Prosthetics used with make-up will take a costume to a new level of awesome. The process was pioneered by make-up artist Dick Smith in the 1970s. He applied prosthetics made from foam latex in small pieces as opposed to the earlier standard of a solid mask. His technique allowed actors to have a wide range of facial expressions, appearing more natural. His website sells a course in making and applying prosthetics.
I chose this subject because we recently got an inquiry about making the headdress/hair and wings for this amazing character called Kerrigan from the video game Starcraft.
When you look up prosthetics, you get a lot of horror links. Fangoria magazine is one of the biggest horror publication around, full of film and book reviews and articles like this interview with Paul Jones, makeup FX artist on Resident Evil.
To make your own prosthetics takes some patience. Start small – how about some EARS!
Lord of the Rings ears
Tips on making ears
Molded gelatin (unflavored jello) is apparently a good material for prosthetics (haven’t tried it personally). Indie Mogul has a tutorial here.
When we lived in LA we always enjoyed a trip to Cinema Secrets in Burbank for specialty supplies like:
Spirit Gum (an excellent adhesive for prosthetics and decorative doodads you want to attach to skin)
Face wax (to form scars)
Dress up your TEETH for Halloween:
Caps & veneers
Make your own fangs – a video from MAKE
Simple cheesy witch nose
More involved version, using latex
Cute Australian dude Conner tells you how to make a blood spurting severed finger
Fake fingernails galore on Amazon
Weird fingernail ideas from the Nailolympics
An Impaling kit could be fun
List of good books about prosthetic makeup and other special effect makeup
Effective prosthetics for videos video