This is a TEST, and only a test. But... I consider it a successful one.
I've been planning on making a proper set of rubber feet for the costume. Since the vacuformed versions arrived and I realized how stiff and difficult they'll be to walk in. While doing some searching for info on casting resins I stumbled across a forum post that talked about using caulking silicone as a mold making material. Sounding like a really inexpensive way to make a mold, I was curious to see how well it worked and if I could make some temporary rubber feet while I sculpt up the real versions.
Using the vacuformed feet for a negative mold, I applied a thin layer of petroleum jelly and coated the inside with silicone caulk.
When I removed the rubber casting I was surprised at how nicely it turned out. Had I known it would be an almost keep able/usable shoe I would have been more careful with the application of the silicone. Even with my sloppiness, almost no bubbles showed up on the surface. There were a few VERY thin spots that tore but the rest is surprisingly strong.
I'm well aware that silicone is almost impossible to paint but I wanted to give it a shot to see HOW terrible it actually is. I figure if paint will hold up for a day or two I could always touch them up really quickly before I head out in the suit.
Added some primer...
...then applied a coat of Rustolium metallic gold spray paint.
With things like feet and hands that get a lot of abuse I wanted to find a way to touch up those areas to an acceptable level without having them re vac-metalized and/or spray chromed. SO, I did some tests with most of the available metallic paints, minus the crazy expensive brands. I'll do a post and show all the results...
anyway, back to shoes!
They JUST fit over my feet with no shoes or socks. They have great flex and stretch a good amount. I'll do a more even coating on the inside next time and make the walls of the shoe a bit thinner. The plan is to get some cheap flip-flops and cut the sole to fit inside the rubber shell. I think if I line the rim of the silicone with a strip of fabric it should adhere to the shoe bottom more easily.
After walking around for a few minutes the paint started coming off, and not just a little bit... I pulled the shoe off, slapped it against my other hand and the paint literally ALL fell off. So...
I've found a few paintable silicons that I may try... I may also clean this version and see if the petroleum jelly helped reject the paint job.
With a cost of about $12 per pair, these are temporary and/or somewhat disposable until I make the good version, which I believe will be made with roto-cast polyurethane. I pulled some bondo molds of the the vacuformed feet upon which I'll adjust the size to better fit my feet and sculpt bottoms to match the movie feet.
More updates soon! I'll be off of 3po for a few weeks while I finish an Iron Man II "war machine" costume.