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Life cast

 
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SoloYT1300 (Robert Kohn)
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject: Life cast Reply with quote

The last year or so I have been meaning to put up something about life casting... I hope this helps.

This partical life cast I did, was for a good friend of mine and member of the 501st and RL.... Trent! Cool

This particular project is for this years DC in Atlanta....... would tell yah more but its a secret! woo hoo




Best materials have a lot to do with what you are comfortable with. I have done a few life castings now, and I am getting more comfortable with the Materials for it. I use the following Materials for a Life casting.
Materials:

1 Skullcap

2 Vaseline of some sorts… even Crisco will work

3 Plaster Bandages cut into 12 in strips and 6 in stripes… about 6-10 rolls.

4. Water container for the Bandages. I use 2- 9x13 pans… one to hold the dry cut bandages, the other to hold the water.

5 Alginate… there are many kinds… depending on your skill there are fast reacting and slow reacting alginates. I use a fast alginate so I can get the person out of it as fast a possible
6 Gypsum stone around 30-50 lbs depending on if your doing a full bust or just a head… I recommend doing a full bust… you never know what you might want to do in the future.

7 Mixing tools and a bucket for the alginate…. An old hand mixer is what I use for this.

8 Mixing tool and bucket for the Gypsum stone.

9 Scrap sheet or drop cloth for the floor and to cover the chair your individual will be sitting on.

10 Old cloths that you will trash …lol.

11 Marker to mark the plaster/ Vaseline line.

12 Q-tips and rags to help clear out the nose area.


Steps…
1. Remove any excess hair that is not needed on the casting area. IE… shave if you can. The areas that you want to keep hair I suggest using a generous amount of Vaseline in these areas or you will loose the hair… ouch!
2. Once Vaseline has been applied to areas like eye brows (eye lashes do not need to be done) you can put on skullcap to protect hair… you do not need to put Vaseline on areas that are under skullcap.
3. You will want this to be a 2-part mold or you will not be able to remove the mold from the person, I suggest going right down the middle of the head ear to ear. This will allow there to be a front mold and a back mold.
4. Using the long bandages and short bandages when needed create a frame that run along the back from shoulder to shoulder and covers every part of the back of the head.. ear to ear. Once you have about 3 layers… allow this to dry completely.
5. Do not remove the mold at this point… leave it on, if you remove it you will loose a good seal to the persons head and the mold will not cast true!
6. Once you have allowed the back mold to dry you will want to take a marker and create a 1-2 in line from the edge of the mold. This will be the separation point from the 2 molds (front and back)
7. Once you have drawn a line that covers the boarder of the mold you will want to apply a generous amount of Vaseline to the edge of the mold all the way to the marker like (1-2 inches)… This is an extremely important part of the mold making process… and is to not be taken lightly! If you do not apply enough Vaseline on the boarder you will completely mummify the person in the next step!
8. Once the Vaseline has been applied to the edge all the away around your first mold…. Start building the front frame mold with bandages (leave the face open at this time!) The frame should go down far enough to match the back frame at least! When applying the Bandages you will want them to overlap the back frame up to the marker line you made earlier on the back frame mold. Make sure you do not overlap to far… if you do you will go past the location of the Vasaline and you will have enclosed the person inside! Like the back mold…. You will want at least 2-3 layers of bandages on the front frame mold.
9. Allow the front frame mold to dry completely!

10. Once dry re-apply Vaseline where needed.
11. The next step is the hardest and requires no less than 2 people in my opinion…
12. 1 person should be armed with Q-tips and a rag… this is for safety. This person needs to watch the person very closely for signs of danger…. The nose will be the only source for air at this point and will need to be watched very carefully and cleared away with a Q-tip if necessary. It would be wise to communicate with hand gestures and do not depend on sounds… for he will not be able to talk at this point!
13. The other 1-2 persons will be in charge of creating the mixture of alginate and applying it on the face.
14. Read the instructions on the alginate carefully for no alginate is the same… tempurature of the water will have a direct influence on the set time on how long you have to apply it. Consistency and quickness and accuracy all play a key to the application of the alginate!
15. When applying the alginate I recommend starting at the top of the head and allowing it to pour down the face a bit (keep an eye on his air flow!) Have the person who is being casted hold a 9x13 pan under his chin a bit to catch any of the alginate that falls off the face at this point. It can be scooped up out of the tray and re-applied to the face. (Watch air flow!)
16. Keep adding alginate to the face till it starts to congeal a bit…. Once it starts to set you will not want to mess with it too much for you will end up removing more than you apply. (Watch air flow!)


17. Once the alginate is completely dry (depending on the kind of alginate you got 5-20 min usually) start applying bandages to the face on the front side of the mold only! do not cover the breathing nostrils and do not cover the separation point at all!
18. Once you have added 2-3 layers on the front part of the mold only… let the bandages completely dry!

