Thursday, 22 November 2012

Latex Casting Feet

This is the current stage of my ball and socket armature after it has been padded out (i still need to do the arms and generally trim down areas)

The next stage is to cast my feet in brown latex. Stages of the feet until now can be found here. Latex is an air drying material, which has to be applied in layers in order to dry evenly. Unlike silicone, which is a chemical reaction which, once a catalyst is added drys within a number of hours. With latex, acrylic paints can be added unless you have a latex pigment. Whereas with silicone oil paints are required in order for it to work still. No more than around 5% paint should be added, or it can alter the final outcome.

I made the 4th layer of latex slightly thicker, and left it to dry overnight. I used a brand called 'Woodland scenics rubber latex'. To some latexes you have to add a thickener but this brand was thick enough already not to need that. You'll also notice from the photo above compared to the one below, latex dries a lot darker than the original colour. This is another place where silicone is more desirable. It will dry which ever colour you make it. 

You will also notice that i left a rim around the top (technically base) of the shoe. This was so a sole could be added at a later stage. Once the shoes were removed from the cast (being careful not to let them stick to each other). They were padded with foam and the armature was placed inside. 

Next to make the soles. I could've just painted latex on but there would be no guarantee it would stay flat. Instead, I painted a thick ish sheet of latex onto a flat surface (the back of my plaster cast) and left to dry. This was then trimmed to fit the rims that i left on the latex shoes. (I also can't help but think how the look like those fancy chocolate Pringle things that used to be around)

The two pieces were stuck together using more latex and the edges were trimmed. These will now be cleaned up using lighter fluid and the blue foam legs will be properly attached and trimmed down. 
Below is a photo of the waist down of my character. Including a rigging point in the back, and a section in the front for the belly to be attached. 

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