INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE AND VIDEO TUTORIALS
CREATURE CAST RUBBER is suitable for casting in gypsum plaster molds, direct textile fabrication, or brushing/spraying onto a variety of surfaces such as EVA/L-200 urethane foams, styrofoam and plastics. Below is a guide to help you determine when to use it, which rigidity to choose, and how to best utilize this amazing line of products.
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTES:
Always work in a clutter free, well ventilated area using proper eye, hand, and lung protection.
In case of spills, use dry paper towels, earth, or clay to soak up excess rubber before using damp paper towels to clean surfaces. Work safely and carefully to prevent spills. It's not fun to clean up puddles of liquid rubber. Trust us.
Small spills of CREATURE CAST can be safely flushed to a drain, if allowed by applicable Federal, State/Provincial, and Local regulations. Repetitive spills or large spills (more than 4 liters [1 gallon]) may cause plugging of drain systems due to coagulation of the polymer, as well as regulatory problems related to wastewater discharge. Large spills are best cleaned up by absorbing the liquid with solid materials (Vermiculite, clay, etc.)
EYE and SKIN PROTECTION
Eye protection should be used as a matter of course where CREATURE CAST is handled. Gloves, long sleeve shirts or other appropriate skin protection should be used in those situations where splashes and spills are possible.
In case of eye contact, immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 min. Call a physician. Eye contact may cause irritation with tearing, pain, or blurred vision, corneal opacity or clouding of the eye. In case of skin contact, flush skin with water. Contaminated clothing should be washed before reuse.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE:
Creature Cast Rubber is highly adhesive and suitable for coating a variety of surfaces. Most commonly, it is brushed and/or sprayed onto EVA and L-200 foams for Cosplay costume and prop creations. It is an excellent substitute for aerosol plastic/rubber coating products, not only outperforming them, but due to the absence of harmful solvents it is safe to use in the home.
There are several methods within the cosplay/fabrication communities for applying Creature Cast to foam. It is always best to start with a scrap piece to test the compatibility and penetration of the product.
Regarding rigidity (when coating foam): The rule of thumb is - The more rigid you go, the easier it is to sand, but the higher the tendency to leave a crease when bent. So take into consideration the kind of action a particular piece will be expected to perform.
BY BRUSH: As a test to get to know our products, we recommend starting with the raw (low viscosity) liquid rubber as it comes. Use a disposable brush to apply some of the liquid rubber onto the scrap foam. Take care to back brush any drips that appear. You can then use a hot hair dryer to set the rubber. At this thin viscosity, many layers would need to be applied to build up a sand-able surface. So most often, a raw application such as this is only used to penetrate the pores of a rough foam surface before applying a thickened coat of product (see thickening, below). Build up as many raw or thickened layers as needed for your application (usually 3-5 coats are sufficient for heavy use items). Allow to cure overnight before sanding/painting for best performance.
SPRAYING: Creature Cast Rubber can be sprayed through any paint spraying device (including Critter syphon feed devices, airbrushes, and HPLV guns). Test the raw liquid through the device before thickening with Neo-Thix (or thinning with water in the case of some fine needled air-brushes). Spray just as you would latex paint, being mindful of drips. Hair dryers can be helpful in setting the rubber before successive passes. Paint guns/spray devices can be cleaned with hot soapy water (Acetone may be used to break down cured bits).
THICKENING: Many applications require the liquid rubber to be thickened. Thickening the rubber helps to build layers quickly and prevents fish-eyeing during spraying. We developed a polymer we call NEO-THIX just for this purpose. One 8 oz. bottle of NEO-THIX is generally enough to sufficiently thicken one gallon of liquid rubber. Mix the NEO-THIX in small batches in a separate cup (DO NOT ADD TO THE JUG). NEO-THIX has a different shelf life than the liquid rubber so it is best to not contaminate the entire supply. Apply a few drops of NEO-THIX to a few ounces of liquid rubber and stir thoroughly for 30 seconds. You will notice the rubber's viscosity increasing. Need it thicker? Add a little more NEO-THIX. Need it thinner? Add a little more liquid rubber. Do not exceed 20% NEO-THIX (by weight). Keep leftover rubber tightly covered for longevity.
