Coraline Button Eyes Makeup Part 1: Making Cores

This is the first video of the series taking a look at how the cores were made for the makeup.

It may seem that simply having a lifecast means that you can start cranking out appliances, but it is not as simple as that.

The plaster original is the master head, the one copy of the real thing.  Knack this one and you are buggered…no no, you’ll need to make a mould of this head so you can sculpt on a copy of the head.  What if you need three or four different makeups to be sculpted on the same face.  Or if you want some lightweight versions to stick appliances on for painting?

If you make a duplicate of a whole or part of something with a mind to sculpt on it then it is often known as a core becasue it will be the base shape onto which everything now happens.

Because you will be making a copy, you can also modify the shape slightly to make it better suited to the various moulding and casting processes.  That way you can include areas for keys, bolt holes or other enhancements.

If this does not seem too clear yet, it will make sense as the videos gradually reveal the complete story.

As always, I want to know what you think and how I can improve so please comment in the box below! Cheers.

Happy button-stitching!



All material, images and text © Stuart Bray 2011

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22 Responses to Coraline Button Eyes Makeup Part 1: Making Cores

  1. Mike Gale says:

    This is very cool, looking forward to part 2.

  2. Hannah Keech says:

    Love it!!! was amzing to see the application and now to see the 1st stages of the core before the moulding! cannot wait to see the next part!

    Also looking forwarsd to the loist of products you used.

    Thanks Stu


  3. Victor J. van Vuuren says:

    wow! Really informative! Thanks

  4. Cassie says:

    Excellent video Stuart! I am enthralled at this process, I love how you document every step. I’m curious about the silicone that you used, I’ve used Skin Safe or Body Double, as well as Mold Max 30 by a company called Smooth-On. Approximately how long did yours take to set? as the mold max 30, even with the fast cat took about 12-14 hours, where as the skin safe took approximately 20 minutes per inch of thickness.

    • Stuart says:

      Hi Cassie

      The standard set is about ten minutes, depending on temperature…it can take up to 14-15 mins if cool enough. However, that is the standard set stuff, but there is a slow set stuff which is longer for larger areas. Check them out here:

      One thing I would suggest is that you do a test mix with a small amount and time it, usually on the performers hand so they can feel it and see it before it goes on their face. I usually then mix it up and don’t start applying for a few minutes because I know I have plenty of time…you can cover a face in about a minute so you can mix up a ‘ten-minute set’ material, then don’t start to apply it for five minutes so the person is under it for less time.

      Have someone else mix up the next mix as you apply the first so you overlap and minimise down time waiting for it to cure. You can go on with the bandage (using hot water) while the silicone is still not quite set, so that will speed it up and you will have to wait a few minutes for the bandage to set up anyway so it is ‘multitasking’ the time.

      The one thing I love about LifeForm is that it does not stick to hair at all, and you don’t need any kind of release on hair or skin, it comes away really easy. Just make sure to seal latex bald caps with a makeup sealer, as latex and platinum silicones are not best pals. I usually use Vinyl caps but if not use a sealer like Matthew Mungle Sealer A or Kryolan Fixer spray.


  5. Ian says:

    excellent video, i have earned a lot from your work. thanks for sharing your knowledge and skills with us.

  6. Jasper says:

    Great video, once again. I’ve wondered about resin cores after seeing them on the effects lab.
    Since this was your first time with some of those materials, is here anything besides cutting the edges of the resin core that you would have done differently?

    • Stuart says:

      The cleaner edges are the biggest thing so no cutting was required. I guess I would also use the quicker catalyst, as it still takes a few hours to go off (I left it overnight so no down time was wasted, but if you were in a hurry then urethane resin would have been quicker).

      Overall, I think it worked out well. I think I could have made the mould a bit thinner, and used bolts instead of the crappy, arcane clamp set up I used which you’ll see in the casting out section.

  7. Myriam says:

    That was extremely interesting, entertaining, and easy to understand, thank you so much Stuart! I look forward to every each video you put online, as I lways learn an awful lot. Very impatient to see part 2!!!!!!

  8. marc bienvenue says:

    That resin material that you backed up in the silicone mold is close to our U.S. auto body repair material called Bondo Body Filler for cars.

    • Stuart says:

      I guess it is similar to the polyester based resins. They are great for repairing fibreglass moulds and fixing pour/injection tubes onto moulds but it is not the same stuff.

      I have used a lot of car body filler with the red peroxide based hardener before with the grey paste and the stuff with glass strands which is for gap filling etc.

      Those are both polyester based resins whereas this is epoxy based and uses carbon fibre instead of glass strands. I have not used any US Bondo filler but if it is the same I am sure you could use that instead. I wanted to try the epoxy resins because they have almost no flex at all and remain rigid in relatively thin layers, and also it is incredibly light. This stuff looks cool…is it the same thing you are referring to: Click here


  9. Sorry. Also, is it possible to have a list of everything you used? Like a shopping list? Just so I can start looking at gettingthe materials in. Thanks. Keep up the great work!

  10. This is brilliant! Thank you for this Stuart. I have not come this far in my learning yet as I still have to learn about lifecasting first but great to have this for when I am ready! 🙂

  11. Funmi O says:

    Wow! I never tire of watching you work.

    You make something quite complicated look so easy.

    Keep up the good work and keep the videos coming.

  12. LaReine says:

    This was amazing! And very informative! I am so excited about doing molds now! I am so glad I found your site! Can’t wait for part 2! Enjoy!

  13. Veronica says:

    I love that you document every single step, that helps a lot! Thank you for your tutorials and looking forward to part 2!

  14. this video is great!!! very informative and simple, truly inspiring

  15. Dennis Roberts says:

    Very interesting, i have learned so much from you. Thank you very much. Dennis

  16. thanks stu, great video and looking forward to the next one.
    this will help us a lot. why the paste and not resin with polyfibres, just curious?

    • Stuart says:

      Good question…as I have always used fast cast and fibreglass for pretty much everything I thought I would try something new. Heard good things about the F1 carbon paste so thought I would jump in at the deep end. Plus I never heard of it.

      I’ll try that stuff next…where is it from? Does it work like fibreglassing but just has copped fibre in the resin so you brush it on?


  17. John Lewis says:

    Nicely done, very informative. Looking forward to part 2

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