Silicone Or Foam Latex

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mrmyersfan

New Member
Hello every one of the hunters lair.
I have recently joined here and I am always looking for new projects to take on. Have recently started my predator body suit sculpture and will then begin the mask. I know latex is the most common casting medium in these part of costuming but was wondering if there is any interest in a silicone or foam latex body suit and mask? Silicone is better flexibly and despite common belief is not in all cases that much more costly than latex (from my mask making experiences). I also have more experience in silicone than foam latex or latex. Foam latex is used in the movie but I fear will not stand the test of time. At this point I am leaning to silicone but wanted your thoughts. I plan on putting up some progress pics as soon as I can. I will be molding late this month or early next (but I want this one to be perfect). I look forward to your thoughts and will post up some pictures.

Thank you for your time

-Mr.MF
 

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hellonearth

New Member
ya, although foam latex would be ideal as far as realistic flexibility, it would not hold the "test of time" it would last a long time, i have several foam latex masks that are pretty damn old and don't have a single sign of breaking down, but most the guys around here use latex because they plan on basically, being able to pass these suits on to their teenage kids many years down the road, a few have been getting into the silicone side of things recently, but mostly good ol' regular latex.

i personally would love a foam latex pred suit but would hate to go to all that trouble if it wouldn't last more than ten years or so, plus another downside to that is i believe the requirement of needing both positive and negative molds to do so.

the moderator, Usurper is at least one guy i know of around here that has been experimenting with silicone, off the top of my head i can't think of who else, but they're in here. but you may wanna ask his opinion about silicone use. just tryin to help bud.
 

mrmyersfan

New Member
Thanks Hellonearth, you seem to have been sharing the same thoughts on foam latex. Both silicone and foam latex require positive and negative molds. But I understand that latex is used because it is simply the basic way of doing things (if it ain't broke don't fix it). Thanks for your again for your thoughts Hellonearth. :)
 

bweapon

New Member
Hey Mr.Mf, My personal experience -

Foam latex - a massive ballache with a steep slippery learning curve. but gives brilliant movement/flexibility.

Silcone - amazing final result achievable where a realistic 'skin' look is required, transparency is 'usuable'. And I dont know how to word it but has a 'wetter' or softer movement than latex. Very strong. More expensive, more messy, more difficult to use correctly and more equipment needed (good quality set of digital scales, gloves, mixing cups/sticks and sticks, at least a million paintbrushes.

Latex - Cheap, Strong as hell, easy to use, Clean, all the equipment you need - arms. Or jedi powers, Or, failing that, someone that will help you with arms who will pour it in and tip it out of your mould. Its takes much longer...but uses less of your time! o_O . Its main drawback, oh and the smell. But just don't stick youre head in the mould and youre good. Or wear a mask. Degrades faster than silicone I believe also, but ive never owned anything long enough to know lol.


So imho Latex wins allllllll the way for building these things. But you've asked more specifically, between silicone and Foam Latex....... If you have the time and money, and the patience to build the mold alone, then i say risk Foam Latex, If you want A high Quality finish fast, then its Silicone!

Almost forgot, Happy New Year, 2012, WHOOOP!...
 

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ptgreek

Active Member
..and you can gel foam latex with out a core or positive as well. The biggest drawback to foam is the need for a specialized oven ( in other words ...dont try and use your own.) Silicone is WAY more expensive BTW ..or at least if you want to do it correctly. Usurper and I have pretty decent of knowledge in working with it.
 

mrmyersfan

New Member
I have worked with all 3 materials before , so I could DO any of them learning is not needed. Usurper, I use both that way I have an even thickness. I work directly with a suppler so cost will be much less. What I am looking for is what material provides a final product that you guys like, cost aside (for now)
 

Usurper

Well-Known Member
Well good for you.

i was NOT saying you were incorrect, merely stating it is NOT required as you say. I have brushed silicone into my moulds with a farily
consistant thickness, and thus not made them overly heavy.

Oh and be a good chap, pop a welcome in the intro thread and read the forum rules please.
 

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mrmyersfan

New Member
Well good for you.

i was NOT saying you were incorrect, merely stating it is NOT required as you say. I have brushed silicone into my moulds with a farily
consistant thickness, and thus not made them overly heavy.

Oh and be a good chap, pop a welcome in the intro thread and read the forum rules please.
I was just saying I have the capabilities to bake the foam latex, I was not trying to be rude. I am sure it is possible to do silicone without both positive and negative molds and have consistent thicknesses, I have never done it this way before because I didn't learn it this way. I didn't mean to sound cocky, I wanted people to be aware that I am more than just talk . I tried to get to the intro thread but got an error message. I am sorry if I came off cocky or rude. Sorry about that.

-Mr.MF
 

ptgreek

Active Member
Hahaha ....I understand where you are coming from bro ...and I dont think you are coming off cocky. but again Im gonna have to say that running foam is much cheaper then silicone ...even in the molding process it is cheaper. We are doing over 40 character makeups for one of our latest films ..some are foam ..some transfer ..and quite a few silicone appliances ..Ive also built more then one full silicone creature suit ...there has never been a time where it was more economical to run silicone then foam ..it is a specific need you are filling with the material ..and that is why you run the product. In the case of pred suits.i have quite a few friends that have worked on the film suits ...for the latest, KNB considered silicone, but turned to foam latex suits. They are perfect for a film. However, for a collector, con goer and Halloween trooper ..not so much
 

Usurper

Well-Known Member
No need to apologise, we all share ideas and theories here.

obviously a plug would be ideal, but it is not required just so you can do silicone, most of us work in basements/sheds/garages/kitchens/spare rooms, so we have to think outside the box :cool:, or simplify processes.

I just did not want anyone getting scared off silicone, due to the IDEAL way of doing it, when there are others if you are careful.

Silicone for pred masks/suits/components has not really taken off here, and has only been dabbled in,HOPEFULLY more people will attempt them sooner rather than later, and other opinions at any level of experience is welcomed.

All of us lear something here :)
 

Supa troop

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
excuse my ignorence here but what is the shelf life of a Latex Head if it were puerly for display, im told silicone will last a life time
 

Effects Guy

New Member
Love, love, love foam latex. PT is so right. It really is economical. I would say having a core makes things a lot easier. I think, without some serious understructure, a silicone pred mask would be kinda floppy.
 

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Usurper

Well-Known Member
Brushing in silicone is much cheaper/quicker/easier than having to make a core, a core maybe the " proper " way to do things, but other options are often more viable to someone working on a budget,time frame, limited workspace and tools.

Picture below is of a silicone Predator mask that was brushed into a mould.
fast cast resin was poured in JUST the crown, giving a mechanic lock to the silicone, then it was foamed like a normal latex mask, i did not even use a core for that, just small sections done at a time at a time.

the whole head including dreads weighs just over 7lbs. so is not too heavy, doesnt sag, and will outlast foam latex.

DSCF0022.jpg.gif
 

Effects Guy

New Member
that is one way for sure. You might even get way without the resin sandwiched in the middle, but be careful with the foam, give it a few weeks to off gas before wearing it. safety first
 

mrmyersfan

New Member
That Mask is beautiful Usurper.

brushing will be a time, energy, money saver for the body skin alone. And we see it makes a perfect mask :cool: .

sorry I haven't updated, I am currently waiting for clay and rethinking some things... thanks for your thoughts guys
 

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