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Dark Knight
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Registered: 02-2004
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
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Lifecasting Information


Ok, I have two completely different questions. First, has anybody made a body cast usein the method from [sign in to see URL]? It basically involves wrapping yourself in plastic wrap, slapping Ultracal on your body (in two halves, of course), and then making a Fiberglass cast. I was wondering how it worked, if any brothers had tried it, because I plan to bodycast this weekend with the help of some friends. One reason I ask if anybody has tried this is that my mother brought up the point that the skin needs to breathe, and being locked in Ultracal for --- hours could be dangerous.

My second question. Today I bought some Urethane Pouring Foam (30:1 expanding ratio, says Isocyanate under Urethane Foam) and I was wondering if this is the same stuff that Brothers use to back their chest armor? I bought the stuff to cast my bodycast, but I figured that if I had some extra, why not use it to back a piece? If this would not work for backing latex pieces, what would other Brothers suggest?

JJ



Last edited by Deadly Lemur, 3/25/2006, 2:57 pm
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Re: Bioweapons.com and Urethane


Lots of guys on here are better suited to handle this topic than me, but I would NOT put Ultra-Cal all around my body. That stuff heats up immensely while it's setting, and I think if you were encased in it you could risk cooking yourself.

~Tim :batfly


---
"We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light."

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Apprentice
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Re: Bioweapons.com and Urethane


Hey,

I'll address the ultracal issue. I don't think it would be wise. First, Ultracal heats up considerably during the curing process, and you will risk burning your skin! Don't do this. There are other ways to bodycast.

Sounds to me like you need to do some serious investigation before proceeding. Doing a 2 part lifecast is serious, and dangerous if you don't have any training or supervision by someone with experience. Find [sign in to see URL].

I'm [sign in to see URL] educated. DO NOT PROCEED WITH WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

As for the [sign in to see URL]'ll leave that up to one of the other guys.

---
Jeremy
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Re: Bioweapons.com and Urethane


I can't help with the foam, but as for your bodycast...

When I did mine I got into a pair of "tighty whities" and covered myself from top to bottom in vaseline. GROSS!! A chair was placed on either side of me that I could put my hands on, making my arms out slightly from my body.

I had three friends cover my backside from my neck to my ankles in medical grade plaster bandages which were purchased from a local medical supply company. When that side was done they covered the front. Once finished they found the parting line and carefully cut me out.

Few quickie notes:

Wooden dowel rods were worked into the mold to help strengthen the mold and made it easier to handle once removed. I stood barefoot on a hardwood floor for the three hour process. My feet and calves went numb and turned purple. Wear sandles of some kind to cushion your feet.

If you do this indoors cover up anything in the room that you don't want ruined. It will get messy. Lastly, while being mummified, don't move, breath easy and don't even talk. Just let your mind drift and try to relax and ignore the discomfort.

Now that the body mold was made I took a very long shower to get the vaseline off. What a mess!!! Fiberglass was then laid into the mold three layers thick. That was two, maybe three years ago and the body cast and plaster bandage molds are still in perfect condition.

Take your time and learn as much as possible before you start. It will save you money if you get it right the first time. If money isn't an issue check out [sign in to see URL]. They have a new lifecasting product that is silicone. Expensive but you can't beat the results.

I hope my rambling helped. Anything else concerning this issue, if I can help, please ask and I would love to help.

-HH Tony

Last edited by Deadly Lemur, 3/25/2006, 2:59 pm
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Re: Bioweapons.com and Urethane


The ultra-cal/burlap method has been used before but is dangerous. To do a full body cast or any lifecast takes not just you being knowledgeable but all of your helpers to be very sure of each of their jobs. Again its not a joke or to be taken lightly.

When we do full body casts we use plaster bandages also. We pre cut all of the bandages we will need and than have 2 people who dip the rolls in water and 2 people who apply. A pair of sticks or broom handles are used to keep the subjects arms off the ground. The whole process should take around an hour.

The foam sounds right to me but can’t say if its flexible foam or rigid which makes a big difference. If you leave the name I could tell you. If it is, a good technique when backing the armor is to lay your foam while the latex is still moist and fresh, before it has pulled from the walls of the mold. Also use a backing plate or core if you can to control the shape. If you are backing a piece that is already cured wet the latex and let some water soak in. Even though urethane is moisture sensitive this will allow for the foam to bite into the latex better.


