Zombie at IMATS London 2014

For this years London Imats show I decided to do a Zombie character but put my own spin on it and make it different to what’s been done far too many times in the past…

Once I had cast my model Ben Ross’s head, I started straight away with the sculpting process, I only had 2 and a half weeks to do everything myself so I had to come up with a way of speeding up the process.

To make the skin look all decayed and old I used tissue and latex and stippled it onto a board, when I was happy with the shapes I took a quick Moulding Silicone off it (PS28 silicone from PS Composites) Then I melted down some Plastilene which I scrapped very thinly into the silicone so I’d gotten these really cool & organic shapes which would of taken a long time to sculpt free hand.

The head sculpt was pretty much finished sculpted in less than a week (I was also teaching on a few occasions with my Academy classes) I broke the make up down into 3 pieces; a full cowl piece, full face piece and a small bottom lip. I’d also made a set of decayed looking hands.

Due to the fast turnaround of this make up I decided to mould all my prosthetics in fibreglass which cuts out making silicone jacket moulds. With only a week left I moulded the pieces and ran the pieces in Pro Gel 10 softened to 80% for the face and bottom lip, the cowl piece was softened to 60% as I didn’t want it to become too ‘baggy’ on the head which would stretch out of shape a little. The other important thing I did with the neck section is that I cored it out to make it slightly tighter on Ben’s real neck, otherwise It again may have become a little too baggy.

I pre-painted the pieces with a mixture of RS silicone fluid, Diluent and Oil Paints, this method is great and bonds to the silicone and Cap Plastic extremely well.

While I was busy making all the pieces I was on a few occasions driving around the Yorkshire dales. Bradford was the location for Darren Grassby who made me some fab rotting old teeth for the character, and we also headed up to the picturesque village of Glossop to get Ben’s lenses fitted by the lovely Vicki Warrington of EyeWorks For Film. (Cantor & Nissels worked with EyeWorks For Film on the look of the ‘dead’ eyes for my Zombie)

As I was thinking of the character I decided to give him a severed hand that he’s handcuffed too. (who knows what happened to the rest of him?!)

The wig was actually a old wig I had from a previous make up that I carefully cut up and retro fitted it to my character and It worked out really well.

I picked one of my Academy students, Brogan Sharp to assist me in the make up process as she impressed me with her application and painting whilst on my course.

The application day took a little over 4 hours which seems like quite a long time but as we had so many people wanting to see the Zombie being created and lots of questions being asked, I tried to answer as many as I could during the time.

I just wanted to thank everyone for all their lovely comments about the make up, I couldn’t have wishes for anything better, it went down a storm at IMATS. I also wanted to thank David Power & Kristyan Mallett at PS Composites and there awesome staff for making me feel so welcome on their stand and to the show’s organiser Michael Key for putting the whole thing together at London’s Olympia. (I think there was over 4,000 on the Sunday!)

Until the next make up event…

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