A-Z Glossary Of Industry Terms



A07: A one component silicone regularly diluted with white spirit to create a silicon primer for painting busts, etc.

Acetone: A universal solvent for PVC as well as most resins, lacquers and lipids. Used for thinning polyester resin, cleaning fibre-glass tools, moulds, dissolving superglue before hardening, blending edges on plastic bald caps and for silicone appliances encapsulated with Baldiez.

Acrylic: A versatile polymer (plastic) commonly seen and used in paints and sealers. Used regularly for its natural translucency and strength.

Accelerator: An additive used in moulding and casting to speed up the cure of the chosen material.

Addition-Cure Silicone: Also known as “Platinum-Cure” due to it’s chemical reaction. Often used as prosthetic appliance material, but it’s lengthy lifespan makes these silicones great moulding material.

Airbrush: An air operated device that can be used in various applications, paint, inks, make up and thinned encapsulating materials.

Alginate: Derived from seaweed and giant kelp, alginate is used to take impressions of subjects – commonly in dentistry and for face/body casts.

Animatronics: Electronically animated puppets or figures for motion pictures.

Appliance: Also known as a “Prosthetic”. The cured silicone, latex, foam latex or gelatine piece.

Armature: Used in sculpture as skeletal framework. Often wire is use so the figure can be manipulated into chosen position.

Attagel: A thickening, clay mineral agent used in conjunction with Green Marble Aging Concentrate to create old age effects.

AquaFix: A water-based acrylic adhesive.

AquaFix: Cream Thickened AquaFix, used in the same ways as “Bondo”.


Baldiez: Acetone based cap plastic used to encapsulate prosthetics or make bald caps.

Baldiez Beads: Solid formula of Baldiez created for international customers, to avoid hazardous shipping costs.

Bald Cap: A thin, flexible cap used to cover the models hair to create the appearance of baldness. Often vinyl, dipping latex or encapsulator but silicone or foam latex can be used.

Bleeder: Bleeder holes are airways you apply to moulds to allow any trapped air to escape, preventing air pockets in your casts. Applied to the core piece of the mould as these airways will fill with casting material, this then places them underneath the appliance, rather than on the visible character side.

Blending Edge: The point which dissolves away from the flashing and prosthetic when applied to the skin, making a seamless application. Dissolved by the according alcohol used when encapsulating your appliance. Super Baldiez diluted with IPA, Baldiez diluted with ACETONE.

Bondo: Also known “Pro Bondo”, a mixture of water-base acrylic adhesive (AquaFix/Pros-Aide) with Cab-O-Sil, a fine fumed silica, which creates a white paste. Can be used to fill small prosthetic moulds, or used to patch edges on application. Applied directly from the mould or used with transfer paper. See; Prosthetic Transfers, 3D Transfers, Cabo-Patch, Aqua Fix Cream, Pros-Aide Cream.

Brush Layer: The first layer applied to capture details, within a mould or over a sculpture, etc. to be continued with further reinforcing layers. See: Detail Layer.

Burlap: Also known as “Hessian” is a coarse woven fabric typically used within plaster/gypsum moulds to reinforce the mould for optimal strength.


Cab-O-Sil: Untreated fumed silica used as a thixotropic agent which prevents sagging or dropping of resin and silicone when applied on vertical surfaces. Also ideal to use as a thickener with Pros-aide to create transfers.

Cabo-Patch: The thickened adhesive material, either Pros-Aide of AquaFix. See; Bondo, Prosthetic Transfers, 3D Transfers, Cabo-Patch, Aqua Fix Cream, Pros-Aide Cream.

Cap Plastic: Paramount for realistic appliances, providing the finest, flexible edges. See: Super Baldiez, Baldiez, Blending Edge.

Case Mould: Also known as “Hard Shell”, a rigid encasing mould. Often used with a jacket. Example; Matrix Mould: silicone jacket and a hard shell.

Casting: The process of pouring your final material in its mould.

Catalyst: A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction; curing the material.

CGI: Computer Generated Imagery

Chemical Mask (RPE/PPE): Respiratory protective equipment against the inhalation of hazardous substances.

