Making a fake liquid containing bubbles? (fear toxin tanks)

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Hey all, I've looked all over for a proper solution to this but I figured perhaps someone had a better alternative that I may have overlooked.

I'm building a Scarecrow costume from Arkham Knight and am trying to find a way to replicate the fear toxin inside the tanks on his chest. The tanks themselves are no problem, but I'm trying to find a way to replicate the bubbling effect without using an actual liquid or gel. I've seen people use colored hair gel for this kind of thing to great effect, but where there are 10, 16oz bottles strapped to my chest, that would be a lot of extra weight, and I'd rather not open my suitcase to find what I've used has leaked over everything. So I thought I would pour a small amount of clear, solid, fake liquid into each bottle, lay it on its side, and let the solution cure in a shallow layer over the window of each tank, making it seem like they are filled with the stuff, while remaining light and mostly empty. However I am having trouble finding something that will have that bubbling look when it cures without it being so subtle it goes unnoticed. I'm putting LEDs inside the tanks to light the liquid from behind if that makes a difference.

I considered gel wax, but where my bottles are plastic (and covered in wonderflex), I'm assuming they would melt from the heat of the liquified wax. So resin seemed like the best option, but I'm not sure if the air bubbles will be so small they wouldn't be seen.

For that matter if I were to go with resin, is it possible to get bubbles to this degree?

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Sinned

Well-Known Member
While I don't have a specific answer for you, I have to reply, if simply to acknowledge a really well asked question!

I can't say from experience, I do have a couple of thoughts:

Your concern with heat can also apply to curing resin, especially thicker pours of it. Might not be as high as melted wax, but can still get pretty warm, so just to keep in mind.
You could go with a clear resin, and do what you can to bubble it up. Stir it even after it begins curing, possibly (carefully) blow air into it, stuff like that. Basically just do the opposite of what you'd normally do with the stuff. Something like Smooth-on's Smooth-Cast 325, 326, 327 or their Crystal Clear. It might look interesting as its default amber color, or can be tinted to the color you'd like. I think other suppliers also have similar products.

This project sounds awesome, love to see what you end up coming up with.
 
I considered the heat from the resin. But I'm just thinking back to when I was working with fiberglass resin out of plastic cups and I never had an issue with them getting deformed.

I was actually looking at Smooth-Cast 325. Do you (or anyone for that matter) know HOW amber it is? I'd be tinting it orange or amber anyways so it works out I just wanted to know ahead of time if possible. Worse comes to worse I got a ton of oil paints I read you could use that to dye resin as well. Just need to keep it translucent is all. Also Sinned, I too am very curious to see how this whole endeavor comes out haha
 

Sinned

Well-Known Member
I have seen some resins soften up the wax on "waxy paper cups", so they can definitely get warm, just wasn't sure on the the sensitivity of wonderflex/bottle. But true, thinner layers shouldn't be a problem regardless.

I've only used it tinted, or filled with powder for cold-casting, so actually can't say. I do have some here though, will see if I can mix some up.
 

logan74k

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Large bubbles in my experience are hard to achieve. I've tried this with CC202 in the past - the trouble is the liquid resin is only thick enough to hold bubbles of any size for a very brief and difficult to estimate period of time during the cure process. Have no experience doing it with 325. It's only slightly amber, you should be fine from that perspective.

If I had to do this I would make a mold using a piece of these bottles as the front, maybe 1/2" thick so I end up with rectangular pucks that have the right curve on the face and the window so I can see what I'm doing. I'd stand it vertical, leaving the top open and run a clear vinyl tube in a "U" from under the mold to an air line on an extremely low pressure. The "U" is to keep the poured resin from backing into the air line. I'd mix my resin, let it warm up and slightly thicken, then pour it in the top. As it cures I would gently pulse the air in from below.

If you want lots of tiny bubbles, that's easier, just mix the hell out of the resin until it's goopy and pour that in your bottles as you described. Too many bubbles and it can actually become almost opaque, so watch out for that!

Good luck, whatever you end up doing.
 

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cavx

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
For that matter if I were to go with resin, is it possible to get bubbles to this degree?

View attachment 510550
Yes it is if you are prepared to break all the rules of casting.

Plan A: Use a vacuum chamber. I have made the mistake of letting the "pot-life" of the resin expire. This means that is had turned from a liquid to a gel and was now on its way to becoming a solid. In my case, the bubbles were expanded to their full size, but because the resin was getting harder and harder, they could not pop, rather they set in and I ended up throwing out the mess of bubbles.

Keeping them contained like in you image might require mixing and degassing in the chambers they will be used in. The trick will be adding a long hose or similar to catch any resin that leaks out during the expansion phase. Remember, the liquids under vacuum can expand several times their original size.

Resin pending, you may be lucky to only have a small amount of swell.

Examples from my experiences.

A 2 LTR container will allow enough room for expansion of 500g of polyurethane without overflow.
The same size container will hold almost a 1000g of polyester resin (this is what I think you might be best using?).
The same size container will only hold 250g of Silicone without overflow.

Plan B: If you don't have access to a chamber, it might be possible to add something that creates bubbles like baking soda or even an air line from a compressor. In the end, there is a finite amount of time, so it might even be a case of mixing/adding air close the end of the pot life limit. It will create a gas expansion and make bubbles and those bubbles will rise. If the resin goes into gel state, those bubbles will be captured and when it turns to a solid, be trapped in the resin for ever.

