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Unread 01-14-2012, 03:18 PM   #1
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I'm here to help you! XD

This may sound odd, but I wanted to let you know that I am available to answer any questions regarding make-up, or prop making that you may have.

I worked as a make-up FX artist for many years and am more than willing to share my knowledge with all of you.

Simply post the question here, or PM me and I'll do my best to help you out.

Here are some things that I can help with.

• Plaster, Fibreglass, Silicone moulds
• Beard laying
• Bald Cap design and application
• Out-Of-Kit FX, cuts, bruising, injuries, etc.
• Latex Ageing
• Character design
• Life casting (teeth, half and full head, body, etc.)
• Sculpture (masks, teeth, horns, etc.)
• Vacuum forming
• Foam Latex, Latex, and Gelatine appliances & body parts
• Cold foam body parts


Note: I double posted this in the make-up section as well. Mods, if this is against the rules, please leave the post in the most appropriate section, and close the other one. Thanks.
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Unread 01-20-2012, 01:37 PM   #2
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Hey I'm trying to make mephistos magic umbrella I need to take a pink umbrella and turn the handle into an iceream cone with three scoops on it I want it to be fairly sturdy how would you do this I have been told maybe paper mâché but how would I make the model to paper mâché on also doesn't sound like it would be sturdy enough idk would love to hear your thoughts here is a link to the clearest pic I can find of the part I need help making
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Unread 01-22-2012, 03:37 PM   #3
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Hey MikeB1002,

I personally don't think paper mâché is a great material for this since it's prone to falling apart with moisture if not sealed, it's not that sturdy, and generally a pain to work with.

There are quite a few methods you could use depending on your budget, and/or the time you have available. I'll start with two, and you can let me know what you're comfortable with, and if I need to suggest others.


1. This is probably the cheapest method I can think of.

Basically, get yourself a few big blocks of polymer clay (Premo Sculpey), and sculpt it to your liking. You could, if you wanted to add some strength (and make it removable) attach a metal rod to the end of the umbrella and sculpt the ice cream over top.

Once you're done, you simply bake the clay and it should be fairly strong, with a bit of flexibility to it.

Then, just paint it using Acrylic paints.

The advantage to this method is that it's cheap. You should be able to get the clay for like $20 - $40, and a few paints for about $2 - $3 each. The disadvantage to this method is that it's a one off, and it's not as strong as the method below.


2. This method is probably more along the lines of the method I would use. While more time consuming and will cost more, it would produce some of the best results in my opinion.

The basic idea is that you would sculpt the ice cream onto the end of the umbrella using any type of clay you were comfortable using (Sculpy, Roma Plastilina, Klean Klay, etc.).

Once you have a sculpt you like, you would make a two part mold using one of the following (Latex, Silicone, Plaster).

Finally, you would clean out the clay, put the mold back together, and fill it with a two part, semi-rigid material (Plastic, Resin or rubber).

Then simply paint to your liking.

The advantage of this method is that you can really control the sculpt of your ice cream, and do multiple versions as you still have the mold. The downside to this is that it could cost upwards of a $100 or more to get all the materials unless you can source them cheaper in your area.


Let me know which method you like (if any), and we can go from there. I'll write the method you like most in greater detail if you like.

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Unread 01-22-2012, 04:38 PM   #4
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I'd love some tips on bald caps, if you wouldn't mind! My sister cosplays a character with a shaved head except for her bangs, and we always have trouble getting the bald cap to blend into her skin.
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Unread 01-22-2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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Hey Jeggis,

I hope you're ready for as much information as you can handle on applying bald caps!

The materials you will need to apply the bald cap:

• Bald Cap
• Head Block, or something similar shape
• Pros-Aide
• Bondo (this is NOT body filler, see post below)
• Hair Products/ Gels
• Surgical adhesive / Duo
• Sponges
• Naphtha
• Hair Dryer
• Make-up Pencils
• Q-tips
• Water = H2O
• Scissors

When it comes to bald caps, quality is everything. Cheap "Woochie/Halloween" caps have edges that are way too thick to be useful. You need to find one that is professional grade if you expect to get a good result. The thinner edges the better.

The first thing you must do before you apply the bald cap to an actor is, prepare it. To do this you need to take your bald cap and place it inside out on something resembling the shape of a head...a head block is best if you have one.

