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A question about Hands

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by JackofMostMasterofSome, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. JackofMostMasterofSome

    JackofMostMasterofSome Member

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    Hi Everybody,

    I am currently working on a show where I need to make 25+ reasonably realistic looking severed hands of different sizes. At one point in the show they are thrown across the stage and many of the pre-made hands I am finding are either very expensive or made out of foam and bounce when they hit the floor. I'm looking into casting and molding but am on a very tight budget. Any suggestions on how to make these or where to find something that might work very cheaply?
     
  2. egilson1

    egilson1 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Without going stupid expensive it will be difficult to go realistic. Ballistics gel or Silicon are probably the best bets for realism.
     
  4. EdSavoie

    EdSavoie Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, go for silicone. The ballistics gel won't last terribly long and will get quite nasty. Much more realistic, but very impractical for stage. (Especially when you're lighting stage with 1000s of Watts)

    TheKingOfRandom on YouTube has some excellent videos on getting and using silicone
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I used this quick setting concrete patch material for a home repair project a few years ago, probably purchased at Lowes, but I'm not sure. You could take a tray, put that stuff in it about 4 inches deep, wait for it to harden a bit and shove your hand into it to create a mold without a back. Let it cure. Then get the cheapest tubes of silicone you can find. Squirt the silicone into the mold. You'll have a great accurate front of the hand with a square back. Take a knife and round the corners to make the back a little better and call it good. The audience is probably at least 30' away right? They'll never know the difference. Use several sizes of hands to make different molds and you can crank out multiples at once.

    If you can get away with the look, two part foam would probably be cheaper than silicone. But even a higher density foam like this one would still not have the weight of silicone. Something like this. http://www.fibreglast.com/product/6Lb-Mix-and-Pour-Foam/Foam
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  6. jhochb

    jhochb Active Member

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    OK, I know you're on a budget, & I've never attempted this but hear me out
    get pink rubber kitchen gloves and cans of Great Stuff ( the expanding foam for insulating ).
    carefully fill the gloves so they won't bulge too much.
    if the gloves bulge, you may want to support them in a trough filled with sand.
    paint the gloves to look real.
    you can go to the $1 store for the gloves. they come in S, M, L, XL

    MY $0.02
     
  7. Chase P.

    Chase P. Member

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    If you're already finding suitable foam rubber ones, try filling/soaking them in water to change the bounce factor.
     
  8. JackofMostMasterofSome

    JackofMostMasterofSome Member

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    So many months later I thought I'd come back and thank you all and tell you what we wound up doing. We bought a couple of latex casted hands fairly inexpensively and painted them. These were the most visible of the lot.

    For the majority of the hands we did a paraffin casting of several volunteers hands and then filled them with ballistic gel, red food coloring, and tried to give a little extra support with small dowel rods down the fingers. After they set we coated them in several coats of liquid latex and painted them. They were extremely realistic but they did deteriorate after a few performances and we had to make more. As they dry out they shrink and we found its best to store them in the fridge. Actors were throwing them with quite a bit of force across the stage and we only had a couple of the hands break apart and they usually did it in a relatively natural way (breaking at the joints to a finger) and the redness coloring on the inside meant that it did not break the illusion of reality. As an experiment I left one out after the show and in time it developed mold and shrunk, so might be best to throw them out at the end of the run.

    We also tried filling the molds with silicon caulk. We could not get the silicon to completely settle and so we had several hands that were missing the tips of fingers. But the silicon did give a nice veiny look and worked perfectly after they were painted for some old grizzled hands that has begun to rot. 17155803_10108743633520199_3449338496604751739_n.jpg
     
    MNicolai likes this.
  9. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    Ha gross
     

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