Battles With Bits of Rubber

Battles With Bits of Rubber

This podcast is a joint venture with Stuart Bray and Todd Debreceni. It's all about the making of stuff for makeup effects and prosthetics. Todd is author of 'Special Makeup Effects For Stage And Screen', what many consider to be the modern makeup FX bible. Stuart Bray is a working makeup FX artist with many years experienc. Credits include 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Dr Who' and more recently 'Game of Thrones'. If you have any FX questions you would like to see made into a featured blog post, then get in touch:


July 20, 2021 52 min

We covered cutting edges in episode #61 but this one is specifically about cutting edges on flat moulds.

Cutting edges on appliance moulds do the work of separating the fine appliance edge from the flashing and excess, allowing the mould to close properly and achieve the feather thin edge you have sculpted.

The exact width of the distance between the cutting edge and the sculpted edge varies between artists and techniques, preferen...

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In episode #74 we talk about running lots of foam latex and overcoming the things that can go wrong with foam latex. Despite silicone being the material most go to first, it is a very real material that needs to be kept in mind for certain projects.

We also chat about how 3D scanning and printing has had a tangible benefit on some jobs we had this year, and how using this technology has enabled things that would not have otherwise...

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February 20, 2021 149 min

Rod Maxwell is a bit of a Renaissance man, and the more we talked the more you can see how wearing many hats has informed his approach. Of late, Rod has become known for his fusion of digital techniques with practical outcomes.

Looking at his Instagram, you can see trailblazing work with 3D printed moulds, scanning lifecasts and moulds and using that data to create things impossible to do any other way. Overlaying lifecasts done ye...

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February 10, 2021 113 min

Adam has become well known for his miniature and smaller-scale work which has both great expression as well as high levels of detail, and even developed a material which allowed such tight detail for miniatures called Cx5.

The man has done a lot of things and has worked many jobs - let's be clear his feet are on the ground and he knows what hard work is. 

He also has cultivated a very positive and effective mindset which is...

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January 8, 2021 141 min
Daniel was the first professional prosthetic professional to look at my portfolio. That stuff sticks with you.

That was back in 1994, and there was still a lot of Frankenstein stuff kicking about in the workshop from the previous year. I learned a lot being in that workshop, and got to see a makeup test on Ian McKellan for Richard III in my time there.

Daniel has recently been praised for his work as makeup and hair designer ...

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December 28, 2020 84 min

In this second and final part of the chat with Dominic, we look at his art and discuss the drawing and sculptures.

As usual, this podcast episode is a tale of two stories. Todd and I talk about the difficult work involved in lifecasting the deceased, which can be much trickier than dealing with the living.

Then the chat with Dom, looking at his processes for creating artwork, using traditional and digital media and how they can wor...

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December 13, 2020 91 min

In this episode (and the next), we have a chat with artist Dominic Hailstone.  He works extensively with visual effects and has a background in makeup effects and practical effects which inform his approach.

Being an early adopter of visual effects and using computers places him in a unique position of seeing both sides and is well versed in the processes and business in film making. As you will hear, his intimate understanding of...

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November 29, 2020 76 min

This episode is a catch up on some emails and questions we had over the last couple of weeks. We have some great questions this time around, so many thanks for getting in touch!

We talk about epoxy surfaced moulds, crinkly edges, and dodgy makeup course practices.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Silicone Art - Silicone As An Art Material
By Tom McLaughlin V1.3

Fundamentals of Facial Prosthetics
By Robert E McKinstry

Products ment...

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November 15, 2020 86 min

Brian Kinney is a primetime Emmy-nominated makeup artist and a Journeyman in IATSE Hollywood Local 706 Make-up Artists and Hairstylists Guild, where he serves as Makeup Craft President and Executive Board Member.

His work can be seen in feature films and television shows, such as Fear The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Westworld, Purge: Anarchy and CSI. Check out his extensive IMDb page to see the hefty list of credits.

Brian ...

