Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Demons, Calendars and Stuff

Been busy working on stuff, just a series of random stuff. Just finished shoot number 6 for the Demon Calendar - so far so good. Got the rest all lined up and shoot dates tentatively book for a few.

Meanwhile, I've pretty much wrapped up producing new prosthetics for the shop. I've got 3 female sized finished that all look pretty decent (I've got to come up with a better of way of phrasing that, female oriented? Female only? Whatever), they'll be going online, along with a few other pieces next week. As well, I'm working on a new large pair of ears and a new nose piece that should be ready for next week as well.

Since I'm running low on supplies I've been working out what best to focus on and I've decided to give latex pieces another try. Like horns and whatnot that you just slip on, no makeup required. I figure pieces like this might be more enticing for non-makeup oriented folks.

I've got an idea for a weird horned latex headpiece, might work, might not - but there's only one way to tell for sure. I think I'll do it up for a photoshoot and if it tuns out, I'll think about putting it online.

Here's a couple outtake shots from the last two shoots:

Otherwise I'm just trying to sort of some FX for the BZK! web series next summer, so far I've got some pretty cool stuff lined up and some of which will be for sale online. I'll be posting some progress about that once I make some good headway.

And I'm finally going to take a serious attempt at building a larger foam latex oven this winter. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Things in Jars going online for sale tomorrow!

Had a decently productive day - I think because I planned on doing way more than humanly possible getting just a bit done that took most of the day made it seem really productive and busy overall.

My main goal was to get the "Thing in a Jar" props done for sale. It's been a long, long, long time coming and they're finally done. Took awhile to track down just the right jar - mainly because I  needed a reliable and consistent source if I end up selling a lot of them.

So here they are:

This here is a Freeze Dried Two-Headed Faerie, found in the Aran Islands in Ireland. This is the only dry one, the other two jars are liquid filled and I thought I needed something a little different.

The Faerie itself was cast in Flex FoamIt X, I wanted it to have a bit of a dry look. I tried regular FoamIt, but it's small so it was pretty fragile and some parts broke off trying to get it out of the mould.

The Haitian Bloodworm, from the stomach of a zombie. This one was pretty simple, just made from EcoFlex 30 *future ones will be done in 20, just because I have a lot on hand for the moment). To cloud the water I added the smallest drop of yellow acrylic paint. I wanted it to have more of a yellow cast, but literally one more drop made it look like orange juice and was totally clouded up. I'm happy with this though. Hopefully the cloudiness will remain and won't settle out, but shaking it up should recloud it.

And finally the Yeti Fetus from a cave in Northern Tibet. This one was cast in resin, SmoothCast 305. I originally was going with latex filled with FlexFoam it, but the thing was so buoyant it was stuck to the lid of the jar, so I opted for solid resin with a painted on latex skin peeled and ripped up to make it look a little more gnarly.

I'm not totally sure of the prices on these just yet. I'm thinking they'll be under $20 though, maybe $15, and I'm looking into finding wooden boxes for selling all three as a set. I might even make them and put it out there as a limited edition set. We'll see how all that goes.

Until I get them on the website, which is going to be overhauled just slightly tomorrow, you can email me,, if you're interested in purchasing them.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Skullcap Prosthetics - 1st test

I finally got a chance to test my first Skullcap prosthetic. If you've never heard me mention it, I had an idea to create prosthetics for either bald people or people who like using baldcaps - it was sort of inspired by my annoyance of other prosthetics out there on the market that force you to use a baldcap (or actually be bald) but neglected to tell you in the product description.

So I figured, why not. Might be a really niche item in an already niche market - but the moulds are made and it turned out alright, so why not offer it up for sale to anyone who wants it.

Firstly, it was designed on a 21-1/2" head and the model here, John MacDonald, has a 22-1/2" head - and it went on relatively well with only the slightest little fold on one side that ultimately wasn't actually noticeable as a flaw in the end. Will it fit everyone? I highly doubt it, like all prosthetics like this they're generically made and made to fit an average size, so if you feel your skull is average sized, you might be alright. I would guess that anyone with a small head circumference might be in for a problem, although noticeably larger might be perfectly fine.

It took a whole batch of foam to make this one, so it might end up be a slightly more pricey piece along with the horns. However, because it's so thick, the edges held up really well and could be more reusable than most pieces - so it might be worth it for some folks, I guess I'll let them decide.

The's alright. Hard to do something like this for the very first time when you're not sure of the potential problems and all that. It looks okay, I would never brag about it being a great design, but it works really well with the new Baalmoor piece.

I will be throwing it on the site and seeing what the response is. With the appropriate warnings of head sizes and all that. It'll be around $65 I think given how much foam is needed and the amount of resin horns. Still pretty decent price though for something with more reusable potential than most pieces.

So there you go. If you're bald and always wanted to slap a prosthetic on your skull - now you can.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A whole bunch of random crap

I've been working on a few things at once, so this post is going to be a little everywhere all at once.

First, I've been trying to do a Demon Calendar, nothing too spectacular, just about 12 new images. I've got 4 done so far and I think about 3 more shoots lined up and I'll see where it goes after that. No idea where I'll be printing them or how I'll be selling them. All I know is, I'm trying to keep it on the non-expensive side.

Here's a few outtake images from the shoots so far:

I've been airbrushing only as well with the makeup this time out. Slightly faster, when the airbrush isn't clogging up - but way better end results, so it's worth it.

Second, I'm hoping to wrap up some new props by tomorrow. You've probably seen them or heard or read about me mentioning them before, the "Thing in a Jar" props. I've been meaning to get around to finding proper jars and finishing a 3rd one and I should have them online by tomorrow night if all goes well.

