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Dark Knight
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Registered: 03-2012
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Why do we use plastidip?


I posted this question on the facebook page but got no reply. I'm not sure if many of the suit builders still visit this page, but perhaps someone will know the answer. I have always found this site more about costume building and the facebook page about sharing photos of random Batman things.

I scratch built my TDK suit in latex, with black plasti-dip. The attached two photos of me taken this weekend show that the suit usually looks pretty low-sheen as it should, but occasionally photos show the suit really glossy.

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This could be either a flash or just the lighting, but I don't like it when it shines like that. I went back to my reference photos I took of the screen used suit at Warner Bro's studios and noticed that it is not really black at all, but flat dark grey. So I took a black latex casting and started to polish it with an Armorall rag and found that I could get a pretty close approximation of the real suit finish on a plain, unpainted latex piece.

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Plastidip looks great in the beginning, then it starts to wear and peel, so what is the reason everyone has for using plastidip on latex TDK parts? Perhaps I am missing something, but I am keen to remake all my suit parts and replace them with polished plain black latex parts.

Kev

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drftfan Profile
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Re: Why do we use plastidip?


Honestly I think the plastidip thing started out of laziness. Much easier to coat latex with plastidip than actually painting which in itself isn't hard. Just time consuming. And one thing I have seen especially lately with costumers is just doing stuff the easiest way possible.
The one time I did latex pieces I ran them in fiberglass molds. They came out much nicer than using stone molds.
I have two latex Panther cowls here and neither one is plastidipped and they look just fine.
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Dark Knight
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Re: Why do we use plastidip?


Hold the bat-phone!!! You used fibreglass moulds to run latex in??? How exactly did you do that, was it applying multiple coats? Usually I fill my stone moulds with latex, leave it for an appropriate time to buildup the required thickness and then pour out the excess. I would love to know your process with FG moulds because it would solve another issue I am having at the moment too.

Cheers
Kev

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Oracle
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Re: Why do we use plastidip?


There are several reasons to use it: If you have a rough surface of latex you can get a smoother surface. That is important with Returns and Forever Panther suits because they are black and [sign in to see URL] reason is that some brothers use the natural latex that contains no color and then just blacken it with black plasti-dip. The Begins Suit was also in foamlatex, therefor the surface was not really smooth, and it looked like a deep grey with [sign in to see URL] it is a movie costume, the camera settings and the light change the look of the suit, and personally find it more important how I want a suit, then how the suit looked in the movie. They used suits from silicone, urethane, and foam-latex, depending on the scene and the movie. For the Batman Forever Panther suit they even used silicone oil to give the foamlatex a shiny black look.

Last edited by Phantombatman, 4/6/2018, 10:52 am


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4/6/2018, 10:49 am Link to this post Send Email to Phantombatman
 
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Re: Why do we use plastidip?


Yes latex in fiberglass is a drawn out process for sure. But basically apply layer after layer after layer until you get the thickness you want. And make sure it is dry before pulling.
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Re: Why do we use plastidip?


Most companies that made masks and such before Plasti Dip came around used products like Liquitex. Old school latex makers have also used acrylic paint mixed with rubber cement (thinned down with naptha so it could be sprayed). Then along came Plasti-Dip. Originally only in Black and Red (I think) and it seemed to stick real well to latex since it's rubberized. It's not necessarily "lazy" as Janis said but just easier and get's the job done.
That said, there are ways to make it shiny or flat, it all has to do with the application process. Dust the piece lightly from a foot or more away and it will be flat, go up close and heavy it'll be glossy.
Natural latex looks nice but is often uneven as in the texture might be different from different parts of the mold.

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Dark Knight
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Re: Why do we use plastidip?


Thanks for all the feedback! I haven't been on the forum here for ages, but this kind of support is why I loved BOTB, and the facebook page just doesn't seem to have any of this technical conversation.

I think what I have got from this is that the Dark Knight suit never looks particularly shiny in the film, and I am unhappy with the shine of my suit in photos, so I am going to try building one without plasti-dip and see if I am more happy with the results. I poured a new cowl the other day in black tinted latex and even before polishing, it looks much more like the movie one. I never really thought about what it would look like with plasti-dip, I just used it because I was told to.

I will keep you posted with my results :)

Thanks again for the feedback.
Kev

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Re: Why do we use plastidip?


Kev, You could probably "dull it down" by hand "sanding" it with a dry piece of scotch brite

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Re: Why do we use plastidip?


Sorry I said lazy because I feel like that is just the way the hobby has become.
I guess at the time it started that wasnt the case.
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Re: Why do we use plastidip?


Quote:

drftfan wrote:

Sorry I said lazy because I feel like that is just the way the hobby has become.
I guess at the time it started that wasnt the case.



No worries Jamie, no offense was taken. emoticon

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4/11/2018, 7:53 pm Link to this post  
 


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