How to Run Foam Latex tutorial
Running 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.
Here’s the things you’re going to want to have.
- 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.
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.
- Add 150 g of Base to 30 grams of foaming agent and 15 grams of cure.
- Whip for 30 seconds from speed 1-6
- Froth at speed 6 for 3 minutes
- Reduce to speed 2, mix for 4 minutes
- Add 10 grams of gelling agent over 30 seconds
- Backbowl 30 seconds
- Scrape with spatula for 1 minute
- 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.
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.
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.
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.