Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bofa's Prosthetic

One of the characters from Cronus is a crime lord called Bofa, played by Pete Murphy. With 2 of my 4 actors to be in makeup away elsewhere and obviously unable to have a mold of their face done, I got hold of Pete and managed to finally get a decent mold made.

It wasn't perfect, but it will work just fine I reckon. You can see from the picture that the alginate, the blue crap on Pete's face was really lumpy - that was something I was well aware of but was just too lazy to fix. I even just bought something to better mix it with and just didn't use it. Lesson learned, but it didn't impact the final outcome.

After my 2 failed attempts, I was able to figure out the best way to make these life casts and it should work just fine for everyone else.

Another thing I kinda realized is that you can never use enough plaster bandages. When it seems like you might've used enough - you're only about a third of the way done really. Still - didn't bugger up the final mold so no harm done.

The bright spots on the cast of Pete's face below are the non-mixed lumps of alginate. Those shouldn't be there.

This last part was a little frustrating. UltraCal is not the easiest material to work with, you really need to understand how it acts before you can become efficient with it. While the image below is obviously far from perfect, I'm pretty confident it should suffice for what I need it to do. Not terribly impressive looking, but it's functional.

Next up is sculpting the prosthetic, I'm fairly comfortable with this part. I'm even pretty sure I won't have too many problems making the negative mold either. Actually mixing and baking the prosthetic - I've no idea how that's going to work. I've never gotten far enough to really want to attempt it yet.

The worst part would be not knowing how the final piece will turn out, luckily I can just use the cheap homemade foamed gelatin to test the mold first before wasting the foam latex.

And the most annoying part of this whole process is actually getting UltraCal 30 to make the molds with. It's really hard to track down a place that carries it anywhere nearby. There is a company in Ontario that carries it, but they sell it in 100 lb bags and it's more expensive to ship it then what it costs to actually buy it. I've heard Hydrocal is a decent substitute - but not knowing enough about the materials in this process and how they interact makes it hard to swap things out.

I did find a place in Dieppe, New Brunswick, a gypsum supply place that supposedly carries a whole line of Hydrocal products, so that's hopeful. An afternoon trip would have me set for some time and cost way less then having it shipped.

I'm also hoping that some local dentists might have UltraCal on hand. It's actually used to make dental molds. So I might have the option of making an arrangement with one of them should they use it - or whatever dental plaster they might use. It's pretty close to the same application as I need it for, and should work just as well.

We'll see how that goes I guess.

And today I start working on the office set for Cronus. I'm going to get some photos, do up some sketches and get some measurements and plot out how it will look. Should be good.

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