Take your sponge, and while at the same time holding the cap taught, stipple Pros-Aide in the following pattern. Work one section at a time starting with the forehead, dry the Pros-aide with the hair dryer, and then power. Then move on to the following sections. Be sure you don't let the cap fold over on itself or it will stick, and that's trouble. The powder will keep it from doing that.

After your cap has been prepared then it is time to prepare your actor. The main goal in prepping the actor is to try and get the hair to lie as flat as possible against the head. To do this we take our hair gel, and start to slick the hair back. Be sure the hair product you use will not break down the latex in the cap. If your actor has very short hair then no hair gel is necessary.

If your actor has long hair then start out by slicking the hair back and crossing it over, then pull the hair up, and fasten with a bobby pin. Be sure to pull the hair near the ears up, and away from the ear because this will cause problems later on.

Spray the hair down with Non-alcoholic hair spray and let it dry. Be sure to remove the pins before applying the cap.

Once the actor's hair is dry, and as flat as you can get it, it is time to prep the skin. Take a cotton pad with some 99% alcohol on it and gently rub around the forehead and temple areas, the sideburn areas, around the ear, and the back of the hairline. This will clean the area of excess oils.

Take your sponge and apply a thin layer of Pros-Aide around the same areas that you just rubbed with alcohol. Blow dry the Pros-Aide until it is dry and then powder.

Next take your bald cap, and making sure that the Pros-Aide side is on the inside, and get your actor to make "Rabbit ears/air quotes" on their forehead.

Take the front of the bald cap and place it over the actor's fingers. This will allow you to pull the back of the cap down without the front sliding off. Pull the cap down onto the head and position it so the crown of the cap sits on the crown of the actor.

Once the bald cap is in position then you need to trim the front. To do this, get your actor to raise their eye brows to create wrinkles in their forehead. Pick a wrinkle pattern in the upper middle area of the fore head, and draw a line on the cap using your make-up pencil. This is the wrinkle we are going to try and hide the edge of the cap into.

Take your scissors and work from one side to the other in semicircle following along the wrinkle line.

Scissors are sharp. Your actor in the chair must feel safe while You are cutting close to the skin. Always hold your fingers between the actor and the scissors; this will assure you cut yourself, and not your actor.

Do not cut the bald cap in an upward direction. This may cause a nylon effect, and split the cap.

Once you have your front edge cut it is time to start gluing the cap down. Get your actor to sit up as straight as they can to make sure the skin is in the proper position. Take your 99% alcohol on a brush, and re-wet the Pros-aide. Before the alcohol has time to evaporate, gently pull the cap down slightly so it lines up with the wrinkle, and then gently press it down to the forehead. Once the alcohol evaporates the cap should be firmly stuck.

Make sure once again that your actor is sitting up straight, without their legs crossed. Get the actor to tilt their head slightly back. By tilting the head back it will assure that when the actor relaxes their head back to a natural position the cap will have stretch to it.
With the head tilted back, run your hand from the front of the cap to the back to work out any slack, and wrinkles. Re-wet the Pros-aide on the neck area with 99% alcohol, and then pull the back end of the cap down and forward using both hands on either side. Then stick the cap down.

Take your towel, and wrap it around the back of the neck, and get the actor to hold the two ends, this will make sure the cap has time to stick firmly and evenly.

Once the back is stuck it is now time to attach the earflaps.

Take one of the sides in your hand, and gently pull it in a downward direction. Take your make-up pencil, and draw a circle on the cap in the middle of the ear, then draw a line straight down. This is where you're going to make the slot for the ear.

Take your scissors and fold over the cap so you can make a small slit in the ear circle you drew. Cut out the circle remembering to be careful of the direction you are cutting, and then cut downward along the straight line.

Once you have cut the cap, you should now be able to loop the cap over each side of the ear. You will notice that if you pull the two flaps down that you get a weird buckling effect at the top of the ear. This needs to be trimmed to allow it to be stretched down, and fit nicely around the ear.

To do this, cut in a semicircle pattern as you did with the forehead, and trim it back. Be careful around the ears, and be careful not to take too much off the cap, take a little at a time until it will fit nicely when the two flaps are pulled downward.

Once you have the ear trimmed, you can now glue it down. Start with the front flap, and stretch it slightly downward, you may have to adjust the angle to work out any wrinkles that may occur. Re-wet you Pros-Aide and then stick down the flap. Repeat the same with the back of the ear.

Be sure that you have the cap glued all the way around the ear, especially on the top. If you are having trouble with long stray hair falling out of the cap, take your tail comb and very gently push them back inside the cap.