Choppies: Loose chopped strand fibres, used for hand application into fibre-glass gel coats in order to add structural strength.

Clay Cutter: Often wire string, lose or on a metal bow to cut clays to required thickness.

Clear Casting: Resin casting method using water-clear resins.

Cold Foam: Unlike Foam Latex, it does not require heat to cure. Two part polyurethane foam.

Collodion: A clear liquid that when applied to stretched skin simulates scars.

Condensation Cure Silicone: Also known as “Tin-Cure” used most commonly for mould making.

Core: This is the positive which you sculpt upon – typically a cast taken from a moulded lifecast.

Cream Time: This is the period of time in which expanding materials (urethane foams) are mixed and begin to foam. See: Pot Life, Working Time.

Creature Foam: Mouldlife’s own Foam Latex.

Cure: The chemical reaction of a material causing it to set.

Cutting Edge: Also known as “Blending Edge”. The edge between the flashing and prosthetic which dissolves away upon application. See: Blending Edge.


Detail Layer: The first swilled (rota-cast) or brushed layer into a mould or over a sculpture/model to mould, which will capture the fine details. Followed by further reinforcing layers. See: Brush Layer.

Dipping Latex: Latex in liquid form, often used for rubber mask making. Also known as Liquid Latex. See: Latex.

Dividing Wall: Also known as “”Mould Wall” “Wall/s”. The temporary wall made usually with water based clay/WED clay to separate the different parts of the hard shell/case mould. See: Mould Wall, Wall/s.


Epoxy: Refers to a type of reactive prepolymer and polymer containing epoxide groups. Often used to coat, laminate and infuse materials like wood and carbon.

Exothermic Reaction: An exothermic process releases heat, causing the temperature of the immediate surroundings to rise.


Fast Cast: Fast setting resin systems.

Fibreglass: A sheet consisting of extremely fine glass fibres, saturated in polymer resin. Making an excellent mould making material; extremely strong and lightweight. See; Choppies, Glass Matting, Tissue Matting, Glass Chopped Strand.

Filler: Used in resins and gelcoats often, for bulking out the material. Another type of filler is metallic powders, used to dust moulds or mixed within resin to create metal-like finishes.

Fixing Spray: A special cosmetic preparation for application over make-up. It creates an invisible protective film, which prolongs the life of the make-up and its effects.

Flange: The “Mould Walls/Dividing Wall” once in its moulding material that houses the bolts, and space for clamps for additional strength.

Flashing: Excess material put in place during the sculpting process. The extremely thin blending edge is neatly connected to both the flashing and prosthetic. Flashing keeps the blending edge from curling on itself and sticking.

Flat Moulds: Often created for generic prosthetic appliances. Sculpted on a flat surface so they can be applied to most areas of the body, and not specific to one model. Usually made from silicone but other materials can be used to flat mould.

Flocking: Short fine pigmented fibres used as intrinsic colouring for silicone or gelatine.

Foam Latex: Foam latex is a lightweight, soft spongy material which is used in masks and facial prosthetics to change a person's outward appearance – it’s often chosen as a prosthetic material instead of silicone due to how much lighter it is to wear. Additionally it’s used as body suits and animatronic (mechanical) skins for the same reason. It’s a liquid latex base mixed with further additives, whipped into a foam and baked to set in place. Brush applied into moulds or injection filled.

Fullers Earth: Calcium bentonite; fullers earth is fine, light coloured chalky dust used regularly throughout SFX Film departments to recreates dirty, dusty scenes and applications.

Fumed Silica: Silicon dioxide; a thixotropic additive. A universal thickening agent added to liquids to increase viscosity.


Gel Coat: A thick polymer resin coat used as the first step in fibreglassing. The gel coat is used a the detail/brush layer before applying the saturated fibreglass matting. See: Detail Layer, Brush Layer

Gelatine: Collagen extraction; food/medical grade material commonly used as prosthetic appliances. Blend edges with Witch Hazel.