PAINTING: CREATURE CAST RUBBER accepts all kinds of paint without the need for primers or solvents for adhesion. Take care to choose high quality paints with flexibility that reflects the needs of the object you are painting. We recommend Liquitex acrylic products. CREATURE CAST RUBBER (off-white) can be tinted for intrinsic coloring by using acrylic paint or universal tinting products.
Links to prop makers who use our products to great effect -
Evil Ted Smith (prop and cosplay wizard with many years of hollywood experience): eviltedsmith.com
Bill Doran (cosplay and prop engineer with large online following): punishedprops.com
We recommend casting Creature Cast Rubber into plaster (Gypsum) molds by using the slip casting process. When slip casting, a plaster mold is filled with the liquid rubber and allowed to dwell for a specified amount of time so that the water within the liquid rubber is drawn into the porous plaster, leaving behind a skin of rubber solids. When the desired thickness is attained, the leftover liquid is poured back into the container and saved for future use. The mold is then drained and left to air dry overnight before the cast object is removed and allowed to air cure for 1 to 4 days.
Note on shrinkage: Rates vary from 5-20% depending on thickness of casting, drying method and formula chosen.
Note on thickness build up: The more rigid the formula, the thicker the build up will be within a given time frame (i.e. if both left to dwell for 5 hours, a rigid casting will be thicker than a super-flexible casting).
Feel free to contact us with questions/concerns.
SUITABLE MOLD TYPES:
Creature Cast Synthetic Latex Rubber can be cast into various gypsum plaster/cement mold types including UltraCal® 30, HYDROCAL® White Gypsum Cement, USG No. 1 Pottery Plaster, and Plaster of Paris. Which type to use is determined by personal preference and/or availability but we can give you a basic rundown of their attributes.
UltraCal® 30 is a super-strength gypsum cement recommended where extreme accuracy and greater surface hardness are required, as in duplicator models. ULTRACAL 30 has the lowest expansion of any rapid-setting gypsum cement available. At Faust & Company Masks and Collectibles we prefer this type of mold due to it's ability to hold detail through dozens of castings. Pros: Durable, holds detail for many castings, lightweight and incredibly strong when reinforced with burlap. Cons: Longer dwell times and harder to build extra thick rubber castings due to it's density (though for most cases the thicknesses attained are suitable and plenty strong).
HYDROCAL® White Gypsum Cement is a great utility gypsum cement offering higher strengths than typical plaster products. It has greater porosity than UltraCal 30, allowing it to build a thicker casting in a shorter amount of time. Pros: Shorter dwell times than UltraCal, allows extra thick castings when needed. Cons: Heavy molds, does not hold detail as long as UltraCal, slow to dry out.
USG NO. 1 Pottery Plaster produces a break-resistant, smooth wearing mold designed for slip casting applications. It is relatively soft but offers quick build for thick castings. Pros: Fairly easy to find, shorter dwell times than UltraCal 30. Cons: Soft plaster that loses detail quickly, heavy molds, slow to dry out.
- Plaster of Paris is a soft gypsum plaster product found in most arts and crafts stores. We don't recommend using this material because of it's inferior strength, but in situations where this is the only choice available, successful castings can be pulled from such a mold. Pros: Available most anywhere Cons: Loses detail quickly
SLIP CASTING PROCESS:
- Create a sculpture in clay or find an object you wish to reproduce. Note: Hard objects can be difficult or even impossible to remove from a stone mold if you are not mindful of undercuts. If you are unsure about the process, research techniques or enlist the help of an experienced artisan.