19. Once dry… you will want to start the separation process of the 2 molds (front and back) To do this you will want to take a butter knife and gently work it between the front and back mold. Separating the two molds where the Vaseline has been applied. If you did the process correctly this is a very easy step.
20. Once you have worked the knife all the way around you should be able to gently remove the front mold simply by having the person in the mold gently leaning foreword and peeling it off as to not breaking the edges of the mold.
21. Once the front mold is off, place it off to the side to allow it to dry a bit on the inside (people sweat a bit in there).
22. Once the front is off.. remove the back in a similar way by peeling it off gently… also allow to dry.
23. Clean up, the 1st phase is completed
24. Have a drink…
25. Once the 2 molds are dry you will want to attach them. You will notice that there is a natural seam that was created where the two molds once where together.

26. Once the two molds are together you will want to seal them up a bit for the Gypsum. Plaster bandages are again handy here!
27. Take your time on the nose…. For you will have to close it now… for it is the only place that was not originally covered for making the molds! I would suggest clay for sealing it off before you bandage it.
28. Once the nose is sealed and the 2 molds are sealed with bandages… let the mold dry!

29. Once the mold is dry I would the recommend applying Vaseline on the inside of the mold everywhere Alginate isn’t! Alginate does not need to be covered in Vaseline but you can if you want too… but the rest of the mold should be covered on the inside.
30. Once the mold has been covered with Vaseline you will need to find a place to hold your mold while your Gypsum is poured into the mold. I tend to use a bucket stuffed with old newspaper to hold my mold in place in the bucket.
31. Read the instructions on the gypsum for correct mixture and applications
32. When pouring your mold remember to pour slowly… the slower you can pour it the better chance you will have avoiding unnecessary pockets of air getting trapped in the liquid stone.

33. If you did not make enough gypsum… do not panic… you can always make more… its easy to add more powder and water into your gypsum bucket.. stir and pour into your mold before your first pouring starts to harden.
34. Once you have poured your Gypsum/ liquid stone…. Go take a break fire up the grill… eat. It will take at least 1-3 hours for it to set… depending on the liquid stone you went with. You will notice that the chemical reaction will cause the stone to become supper hot… and will force the bandages to sweat… this is normal.
35. Once dry… the gypsum will start to coold down. Do not remove the mold too soon, because if the mold is removed too soon, the bandages could still be wet for the heat of the stone… causing the mold to breakdown, and not be viable for another casting … if one is ever needed!
36. Cut away the bandages that help the 2 molds together, and with help peel the molds away from the stone. If you added enough Vaseline in the right areas you will be able to remove the molds fairly easy. If you forget to add Vaseline… you can still get the casting of the stone, but more than likely will end up destroying the mold itself (trust me on this….lol… sigh)
37. Once the stone is remove you will notice any and all imperfections that may have occurred in the alignment process. This can be cleaned up with a file rather easily…



38. Once your mold is cleaned up, and filed down, you should end up with a nice replication of the individual under all them bandages.



39. I recommend using a sealant on the mold to prevent wear… not to mention it will help when applying clays later on to your new life cast!



I hope this helps awnser some of the questions that have come up , and or solved some of the mysteries of casting. If you have any other questions I will try to include them here! I know I have a few more pictures we took, if I find them I will add them to this post.

Cheers and GL

Bob Kohn
Milwookiee


Last edited by SoloYT1300 (Robert Kohn) on Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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SteveSolo (Steve Elliot)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob,

Very useful, and it answered questions I had about this. Project for DC, any hints?
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masterguns ()



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks Bob, very informational and hugely helpful
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Just reading your tutitorial made me feel so claustrophobic. Did you feel any of those type of panic feelings while doing the cast? I have trouble just putting on a helmet for a long period of time.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats amazing Cool and the look on his face in the first shot is priceless Razz not a happy camper
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this. I had never thought of doing it that way.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Bob, quick question.

I've heard of some people that have done this sort of thing, and used short lengths of plastic drinking straws inserted into the nostrils to maintain airflow. Is this something you have tried? Would you reccomend, or advise against it?
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SoloYT1300 (Robert Kohn)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a very viable way to get around the issue of breathing, and have thought about it alot. I actually tried to see how comfortable it would be with a straw in the nose... and decided it was better if I just had someone on nose detail.

The straw method is mentioned in alot of mask making forums, and is a very viable solution... I just chose to go with having none, and keeping someone on "Nose duty".

Either way I still recomend making sure the person doesn't have a cold... and has clear sinuses on the day of casting. I also recoment taking allergy medicine before hand so there are better chances as well. Music may also help keep the individual calm... which is key. If they start to panic... its over.

Bob
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WookieDiego (Sam)



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob,

This is a great tutorial, thank you for posting it. I am very nervous about the mask making portion of this project but I figure I will never know if I can do it until I try.

Do you have any recommendations for online suppliers? I am not sure where to get the materials.

Thanks
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Jaguar ()



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent tutorial. I am nervous about this but it seems to be the best way to do my future costume. I appreciate it.
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SoloYT1300 (Robert Kohn)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WookieDiego wrote:
Bob,

This is a great tutorial, thank you for posting it. I am very nervous about the mask making portion of this project but I figure I will never know if I can do it until I try.

Do you have any recommendations for online suppliers? I am not sure where to get the materials.

Thanks


Somehow missed this...

http://www.accu-cast.us/
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WookieDiego (Sam)



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link!!!
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