Newbie with question about foam screen used mask care

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Sr Member
Thank You all for your help with this. This is a great site with many great minds. I have been collecting screen used props buying and selling for about a year now. I have a few demon masks from Buffy and Angel that are the foam latex I think. Anyhow they will degrade with time and I am trying to find out how to stop this from happening.

Also I have been teaching myself to frame and shadowbox items for personal and resell. Does anyone have a good example of lighting a shadow box and some instruction of how to do this as I am electronically illiterate.


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Sr Member
I have been told two things: coat them with "petroleum jelly" and "seal them in an airtight box."

I don't know about the jelly and wouldn't try it, plus, what the heck good is it to save a piece and have it covered in goo? Unless you are trying to preserve it an not look at it on display.
I am sure that if you put it into a clear acrylic box, vacuumed out the air and sealed it off, it would help, the other things that kills this stuff is sunlight.

I have a few pieces as well and have been too chicken to do anything to them and haven't had the means to vacuum seal them, though in 6 years or so, they still seem to be fine, just sitting out in the open air, though out of direct sunlight.
I'm sure there are folks here who have dealt with this and hopefully some good solutions.
Good luck.


Sr Member
DO NOT put anything especially petroleum jelly on foam latex. This will cause the latex to break down and crumble in a very short amount of time. Best thing is to keep it out of sunlight, in an air tight bag/box and if you can, supported on a form. I still have a set of unused Hulk appliances from the 80s, soft and good color that I have kept in a zip lock bag for the whole time.


Master Member
just a thought, but wouldn't sucking out all the air ina sealed container cause the foam latex to expand since it is very porous? I used to vacuum seal a lot of food and if you ever put marshmallows in a jar and seal them, they swell up really big. Probably wouldn't be very appealing to display it that way.


Sr Member
I second that on the vaseline front, out of sunlight bagged, or in a shadowbox, removing the air will not effect the foam, you should have it supported on some sort of support.

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Legendary Member
I have had a Screen-Used Gorilla Appliance from "Battle of The Planet of The Apes" in a plastic bag since the Movie cam out and it looks like the day I got it.

I also have a Screen-Made but NEVER used Odo Appliance from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" that is in a display case on a Form and it too looks like the day it was made.

Cool, dry, and Dark place has always worked for me.


Sr Member
Wow you guys have got some nice stuff..

Anyway I remember hearing that foam prosthetics can be treated by coating or saturating them in some form of resin. Now, I don't know anything about the technicalities of this, and I suppose afterwards the piece will have lost it's flexibility, but if your collectable has rotted so much that you'll be losing it anyway, (and you can't get Wampa to work his magic on it.) this might be good a last-ditch option.

Anyone heard of this method?



Sr Member
Hey guys thanx for the ideas. Anyone have pics of there latex foam head displays. I will try to get some pics of my stuff on here to. Thanx for all your responses.


Sr Member
Um, yes. A Klingon head appliance from Star Trek VI, screen used and a screen-ready but not used Quark on Armin vac-formed face (Westmore made for ST:DS9)


Beautifully displayed on a broomstick (Quark) and a styrofoam wig head. Protected by layers of dust.


New Member
Greetings all the way from 'down under' here in New Zealand !
I'm an avid 'ape' collector [Planet of the Apes] and was fortunate enough to have the great honour of interviewing Dan Striepeke a number of years ago ... during which, he very kindly forwarded me an original chimp appliance - plus, Roddy McD's wig and some hand-pieces from the TV series !
I asked Dan how to preserve the mask ..... so here [from one of the masters] is his recommendation : " the product should be kept on their forms and in a Zip lock bag. Then put that bag into another zip lock bag. Avoid sunlight. Press as much air out of the bag before sealing".
Trust this helps ! If any member is interested > I could post some images of the items above.
Cheers Dean

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I started my career as a special FX artist in 93 as a Foam Technician on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with De-Niro. Your best bet is the ziplock bags or some other sealable device. DO NOT put anything on the appliance other than natural talc - un coloured and unscented. Keep out of moist areas and try not to ever - if poss - handle them, as skin grease will speed up the ageing process. i have some foam pieces that i have had since 93 and they are still as fresh as when i poured them :D and they are in a plastic screw-top tub that originally had sweets in :D i just powdered them, and popped them in for later use, but they were never used.
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