The Duct Tape Dummy project

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by Zendragon, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Zendragon

    Zendragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    For lots of us who do costumes, occasionally we need a body double of ourselves, for making armor, or costume parts or sculpting.

    Abby DarkStar needed one for her Mistress Chief armor that is being built.

    The person working on this project needed a bicep, a thigh and a torso.

    The easiest way to do this would be by using duct tape.

    We have done this before, but the results were somewhat crappy. I decided to do a lot more research on how to do this better and instead of using tight fitting clothing under the tape, we went with plastic wrap.

    [​IMG]

    She was totally watching Dr. Who during this process :love

    So in order to do this right, the first piece of tape went under the bust line and then an X was made across the chest. Basically the chest support was created so you get a more accurate frame

    [​IMG]

    As I continued to build the chest, Abby marked where the armor chest line should sit with a pen

    [​IMG]

    Finally, the chest is was complete, onto the other parts

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  2. J Scorn

    J Scorn Sr Member

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    this could be a handy trick for my wifes halo build which im workin on while shes at work and i still need her body (ahem) anyways, how do u get that cleanly off to make casts or armoured sections?

    if i manage the same we will post pics.
     
  3. Zendragon

    Zendragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You end up cutting it off, taping it back together and then filling it.

    More pics coming :)
     
  4. J Scorn

    J Scorn Sr Member

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    to cut it, do ya need to make it thicker so its not too 'flimsy'? also to cut it how do u manage it safly? duct tape is evil to skin lol.
     
  5. Zendragon

    Zendragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Next up, finished the arm. The part I like about using the plastic wrap is that you can add more as you go to what you need. For me, it felt more precise.

    [​IMG]

    With some additional time, I was able to finish her legs and back...
    We were pleased with the results and detail

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Zendragon

    Zendragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, remember, the plastic wrap will be covering the skin. So none of the sticky side is on her skin.

    I built up the tape in the areas that I felt were weak. About two layers...

    Then when it came time to cut Abby out, I grabbed my trusty medical bandage scissors and cut along the outside of the leg and sides... basically enough so she could wiggle out of it.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Zendragon

    Zendragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I didn't take a pic of it in it's "on the ground" form lol but here is what we got

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. the_batdemon

    the_batdemon Sr Member

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    I'm glad you mentioned that. Medical scissors are well worth the investment for this. Even the most careful person can accidentally cut the model with ordinary scissors.
     
  9. Zendragon

    Zendragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Medical scissors are one of the single best things I ever purchased.

    I don't know what the quality of these is like, but this would be them


    Lister Bandage Scissors Medical Surgical Instrument 7.5" SIZE BRAND NEW | eBay
     
  10. bamboodia

    bamboodia Active Member

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    Thanks for the tutorial Zen, it's just what I was looking for. The results are nice and clean.

    What method do you use for standing the dummy up?
     
  11. Rikarus

    Rikarus Well-Known Member

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    Looks good are you going to shore it cross ways or put some sort of cross bar side to side? On mine I had trouble when I stuffed it, it turned round and even though it was my size it was the wrong shape front to back and side to side.
     
  12. Zendragon

    Zendragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You are welcome. If I were to keep this dummy and not send it out, I would probably cap off the legs and run some pipes or pvc pipe into it bolted to a larger MDF board. But seeing how I am not, I am leaving it to the guy on the other end to fill it to his need


    I figured that I would insert a pvc pipe frame before filling the dummy with expandable foam. I hear that news paper works really well too, but I liked the foam idea
     
  13. Onephattsi2

    Onephattsi2 Well-Known Member

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    My better half helped make a duct tape dummy of myself for projects also, and it really is a lot easier to check fitment and shaping on parts....

    although im not sure you would want to use expandafoam for a stuffer.... because if you fill the "dummy" with regular stuffing, you can adjust the shape of the body parts so they aren't lumpy ot misproportioned, I know it doesn't seam possibly for it to come out wrong... but trust me. it will......
     
  14. msleeper

    msleeper Sr Member

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    I use newspaper with mine and it works fine. Unless you need to do some really hard shaping against it you shouldn't have problems, and in that case you should probably have the actual person there.

    Using a PVC skeleton is good if you're using it as storage for a costume. If you're just using it for sizing and fitting, not having the skeleton means you can fold it up for easier storage.
     
  15. bamboodia

    bamboodia Active Member

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    That's me making a trip to the DIY store at the weekend then. Cheers for the info.
     
  16. J Scorn

    J Scorn Sr Member

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    thanks guys, u have shown me 2 really cool ideas thats gonna help me alot.... i was about to waste money on a full size maniquin!!!

    and the med' scissors will be useful, cheers guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  17. Zendragon

    Zendragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Happy to be of assistance :)
     
  18. Papa Darth

    Papa Darth New Member

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    This is too cool. I'll have to remember this when I need a manny for my Vader. :thumbsup
     
  19. Sonjou

    Sonjou Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very nice Tutorial.
     
  20. Zendragon

    Zendragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks.... happy to say the dummy has been shipped, so... expect Abby Dark-Star to start a thread on her armor :)
     

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