Face Casting Kit II

Complete Instructions for Face Casting Kit II

For Professional Use only

Available only from Special Effect Supply

Please Note: This kit is designed to do three full faces (no ears or neck). To do a full head casting you may need more plaster, alginate or plaster bandages to do shoulders and head, depending upon your style, the size of your model and surface area. You will also need experience.


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Kit Contents (and what they're used for)

  • 1 each, 5 gal. Pail with lid, (shipping container) use pail for main water source and cleanup. Don't pour plaster down the drain.
  • 1 each, 1 lb. Alginate, remove the bag of alginate and use the pail to mix alginate and plasters. Use about 1/3 lb. alginate for each face.
  • 10 lbs., UltraCal 30, in 1 gal. pail with lid, use pail to mix plaster
  • 3 each, 6" Plaster Bandages (we may ship four 4")
  • 1 each, Disposable Paint brush, 1"
  • 6 each, Mixing Sticks
  • 6 each, Ear Swabs
  • 3 each, Mixing Cups, 16 oz
  • 1 each, 9'x12' Plastic drop cloth, use some to cover the floor and some to cover your model.
  • 1 each, Economy Bald Cap, latex, use to protect the hair
  • 1/8 lb., Clay, used to plug nostril holes before pouring plaster.


You may also need

  • Screwdriver or bucket wrench to open buckets
  • Medical Adhesive or spirit gum to attach the bald cap
  • Medical Adhesive Remover to remove Medical Adhesive
  • Cloth Towels, for cleanup and model comfort
  • Paper Towels
  • Apron
  • Scissors
  • Tape to secure drop cloth and to cover model
  • Athletic Tape, to secure loose ends
  • Binder Clips or Denture Fixative, to secure alginate in the shell before pouring plaster
  • Vaseline, as a release agent for eyebrows, eyelashes and shell halves.
  • Hair Band, to pull back the hair
  • Hair gel, to slick down the hair before applying the bald cap.

Important Note: Once you begin you must work quickly. Please read and understand these instructions before starting.

Procedure Outline and Notes

Preparation and Setup Suggestions: Prepare your work area and model before starting; cut about 4' off the long end of the drop cloth and cover the model, secure the remaining portion to the floor if needed. Use two small tables for materials: DRY TABLE) Precut plaster bandages, alginate stock, things you don't want to become contaminated. WET TABLE) Buckets and water for plaster and a place to dip plaster bandages. Locate the 5 gal. bucket filled 3/4 with warm water in an accessible area. Use this bucket for water source and cleanup.

Cut the plaster bandages into strips of various lengths ranging from 24" to 4". It takes about 1 full roll to do one face. Lay these out in advance. Dipping and Application is easier if each bandage is folded in half.

Prepare the model mentally, including a developing a means of communication using gestures or hand signals. Make sure the model can tolerate being enclosed in materials for the given amount of time.

Apply the bald cap using medical adhesive and tape.

Apply Vaseline over the hair to ease removal of alginate.

The model should assume the position of the finished piece, i.e. upright, laying down, head tilted, etc..

Make sure everything is in place and ready before starting!

Face Casts can not be done with the eyes open!

Alginate Application:
Use cold tap water (hard water not softened) to mix the alginate to the consistency of thick pudding. 1/3 lbs. alginate will do a face (no neck or ears). When alginate becomes smooth quickly apply to the face starting with over-hangs, such as under the chin and under the eyebrows. For details in the lips have the model open their lips slightly and close them again. Have the model assume a relaxed and neutral position if required.


Keep air passages open around the nostrils!

Use the stirring sticks and ear swabs to gently work alginate around the nostrils. Generally keep the alginate about 3/8" thick in all mold areas especially the nostrils. Periodically check with the model to make sure they are comfortable. In about 5 to 8 minutes the alginate will start to become rubbery. It is now time to apply plaster bandages.

Plaster Bandage Application:
Hold both ends of the plaster bandage and dip into the warm water, don't let go of the ends until you place them on the face. Force your hands together to wring all excess water out of the bandage. Apply immediately, starting with large supported areas first such as forehead and cheeks. Work down to smaller and smaller bandages. Make sure the nose is well supported while keeping the nostrils open. Use the ear swabs when necessary to keep water and debris out of the air passages.

While you are waiting for the bandages to harden, use the ear swabs to gently clean areas around the outside of the mask. Use the swabs to separate plaster bandages from the skin, separate the hair from drying alginate and generally break the outside border of the alginate. These are all places which might tear during removal of the mask.

Mold Removal:
To remove the mask, have the model bend over and gently wiggle the face inside the mask. Gravity and patience will help the mask drop free from the model's face. Don't force anything, especially alginate in hairy areas. Alginate will successfully pull off hair of any length if given time and patience.

Mold Preparation and Casting:
Prepare the mold for plaster by using the clay to sculpt little plugs to plug the inside of the nostrils. You can use binder clips or denture adhesive to secure the alginate inside the plaster bandage shell. Make sure the alginate "sets" well inside the mold before casting with UltraCal 30.

Mix a small amount of UltraCal 30 and gently brush it into the alginate. This is your detail coat. You can now follow with thicker layers of UltraCal 30 until you have a casting the thickness you desire.

PLEASE NOTE: UltraCal 30 is the industry standard for heat-resistant, non-shrinking positives that are used for special make-up effects. Clean all buckets and tools in the source bucket and allow solids to settle before discarding the water. Place hardened plaster solids in a trash can.

PLEASE NOTE: You should cast the positive soon after taking the alginate mold because alginate will shrink as moisture evaporates out of it. Usually you will get at least one good casting from the mold before it breaks or tears. Experienced Life-casters will get several "pulls" before the mold deteriorates.