I'm wondering if anybody here has had any experience casting puppets with GI-1000 (translucent) silicone and if there are any significant differences between casting with it as opposed to Platsil Gel 10 or Dragon Skin? I've only used GI-1000 for making molds and it's great stuff for that but, I can't see how it would be better than the other two silicones I already use for casting puppets.

I keep hearing that LAIKA uses GI-1000 and GI-1110 (not sure what the difference is between those two either) for their puppets and I don't know why that is. I'm wondering if there's some advantage to it that I'm not aware of? In my experience, GI-1000 is a tougher rubber that isn't as elastic (stretchy) as the Platsil or Dragon Skin.

Yesterday, I looked up GI-1000 to see if I could find anything that could give me a clue to an advantage to using it but, all I found was a disadvantage in that the pigments for it are very expensive! (for Platsil I use airbrush acrylics which work just fine)

The reason I'm asking is because I have a puppet making job coming up and I'm just looking to broaden my horizons in terms of experience with as many different types of casting rubbers as I can get. But I don't want to spend money buying the GI-1000 and it's expensive pigments if there's no real advantage over what I'm already used to using.

The puppet I need to cast is a full body puppet similar in shape to Medusa. I already know that Platsil bends and stretches well for that type of puppet and I worry that GI-1000 might bend more like a garden hose for that type of body design. Virtually all the puppets I've seen come out of LAIKA have rubber faces and hands only - the bodies are always costumed so, they don't require the same kind of stretching and bending you need from a full body puppet.

Also, I know what to use for Platsil Gel 10 if I need to glue it to something but, I'm sure that would be different for GI-1000 because they have a different chemical cure type. (Platsil is Platinum cure and GI-1000 is Tin cure)

So have any of you ever used this stuff or know of any reason why LAIKA seems to prefer it? THANKS!

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Maybe they use tin-cure because it's less fussy than platinum-cure...? Just a guess.

Have you tried contacting LAIKA? They might tell you why 

I just sent out an email to Ralph Cordero, (he has worked for LAIKA) he would be the man to ask.

How much is their pigment? could not find it on the site

Use smooth on pgment or artist oil paints for pigments

I will be using silicone from GT silicones for my puppet needs

Also Silicone Inc have good sales reps but I also think from what friends have experianced they are vague in some of thier specs when it comes to thinks like duometer and things.

The Gt I played with is about * shore A and has a nice centapoise for pouring in core molds with thin space to flow in.

Didn't know about translucent GI-1000. I've used GI-245, which is about Shore A 10.  I can see GI-1000 working in some areas but not others.  It's kind of brittle and wouldn't be as stretchy, or at least would provide much more resistance to something like a neck turn.

We will be expecting a full report on our collective desks within 12 hours of your conversation with Mr. Cordero.

Ha! Will do. If you look at the description of the translucent GI-1000 on The Compleat Sculptor's website, they describe it as being useful for special effects props and puppets.

the funny thing about the GI 245 is it listed on the site but when you click on it it says something like no longer manufactured?


dont worry about this saying its white with red cat because you can get tranlucent and clear cat.


Whoa wait a minute! I just remembered the most reliable source for this... the PARANORMAN issue of Stop Motion Magazine. Here's an excerpt from that article...


SMM: What kind of silicone did you use for the bodies?

Georgina Hayns: We used a lot of tin silicone. We don’t use any of the Dragon Skins. When I first came to America there was a real trend to use the Dragon Skin Silicones because they are for the film industry and they have a much higher tear strength, but they are very hard to control. So we went back to what we were used to working with on Corpse Bride in the past, the GI series. We start off with the GI-1000 base and actually dis- covered a new silicone for all the necks we did on ParaNorman, but for the larger fat necks. It’s a much softer silicone, it’s pretty amazing actually. It’s a little bit like those toys that you get that look like alien slime. We experimented a lot. What’s been amazing for me is that we’ve worked with silicones for years, ever since I’ve been involved in the industry, and really there’s never been interest enough. It’s the cosmetic industry and the manufacturing industry that really comes in. I think they (the manufacturers of silicone) have suddenly realized, “Wow, look at this application of our silicone”. So we finally had one of the big heads of Silicone Inc. come to our studio to see what we’re doing and they said, “Wow, we are open to working with you guys and experiment- ing to see if we can make things that will help your process”. It was cool and amazing to be recognized by such a huge company.

SMM: I wasn’t aware you could make puppets using GI-1000.

Georgina Hayns: Yeah, GI-1000 and GI-1110 were the base silicones that we used for a lot of our puppets, for hands and things that need to withstand more wear and tear. The bodies of our puppets are mixed media. We still use foam latex, because of the softness and the movability, so often we’ll double cast our puppets. We’ll do a foam latex base over the armature and then we’ll trim back the foam latex and then we’ll cast silicone over the top. So you get a beautiful skin like surface but you’ll have the softness that you’ll need around the joints for articulation.


What confuses me a little in reading that description is that in the first response, Mr Hayns seems to be describing a softer unnamed silicone that's inside the necks of the fatter puppets which I presume means that they are first skinned with GI-1000. It's a little hard to tell from the wording.

Greyguy -  I looked up the manufacturer of the GT-5090 and don't see any way to order from them. So then I looked up retailers for that stuff and I only found one place that had it... IN 5 GALLON KITS! (this puppet just ain't that big)

Hold on I have a guy RTV steve look him up

I remember reading that SMM article and wishing I knew what was the results were after they "experimented a lot".

My interpretation of the necks comment was they discovered something while experimenting with GI-1000.  But you're right - it's easy to interpret a couple of ways.


Steve Levine

best to call him or email

I did some more digging and I think the really soft silicone he might be referring to is something made for prosthetic make up applications called 'Tin-Gel' from Silicones Inc. It's described as being a jelly-like silicone that simulates flesh.

One problem with it is that it says it won't cure properly if it's in a completely enclosed cavity. So that would mean that you can't close the mold because apparently this stuff needs air while it's curing.

Also, I found the difference between GI-1000 and 1110 which is strength versus stretch... the GI-1000 has more tear resistant strength and the GI-1110 has more stretch. So basically you need to choose which is more important to you.

So in the end, I'm still not seeing any great advantage to using tin cure over platinum cure silicone. I suppose if the thing you're animating is really thin (like fingers) or doesn't need all that much motion (like a Corpse Bride type face) then I suppose the firmer feeling GI-1000 might be a better option. (because the Platsil Gel 10 or Dragon Skin feel more like a gummy candy when you grab it)

But for flexibility and stretch on a whole body puppet, I'm thinking I should stick with the platinum cure silicones for now. Maybe I'll do an experiment someday when I buy some GI-1000 for a mold and I have some to spare to experiment with.

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