Best Lightweight Armature Material for Lifesized Figure?


New Member
What are some good lightweight material options for building an armature for a life-size human figure sculpture? I am looking for suggestions beyond PVC piping or steel rod, burlap, plaster. I don’t have access to a full proper shop and in general I'd rather do some extra labor than work with fumes.

Right now I am leaning towards using fiberglass casting tape to make a rough skeletal shape to put material over (I work with recycled plastics). I plan to do a base, but the armature needs to be strong enough to support itself and also plastics on top of it. However, if possible I would prefer this piece to be modular so I can dismantle it down into 2 halves to pack it into my car more safely, and figuring out a way to do this with the fiberglass tape skeleton is going to be an extra headache.

I don’t have access to a metal shop to weld steel pencil rod, otherwise I would just do that.

Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read this, I really appreciate it.

Two options
1. Purchase a broken mannequin cheap and fix it up

2. Put on an old pair of jogger bottoms and top and Duck tap tape your whole body
then get a friend to carefully cut you out. Tape up the cut
lines and you then have a shell to either fill with a can of expanding foam or as you work in plastics you could fill it maybe with that.
I would also add a pvc pipe frame (stick man style) for support. Easy to take apart and chuck in a car.

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