Hope this helps


---
Dont disrespect the archetype with the pathetic sides of the human condition


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Dark Knight
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Re: Bioweapons.com and Urethane


Ah! I just wrote a really long response and lost it! Ok. So its a good think that I asked you guys who are pretty damn smart about this stuff first. I had totally overlooked the heating factor. I still question wether it would be an issue, because they have pics of the casting on [sign in to see URL], and the guy survived, but that is beside the point. Since Ultracal is out for now, I have lots of extras for molding masks! Even though I'll probably go through 200lbs of Ultracal and 10 yds of burlap real fast cause I'm terrible at molding. HaHaHa!

But on a more serious note, since Ultracal is not an option for me, unless I can get someone to assure me it's 100% safe and they've done it, what now? I'm on somewhat of a time budget, so I dont quite want to wait 2-3 weeks for something to come in the mail. I also want something that I can afford. I don't want to put my life savings into this mold, because then I'll have no money for molding/casing what I put on it!

So, one suggestion was Plaster Bandages. And wear tighty whities, eh? I'll have to dig those out of my underware drawer! That is what [sign in to see URL] suggested. However they did the tutorial/reccomended the ultracal method because it is more economical. For those that have done the Plaster Bandages, where do I buy them? That's probably most important. I have no idea where to find these. Medical supply store? Arts and Crafts store? Second, how much, on average, should each roll cost? Although I'm sure I have enough for this method, I would like to have an idea of what I'm going to spend before I do infact buy them. Lastly, how much should I buy? I'm between 5'6 and 5'7. Anybody have an estimate?

Another issue with changing my method is the fact that today I bought $40 of expanding urethane foam for an Ultracal cast. The man who sold it to me said that the foam would work fine with the Ultracal cast as long as I have a good release agent (which I do), but would it work with the Plaster Bandage mold? I chose the foam because it was significantly cheaper than the fiberglass method. I estimated about 4 yards of the cloth, just to be safe, and that would have been $40 alone (at about $10/yd). Then add on the mat, which [sign in to see URL] said should have about 2 layers, that was $40 (at $5/yd for the cheapass stuff). Then add in the resine, which was $140 for a drum (I think. There were a number of different resins). But that ended up being way more than I wanted to spend on this project, so I went with foam. My main concern now is will the foam work with the Plaster bandages?

The silicon idea sounds nice, but I can't find it on the webside, and once again, I don't want to spend a fortune on this project, because if I bust all my cash on the body cast, I'll have nothing left for molding/casting what I sculpt onto it! Like I said, I'm on a time budget. I was hoping to do this on Saturday, and I still want it to go down. I have a friend who has done this before (with plaster bandages) and she's going to help me out. Any suggestions on another method that I could prepare in this short time? As long as I can find the plaster bandages, and something to cover the floor with so I don't ruin my garage floor, that is the method I'm going with. Thanks for all your help, and any more suggestions would be appreciated!

JJ
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Apprentice
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Re: Bioweapons.com and Urethane


Plaster bandages are typically available at a medical supply store. They can be difficult to get as some stores require a durable medical equipment license. We've been fortuante and found a place that will supply them for us after we discussed at LONG length what it would be used for.

Honestly, it sounds to me that you are rushing this toooo fast. Great, you have 1 person that has some experience, but this is not a 1 man project. You need to be able to work fast and effecient to do this.

Take your time. Do this right. Get the right materials. If it's not feesable right now, then save up for it. Don't go half way on this stuff. It's not smart to cut corners. It's dangerous.

Have you ever had a lifecast done? Are you in the slightest bit claustrophobic? These are things to think about.

I am not claustrophobic, but when I had my lifecast done, I just about lost it. Had I not been working with experienced people, it could have been a disaster. They knew how to calm me down, how much time they had, and new they had a window of time to work in.

Just because someone else did it doesn't mean it was smart, nor safe.

---
Jeremy
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Re: Bioweapons.com and Urethane


I have to concur with Jeremy. Lance of Xtreme did my head and shoulders cast. Now, I was made comfortable the entire time and didn't freak out. He gave me some signals to use if I did get uneasy. He has also done a lot of them. It is a very odd feeling. You really want to baby step here. Maybe start with just getting your face done so you can get an idea of what it's like. Then go from there.