- Make a mold of the sculpture/object using the plaster substance of your choice (see above). There are many sources on the internet to aid in the mold making process. Sculptures made with oil based clay will need to be sealed with an acrylic varnish such as Krylon Crystal Clear. Take care to apply such sealers in thin layers with ample time between layers to allow full cure. Molds that are made with sealed sculptures will need to be THOUROUGHLY cleaned before successful castings can be achieved (see #4 below). Water based clay sculptress do not need sealing and molds made of such do not need cleaning with solvents and are ready for casting as soon as the clay is removed and the mold is dry.
- Remove the sculpture/object from the cured mold.
- Clean the mold thoroughly. Contaminants on the mold surface will inhibit proper absorption. We recommend scrubbing the interior mold surface with 99% alcohol (mixed with a little odorless Turpenoid at a ratio of 10-1). Use a cut down disposable chip brush dipped in the solvents to scrub away any bits of clay or sealer. Be very thorough, making sure to scrub all surfaces. Then scrub the interior surface with another cut down chip brush dipped in acetone to ensure a completely clean surface.
- Allow the mold to dry completely (2-4 days. Placing mold in front of fan or heater will speed up the process).
- Strain the CREATURE CAST RUBBER into a clean gallon jug through a nylon paint strain bag nested in a large funnel. Close lid tightly.
- Clean the strain bag and funnel with hot water. The rubber is water based and chemically inert and is safe for most plumbing (if allowed by applicable Federal, State/Provincial, and Local regulations). Run water for 30 seconds after cleaning strainer and funnel to flush.
- Allow strained rubber to settle in jug for at least 2 hours for bubbles to disintegrate.
- Using a clean spray bottle, spritz the interior surface of the clean, dry mold with water to prime it for casting. This will slow the process of the rubber pulling detail from the surface ensuring a longer life for the mold.
- Slowly pour CREATURE CAST RUBBER into the mold up to and beyond the intended cutting edge of the cast object you are creating, trying not to splash or create turbulence which may promote bubbles.
- Set a timer for the correct dwell duration according to the dwell time list below.
- Check the mold occasionally for a drop in surface level. As the rubber dwells, moisture will be drawn out of it and into the plaster mold, causing the surface level to drop. Refill mold carefully as necessary.
- When the dwell time is complete, carefully pour the liquid rubber from the mold back into it's container through the strain bag and funnel. Siphon pumps can be helpful in transferring liquid from heavy, unwieldy molds. Clean strain bag and funnel. Close lid tightly on rubber container.
- Flip mold upside down on cardboard, paper, or drop cloth to drain for 15 minutes.
- When timer is done, turn mold right side up in a ventilated area. A fan pointed at the opening will expedite drying but is not necessary. Allow to dry at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).
- When the casting is ready, it's surface will be dry to the touch (not tacky) and easily pull away from the mold walls. Take care to not let the inner surfaces of the casting make contact with each other as they may want to adhere (depending on the state of the drying process). If you notice an issue with sticking, allow it to dry more or brush some baby powder onto the surface before removing.
- Once removed, place the casting in a safe, ventilated area to air dry/cure. Be sure to support the final intended shape with a life cast or plastic bags if needed as a casting will permanently remember whatever shape it cures in.
- Leave the casting to cure for 1 to 4 days (depending on the heat and humidity of the drying area). In situations requiring faster turnarounds, castings can be force cured in an oven at 200 degrees for 1-2 hours at a time. Allow to cool between baking sessions to examine the casting. Over baking can eventually harden the rubber and lead to brittleness. Heat cured objects may exhibit higher shrinkage rates.
- When the casting is cured, it is ready for trimming, sanding and painting.
DWELL TIMES FOR PLASTER MOLD TYPES:
- UltraCal® 30: 4 - 6 hours
- HYDROCAL® White Gypsum Cement: 3 - 5 hours
- USG NO. 1 Pottery Plaster: 3 - 5 hours
- Plaster of Paris: 3 - 5 hours
1 - How to carve details into cured Creature Cast Rubber
Using a Dremel rotary tool and a conical stone bit, you can carve details into the cured rubber without the use of solvents. Here I am recreating detail in a horn created from Creature Cast Semi-Rigid Rubber that was lost due to numerous castings in a soft plaster mold.