making a body cast

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inkdoctor

Guest
i seen somewhere here on the lair one of the members had posted pics a a small tutorial of making a full body cast and i cant find it anywhere. anyone have a suggestions on making a complete body cast and what material to use after the cast is made. i basicly want to make a full sized mannequin of myself and dont know if it would best to use resin or fiberglass. i want it to be hallow like a mannequin but i also want it to be firm so it can be used to make several sculpts over it. and after im done casting up the sculpts be able to clean off the clay and reuse.
 
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Ruffkintoy

Guest
Here's the website that I got some ideas from.
www.bioweapons.com/bodycast.htm

I know people say not to use plaster or ultracal to make a cast but it isn't thick enough to generate much heat so there was no problem. Just make sure to wrap all areas with the plastic wrap. For the final form fiberglass would be your best option. I got some heavy fiberglass cloth from ebay awhile back and used that. It was pretty cheap and I got alot. I used 2 layers of that cloth and then one layer of reglular FG mat from walmart for the final layer but don't think it was all that necessary. My final cast is very sturdy and light weight.
 
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inkdoctor

Guest
that be the one thank you so much sir. hey dont you live in ohio? maybe i could hire you to help me with mine. do you have to wrap yourself in plastic? all the ones ive seen done it looks like they just apply the ultracal right to the skin to pic out all the details in the muscles not like i have that many details in mine right now. do you remember what the total expense was? and how did you get out of it were you cut out of it? thanks again for the help bro.
 
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Ruffkintoy

Guest
Yep, I'm in Ohio. What part you from?
The plastic acts as a barrier to keep the ultracal from sticking to hair and skin. I have seen where people wear bodysuits and coated with an oil too. I would say if you want to pick up all the detail you might want to go the alginate/plaster bandage route. Just depends how much detail you want in the final form.
I would be willing to help you out on it.
I'm not sure how much it cost total, I got the ultracal for free burlap was around $20.00 or so, I think I used about 2 1/2-3 gallons of fiberglass resin and got the FG cloth from ebay for like $30.00 and have alot left. Then there's the stuff for the stand and misc items. I would say $200-$300 maybe but not positive.
The way I got out of it was by doing it in halves, started with the back half and when it was dry enough coat the seam and about 4 inches past the seam with vaseline, then do the front half. When its all hardened just pry off the front and walk out of the back.
 
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inkdoctor

Guest
actually i live in michigan if i remember corectly we were supposed to hook up to go to the michigan prop party iwth andrew and kimmy. andrew mentioned something about picking you up for the dragon con this year.
 
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seknewb

Guest
If you need specific detailed info regarding the pros and cons of ANY lifecasting process, let me know. After more than 10 years working with Winston, ADI, Steve Johnson, etc. I've got closing in on nearly 1000 head casts and at least 150 full body casts of various types under my belt, so I've done just about every type of bodycast/lifecast process you can think of and then some.

Would be happy to throw some info or pointers your way.



Personally, I wouldn't recommend the plastic wrap unless you want the most basic of forms to work on, and even then, you're looking at a LOT of clean up to really make it a nice sculpting form. I HIGHLY recommend going with a dancer's unitard/leotard and a good coating of vaseline. It costs a little bit more than a box of saran wrap obviously ($25-30 for a cheap one), but the end result makes it well worth the extra expenditure. One of your other issues with the plastic wrap is that it doesn't allow your skin to "breathe" while the process is going on and you're a LOT more likely to overheat and become lightheaded or even pass out all together. Believe me, I've seen it happen. A leotard will allow you to perspire and thus not be so likely to have those issues (not that it rules them out all together).

There are dozens of potential "issues" in bodycasting that most people aren't even aware of. You need to be willing to scrap the entire process in a heartbeat (and therefore lose all of your materials) if something goes wrong. I was on one film at ADI where the girl became lightheaded and then actually started vomiting but with the restriction of the cast on her chest, she couldn't inhale enough to breathe. We had that off of her in about 30 seconds... several hundred dollars down the drain, but safety is ALWAYS your biggest concern.

Not trying to be discouraging at all. Just be aware of the issues and don't go into something like this without knowing the hows and whats.
 
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inkdoctor

Guest
thank you for your help i may be getting inb contact with you for more pointers on it. im loosing some weight right now and dont want to do it until i loose a few more pounds. but any pointers are much appreciated.
 

carlart

Hunter
I've got an idea, what about a downloadable pdf text file listing materials and step by step procedures on how to make a body cast.
Seknewb---is that something you could do for us?
I was opting for duct taping over a leotard, and them filling it with FrothPak foam. Seems like it would be easier, i dunno.
carlart
 

seknewb

Unblooded
I've got an idea, what about a downloadable pdf text file listing materials and step by step procedures on how to make a body cast.
Seknewb---is that something you could do for us?
I was opting for duct taping over a leotard, and them filling it with FrothPak foam. Seems like it would be easier, i dunno.
carlart

Hey Carl -

I can do that. Gonna need to find some time. I'm probably leaving to work on a certain Bruce Willis sequel in the next few days, but will try to find some time to do up a short how-to over the next few weeks. There are a lot of variables of course. Bandage cast, alginate cast, polysiloxane, etc. I assume you're thinking bandage for cost reasons (if nothing else).

Anyway, I'll see what I can put together.
 

carlart

Hunter
Thanks sek, I got itchy, so in the meantime I've been working on this over the last few days. Started by measuring myself, joint to joint, and bought 1/2" i.d. pipe from Home Depot, along with some 30 and 90 degree elbows, straight couplers, and flanges. Both ends of the pipe are threaded---they've got various sizes, so you can come up with whatever lengths you need. You've just got to remember that every time you join sections together with an elbow or coupler, you're adding an inch, so the pipe you get needs to be an inch shorter. The photos below show the basic assembly that should be used and how to pose it.

Then, I wrapped the armature with sections of 2" high density foam---son of a bitch that stuff's expensive! I paid $40 for a 2' x 6' sheet (x 2) at a fabric store. Anyway, the reason for wrapping is to have the foam take up most of the interior volume of the mannequin once the duct tape top and bottom are placed on the armature. In other words, I used Great Stuff expanding foam to fill the gap between the foam and the outer duct tape shell (about 1" - 2"). I've seen folks try to fill up the duct tape sections COMPLETELY with the foam, all the way to the top in one application. Big mistake, because the **** doesn't cure all at once like that, and you'll have a big, soupy mess on your hands. Like most 2 part materials we use, you need moisture in the air, humidity is especially helpful. But when you're doing this in January, a quartz heater and a hair dryer can help as you cut slits in the shell, inject the foam, THEN I took a detergent bottle of water and sprayed some water inside to provide the moisture the foam needs to expand and sprayed it into the injection slits. I followed this process all the way up each leg, then shot some in from the top. As I went, sometimes, I'd stuff little peices of foam in here and there to help "flesh out" the figure. It took 6 cans to do the legs. I cut specially shaped pieces to be taped to the armature in the torso section, especially my gut area----damn beer! I left the shirt open so I can reach up inside to spray. I'll post a tutorial at some point whwn I get it done.
carlart

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inkmonster

Hunter
i had the same basic idea awhile back carl only i was gonna put the duct tape dummy over a mannequin i have to fill some of the void. it looks like im gonna go for the lifecast instead. i think i may do a upper and lower half instead of a full body cast that way if people like the suits i sculpt they will be adjustable to different height people.
 
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