A blog dedicated to the crafting of faux foodstuffs, casting & molding, and other nifty tricks for theater production.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Roast Beast in Gravy

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Materials: Upholstery Foam, Jaxsan, Paint, Hot Pour Vinyl, Hot Pour Vinyl Pigments, Foil Tray

In this season's production of "Yankee Tavern", we come upon the remains of a funeral reception. Tables are littered with empty beers bottles, overturned cups, dirty paper plates, crumpled napkins,and a buffet table of picked over catering trays. One of the requested items was a foil tray with roast beef and gravy, pictured above. (You can see the cheese platter here.)

The roast beef and gravy was actually a fairly simple process. I cut upholstery foam into a roughly beef-like shape on the band saw, and then sliced that chunk into thin slices. I used Jaxsan (AKA the magic prop goo, one of my favorite products) to coat each of the slices, using a toothpick to trace in the major marbling texture.  Once the Jaxsan had dried on  both sides, I painted the beef.  Research images show that beef slices have a dark brown rind on the outside, pink centers, and brownish gray cooked meat in between. I used an initial spray of Dusty Rose Design Master spray paint, then washes of acrylic paint to get my color. Even though the beef is almost entirely covered with the gravy, it is still good to get the base at least close to correct.

After arranging the beef slices in the tray, the final step was to make the gravy.  The gravy is clear Hot Pour Vinyl, tinted with M-F Plastic Color. I believe I used Brown and Root Beer color, but I don't remember exactly.  Hot Pour Vinyl is liquid when heated, and a sticky, shiny gel when dried. It is used to make plastic worms for fishing.  While pouring the vinyl, I tried to make it look as if people had been serving themselves. I got as much 'gravy' as I could on the sides and corners of the tray, even dripping some over the edges.  Though it is not pictured here, I also put some of the gravy on a serving utensil, which was left in the pan.

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