some more silver to bring back the detail of the high spots and added some red around the wrist to simulate torn flesh. I decided to paint the large air bubble in the palm to look like a glob of blood.
Step 14: Makeup and Appliance
It took about 45 minute to apply the makeup and appliance. First I marked out the area for the "skin flap" with a makeup pencil. Next I applied a few light layers of liquid latex. Once that had dried I lifted the inside edges with a tooth pick and my finger tips and dusted the inside with baby powder. I also added a couple of other patches of latex for a more "beat up" effect. I wiped some latex on the back of the eye piece and the area around my eye so that the appliance will stick to my face. I then pulled the skin flaps over the edges of the eye piece and used some more latex to adhere the flaps in a few places. To give the latex a more natural skin color I used some cheap foundation I found at a dollar store and dabbed it onto the latex. I used a cotton make up pad to help blend the makeup into my skin color but the pad started to stick to the drying latex and fall apart so I stopped using it. next I used my acrylic craft paints to add silver to the inside of the smaller patches and some red to look like blood. If I had more time I would have let it dry more between coats of paint. Once I was satisfied with the appearance I stuck the magnet eye part into the socket. It's great to be able to remove and reattach that part easily during the day.
Step 15: Terminating
I put on my leather jacket and black clothing to complete the costume. Overall I am happy with the way the project turned out. I hope that some of these processes help other people on a build.