Life casting your own head.

digger2307

Active Member
Was wondering if anyone on here could drop the knowledge bomb on me. I fancy doing a lifecast of my own head and shoulders. Ive looked up the tutorials, know the materials needed (alginate, plaster bandages, etc) . Only thing is in none of these tutorials ive read have really made mention of how much of everything I need, and what you fill your mould with?

I imagine a few of you on here have done this stuff before and any advice you could give would be totally awesome.
 
Only thing is in none of these tutorials ive read have really made mention of how much of everything I need,

Several places sell kits... But I would always suggest over purchase to cover mistakes...

and what you fill your mould with?

Plaster for an alginate mold...

I imagine a few of you on here have done this stuff before and any advice you could give would be totally awesome.

Find someone experienced in your area to help you out, as you won't be able to help at all being the subject, and previous experience is invaluable...
 
thanks guys, finding people in my area with experience is pretty hard as when i mention it to most people they give me a funny look :(
 
what are you planning on doing mate? life casting for an exact replica or just a rough shape to build armour/helmet off? If its the latter - consider the duct tape mannequin filled with expanding foam (several tuts on google).

Check out smooth on tutorials. eastcoast fibreglass website, good NE english supplier, think they do kits IIRC

Its pretty easy to do, but messy. Nice way to kill an afternoon. I cant believe you cant find someone in edinburgh to help you with this??? Loads of builders up that way!
 
thanks heatshock, ill check them out. Im planning on doing an exact replicate, so I can do stuff like masks aswell as helmets. Ill ask about a few people at uni if they have any experience with life casting. Any other advice is always welcomed.
 
Do you know any theater people at all? They are, as a whole, more likely to have done stuff like this for masks and such.

Also, it's not like the UK is terribly large. You could probably find someone to travel to you or vice versa.
 
thanks guys, finding people in my area with experience is pretty hard as when i mention it to most people they give me a funny look :(

Then you need to get out and meet some folks. There are plenty of people in a city your size that have done a lifecast.
Theatre people. Production Companies.

GOOGLE:
Special effects - Edinburgh Film Focus
Special Effects Hire Edinburgh
Screen Makeup Workshop 1: Special Effects Beginnings - Edinburgh Festival Guide
Edinburgh School Of Media Makeup : I Do Special Effects Makeup Story & Experience

Funny enough the Alginate you use was more than likely made from Seaweed harvested off the coasts of your country.

Laffo.
 
my apologies to the mods for posting this thread in the wrong area. sorry guys.

No problem, but the knowledge A-bomb is posting in the right forum, the knowledge B-Bomb is using the search engine ;) We have had several threads about this topic in the past, an Emperor Palpatine thread e.g at the beginning of the year.

Michael
RPF staff
 
Thanks, that is what I thought.


Good luck on your mission man, sounds like a fun project! Just be careful obv., (as you know), be very sure to leave an adequate way to breath.
 
There was a you tube video with a guy who cast his own head but I can't find it now. He applied his own alginate, then leaning forward fumbles around for plaster bandages to put over the cast, kind of like the Swedish chef on the muppets. Maybe he died doing it and it's why the video is gone.

Just be careful, and try to find someone who has done it, because it can be very daunting having it done, and you could easily become a bit distressed, especially if you have no confidence in the people doing it.
 
There was a you tube video with a guy who cast his own head but I can't find it now. He applied his own alginate, then leaning forward fumbles around for plaster bandages to put over the cast, kind of like the Swedish chef on the muppets. Maybe he died doing it and it's why the video is gone.

You would almost certainly get subpar results, and there is no way you could even get decent results if the goal is head, neck and shoulders... I wouldn't waste my time, the subject should be motionless and relaxed while the 'helpers' do the work...

As some have said call a few theatrical groups, theater schools or Google local artist and FX shops and start asking questions and make contacts... Emails are free and phone calls are cheap... I'm sure with a little foot work you will be able to find someone that can help you out and do it right the first time, heck you might even be able to get it done for free if you find a school that needs or wants to do a demonstration for a class...
 
If you're ever in the North West of England then I'd happily give you a hand. I'm hoping to put together some video tutorials for next semester so you'd be doing me a favour!

If not, do make sure you get someone who knows what they're doing to give you a hand because life casts can go wrong so easily even with experienced hands at the helm.

Best of luck bub.
 
heck you might even be able to get it done for free if you find a school that needs or wants to do a demonstration for a class...

That's a great idea.
Offer yourself up as a model to get it done. People willing to sit through it are not as common as you might think.

And I was not advocating him doing it himself, just pointing out some guy tried it, I did mention to have people helping, I should have been clearer though.
 
If you're ever in the North West of England then I'd happily give you a hand. I'm hoping to put together some video tutorials for next semester so you'd be doing me a favour!

If not, do make sure you get someone who knows what they're doing to give you a hand because life casts can go wrong so easily even with experienced hands at the helm.

Best of luck bub.

I don't know where that is in relation to you, but that's a great offer. Even reading up on it, there are quite a few things you can easily forget, and can be catastrophic, so to do it with someone who is experienced is well worth some traveling on your part
 
SMOOTH-ON has a photo tutorial (and sells the supplies) for a full head
lifecast :

Tutorial :

Using Body Double® FAST SET Silicone to Make a Mold of a Head

Supplies :

Life Casting, Making Molds of Body Parts with Smooth-On Products


I've sat in on a lifecasting session (full head) and agree with what
others have said, in that having an experienced person doing your
head cast can prevent the session from turning into a disaster !

Personally, I'd buy a mannequin head that's approximately the same
size as my own, and sculpt my creations on that.

Cheaper, and less hassle, IMHO.


Only thing is in none of these tutorials ive read have really made mention of how much of everything I need, and what you fill your mould with?

The guys who took the mold off the subject's head, flipped the finished mold
over and poured a material called ULTRACAL 30 into it.

Sculpture Supply Canada - Plaster & Gypsum Cement - Ultracal 30

Ultracal 30 dries to an almost cement-like hardness.

The cement head bust weighs a ton, but it makes a solid base to put clay
onto, and sculpt over.
 
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