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How to Go Full Zombie

We had been selling zombie prosthetics for a few years before we put together our first full kit. We liked giving people the ability to mix and match their prosthetics to customise their own looks, but we also wanted to give people the worlds first movie quality ‘zombie in a box’ which would give our customers everything they needed to look like an extra from The Walking Dead in one complete pack.

Zombie Makeup Kit
Kit – prosthetics, adhesive, blender, blood & paint

Tom sculpted zombie brow and mouth prosthetics that would still look great when they overlapped, so users could have some adjustment for different facial sizes, and he also sculpted gruesome looking teeth with a ripped lip into the mouth appliance, because everyone loves that over-the-top look but most people can rarely achieve it on their own. For films and TV, ‘out of the mouth dentures’ are made for a specific actor which not only gives them gnarled teeth but also hides their lips; then prosthetics are sculpted to fit over the top of these dentures, revealing the exposed gum area and giving a terrifying skeletal look.

Walking Dead Zombie
Dentures used on The Walking Dead image © AMC

You can see how this effect would be problematic for the casual makeup artist! Sculpting the teeth right into the prosthetic meant that we could get a similar look, and providing the wearer blacked out their own teeth (easily done using tooth enamel our even just food dye) the effect was very convincing, especially for an ‘out-of-the-box’ zombie… in fact, every time we see the video (which you can watch at the bottom of this post) we forget that the teeth we are seeing is the prosthetic, not the actors teeth!

Zombie Mouth prosthetic
Yep, the teeth are gelatine too!

World War Z was due for release later that year (2013), so for the ‘movie’ portion of our makeup video we decided early on to film a running zombie. Not everyone likes the idea of fast zombies, but we wanted to go with something that felt fresh and up to date, so we decided a high octane zombie chase would be a great way to showcase the zombie kit. One of the advantages of living and working in the Scottish Highlands is that everyone knows everyone, and lots of people have access to things you would never have access to in London. So when we were chatting to a friend in the local pub on Loch Ness and he offered access to a helicopter and pilot for the day, we almost bit his hand off at the shoulder – zombie style!

World War Z Style Trailer
‘Copters & zombie chases, a typical Nimba work day

On the day of the shoot our model, Graham Hay, spent a couple of hours in the makeup chair before we headed over to PDG Helicopters to film our chase scene. Luckily it was a fairly cool day so Graham, in makeup and with a boiler suit over his clothes, and our co-pilot played by Simon Swinton in full flight kit didn’t overheat as we spent hours trying to capture the chase on film. With the shots being filmed from a car driving towards a helicopter with blades spinning while another person hangs out of the window with the camera trying to focus on the action, being part of the shoot felt like being in the movie itself. It was adrenalin pumping, exciting and sometimes scary, and we loved every second of it.

So, here’s the video, including our little movie plus application and paint instructions for the prosthetics. If you’d like to have a go yourself, you can get yours by visiting our Zombie Prosthetics Kit page – we even throw in a free copy of our Ultimate Zombie Makeup Guide DVD which includes the video in full HD – don’t forget to show us your results!

Got a makeup FX question or comment?

We love hearing from Nimba Creations customers, Cosplayers, Actors, Movie Makers and Makeup FX artists at every stage of their career. If you’ve got a question or comment about our products, Makeup FX or want to show off your lastest creation you can contact us via our Facebook Page.

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