Realistic severed finger

Make this finger – about an hour of work with silicone and gelatine!

A little job cropped up for fellow makeup artist buddy Jennifer Nash requiring a severed finger.  I’d said I would help on the condition that she let me video the process and turn it into a tutorial.  So here we are!

For speed and accuracy, frankly it is easier and quicker to simply make a mould from the real thing, so I life cast my own finger using Life Form life casting silicone from Mouldlife. It only took about ten minutes to set up fully, and was easily removed.

I then swilled gelatine into the mould to make sure no air bubbles were trapped in there.  Then, topping it up to the brim, this fella can sit in a freezer drawer for a half hour while I kill Jar Jar with the kids on Star Wars Lego for the Wii!  (They’ll never understand my pain!)

Once the gelatine has cooled and solidified, out it pops to be worked and widdled to create a meaty end-stump and some carefully placed blood.

Materials needed:
1. Life Form
2. Gelatine FX Nuggets
3. Skin Illustrators/alcohol activated makeup palettes
4. Fake blood
(Mouldlife: http://www.mouldlife.net/index.asp)

5. Metal sculpting tools
(Tiranti: http://www.tiranti.co.uk/)
(Potterycrafts: http://www.potterycrafts.co.uk/)
(Compleat Sculptor: http://www.sculpt.com/)

Seriously – make five or six, chopped at different length and string them into a threaded necklace and see if it helps you when you next go grocery shopping.  If you do, then take a pic and send it to me….I’ll post them on the blog! mail@learnprostheticmakeup.com

Happy stumping and Merry Christmas!

-Stuart


All material, images and text © Stuart Bray 2011

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Realistic severed finger

  1. visage says:

    Sorry, I have one more question. Are there any suppliers for Life Form in the USA? The shipping cost is insane to have any shipped here from MoldLife. If not, do you know of any silicon casting materials that would be similar and as easy to work with and would be safe for gelatin use?

  2. visage says:

    Would the life form be good to do a face cast if I strengthened if after it set up? I think I am going to purchase some soon and want to try the severed fingers first and use them as ornaments on a Christmas tree for a zombie pinup shoot but was thinking of other applications for it as well.

  3. visage says:

    Where can I buy the gelatine powder colors and flock?

  4. Becci says:

    I’m confused about all the products there are. I’m in the States and shipping from London is expensive.

    • Stuart says:

      Everything we use here in the UK is available in the US. The names may be different, but the US is where it;s at – we usually get the cool new FX materials from the States!

      What are you looking for in particular? I will try and put you onto suppliers.

      -Stuart

  5. Hey Stuart, nice tutorial, thanks for sharing.
    Im did some alginates mold and casted a few platsil gel 10 pieces, but all casts came with micro bubbles in the silicone. Im almost sure that the problem is the water inside the mold regarding the alginate. I read about acetone… Do you mean that I should fill it up with acetone and leave it for some minutes or just brush some trying to remove the moisture of it?

    Sorry sbout my english and thanks in advance
    Best regards from Brazil
    G.L.

  6. Thanks for another great and helpful tutorial <3

  7. Elizabeth Mize says:

    Oh! Sorry I didn’t read the other comments or else I would have seen you already mentioned that. You are always so helpful. Thank you 🙂

  8. Elizabeth Mize says:

    Do you know if http://www.smooth-on.com/Life-Casting-Body-/c3_1184/index.html would work like Life Form and allow me to put gelatin in it?

  9. Hannah Keech says:

    Wicked tutorial Stuart, I made a severed finger with body double from Smooth on and filled with Plat Gel 10 and it worked well. Im going to try with gelatine now though as melting the end with a hot tool worked really well and gave a wicked meaty/fleshy finish!!

    Thanks for that Stu, I’m going off to make one now!!

    Hannah

  10. Andrew says:

    You wouldn’t know of a place in the U.S. that sells life form would you?

    • Stuart says:

      Hi – Monster Club sell some Mouldlife stuff but you may find it is only in larger quantities. If you have a group of you then maybe you could split a larger kit or else try Body Double from Smooth-On.

      Failing that, maybe try making the mould in alginate and then casting out the finger in Platsil Gel silicone. Swilling the negative with acetone will help dry the inside.

      -Stuart

  11. Joe says:

    I meant to use the silicone for the mould, yes.
    And Sculpt Gel is comparable with Platsil Gel10?

    • Stuart says:

      Platsil Gel is a liquid whereas Sculpt Gel is a thick paste.

      Getting the SculptGel into the finger mould with no airbubbles is not easy…and it is cheaper to use 20 grams of Plat Sil Gel to fill the finger rather than 20 grams of Sculpt Gel.

  12. Lindsay says:

    Looking forward to making the finger over christmas

  13. Katie says:

    If I dont have any Life Form on hand, could I use alginate? Or would that ruin the gelatine? Is there something else you would recommend?

    • Stuart says:

      You could use alginate but the moisture in it will most likely mess with the alginate.

      Try using Platsil Gel 10 or another skin-tinted clear silicone instead. It may take longer to cure that gelatine takes to cool…but you could still get a silicone out of the alginate quickly enough.

      -Stuart

  14. Lorena (Mexico) says:

    Wow! That’s so easy and it looks amazing! Thanks Stuart! Hey, by the way, is the Life Form like Alginate?

    • Stuart says:

      Similar…but there is no water in the Lifeform so it doesn’t shrink.

      The mould will last for years and doesn’t need a plaster backing for something as small as this.

      You could use alginate to make the mould, then get a plaster out of it then remould the plaster finger using a moulding silicone (a tin based silicone for example). Alternatively maybe use alginate for the finger mould and then pour Plat Sil Gel 10 into the mould and cast it out that way usng silicone rather than gelatine.

      -Stuart

  15. joe says:

    Nice idea to use the hardly cured silicone as an “outer” mould!
    But can Gel-10 also be used?
    (Gel-10 is nearly the same as Sculpt Gel right? Haven`t it used yet. Unfortunately)

    • Stuart says:

      I’ll bet you could use Platsil; Gel 10 for a mould easily enough although it is not as quick as the Lifeform or alginate…but it is still a silicone mould. If you mean using it to make the actual finger, then getting a Gel 10 cast out of a silicone mould will need a release agent.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.