Glass Matting: Coarser chopped strand mat (sheet) used as reinforcing layers when fibreglassing. Chopped strand mat is a dry mat of randomly oriented glass strands, held together by a binder which breaks down as they are saturated with laminating resin. High strength material.

Glatzan: A liquid synthetic material for creation of ultra-thin bald caps.

Glycerine: A viscous, non-toxic, colourless and odourless liquid used in special effects makeup applications to simulate sweat/tears due to its low evaporation property. Additionally, used in WED clay to lengthen its working time.

Go Cast: A self-releasing poly addition cure silicone which is ideal for making moulds of hands, feet and body parts, it comes as a 2-part system which when mixed together and applied to the skin creates the perfect replication. A silicone alternative to alginate.

Go Off: A term used when describing a material entering it’s cured state. See: Cure, Kick.

Gypsum: A soft white or grey mineral consisting of hydrated calcium sulphate. Occurs in most plaster applications – Plaster of Paris, Crystacal R and other US recognised plasters.


Hair Laying: The process of applying hair to a subject or model with adhesive. Applying the glue and laying the hair in its growth direction from the blunt end of the hair, small amounts at a time.

Hair Punching: The process of inserting individual hairs with a specialist needle to a prosthetic

Hardener: An additive used in silicones to increase the shore hardness.

Heptane: A multipurpose solvent, great for removing or dissolving oil or silicone spots. It is also a great medium for mixing paints.

High Tear: The measurement of a sample's ability to resist tearing.


Intrinsic Colouring: The colouring during the casting process; pigments and flocking are often added to the liquid state of materials – this is intrinsic colouring.

Inhibition: The slowing or prevention of a process due to a particular secondary substance.

Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA): Rubbing alcohol. Frequently used in make-up effects as the dilutant of Super Baldiez, dissolving the edges on application. Often used to clean moulds and activated paint palettes.

Isopropyl Myristate (IPM): A very gentle, effective oil based make-up remover which will remove many types of make-up. Also used as a solvent when using oil-based clays; works just like white spirit.


Jesmonite: Versatile range of water-based, solvent free composite materials ideally suited to the creation of decorative mouldings and glass reinforced laminates.

Jacket: Flexible jacket which captures the impression of the sculpt/subject, backed with a hard shell, completing the mould. Example: Matrix mould. See: Matrix Mould, Brush Layer.


Key: An indentation to aid in precise alignment when piecing mould parts together.

Kick: A term used when describing a material “Going off”/gelling/curing. An RTV Silicone will “kick” quicker in a warmer setting. See: Go Off, Cure.


Latex: Naturally derived from the Hevea Brasiliensis, the Pará rubber tree. Latex is used extensively throughout SFX applications, the different used of latex vary making it a very versatile material. See: Slip Latex, Slush Latex, Dipping Latex, Foam Latex.

Lesion: An area of tissue that has been damaged through injury or disease.

Lifecasting/Lifecast: The process of taking an impression of a live model using alginate or silicone materials.

Lifeforn: Mouldlife’s LifeForm is a Poly addition cure RTV Silicone rubber which vulcanises at room temperature. A Facecoat option is available with Lifeform, it’s a lower viscosity than Go Cast and the other speed variants of Lifeform.


Make-up effects: Direct skin applications that finalise a character make-up application. Example; artificial blood.

Maquette: A model for a larger piece of sculpture, created in order to visualise how it might look and to work out approaches and materials for how it might be made.

Matrix: Mould Also known as a “Cavity Mould”, you essentially reverse the moulding process and begin with the hard shell to then fill the void later with a pour of fluid silicone. Making the silicone jacket impression over your sculpt, for example, with water based clay. This method is time consuming but results in a neater silicone jacket and you have more control over the amount of silicone you are using.

Milliput: Epoxy modelling compound.

Modroc: Plaster bandages.

Mother Mould: A jacket mould with a rigid support shell.

Mould Negative: The negative is the impression taken of a subject.

A life cast for example; the live model = positive. The alginate or lifecasting silicone used to take their impression = negative. The plaster poured into the alginate or silicone = positive.

Mould Positive: The original subject or the cast taken from the mould (negative).