---
Howdy.
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Re: Bioweapons.com and Urethane


In my opinion, listen to Jeremy. If you and your partners don't know what they are doing, you could wind up getting hurt, wasting a lot of materials, not doing it [sign in to see URL] all three.

As far as the urethane cold foam (expanding foam), if you are going to back your muscle armor with it (as I used to do), make sure that it is flexible, not too rigid. Second, I add the foam while my armor is still in the fiber glass mold, the reason why is, sometime if you have a fairly thin piece and you add foam to it after it is out of the mold, then you could cause the foam to create wrinkles in the piece. Some of these foams are tough and will pull the piece and distort it.

---

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Re: Bioweapons.com and Urethane


I am not a fan of trying to cast an entire head in alginate. First off, you are fighting gravity, The alginate is running down while the nervous moldmakers are chasing the stuff as its dripping downward. And its everywhere. I have seen this method used in every tutorial I can think off, and on "making of" DVD's.

Here are some of the items you are up against when doing a body/head cast.

1. Time. Material kicks off in x minutes depending on mass containment.

2. Gravity. Everything is gonna go down, and pull whatever down with it if it can, ie. your jowls, eyebrows, stomach, making you look older.

3. Heat. Items that are exotherm cures will heat up, plaster, urethane. Temperature of the material speeds up curing time, cooling it down slows it down, etc...

4. Incarceration of body/head. Never a joy, obviously you want this to happen for the least amount of time.

5. Medain mold release. Are you sure you vaselined the entire dividing wall with that water clear vaseline? Might we want a mold release that has some color different from the mold itself.

6. If you really have to cover the back of the head with alginate. what would be the reason? You might want to think about doing something to the alginate so that it drips and sags less.

One hand applies, the other spreads, never switch hands, or you end up looking like a tutorial where the guy is using one hand to wipe off the other and then pushing back the alginate on the victims face. I have seen this done by people who have done so many lifecasts "they lost count".

If you don't acknowlege these items right off the "BAT" they will bite you on the butt. However, always being mindful of these facts of life, you learn to work around the dilemmas. Maybe make them work FOR YOU.

The goals are:

1. Elegant process. Less messy, less of you chasing your tail around the subject looking half panicked.

2. Subject in and out in the least amount of time. In a head cast the face should be covered for the least amount of time. In a body cast when 2 halves of a rigid material surround your chest, your rib cage cannot expand, thus you have to breathe unnaturally.

3. Heat/cold. KNOW your materials. I have been saying this for X no. of years on this board.

When plaster bandages start to cure they generate some heat, then they become very cold. In a body cast this can cause your body temp to drop thus causing your teeth to chatter out of your damn head (room temperature?). Heat is generated in relation to contained mass. As most people apply plaster much thicker than plaster bandages, it will generate more heat. It's called cross linking of molecules.

Ask yourself why all your plaster molds are so heavy and for what purpose. Is the burlap really reinforcing the plaster, or just in the middle surrounded by plaster? Are you weighing out your water/plaster ratio, or "eyeballing" the mixure? Do you usually end up with plaster all over the room? Does aggiatation affect the properties of plaster?

Is the victim/subject comfortable? comfortable without moving to invigorate blood flow? We move constantly in order to invigorate blood flow. Once we stop moving or apply pressure to that area, then the blood slows down to that area causing tingling, numbness, dizziness.

I like to use the fastest setting alginate I can possibly find. The faster the better.

I am also not a big fan of just watching a video, or a tutorial on the internet that gives me a cookbook formula for doing anything. What it does is reinforces you NOT TO THINK. i.e. if you execute these moves parrot style this will work. I want to know "how come?", and "why?" I came up in a time where instructional videos and books on any of this virtually did not exist. So I had to think... and reason it out logically.


--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

This is a picture I just scanned. These bodycasts were done in my garage over 10 years ago. Sorry for the poor quality, but if you can notice the guy on the left has hair in his cast. These are bodycast from head to toe, with hands fingernails, feet, and toenails, and are self standing.

Last edited by Deadly Lemur, 3/25/2006, 3:10 pm
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