Special FX makeup course – Part 1: Casting

Plaster mask
Plaster face cast

It occurred to me recently that I had never done any special FX makeup before. It seems like it would be a good skill to have and I hadn’t done any courses for a while so I signed up for a character creation class. It’s 6 classes where you go through the steps from casting your models face to making prosthetics and doing the makeup. You need to have a model for your makeup, luckily being married means I have someone who is obliged to help me with my craft endeavours. For the first class we cast their face.

Alginate mask
Alginate mask (goes on before the plaster)

The first layer was done with alginate – it’s weird goopy stuff that sets quickly and is nicer on your skin that plaster, it also picks up detail better. Then plaster bandages go over that to give the mould strength (it wouldn’t stay together with the alginate alone). You have to leave nose holes so your model can breathe.

When you take it off you use some more plaster bandage to plug up the nose holes in your mould so you can pour paster into it to get the positive of your model.

By the next class it was set so I could take the positive out. It had been a few days and the alginate goes crumbly, so I had to throw the mould out. My husband was very disappointed as he had hoped to make an army of faces. The positive goes into a container and more plaster is poured in to give it a base.

Now you have something that is really creepy.

My Dave in a box
My Dave in a box

Next post Part 2: Sculpting and mould making