Create your own SFX Gelatine

STEP ONE:

You will need the following ingredients for this tutorial.

  • Gelatine Pork 300 Bloom

  • Glycerine

  • Sorbitol

  • Zinc Oxide

  • Flocking

  • Acrylic emulsion (paint)

  • Electric hob

  • Saucepan

  • Mixing sticks

  • Mixing cups or bowls

STEP TWO:

Add the glycerine and sorbitol to the saucepan.  You will need a 50/50 mix, however if you require the gelatine to be softer, add more sorbitol. If you require the mixture to be harder, add more glycerine.

 

Mix this on a low heat (2-3 on an electric hob) Do not let it boil. 

Once the mixture is hot, start to add the 300 bloom gelatine. Pour gently and stir continuously. Do not add too much as it may clump, so take your time during this process.

I would normally add around 25% gelatine to the mixture, however if you keep adding gelatine until it reaches a thin porridge consistency, you should be okay.

TIP: The thicker the mixture, the more rigid the gelatine will be. If it's too rigid (too thick) you may have issues capturing all of the detail from your mould. If it's too thin, it may not set properly.

 

 

STEP THREE:

TIP: If it's too thin or too thick, don't worry as you can thicken it with more gelatine or thin it down with more glycerine and sorbitol later.

You may notice that it isn't very smooth at this stage, but that's fine. Keep stirring on a low heat (2-3) on the electric hob, but do not let it boil or fume. This will degrade the mix.

You can then pour it into a suitable molding tray. Take care at this stage as it will be molten and can burn if dripped on the skin.

Leave it to set overnight in a cool environment or even the fridge.

STEP FIVE:

You can now create your colour base. 

Add 20-30gms of sorbitol or glycerine to a container, then add your base acrylic emulsion colour. Add 2-3 large drops and mix throughly. I tend to add white and pink to create a light flesh tone. The gelatine mix is a brownish colour so this mix lightens the brown.

If, after mixing, you find that it's bitty, you have used old emulsion or the wrong type. If this is the case, create a new mix with a different type of emulsion. You'll find kids emulsion paints are great for a smooth, bitty free mix.

You can now mix in your flocking. I usually add a tablespoon of red, a teaspoon of yellow and a pinch of blue, however you can add whatever colours you like. Mix it all together and you have your colour paste ready to go. 

STEP FOUR:

Create your zinc oxide mix, by adding a few teaspoons of powdered zinc oxide to either sorbitol or glycerine. I usually use around 80gm's of glycerine for this mix.

Mix the zinc oxide into the liquid and then heat in a microwave for around 20 seconds on full power. Continue to mix, ensuring there are no lumps or grainy parts. You will now have a liquid zinc oxide mix for later use. 

You can also buy ready made liquid zinc oxide, but it's quite expensive, so this is a much cheaper way of doing it.

STEP SIX:

Add your gelatine blocks back into the saucepan and cook on a very low heat (1-2) on an electric hob. Once again, it's important that you don't boil or fume the gelatine.

Once the gelatine blocks have liquified, add the colouring mix and the zinc oxide mix and stir throughly.

The colour mix shown here is quite red as it's for a heart prosthetic. For this colour mix, I added additional red emulsion to the white and pink.

The main reason I use an electric hob instead of a microwave, gas or crock pot, is that I have more control over the heat.

STEP SEVEN:

Once you have a consistent mix, pour it back into the mold tray and let it set overnight. 

You now have blocks of gelatine ready to heat and use for your own SFX prosthetics.

TIP: I use less emulsion for flat molds as I prefer more translucency and more emulsion for body parts. 

TIP: Don't forget that sorbitol will soften the mix, so use less of it for body parts and more of it for flat molds and spongy effects.