Once the ear is glued down nicely, move on to the other ear, and repeat the process.

If at anytime in this process you encounter a hole in the cap, it can easily be fixed with a patch. To make a patch, take some of the excess cap that you will cut off, and cut it into a round shape slightly bigger than the hole. Apply Pros-aide to both the cap and the patch, dry the Pros-Aide and then gently place the patch over the hole.

Now that you have the bald cap securely glued down, the next step is to trim the excess off the cap. To do this take your naphtha on a brush and carefully start to break down the latex around the edges. To do this take and lift the cap slightly away from the head around the edge, and melt the cap with the naphtha, then place the edge back onto the glue, making sure it doesn't fold under on itself. The point of this is to get rid of the excess cap at the same time making a nice edge to blend. Take extra care to not get any of the naphtha on the skin.

Alcohol and Naphtha in the eyes can cause damage, be extremely careful when using it near the eyes.
After the front is secure, it's time to do the back of the neck.

After you have worked around all the edges, you may find you need to go back and glue down some of the edges, do this by re-wetting the Pros-Aide with 99% alcohol, or taking a little Pros-Aide on a Q-tip or brush. It's helpful to use your tweezers to pull up the edge while you re-glue.

Another way to trim the edges of the cap is by using scissors to cut around the edge. This works as well as the naphtha method but you must be sure that you don't cut the cap in a straight line. The eye has a natural tendency to follow a straight line; this will mess up the illusion.

After you have finished gluing down the edge as close to the skin as you possibly can get, its time to blend the edges off.

Take your Duo Surgical adhesive, and using your sponge, stipple around the edges and then up onto the cap about a ½ inch. The duo will seal the cap, and also bring the natural texture of the skin, into the smooth bald cap. Work your way around the edge, blow dry it clear, and then powder the areas you just applied Duo.

After you have finished your layer of Duo, you should check the edges to find places that need to be filled. To do this you can have you model stand in the sunlight, or use a flashlight to create a cross light, you should be able to see the edges. A magnifying glass can also help.

To fill these edges take a small amount of your bondo on a spatula. Pull the bondo up into the cracks on the edge. Then to smooth down the bondo, take a tiny bit of water on a Q-tip. Work in small sections at a time, and work carefully. Blow-dry the bondo, and then powder. After you have worked your way around the edge of the cap, you should have a fairly well blended cap, if you still have rough edges you can repeat the process starting with the Duo.

The cap is now ready for coloration.

I hope that helps. I realize it's long....you can imagine how much effort goes into making a good looking bald cap. I once had a job where I had to create Dr. Evil from Austin Powers for a traveling theme band and I had to apply a bald cap 4 times a week. :S

If you have any questions about anything above, don't hesitate to ask.


Last edited by crazylegsmurphy : 01-22-2012 at 09:49 PM.
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Unread 01-22-2012, 09:37 PM   #6
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Wow, that was amazingly helpful, thank you! So when you say bondo, do you mean the body filler?
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Unread 01-22-2012, 09:49 PM   #7
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Oh...no, no. I should have clarified. Sorry about that. Do NOT use body filler.

"Bondo" is what make-up artists call a mixture of Pros-aide and cab-o-sil.

Here is a Youtube video explaining it.


Now, the thing with Cab-o-sil is that it's quite dangerous to inhale and will stay in your lungs until you die, so it's not the best stuff to work with.

You can, thankfully order pre-made cabopatch / bond from various places like the link below for one example.


Sorry for the confusion.
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Unread 01-22-2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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Haha, no problem! I was pretty skeptical, since I've gotten the body filler on my hands before, doing props and stuff, and it's... well, not something you'd want on your skin, for sure.
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Unread 01-25-2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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Welcome to cosplay.com crazylegsmurphy! You'll find that there are actually a number of pro makeup people lurking about on this board.

It bugs me when makeup artists call Cabosil (fumed silica) + Pros-aide "Bondo", it causes so much confusion. I prefer the term "Cab-o-patch" much less ambiguous. EDIT: To clarify, I'm just grumbling about the popularity of the term. Not trying to be snotty!

