Torn Face Zombie

Torn face applianceTorn Face Zombie – simple & cheap!

Halloween is almost upon at time of writing, so I thought it was high time I do a video tutorial to celebrate.  With just a few simple materials, this little beauty could be lumbering down your street soon.

Zombie walks, parties and just plain silliness sometimes require an extensive makeup which doesn’t cost a lot of money – something more than paint, powder and pus but which does not require a Hollywood (or, more likely, a Watford) FX studio either.  Hopefully, this will bridge the gap.

Incidentally, there is a well known design dictum which I first saw pinned to the workshop wall a few years back on a movie we were working on.  It had a triangle, and the words “Good – Quick – Cheap” written at each corner.  Underneath this it said “Pick two – you can’t have all three“.

I don’t know who came up with that, but it absolutely holds true.  If something is required to be good and you want it quick, it inevitably is not cheap.  If you want it quick and cheap then it probably wont be very good.

Well this makeup effect is good and cheap, so the price we pay is time.  Give yourself a couple of days drying time to make this.  The actual labour time is pretty small – I spent probably an hour making this in total – but you will need two days (or a Texan night) to get this fella dried up properly.

Check out the video below and please comment and click the like button in YouTube if you do indeed like it.  Be sure t0 get the free workbook download too so you can refer to it later if you plan on making this thing and if you do…please send me pics!

I would love to do a post on the results!  My email address is  Go on…do it do it do it!

Zombie thumbs up pic






Happy zombification!



All material, images and text © Stuart Bray 2011

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19 Responses to Torn Face Zombie

  1. Jan says:

    aaanndd another question 😉 Probably the last one in this blogpopst.
    For an indy low budget project this weekend I need a 200ml syringe… but it seems that such large syringes not exist…
    Now I`m searching for another solution… maybe something like this:
    But in germany there is apparently just flemmerer who produce it.
    Are other systems on the market? It would be great if there is a cap on one end of the tube to mount it on a bottle of blood…. I hope you understand what I`m meaning 😉

    • Stuart says:


      I think try either making your own syringe, like the one I made for injecting gelatine ( or use an empty (and new, obviously) IV bag (Intra Venous Bag) from a medical supplier. Like this one: IV Bags

      Also, get in touch with veterinary suppliers as they may deal with medical equipment for animals and large creatures need bigger syringes. I have seen (and used) 100ml syringes, so you could team up two of these with a ‘Y’ connector to get the volume.


  2. Joe says:

    Ah, okay. A silicone based sculpting material…
    I should give it a try…
    But for now I´ve the lay a full beard. Looking forward to the transformation 🙂

    aaanndd another question:
    to activate skin illustrator, stacolor and etc you should youse isopropyl 70%+
    I use 99% because I thought “the more the better”.
    but a guy in a temptu video (the video is in english language)
    says: use 70%. No 90%

    Just because the 90% or 99% vaporizes faster? Or do you know another reason?

    • Stuart says:

      I usually use 99% alcohol because I have found Skin Illustrators respond better . I suspect they need a more aggressive solvent – however I suspect that there is generally a pressure to reduce alcohol content as it is obviously astringent and so reducing the required percentage of the activating solvent will be a factor. Perhaps Temptu have made theirs so.

      I have seen Ethanol used instead of Isoproanol and Pricipality FX have a range of ‘Pro Colour’ liquid colours which use a milder solution to activate:

      Also, Dave Stoneman of Maekup makes some water based Skin colours which dry like Illustrators…but at the time of writing the shop site is not working so get in touch direct to get prices etc.


  3. Joe says:

    Hi Stuart,
    your Sculpt Gel Workshop looks really great!
    Unfortunately it isn`t possible for me at the moment (also because of the location in the UK).
    Is Sculpt Gel comparable with Skin Tite from smooth on? Never heard about it before…

    • Stuart says:

      Similar, and I am sure you can get the same effects using it.

      You can get it shipped worldwide – I don’t know how prices compare but you could get it sent direct from Mouldlife who make it themselves.

  4. Leonardo says:

    I’ve been very happy to be receiving your e-mails. I’m learning a lot and I have no words to thank you for your dedication and patience, an of course, for the care you show on all your videos. Keep the EXCELLENT WORK.

  5. JOB says:

    I will be using this technique this weekend at the Haunted House were we do all the makeup..

  6. Eddie Lord says:

    Hi Stuart, just wanted to say that I have to agree with Todd Brubaker in as much as you are in league with the special effects artists he mentioned, but I think you are more in league with Dick Smith. I have had opportunity to speak with Mr. Smith and he is a very kind and generous, as well as encouraging artist more so than those mentioned, and his professionalism and desire to get the information for more inexperienced artists, was something he always endeavored sincerely for, which I believe you are doing too. And by the way, your realistic cut tutorial was one of the most realistic methods of wax use I have ever seen and I was in the medical field for over fifteen years!…Thank you for all you do and I for one am going to purchase your course as you seem an excellent instructor in special effects. Keep it up Stuart!!!

  7. Jules Kelly says:

    Terrific and great timing! Working a zombie apocalypse event for Halloween, this will be more than helpful!

  8. Claire says:

    Absolutely fantastic can’t wait to start trying all this, great inspiration thank you

  9. justine king says:

    this is just awesome, i cant wait to get started on it.

    and thank you for all your help that you have given me with your tutorials and downloads they have helped me out so much…

  10. Vero says:

    Cool! I’ll be trying this out this halloween! Thank you so much for your tutorials!

  11. Todd Brubaker says:

    Stuart, you are truly an artist. I used to be very active in special effects makeups in the 80s and that all fell by the wayside with time but you have really given me a new and fresh perceptive of how to do these creative and realistic makeups without the need for time consuming and expensive industry standard methods that are generally used to produce high end studio grade prosthetic’s etc.

    Your techniques are truly inspiring and a blast to do. You’re right up there with Mr. Greg Nicotero, Tom Savini and Mr. Baker as well with your creativity. With your tutorials I’ve been able to enter into a new type of makeup exploration and discovery that for a long time seemed so out of reach.

    I love how well versed you are in using all the different types of materials that are out there, it just keeps it that much more fun. Keep up the awesome work and thanks for all the amazing tips. I hope to see more Zombie type tutorial’s like the one you did in England not to long ago. Saw a small snip-it on Youtube, “way to short if ya ask me, I wanted to see much more”, and the design’s you put together without having to life-cast were incredible!!!

    Looking forward to next tutorial. It’s like getting a gift under the tree every time a new one comes out.

    Todd B.

    • Stuart says:

      Todd – that is kind of you to say.

      I certainly wouldn’t compare myself to Nicotero or Savini (both of whom I am pleased to say I have met!) but thank you so much for the support and for checking out my stuff! I appreciate it.


  12. Doug Morrow says:

    Very cool!!

  13. eduardo bautista says:

    me encanto, yo lo sigo desde que descubri la pagina, felicitaciones tiene un seguidor mas aqui en BOGOTA, COLOMBIA!!!..

  14. joe says:

    Even if I`m not a fan of this kind of modelling I`m sure there are many people who can use it for halloween! Great for low-budgets!

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