28th May 2014: A tale of two noses - Experiments with foamed latex prostetics One of the most critical parts of my Penguin's cosplay is his massive nose.
The first versions of the costume involved store bought noses, which were pretty good but were not the right shape.
For the past few months, I have been molding my own noses to give me a nose shaped (as closely as possible) as the Penguins nose in the film. The process for making the molds was pretty interesting, especially the bit where a cast of my face was taken!
I normally make my noses out of a mixture of:
2 parts Gelatine,
2 Parts glycerine,
1 part Suborol (wine sweetener),
A tiny amount of water
Colouring to match skin tone.
This mixture has the advantage of being cheap and easy to get hold of, casts are quick to make and if the casting goes wrong you can just re-melt the mixture and try again.
This mixture is great for prototyping and makeup tests, but as it is a natural product and I've found it to be rather too unpredictable at Con's.
At a Con I can be wearing the make-up for anything up to 12 hours a day and a lot will happen in that time. If the temperature is too warm, the gelatine will "sweat" trashing the makeup and the glue holding it. If its humid, the gelatine will swell, potentially trashing the liquid latex blending.
The biggest make up disaster I've had at a con (ironically on the day of my first professional level competition!) was caused in large part because my "nose" "sweated" in the heat of the changing room totally trashing both the gelatine and the make up. In the end I had to take it off and reset it - I didn't have enough time before the judging to properly redo the make up and liquid latex blending.
I'm currently using my casts to make my first home made latex nose, the outside will be liquid latex with a core of foamed latex. The process is much slower (I estimate this will be around 3 days per nose), as I am brushing 6 thin layers on the side of the cast and leaving them to dry before filling the core with foamed latex.
The foamed latex will be formed with liquid latex, slightly stiffened by adding 1% talc, and then very gently foamed by an old "cappuccino milk frother" to get tiny bubbles. This will reduce the weight of the prosthetic but still keep it's shape
The whole thing will then be baked in an old oven (which will never be used for food again!) at 50 C for around 13 hours to cure it.
I'm certainly hoping to have a much more controllable product at the end though. With summer con's coming up, I need a nose I can rely on!
I shall keep you posted
27th May 2014: A quick recap I've been working on this costume for a long time now, and its been a very rewarding experiance.
Back in March 2014 I was in the cosplay contest at London Super Comic Con and I put this gallery up on my Facebook page to show the work I had done.
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