Holy Grail Of Skin Material Found?

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carlart

New Member
For years, the go-to material for making skins for creatures has been foam latex because of its flexibility and other skin mimicking qualities. The drawback of foam latex is that it does not have prolonged shelf life, as it deteriorates over time due to the high water content of latex, as well as UV rays, etc., etc. When it comes to making predator body stuff here on the Lair, the best solution is regular latex rubber, which has a lot of the same qualities, but will last much longer if taken care of.

It looks as though that has all changed with the release of a new material from Smooth On called Soma Foama 25. It's a platinum SILICONE based foam that has the following characteristics:

- It's denser than the current Soma Foama 15, therefore the cured skin can capture more detail.
- It does not shrink after curing, so you don't have to oversize your sculpt to compensate for shrinkage like you do for latex casting.
- It does not crumble or deteriorate over time like latex-based foam, so your costume will stay intact for a long, long time.

I learned all this after calling Smooth On the other day and talking with one of their material specialists over there. It seems like the Holy Grail of practical predator body parts duplication now exists! The only drawback would be having to scoop/ hollow out the foam from your castings so they can be worn. The nice thing is that they'll already have foam backing them up so there doesn't need to be expanding foam like Smooth On's urethane-based Foam It added to the back of a traditional latex casting to maintain it's shape.

At some point down the road, I'm going to give a go at sculpting a P1 head, with the idea of pouring this stuff into my Ultra Cal or Hydra Cal mould. In the meantime I look forward to somebody else trying it out. Needless to say it is not compatible with tin or platinum silicone moulds.
Check out the attached sheet.

soma_foama-_cons_so_01.jpg
 

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Usurper

Well-Known Member
I have a silicone pred head and it weighs less than a latex one, 7.1lbs fully dreaded.

a suit will not be a problem , does not have to be overly thick if you do not core it, and encapsulate foam into the muscle areas.
 

seahunterr

New Member
Looking forward to trying this stuff out, what is the cost comparison? Speaking of Holy Grails... Would be awesome to have one on my back...and put a cannon on it... ;)
 

Eaglewood

Sr Member
Heck,
I use this stuff all the time and am embarassed as I totally blanked out on using it for this. I have used it for special effects stuff and backfilling some silicone items that needed extra bulk. Never thought of using it for the actual suit. I have some molds here of torsos so Ill dump some in and see how it works!!. I actually have it here on my shelf.
 

carlart

New Member
Having said that , i do not agree with your HOLY GRAIL comment Carl. I still think silicone is the way forward.
It IS Silicone. Silicone foam, less weight, more flex. What more could you ask for?
Looking forward to trying this stuff out, what is the cost comparison? Speaking of Holy Grails... Would be awesome to have one on my back...and put a cannon on it... ;)
Very soon, very soon indeed!
 

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carlart

New Member
So you're going to be selling them? I thought you had no plans on selling them?
Did I say that? *sigh* I really miss the old days around here when using words like "selling" and "buying" were kept to a minimum, and saved for off- forum communications. There was a time when we didn't push our luck with Fox. Let's not hijack this thread, and keep it on the subject at hand :rolleyes:
 

Lflank

Well-Known Member
Alas, as a Florida resident, my Holy Grail is a bit different. I'd like something that looks good, isn't very heavy, and allows good airflow to pass through so I won't melt after ten minutes. Heat stroke is no fun at all. :unsure:
 

ptgreek

Active Member
Heck,
I use this stuff all the time and am embarassed as I totally blanked out on using it for this. I have used it for special effects stuff and backfilling some silicone items that needed extra bulk. Never thought of using it for the actual suit. I have some molds here of torsos so Ill dump some in and see how it works!!. I actually have it here on my shelf.
quick tip ..careful what molds you pour this into ...if youve been running any type of latex in the mold prior, you will have problems. It is still a platinum cure silicone ..latex contamination of a mold will in fact inhibit the cure. As for this product, im not sure that i would classify it as a Holy Grail. Ive used it before ..it does work alright to encapsulate into silicone .BUT ..it is still pretty heavy ..it does have a tendancy to crumble and is no where as soft and pliable as straight ecoflex, dragonskin or plastil. you could run a skin of ecoflex, then fill the mold with the foam if youd like ..I still prefer to run all silicon in a body suit or head piece. A mold with a core is still your best bet
 