Third, I've been slowly whittling away at some ideas for the reshoot of the BZK! web series and one thing I really want to refocus my attention on are the FX. I've complained about this before and I really wasn't happy about how I was handling the zombie makeup. That's not to say I wasn't happy with what my two makeup artists, Maggy and Krista, were doing - they were doing exactly what I told them and they did a great job. I'm referring more to keeping things more organized and on track.

As the shoots went by, with each one, the makeup become more and more rushed. That should never have happened and was the biggest mistake (aside from letting just anyone volunteer) on the series. So for next time, we're really going to make an effort that the quality of the zombies is much better and not rushed.

One thing I'll be doing is trying some "out of mouth" dentures. At least that's how I've heard them referred to, they use them a lot on The Walking Dead and it's where you create a pair of dentures that latch onto your teeth, but they overlap your lips, so when a prosthetic is applied over them it can have the lips peeled back way more than humanly possible with series pain or surgery. If that makes sense.

The overall principle behind making them is pretty simple and I reckon I'll attempt a few test pairs over the winter. It should go a long way to really sell the zombie look and I might even be able to offer them up for sale with a bit of work.

Another thing I'm debating about, and again this was inspired by The Walking Dead - is their use of animatronic or puppet zombie heads in the foreground. There were a few shots in season 2 where I noticed in the extreme foreground, so you only saw it's face or down to it's shoulders, a very decayed looking zombie. You really only saw them for maybe a few seconds, enough to really get a sense of the thing,  pretty simple effect and if I have enough of a budget I'll be trying that trick as well hopefully.

Other than that, I'm finishing up my last prosthetic of the year. I'm running low on supplies so I don't want to make another huge expense for myself so I'm doing as much as I can with what I have left and I'm running low on master mould supplies. I've got my 3rd female oriented piece to finish up today and then perhaps a new pair of ears and that will be it for this year.

I've got a few older designs I want to redo, but they'll have to wait for now.

And lastly, while I haven't even started it yet, I do plan on building my foam latex oven this winter. Could be awesome, could be a disaster - I won't know until I get around to it I guess.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Dust Troll Redux

I started my first redesign of one of my older pieces, one of many. As I believe I started before, the reason behind this is just because some of my older pieces were never master moulded and the original moulds are long since gone, so I thought it seemed like a good time to update them - having not only seen what potential problems there were with them, but just because they were older pieces and I've improved a lot in the sculpting department since then.

First up was the Dust Troll, this is one I really wanted to redo. I really liked the design when I first made it but over time saw how many issues there were with it. It kinda lacked any character - plus the tusks were a pain in the ass. All future pieces with horns, tusks or spikes, will all be using the resin pieces instead of having them as one solid foam piece. Making sculpting, moulding and casting so much easier to do it this way.

Just letting the mould dry out after cleaning it for now and I'll be master moulding it tomorrow and hopefully doing a shoot with it this weekend. Really looking forward to seeing how it looks applied and painted up.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Post Halloween Syndrome

For me Halloween is pretty much year round, so it's not so much all that special in the sense of I can finally see people in costume and all done up looking freaky - I see that all the time. And it's not so much a relaxing time of year as I'm busy getting everyone else ready and usually don't really feel like doing that much myself. Although, without Halloween I wouldn't be making as much money, so for that reason, it is indeed awesome. And it's finally over.

This year was a little quieter than last, for a number of reasons. Although I did a higher amount of retail business, which I was rather happy about. Still having trouble really breaking into the wholesale market. I have a couple clients, but I'd really like 2-3 more. I think it would push things over the edge into making the business much more viable in the long run. So I'm starting early to get that process moving forward rather than waiting until next spring.

One of the things I'm doing this year, and I've mentioned this before, is introducing a couple new prosthetic lines. The main one being female oriented prosthetics, since around 95% of my retail business was from women and I've been told by a wholesale client that it's definitely an unfilled niche in the market - I'm thinking it might not be so niche.

I've got my main positive mould done and I'm about to start testing them to see if they'll fit women better than my current pieces - which I'm well aware won't fit them well. These ones are a little shorter in length from forehead to chin, so I'm hoping it'll work. I'm about to line up the first of a few shoots with some new designs over the next few weeks.

Here's the first sculpt, it's already been moulded and I'm doing a silicone master right now. No name for it yet, I'll decide on one once I see it applied as a character I think. Overall I'm happy with the design, I'm trying to make these ones less monstrous and simply more "obviously not human" looking. This particular one will have some chin spikes as usual, I seem to like doing that.

We'll see soon enough if it all works out. And I hope to be trying out the SkullCap Prosthetics soon as well.

I did a few makeup jobs last year and I think one or two even the year before that, but this year was a bit of a bust. I had a lot lined up and pretty much all, but one, flaked out on me and just never showed up. One cancelled, I'm fine with that, but just not showing up I found a little rude. Their loss.

Anyway, the one I did end up doing turned out awesome. I even kinda impressed myself with it. My first time relying totally on my airbrush for all the makeup. Not one bit of grease or creme makeup was used.  You can't really see the details in the picture, but overall it was blended pretty well and looked decently freaky. I used the Borom Demon piece and just did a fleshy colouring with it, some spots and reddish colouring as well, it wasn't too crazy. We went for a more, I guess you could call it realistic look. And he bought a Shrunken Demon Head to fill out the look.

It's been years since I've seen the movie, but this piece unintentionally reminds me of Rawhead Rex.

I'm not cranking out piles of prosthetics a day for the moment, so I can take a bit of a rest and start working on redesigning some older pieces that were never master moulded and creating some new ones. And even working on a few more Demonic Antiquities pieces, first on that list is a Mummy Hand. We'll see how that goes.