Beards and Moustaches
I was asked for this on the OSUK Forum , so thought I would also post it here. Hope some will find it useful.
Three things are needed : ~
1) A good colour of soft fake fur : a mid- or dark-brown is the most useful .
The best is mohair, sold at Craft Shops for knitters. But the next best source is soft toys : search for monkeys and bears.
Obviously the colour chosen should match the subject , in age and ethnic type.
Men with blond hair normally have light brown beards , since truly blond beards are very rare, and confined to certain Scandinavians.
And beard hair is often a different shade from the head hair.
The softer and finer, the better it looks.If you use straight, coarse fibres, it will look bad.There are various loose polyester fibres sold for wigging dolls, but most although very fine, tend to be weird colours.
2) The right glue : a clear spirit glue is best, not too thick and stringy.
It needs to sit exactly where you put it , and not run , but not be so thick that it forms a skin too quickly . I use HMG glue, which is sold in craft shops here, or available online from Fred Aldous. It’s perfect for hair attachment. (Unfortunately the airlines have recently introduced very stringent rules about chemicals in packages, and it may be impossible now to get it sent overseas, so wherever you are , search for something like it locally.) If you are in North America, Gem-Tac is reckoned to be good for this job.If you want to use a white glue, it has to be thick enough to hold the hair exactly when and where you apply it.
3) Fine , sharp scissors : the Fiskars ones with orange handles are the best .
And of course a little knowledge of real beards .
Look at photos carefully before starting , and even make a sketch , which will help you to understand the structure .
You might want to make the first attempt on an unwanted head, to get in some practice.
Beards have a pattern of growth , with the hair running in different directions in different parts of the face. It’s also denser in some parts than others .You can match this as you glue it on.
Paint the top margin with matching-coloured paint, to help feather the edge . A hard edge is unrealistic, and one thing that can make it look fake.
Trying to make a heavy stubble, or a half-grown beard is best done by sculpting and painting. Adding it in fur is nearly impossible unless you have access to a flocking machine, because the glue will show through as a shiny mess .
This head is having a hairdo as well...and I'm using some fake fur from a soft toy for the hair, which is a slightly different colour from the beard , which is mohair :
To start, check that you have finished any painting on the head .
Commence under the jaw .
Apply an area of glue . Clip a tuft from your fur ,cutting a flat even end , and making sure it all runs in the same direction. Ram the cut end into the glue, tweak it to lie in the correct flow, and leave.
Apply under the jaw, where you can paint in the bottom edge to avoid a straight line, though it’s less critical here . Then the sides , then the underlip , then the moustache. It takes about ten little applications .
The hair went on at this point , along with the noustache.
First rough trim :
And then trimmed to the final job :
And if it’s just a moustache you want ....
The moustache is critical : make sure it is evenly dense, and flows down and away from the nose . Just ramming fibres into glue in a random heap will just create a nasty mess, so give this some thought.
Let it dry for an hour . Then comb it out gently with an old toothbrush. Repair any bald patches. If a part looks bad, remove it now and try again.
Trim with really sharp small scissors, a little at a time , don’t rush . The cut ends should grade imperceptibly rather than being cut in sharp planes.
Wash it out with warm water , brush into shape with a toothbrush and leave to dry.
Practice a little , and take your time, and don't be afraid to pull it off and glue again.