carlart

New Member
quick tip ..careful what molds you pour this into ...if youve been running any type of latex in the mold prior, you will have problems. It is still a platinum cure silicone ..latex contamination of a mold will in fact inhibit the cure. As for this product, im not sure that i would classify it as a Holy Grail. Ive used it before ..it does work alright to encapsulate into silicone .BUT ..it is still pretty heavy ..it does have a tendancy to crumble and is no where as soft and pliable as straight ecoflex, dragonskin or plastil. you could run a skin of ecoflex, then fill the mold with the foam if youd like ..I still prefer to run all silicon in a body suit or head piece. A mold with a core is still your best bet
Thanks for the clarification George. That's why I put a question mark on the title of the thread, I wasn't 100% sure. The guy I talked to at Smooth On told me it was lightweight and would not crumble, because it was a new formulation of their existing silicone foam. Is Ecoflex a platinum based silicone? I agree, a core mold is the way to go for a skin and foam combo, which is what I use for my torso armor. I used to paint in a skin of urethane rubber and then pour Flex Foam It in to back it up. I know there's no short cut to success, but I like using the new self-skinning FFI 17, because it saves me time and $$$ from having to paint in a separate skin. With Smooth On's new silicone foam, I just figured it might be analagous when producing skin parts.

It's great having experienced people here who have used certain materials provide guidance to save the rest of us who are relatively new to this from the hair pulling and screaming fits when **** goes wrong after hours of ass-busting.
 

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ptgreek

Active Member
dont get me wrong ..it has wonderful applications ..but in the end it still isnt a replacement for straight silicone ..and Im with you right now ..loving both the flexfoam17 and 25
 

DAVIDYR1

Official Licensee
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I used to make silicone suits this way.
I'd use either Dragon Skin or Smooth Sil 910 for the skin, then cored molds for the silicone foam. Soma Foma is fantastic for this but it's really strong on the expansion...very strong. Make sure your molds are bolted with the core locked firmly into place. Any shifting will cause the gasses to crack your mold...and be sure to have it vent properly otherwise the expanding foam can burst your mold.
It's great stuff!

Prior to Soma Foama I'd line the silicone skins with cheese cloth, and use Flex Foam III. The foam would grab onto the cloth...but the down side is that the cloth would compromise the stretch of the silicone...kind of a catch 22 senario there but silicone is the way of the future in my opinion....unless of course it can be made in leather, then as far as I'm concerned leather is the way of the future. :)

Silicone with Flex Foam III cored suit...

Sculpted in Chavant NSP Soft
Untitled-13.jpg

Untitled-8.jpg


Full cast silicone suit..
Untitled-1ll0.jpg

Untitled-13-3.jpg


These were not dusted to remove the shine...later ones were.
Silicone works....and it's fantastic to work with.


David
 

ptgreek

Active Member
Very good tip David.. Can't agree more about a tight bolt down and venting. ran the same idea on our last full silicone suit only an 8 way stretch powernet allows for the suit to stretch as far as the silicone would go.. And if a small tear occurs, silpoxy is your friend... God I love that stuff
 

DAVIDYR1

Official Licensee
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Very good tip David.. Can't agree more about a tight bolt down and venting. ran the same idea on our last full silicone suit only an 8 way stretch powernet allows for the suit to stretch as far as the silicone would go.. And if a small tear occurs, silpoxy is your friend... God I love that stuff

Hey bud!
I actually missed your earlier post above about the inhibition...so I echo everything you said there!
My only worry with 4 or 8 way stretch power net is that, well...it's very strong. Strong enough to rip through the silicone if the silicone skin is forced past the max stretch of the net. The net wont rip, but I've found it to pull free of the silicone and tear through it over repeated force. The cheese cloth was cool because it would snap and tear accordingly, and not the silicone. However Silpoxy will save the day!

In any case, truth is there are a million and one ways of doing this all. We all find our comfort zone...but it is nice to have industry guys like you chiming in with real hands on experience and advice bro.
See you at SDCC?

David
 

ptgreek

Active Member
I'll see ya there.. I think I'm there with a film again. I'll keep ya posted. Your booth is by far my favorite
 

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