Hello,

I'm making my first stop motion puppet and I was wondering about a couple of things...

My tutor told me to use "Smooth-on Vytaulex 30A" because I need to make hands (possibly the head out of this too).

But I looked at the image on the website I was buying it from and it looks purple?!
the only white coloured ones are 40A and above. Too hard I believe.

Is this just the packaging? What colour is it?

Also what pigment colours would I need to make it flesh colour?  It's £6 a colour and I don't want to spend so much on something I probably wont use much of!

(I was also told I could apply foundation makeup over it instead but I don't want to always have to apply this... It doesn't seem like it would be very consistent.)

Thank you guys :)

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For casting puppet skin I would normally use a Shore 10 A hardness silicone, not a 20A and certainly not a 30A.

The harder ones are generally made for making silicone moulds, and often do have a pigment in them.  If you are casting in white plaster, a blue or purple or pink mould makes it easier to see where the cast leaves off and the mould begins.  Sometimes pigment is added to a white silicone when making a mould, just so it shows up better.  Possibly that is what was done in the photos you saw.

****

Oops!  Just looked up the Vytaflex, I didn't realise it wasn't a silicone.  I see it is a urethane rubber made for casting concrete objects in.  Doesn't mean it couldn't work for puppet hands, stopmo people are used to adapting materials designed for other purposes, so if your tutor has used it, maybe it's a good solution. for just the hands.  I imagine urethane would take paint, whereas silicone can only be painted with more silicone.  Usually you want to mix in pigment for a good flesh tone base colour, but you also need to add various shades by surface painting it so it's not all one flat colour.  I make the backs of hands a little browner, with a touch of pink at the knuckles, and the palm a bit pinker than the back.  Then the underside of the wrist  and forearm is a little paler than the back as well.

Smooth-On makes Dragonskin silicone for casting makeup fx prosthetics, animatronics, and puppets.  It is a translucent, slightly whitish silicone.  Polytek Platsil Gel-10 is similar.  For whole bodies and faces I use an even softer silicone from Smooth-on, Ecoflex 00-30.  (()0 is a different scale to the A series, so the 30 does not mean the same thing. )  There is also a softer Platsil Gel-0.

I mix my flesh tones from red, yellow, white, and a hint of black pigment, but you can also buy flesh tones in the silc-pig silicone pigments.  I do see there is a flesh tone in the So-strong pigments for urethane, at the Smooth-On site.   https://www.smooth-on.com/products/so-strong/   If the stuff is white to start with,you wouldn't need a white pigment.  

There is also a Shore 10A Vytaulex, if you wanted a softer one. 

For hands and thinnish bodies, the Shore 10A hardness silicone is generally fine, and possibly 20A or even 30A could work  for just the hands- I often use liquid latex to build up hands over armature wire, which would be much too stiff if it was for something thicker like a whole body, but it works because fingers are small and thin.  But I prefer the softer 00-30 for heads so it isn't too hard for the wires to stretch the mouth open.  I imagine the same hardnesses would apply in urethane, but I just haven't used the stuff.

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