A bust sculpture for example; the clay = positive. The mould used to take the impression of the sculpture = negative. The final casting material = positive.

Mould Walls: Also known as Dividing Wall, the mould walls are temporarily built using water based clay to establish the flanges. Separates the halves/multi-parts of the mould. See; Diving Wall, Flange.


Nitrile: A type of disposable glove made from synthetic rubber, this means alongside Vinyl Gloves there is no risk of latex allergies, or inhibiting materials.


Oil Clay: Non-drying, sulphur free clays often used for prosthetic appliance sculptures, but can be used for larger sculptures due to time not being limited.

Overflow: Excess material when casting. Flashing is added to allow overflow, a completely filled flashing ensures enough material in the mould.


Parting Edge: This is the separation line where the walls/parts of the mould meet.

PAX Paint: Acrylic paint and Pros-aide combined to make a heavy duty appliance paint. Most commonly use on Foam Latex.

Pigment: Highly concentrated liquid colours used to intrinsically colour silicones, resins, etc. Must use pigments specific to material being used.

Plastiline: Oil-based modelling clay.

Plate Mould: Also known as Flat Mould. Sculpted on a flat surface so they can be applied to most areas of the body, and not specific to one model. See; Flat Moulds.

Postiche: Directly translated to “Hairpiece” in French. Any article of hair application.

Pot Life: This is a materials working time once all parts of the system have been mixed together, Its working time before curing is the Pot Life. See; Working Time.

Pull: The term used when removing/demoulding material from the mould.


Registration Key: Drilled, carved, sculpted with clay or made with the use of rubbers and resins to precisely align mould parts together.

Release Agent: Material that allows you to separate castings from moulds. Often aerosol formulas, but solids available.

RTV: Room Temperature Vulcanisation.

Running: The term used when casting material – “running silicone” “running foam”.


Sculpt: Sculpture is the clay process of a character.

Sealer: A brushable or sprayable liquid that are applied to porous materials to act as a barrier against moisture.

Seam: The area in which the casting from multiple mould parts had joined.

Seaming: The process of removing the obvious seam line for a flawless cast. Often this involves cutting a channel over the seam line and then filling that river with the same silicone used to fill, blending over the cut edge for a flush look.

Shell: This term is often used when describing a hard mould, the “shell” is typically the outer solid mould to the flexible jacket.

Shim: Brass Shim is a thin flexible metal used in mould making. It can be used as a fence or wall when flood moulding and also can be used as a barrier between 2-part silicone moulds.

Slip Latex: Unlike foam latex; slip latex, also known as Slush Latex or Pouring Latex, will air dry in thin layers. Often used for mask making. See; Foam Latex, Slush Latex, Pouring Latex.

Slush Latex: A pourable consistency latex, often used for mask masking. See; Slip Latex, Pouring Latex, Slush Latex, Foam Latex.

Snap Mould: A cast taken from a larger makeup sculpture to mould separately for an overlapping prosthetic application.

Special Effects: SFX, SPFX, traditionally practical/physical effects. This includes props, scenery, models and make up applications.

Squish Mould: A mould in which the positive in pieced into the negative with material sandwiched between. Pressure is applied to the positive to “squish” the material to overflow out of the mould – creating flashing, edges and the prosthetic.

Stipple: The motion of applying paints and creating texture. Stipple sponges are small and squared with a natural sponge texture to recreate bruises, hair stubble and broken capillary effects!


Tallow: A release agent specifically designed to separate plaster from plaster.

Thixotropic: An additive used to thicken materials.

Transfer Paper: Released paper used to transfer temporary tattoos or bondo prosthetics.


Undercut: Often begin in sculptures; when moulding over an over-protruding area, this causes and undercut. This is an area which will lock the positive into the negative.


Vulcanisation: is the process of curing elastomers. See: RTV.


Water Clay: Used by sculptors and mould makers, a water based modelling clay. No Glycerin addition.

WED Clay: Also used by sculptors for larger projects, the addition of Glycerin makes gives this modelling clay a longer working time. Named after Walter Elias Disney (WED).

Working Time: The period of time that you have available after mixing your materials and before pouring into the mould.