life casting the leg (foot to knee)


Sr Member
I am going to be needing to do a lifecast of Abby DarkStar's leg/foot soon.

I have done hands, faces and heads, but this is the first time dealing with the leg.

This cast with be of the foot up to the knee, basically the foot and calf.

What would be the best and most economical way to do this?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Go to home depot and get, metal tubes like for smokestacks. Cut it to the size you need. Hot glue a foam board base to it. Duct tape completely around the tube, NOT just up the seam. the pressure will snap it when the tape gives way.

Have her sit on a chair at the right height. You may need to put a piece of wood under her thigh to the edge of the metal tube to help support her leg so she doesn't get tired.

Depending on what you plan to do with the cast, you may want her to have her foot in the desired position. For instance, the calf muscle changes shape when you wear heels vs. flats.
I would not get a metal tube? Get a sonotube easy to cut and it is made to tare apart after so it will be very easy to remove from your mold after. And you wont cut anyones leg off from sharp edges. ;)
One thing to consider, make sure she drinks plenty of water in the days up to the casting process. Nothings worse than doing all the work then the person gets a cramp and the mold has to be redone.
You dont need any tubes at all. Just cast it with the alginate or better yet silicone. Make a plaster 2 part mother mold and then you have it licked. Contact me for more info-- I do lifecasting constantly. There are tricks and tips I need to tell you though working with the alginate.
I just did one of my own foot and leg by myself an they turned out great!!!
I am no expert, but plaster bandages should do the trick, unless you need every pore and toe nail detail.

No, it just needs to be the overall shape.

Just on the skin in two parts? Do you then tape it all together and pour in plaster or something else?

Also, let's say it's poured plaster, what's the best way to add in something for it to stand up upright?

Anyone have pic reference?
iwould use an expanding foam. get your 2 halves then use more bandages to put them together. then peel it off. once you have your casting. you might want to use heated up vasoline as a release agent for the plaster or foam casting.
Ive done this exact thing maybe 4 or so months ago as I needed a quick hand and arm for a project at a location away from a shop or home.
Casting a hand - YouTube
With the leg, just split it down the middle.

The issue your going to run into with plaster bandages on a part the size of a leg is the weight of the material youll be casting it with. If your going to use expanding foam then your going to run the risk of blowing it out from the foot up as the material will rise while at the same time become compressed at the bottom from the weight. The material will have nowhere to go but out. For plaster youll want to seal it up good. Hot glue or other adhesives should work to seal the two halves together they duct tape the crap out of it. Odds are you will have to do some sanding and possibly even reshaping of the final part. Dont forget to add a rod or something into the plaster if you need an armature to hold or mount it to. Drill some holes into a pvc or metal pipe so the plaster can bite into it. Wood is porous so it may not be the best bet.

Also, keep in mind the legs position and if the person can hold the needed position for the time involved.
Hey Rob

How did ou archieve the parting line on the hand mold? Did you put vaseline or something on the plaster before proceeding with the second mold-half? Couldn´t see this in the vid.

You can use vaseline or anything similar but I didnt have any on hand (pun intended) so I improvised with scotch tape. An on site medic happened to have quick set plaster bandages in his kit. It would have taken all his little A&D ointment packets so I just used tape. For the quick pull of the hand and partial arm I used some Great Stuff and toilet paper along with some thick and thin gel blood and some paper towels soaked in fake blood. As crazy as it sounds, it worked incredibly well and better than if we had an actual high dollar casting. It was a hand that gets partially blown apart as a last minute idea.
Great info here. I may go the plaster bandage route to save on cost (cause I am cheap that way).

We plan to do a torso too, what is suggested as a casting medium that will be light weight and strong? Oh and cheap...
I know it's more expensive, but lately I've been using skin safe silicone for lifecasts. The tremendous advantage is you can cast just about anything directly into it, and not have to make a secondary mold. Also, you can do a skin coat, and back up with your mother mold so you're not using so much silicone. I think in the long run I end up saving time and money.
If you don't need the detail, stick with the plaster bandages. Use medical grade bandages, I find the gauze is a finer weave than the hobby ones, plus they may have more plaster content.
You can also use shellac to seal the inside of the molds for casting.
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