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November 10, 2020 99 min

Lars is a generous self-taught artist from Sweden. He works in film, TV and theatre productions often using new technology to scan and print items for practical effects.

We wanted to chat theatre stuff, as that is not something we have spoken much about on the podcast. It's an area which may well be more available for people starting out, as many sizes of theatre and regional playhouses have small scale productions offering gr...

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October 29, 2020 49 min

It’s Halloween. A Saturday! A full moon! Also not happening because of Covid. Boo.

It’s a damn shame, but I imagine around the world, a lot more horror movies will be watched. I can only hope such mass consumption will drive production to make more stuff as we burn through the back catalogue of shows with a worldwide captive audience.

Cutting Edges

On appliances, a cutting edge is often employe...

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August 27, 2020 79 min

Danny has done some interesting things with prosthetics, leading with fashion and high concept looks and bringing appliance work into the mix.

Most demonstrations at trade shows involving appliances are showing just the tail end of a much longer hidden process which perhaps isn't at all evident in the final piece. It's nice to hear about what happens in the lead up to such a thing.

As with many artists sealed tight with ...

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August 19, 2020 71 min

We have all spotted things in shows which were never meant to be there. Scars swapping sides, hair up one minute and then down the next, blood which moves shot to shot or an errant edge which can't be hidden.

Those are the things which you notice, and maybe take great pleasure in spotting and shaming those unfortunate artists who were 'responsible'.

However, there are many things which you didn't spot which could h...

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June 21, 2020 65 min

Closing moulds correctly is vital to get good casts out of them. There seems little point in making a good mould and then getting bad casts out of it.

In this episode we chat about things to consider when looking at ‘mould closure’. Essentially, a mould other than a flat or open mould will usually need to be attached or fitted to another component to produce a cast.

This could be another part of the mould if a ‘multi-piece’ mould ...

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June 11, 2020 71 min

Cutting edges are the point at which a core meets the mould, and is crucial in creating a fine edge for many appliances.

In flat moulds, there can be something similar even though a core isn’t involved, as it establishes where the appliance actually stops and the skin begins.

A cutting edge and overflow are critical in foam appliances, especially where a mould has foam latex added and a core is pushed into it. A gap between th...

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May 17, 2020 44 min

Blog Post for this episode here.

Tim Baggaley played the one-armed zombie in Shaun of the Dead. He's a damn nice fella, an actor, talented graphic designer and a fabulous dancer.

In this episode, we chat about his experience on set and his recollections of being among the undead.

As we chatted, he reminded me of a few other things we had worked on together and we get into the nitty-gritty of whether or not we should see t...

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May 17, 2020 30 min

Here is a little treat - an additional little episode that checks in with Mark Donovan who played The Hulking Zombie in Shaun Of The Dead.

We talked through the difficulties involved in getting ready to be attacked with records and cricket bats, shovels and the heat whilst caked in blood.

Also, as you'll hear, some very cool comic book related stuff which was an exciting discovery. You may recall in the bumper podcast epi...

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May 17, 2020 102 min

It was a great pleasure to chat with John face to face (before lockdown, I hasten to add) back in December of 2019.

John is a well known FX artist who has since gone on to work at Tussauds and is a freelance artist.

I think you will get a real kick out of hearing his take, a perfect attitude to how to feel when creating. We chat about what it means to sculpt, that internal dialogue we all have when creating something new,


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May 17, 2020 53 min

Air bubbles of one kind or another are inevitable if you deal with materials which start out life as a liquid and then later solidify such as plaster, latex, silicone and resin. Let’s take a look at what can happen, why, and what to do about it.

Blog post accompanying this post:

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April 28, 2020 50 min

This episode of the podcast, we catch up with some questions left on our answerphone, emails and comments.

Clay issues, alcohol colours, and a nice message from sculpting master Amelia Rowcroft. Cheers to those been in touch, and leaving messages. You can get in touch by email at or leave a voicemail here.

I mentioned working at the BBC Visual FX department, and I was reminded that I have a book abo...

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