Monday, February 28, 2011

Materials Monday- Hot Pour Vinyl

Beef in Hot Pour Vinyl Gravy.
Hot pour vinyl! If you've been a faithful follower of this blog, you've probably noticed that I like to use a product called Hot Pour Vinyl on a lot of my food products. You also probably need to get out more. It's one of my favorite products because of it's translucency and shine- you can get really faithful representations of things like gravy, pie filling and cheese sauce. It's also nice and jiggly.
Hot pour vinyl is the same stuff that fake worm fishing lures are made out of. It comes in a liquid form, in clear or white, and is set by heating it to 350 Degrees, and then cooling it. It can be poured into a mold, or drizzled on top of fake food as a sauce, or anything else that your heart desires. I’ve used it in plaster molds, and I believe it can also be poured into silicone or urethane molds as well, though I have no experience with that. It can be re-melted and reused many times, you can put sawdust or other texturizers in it for a chunkier look if you wish.

You can buy plastic pigments to dye it, and they’re available in a wide range of colors. I’ve had mixed luck with painting it with acrylic, though I know the Guthrie had good luck using acrylic paint on some cast meat for a butcher shop scene this season.   I think the luck has to do with how well you set the stuff, if it isn't heated fully before cooling, it seems not to work quite as well.

The downside is that it’s hard to get it to stick to anything, and that it can leach some oily residue over time- so it doesn’t hold up real well in our warm and muggy basement prop storage. The best part is that it is shiny and translucent- so you can make very convincing sauces with it and jiggly, so you can make hilarious jiggly food with it.

The manufacturer recommends heating it in an oil double boiler, but as that sounds terrifying to me (another prop shop I know of had a spill with theirs, ick), and I usually mix mine in small batches, I just do it over low(gradually increasing) heat, and stir constantly. It’s pretty stinky, so better to do it in a ventilated area.

We buy ours here:
Burman Industries (search for Hot Pour)
and you can buy the pigments (M-F plastic color, it’s called) that we use here:
Fishing World- Plastic Pigments
(though I do not have personal experience with this company)

I'll post a step by step next week on some hot pour fishies, but in the mean time, here are some things I've done with the hot pour. Happy Propping!

Leftover cheese on platter.

Cabbage Pie

"Something Brown made of Cabbage"


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