Crazylegs is exaggerating the dangers of Cabosil a little bit. Your body actually is able to slowly push it up into phlegm. It must be treated with respect though. Inhaled regularly, it can cause silicosis, which is different but not unlike the problems with asbestos. The worst part about cabosil is because it has such a crazy surface-area to volume ratio, merely opening the container causes it to float all over the place. (The annoying, but less dangerous part is that it is super-effective at drying out your skin)

It may be better for the sake of people searching for information in the future if separate questions are posted in separate threads instead of one long thread of people asking you questions here. It also allows for more in-depth discussion.
Founder Special FX wiki http://fx.wikia.com

Last edited by verdatum : 01-25-2012 at 06:08 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Unread 01-25-2012, 07:46 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reply Verdatum,

You're right, it does cause confusion. There are actually a few terms in make-up that don't translate well when talking people who aren't familiar.

As to the safety of (fumed silica)...you'll find that I am always overcautious when explaining make-up to people who are not familiar with the materials or the techniques. I can recall times when eager artists have thrown alginate on someones face without breathing holes, or put plaster bandages directly on skin and hairy body parts.

I think what did it for me was when I was in the shop dipping into a large bucket of plaster when I dropped the scoop. I was splashed in the eyes with Ultracal, and it scared the hell out of me.

Anyway...being overly safe when starting out is just good for staying healthy and keeping everyone safe. With that said, here is a fact sheet for Cab-o-sil.


I simply opened this thread to let people know they could ask me questions. If they would like to start a thread and PM, or post here and ask me to come answer it, I would be glad to.
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Unread 01-28-2012, 03:38 PM   #11
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I would like to know how I can make an affordable mouth piece denture like those fake teeth you see in the stores.
I do not wear braces so I cannot just used nails and glue them onto it and I'm iffy about using the hot glue method to make the denture. Also, the polident method...it scares me that I could potentionally swallow my tooth pieces if I keep rubbing my tongue on the surface of them (I have a habit of licking the front and back of my teeth when I'm bored so...)

I posted the makeup questions in the makeup forum Sorry about the double post!

Last edited by Akune-chan : 02-01-2012 at 07:00 AM.
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Unread 01-28-2012, 07:43 PM   #12
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Alright, Im not sure if this counts as a prop... But,
I'm trying to get my boots to get this...folded in sort of look....

From these pairs of boots:

(please disregard all of the food in the counter XD)

How would I do that? Could I just hot glue flaps of black felt on or something?
I also want to add a zipper down the front of the boot, how would I do that?
What fabric should I use for the flaps, or if I want to make it into a boot cover?
I want it to look somewhat well done so I can use it again xD
(im sort of a noob... So please detail it for me Dx)

Last edited by MairuxKurunee : 01-28-2012 at 07:46 PM.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 03:37 PM   #13
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need help with latex and bald cap

Hi, I am making a "scary" bunny mask and will be using a bald cap to attach fur to but want to know what is the best way to attach latex rabbit ears to the bald cap so that they will not fall off.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 04:53 PM   #14
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Hey Tammi,

Your biggest problem will be weight. Baldcaps, because there is no actual attachment to the scalp (only the edges) have little to no stability in the middle. So, if you attach anything...like bunny ears...with any sort of weight, it will tend to distort the bald cap leading to the ears not standing up, or worse tearing the cap.

The trick is to create a stable base for the ears so they don't put any pressure on the bald cap itself. Luckily you said you're using fur over the bald cap, so this will give you a few options.

1. Attach the latex ears to a stable platform such as a wide hair band. Then cut holes in the bald cap allowing the ears to poke through.

2. Glue a stabilizing structure under the bald cap such as a rounded plastic piece, then attach the bald cap as required.

Both of these methods will give you some underlying stability. The question is, what to use to attach them.

This really depends on your bald cap. If it's latex, then super glue will more than likely eat through it like Honey Boo Boo eats "Sketti", and so you need something that will be strong enough, but won't eat the latex. If the bald cap is vinyl (like those thick halloween ones), you might be able to get away with a super glue, but I would test it first and let it sit for 24 hours to see if it melts.

I recommend....thread. If you can, sew the ears to the underlying structure. This will assure nothing melts, comes unglued, or is messy. The same thing goes for the fur. If you start throwing corrosive glues on the bald cap, you may eat through it before you even get a chance to make the thing work.

I would check to see what you have locally and try a few on a snip of the bald cap. You can, of course use liquid latex, as they will stick to each other. Just make sure you clean off any powder on the bald cap and ears before you try this.

If you can, please post photos of what you're attempting to do. I may be able to suggest something else that would work just as well, or better. If not, then I hope this gets you started. Feel free to write back with any questions you may have.

Good luck!
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Unread 10-17-2012, 08:57 PM   #15
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Am I able to attache felt ears to the bald cap using latex?
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