Disclaimer: I have never added baking soda or an air line, so some research and experimentation may be in order.
 

Sinned

Well-Known Member
Good suggestions above. I'd also think you could try blowing through one of those little coffee straws, into the curing resin.

Here are some quick samples (sorry, only phone handy, so color is not high quality):

Each one is a single drop of tint, to approx. 1oz. of 325 resin (.5 A & .5 B). Except the bluish one, which was a drop of yellow + drop of blue...an unsuccessful green. These were almost too hot to pick up, but did not distort the plastic at all.

First picture, and the sample on the far right, are both 325 with no tint..

325-untinted-01_zpshiwhy0kp.jpg 325-colors-01_zpswnbxy2gh.jpg

I tried mixing the crap out of this stuff, both at first, and as it cured, but really didn't get great "bubble" results. Would definitely need to try some of the other ideas up above, to get good-sized bubbles.

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Also, I think I just learned how to make fake Jell-O shots.
 
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Krats

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I don't know if this is worth suggesting, but as an alternative to faffing with the technicalities of air bubbles, you could always throw a handful of clear/pearlescent beads into the resin mix. You'd still have to work out how to stop them from floating/sinking but you'd be able to control the size and popping would no longer be an issue.
 

Gixxerfool

Well-Known Member
How about hair gel, BUT use two tubes one inside the other and fill the space between them. This way you have the effect without the weight.
 

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Darksyde13

Active Member
I don't know if this is worth suggesting, but as an alternative to faffing with the technicalities of air bubbles, you could always throw a handful of clear/pearlescent beads into the resin mix. You'd still have to work out how to stop them from floating/sinking but you'd be able to control the size and popping would no longer be an issue.
I was just thinking the same thing. Depending on the product you may be able to use a similar technique to casting embedments. For polyester resin it attais a 'gel' state before full cure that allows you to add aditional layers with minimal to no banding once you get your technique down.

Also, if you don' t need the 'liquid' to be a hard plastic there is a clear rubbery casting material from smooth on called Encapso K that might give you more options. Here's someone using it for 'potions' but I'm not sure if she mentions how to do the bubbly blue one at the end. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXATaFoQkZU
 

logan74k

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think clear beads will do what you're looking for. If you put a clear bead in a glass of water, it will largely disappear. I don't believe you get the same kind of refraction and reflections that an air space makes.
 

Darksyde13

Active Member
How about hair gel, BUT use two tubes one inside the other and fill the space between them. This way you have the effect without the weight.
Also not a bad plan at all. It can be a little hard to find the right size tubes but should get the desired effect. You could also use the inner tube for some led lights or other effect.
 
Some really great suggestions guys I appreciate it! Thanks! I keep coming back to hair gel because visually its just what I need. But where I've already built the bottles and would prefer to not have to cut them open to get an inner tube insidethen glue them closed, I think I gotta go the casting route.

I was just thinking the same thing. Depending on the product you may be able to use a similar technique to casting embedments. For polyester resin it attais a 'gel' state before full cure that allows you to add aditional layers with minimal to no banding once you get your technique down.

Also, if you don' t need the 'liquid' to be a hard plastic there is a clear rubbery casting material from smooth on called Encapso K that might give you more options. Here's someone using it for 'potions' but I'm not sure if she mentions how to do the bubbly blue one at the end. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXATaFoQkZU
The only thing that makes me hesitant about using a more rubbery material was how well it would stick to the plastic of the bottles. I assume the resin would stick a bit better then the Encapso, but if I'm wrong it might be worth looking into. She seemed to get some pretty good effects with it. But where I wouldnt be filling the bottles I'd be afraid that it might peel away over time and then just be chillin out inside the bottle with no way for me to get it out...Again, no clue as this is a bit of a first for me with casting supplies. Would resin adhere more strongly than a soft rubber or silicone?


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Thanks dude I really appreciate you taking the time to do that! Im new to working with resin beyond fiberglassing so still gotta make a decision on what to go with so I can order the stuff to test in the first place. Deadlines fast approaching and don't want to get hung up on such a small thing where theres still so much to do on this costume, so this was very helpful
 

Darksyde13

Active Member
Hmm, Is that the pic of what you are putting the bubbles in? It looks like you are shooting for putting something in those little windows. Am I understanding that correctly?
 

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Elusiveg

New Member
I'm working on making a Scarecrow costume for a friend right now and I've found using hand sanitizer to work pretty well. A few drops of dye and seal it up. If you need to you can open it up later and clean it pretty easily.
 

Darksyde13

Active Member
Hmm, for such a small opening you might also try just printing on some clear overhead transparencies, or marking them up by hand with the desired look. Since you've been looking at casting options it doesn't sound like you need them to move so you could try a piece of transparent art simply slid inside the bottle and pressed against that little opening.

http://www.amazon.com/Grafix-2-Inch-11-Inch-6-Pack-Clear/dp/B000XALNPI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438826146&sr=8-1&keywords=inkjet+transparency+film

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-soap-bubbles-yellow-liquid-background-abstract-blurred-image35106502

drop in one little white led and bobs your uncle.
 

justanuthercap

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Might be thinking a bit outside the norm here, but if those windows are small enough, what about a small video screen with a looping video of bubbling liquid playing? You could create almost any look you wanted that way you could even have different videos queued up for effects. Almost no additional weight that way.
 

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