Emma

Running Foam Latex Tutorial

foam latex tutorial

Foam latex is arguably one of the most difficult materials to work with. Not only is it temperamental to temperatures and humidity, it also has a lot of steps that need to be done correctly.

If you are considering foam latex, first thing to know is that you need an oven. It is not recommended to use your home oven, because, while baking, foam latex expels ammonia. This is not healthy to breathe in, and definitely not something you want in your home.

The great thing about foam latex is that it’s incredibly light. It really shocked me the first time I pulled some of it out of a mold. This stuff is really really light, and it feels a little bit like skin. More so than liquid latex at least. Glued on, it moves beautifully with the face, and really it’s just wonderful material as a whole. I’m impressed, and a little bit in love.

I highly suggest Monster Maker’s foam latex for anything that you’re doing. These people are not only incredibly kind and helpful, but they also make a really great quality material. The only thing I will suggest is that if you’re like me and live in a cold weather climate, order the foam latex LONG before it gets cold. Foam latex cannot travel in cold weather, if it freezes it won’t gel and therefore is useless. For expensive materials like this, it’s probably a good plan to avoid doing this.


foam latex

 Here’s the things you’re going to want to have.

  • Oven
  • Latex Gloves
  • Scale that measures in Grams
  • Electric Mixer (preferably not handheld)
  • Foam Latex Kit
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Measuring cups (plastic works fine)
  • Lots and lots of room

One thing to also mention, is that you should really have a run schedule. It helps to have it written down in a grid format, so that you know exactly how long to be mixing each step, and how long to bake for.

Slather on some mold release onto your mold and your bust.


foam latex

Once your mold release is on, set aside the molds and let them dry. Now it’s time for you to begin running your foam!

You’ll figure out your own run schedule, but for me the Monster Maker’s Run Schedule worked almost perfectly. I had a mixer that only had speeds 1-6 Here’s the breakdown.

  1. Add 150 g of Base to 30 grams of foaming agent and 15 grams of cure.
  2. Whip for 30 seconds from speed 1-6
  3. Froth at speed 6 for 3 minutes
  4. Reduce to speed 2, mix for 4 minutes
  5. Add 10 grams of gelling agent over 30 seconds
  6. Backbowl 30 seconds
  7. Scrape with spatula for 1 minute
  8. Mix at 1 for 2 minutes, or until the mixer starts feeling a little “heavy”

Once that is done, it’s time for you to put it in the mold! You are on a time crunch here, basically racing against the foam latex gelling time. So be quick, but calm about it. If it gels too quick, throw it away and make another batch. I used my hands, and pushed the foam latex into the horns of my sculpture, so that I could really make sure that the air was not going to leave bubbles.

foam latex


After you’ve poured that into you mold, immediately slide the head into place. Push hard! You want really fine edges on this, so the tighter the seal the better.

foam latex


foam latex

It’s going to goop out over the edges, that’s totally fine!

Now you have to let it gel. This means that it’s giving the latex a chance to stiffen before putting it in the oven. Basically, if you skip this step, your foam latex could collapse. It’ll make a layer of air in between your sculpt and your mold, and you’re no longer getting foam latex. It’s a mess.

20 minutes of curing time!

After this, pop that sucker into the oven. I found that with my heads, 3 hours worked best. They’re about 1 1/2″ thick at the thickest, and I think the female is a little thinner than that.When it’s done, pull it out of the oven and let it cool down for 15-30 minutes. When you can touch the mold comfortably and it doesn’t feel super super hot, then it’s okay to open.

Waiting is the worst part, but don’t rush it! I wasted foam latex because I thought it was “ready” but it really wasn’t. This will give you a partially baked head, and it just won’t work for you.


foam latex


foam latex

foam latex

foam latex


And then you’re done! Be careful pulling it out of the mold, it can rip. Foam Latex is really really stretchy (10 times it’s size actually), but remember those thin edges? We want to preserve those as best as possible.

I’m wearing the male’s head up there, so it’s a little big. But when I stretched the nose to fit me, it wrinkles when my nose wrinkles! Very very cool. I can’t say how in love with this product I am. Even though it really is a pain in the butt, it is really impressive in it’s final form.

6 Comments

  1. alex
    alexReply
    August 10, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Hi
    Did I miss something? the plaster mold image of the positive, shows a face with no alterations, not alien like at all.
    didnt you need to sculpt ?

    • emma.hamm20@gmail.com
      August 10, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      Hello! Yes I did need to sculpt! That piece is already done and molded, you can find that quick little tutorial . Once you have that mold of the sculpt, you take the clay off of the plaster mold of your head so that the prosthetic fits perfectly to your face.

      Hopefully I explained that well enough! If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

  2. Quinton
    QuintonReply
    October 7, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Hi, I’m looking to use the Monster Makers foam as well, but I was wondering about making smaller batches. I have a small prosthetic to cast and was wondering if you had any experience cutting the amounts in half to make half the mix?

    • emma.hamm20@gmail.com
      October 7, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      In my experience it doesn’t go so hot. I tried it twice, the first time it cured before I could get it into the molds and the second time it collapsed on me. It’ll take a bit of trying, but you might be able to get it to go!

      If I’m going to use small molds I try to have a few of them so I can do a bunch at the same time. What is it that you are making? If it’s something like ears or noses, you might be better served to go with silicone instead!

  3. Jean
    JeanReply
    July 10, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    what temperature was the oven ?

    A standard kitchen oven ?

    • Emma
      October 13, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      I wouldn’t recommend using a regular kitchen oven. When this is baking, it gives off ammonia gas which isn’t very healthy to breathe in. I’m also not sure what it would do to anything you cook. Temperature I use is somewhere around 160, but there should be directions depending on the type of foam latex you buy!

Leave a Reply

Your message*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Name*
Email*
Url