Help with painting appliances

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Jason in Ohio

New Member
I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on modifying off-the-shelf makeup. I will be attending ComicCon in my "V" uniform, and I want to add a little something. I picked up a "gaping wound" appliance, and when it arrives I plan on trying to paint it to look like lizard skin is showing through my cheek. Does anyone have any recommendations on what kinds of paint to use, or any other general tips? Any advice would be appreciated.
 
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Scuba Bob

Active Member
Typically these appliances are made of latex or foam latex. Generally rubber mask grease paint will work well. You just have to powder it with some setting powder after you're done painting. If you are serious about getting into fx and want some serious makeup, I recommend Michael Davy's makeup pallets. They're alcohol activated and are super durable. Make sure to buy some liquid latex to blend the edges of your appliance into your skin, the off-the-shelf appliances dont have thin flashing and are harder to hide so you'll need the liquid latex as a buffer. I recommend picking up some foundation to help blend the appliance into your skin as well. I wouldn't use spirit gum if you're going to be wearing it for a while. If you have it available in your area, buy some Pros Aide or Telesis Adhesive. They will hold your appliance on much better.

The texturing of the "gaping wound" appliance may not look right painted as lizard skin but give it your best. You can use green as a base coat and then create the scale effect with black lines and shadows. If you're feeling creative you could also use liquid latex and tissue paper to create some 3d scales inside the appliance. Hope this helps.
 

Jason in Ohio

New Member
Thanks a bunch Scuba Bob! That's a lot more info than I had before. I picked up some of the spirit gum when I ordered the piece. When i go to Comiccon, I will try the other stuff. Fortunately, I have a friend going with me who is good with makeup.
There is an 80's costume party at the beginning of June, and I plan on wearing the costume with the makeup. I will look into making the scales per your suggestion. I'll be sure to post my results.
 
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Scuba Bob

Active Member
for scales i like to take a tongue depressor and cut the end to form a point with curved lines leading to it. When i depress this into the clay it forms uniform scales. What you could do is lay some cotton inside your appliance and coat it with the liquid latex. When it's tacky, use the tongue depressor and press it in to create your scales. This will give it a realistic 3d look.

If you're going to an all day event, I highly recommend a product called "sweat stop" by michael davy. It will help prevent your perspiration from loostening the pros aide. I was volunteering in a haunted house last year and the full face appliance i was using started to come off at the mouth and nose very quickly. I had to do a lot of touchups but since the skin was already oily and sweaty, it didnt work out very well. Had I been using sweat stop it wouldnt have been a problem. Even though my face was clean and I prepped it, the sweat buildup gradually loostened the grip that the pros aide had. Fortunately it had a great hold on most of the major areas (cheekbones, bridge of the nose, brow etc) that my appliance never looked unrealistic but it just became uncomfortable to wear as it was no longer moving with my face.

If you're using sprit gum just make sure to clean your face thoroughly to remove any oils that will interfere with the adhesive. the same goes for pros aide. I can't say enough good things about pros aide. I've used it on appliances that I've made for the neck and other areas of the body and it will not come unstuck without a solvent.
 

Jason in Ohio

New Member
Thanks for all your help Scuba Bob! I ended up using a "wet look" nail polish to paint the appliance. Friday night I attended and 80s prom, and you can see the results for yourself.

I am going to buy another appliance and paint it for Comic Con, as this one dried out quickly after I removed it. The Spirit Gum worked for about 8 hours, but I will take your advice on the other glue for San Diego
 

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Mostly Fantasy

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
BJB Enterprises water based SC-92 system works really well on foam, and you don't have to worry about it rubbing off.
 

amfx74

Active Member
Hi Jason,
If you get some Pros-Aide adhesive, then you can use it to stick the piece on and use it to do the colouring. We use it for a lot of TV and film work. It will keep the piece adhered all day without hardening like spirit gum. You can mix it with acrylic paints to create PAX (Pros-Aide Liquitex) paint. Much more durable and is not affected by sweat. Ratio is 1:1 or 1/3 Pros-Aide 1/3 paint 1/3 matte medium.
 

Jason in Ohio

New Member
Thanks amfx74! I think I will try that. Trying o get everything done before the end of the month. Any suggestions for packing the appliance for shipping? I am fedexing the cosumes out to San Diego.
 

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