Monday, September 25, 2006

Got latex?

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I decided to go ahead and try the dipping latex. Now that I've wrapped the fingers with thread and smoothed out the contours of the arms, all they really need is a few layers anyway... no need for a lot of thick filler to hide all the defects (though I wish the defects would magically disappear!). Since I had mixed half of my new bottle of dipping latex with thickener in an old latex jar, the bottle was too low to dip the arms directly into... I had to find a tall narrow jar.

Man, so many problems! Hairs have a way of magnetically attracting themselves to an arm right after you pull it out of the latex and sticking to it.... little air bubbles all over the place, and most annoying of all the rubber likes to pool up in the areas between fingers, like a webbing. When you first dip one you have to hold it over the jar for a while and let the excess latex drip off the fingertips. You also have to take a small nail and pop the bubbles and pull the latex out of those spots between the fingers. Careful not to touch it anywhere, or to let it touch the edge of the table when you hang it there to dry! Everything that can go wrong will... I had a nice sized spider go skittering toward one I had just hung.... had to make a sudden-death swipe to save the arm (lost the spider).

The thicker slip casting latex should show up in a day or two - that should be better, at least in some respects. I've already dipped some of these arms 4 times and it's not thick enough yet. I want the ribbing from the wrapped thread to disappear completely.

4 comments:

Ubatuber said...

Yeah, Ive noticed too that tiny particles and hair and small creatures seem to be drawn to puppet-makins....poor Jenny 2, even covered in plastic, has to be exposed and 'cleaned' every once and awhile...
...sucks that the dipping latex is bogus for this type of use, I was looking forward to that part of the build becoming easier :) guess I'll stick to my little paintbrush...

herself said...

You're kicking my bum in the progress department! Well done.

Like you said, the thicker latex should cover the ribbing better.

Don't you need a reservoir tip for the pooling latex? ha.

Darkstrider said...

Actually the dipping latex isn't that bad, now that I've smoothed out the arms and wrapped the fingers. It was just that my original plan relied on thick latex actually building up the form, and the dippin' stuff would never do that! But now that I've got 5 or 6 layers on some of these arms it's getting thick enough. And it should actually be stronger than the mold builder latex, which has fillers in it. This is pure latex, unadulterated. It's supposed to be the same stuff they make rubber gloves and bald head caps out of. And... maybe other stuff with reservoir tips and ribbing? Who knows?

herself said...

Yay. way to persist, Mike. Sounds like your dips in the dipping pool are going to work out great! All this writing about your thought process, product, techniques, etc. REALLY educates me for when I will build my build-up pupps. So thanks for doing all this.