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Unread 06-07-2014, 11:04 AM   #1
Enkai
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Life casting faces and skulls?

My husband and I have decided we want a couple casts of our head+shoulders; one a foam cast we can use for wig heads, and a rigid cast that can be used for making prosthetics from/helmet creation/a huge variety of things. Since I think head casts are mostly used for prosthetics, I'm asking here.

We've looked into doing this ourselves and watched a bunch of tutorials, but my husband is rather intimidated by how involved the process is, and is terrified of accidentally blocking my nostrils when applying the silicone.

He'd prefer if we could hire somebody to create the molds, but my google-fu has been failing me as far as finding somebody in our relative area (San Francisco Bay Area; closer to South Bay the better) who could do this. My search results seem to be turning up primarily people doing event makeup for things like weddings.

So first question - any advice on how to find somebody who can do that?
Second question - in case the hiring attempts fail, is the intimidation about nostrils justified? We are both pretty experienced in painting/other things requiring a lot of motor control, so we're not going to be slapping things on haphazardly. That being said, mold-making is messy.

Thanks!
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Unread 06-08-2014, 09:41 PM   #2
mertlez
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You might contact a film or theatre supply house in your area, and ask if they know anyone local who does head casting. (For San Francisco, Google threw up www.holzmueller.com.) For sci-fi and fantasy TV and film productions especially, actors need to have headcasts. And since these businesses serve the creative community, they can be a good resource to what's available locally.
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Unread 06-09-2014, 04:14 PM   #3
Sweet Loretta
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Use Smooth on Body Double if you decide to cast your self. It is easy to do. Reynolds is actually doing a workshop in LA in August on using it. You are not going to cover under the nose. It's not like the old stick straws up your nose days...but you are under silicone for 45 minutes.

Plaster strips are applied onto the Body Double to create the 1st firm mold.

The work comes into then creating all the other molds. There are people in NorCal who do this. Few but some, the price tag will be a pretty penny.
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Unread 06-09-2014, 04:58 PM   #4
wanders_alone
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It should be pretty easy to find someone to do it in that area. Generally theatrical and special effects make-up stores know people who do life casting. I was considering having one done by the guy who works with the local theatrical supply shop in my town. Also sometimes art supply shops know of people who do life casting as well. To give you an idea of the cost, it was about $400 to have a single copy done in plaster.

From personal experience, I would not recommend doing it yourselves if the person doing the mold material, whether it's silicone or alginate, is unsure of what they're doing. Me and my husband made three attempts at doing a head cast and all three failed. While we were using alginate, it was a rather frustrating and expensive endeavor. Yes, I did get some in my nose but the big thing is not to panic and just forcibly exhale through your nose and blow it out without moving too much of your face. Also, make sure that you have multiple people helping you and not just the two of you. Head casts are rather dangerous endeavors if you are not familiar with what you're doing. There's a wonderful thing called mold lock that can happen. You don't want to try to explain why you need someone's head freed from a block of plaster. If you're determined to do this on you're own I would -HIGHLY- suggest purchasing one if not two professional videos on life casting and starting with a small body part like a hand or arm so that you understand it before doing something like your head.

Here's some DVDs that might be of use:
Lifecasting 101 - This one is only about alginate but as I understand it the process is very much the same with silicone. I have this one and it's a pretty good over view about how the process works. Very informative and affordable. They also have a rather affordable alginate head casting kit.
http://www.shop.brickintheyard.com/L...1-VDBLC101.htm

Introduction to Life Casting - This one is produced by Smooth On which has some wonderful skin safe life casting silicones. They have one now called Body Double Silk which does not require the addition of a release for short hear like eyebrows and close cropped beards.
http://www.theengineerguy.com/Introd...category=40561

Mark Alfrey's Ultimate Lifecasting - I haven't seen this one but it was among the ones recommended to me.
http://www.theengineerguy.com/Mark-A...category=40561

Stan Winston DVD: How to Life-Cast - I've heard that this is the end all be all but the price tag was a little to rich for me.
http://www.theengineerguy.com/Stan-W...category=40561
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Unread 06-09-2014, 07:27 PM   #5
Dagen
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You can also see if there are any makeup schools in your area that need a model for a life cast demonstration
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Unread 06-09-2014, 08:41 PM   #6
Ani_BEE
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This is actually one of th ebest application tonieches Ive seen as refernce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NyF5bKlkT0

I've done 3 casting on others faces only with basic plaster and we ganged up about 6-7 of use to do in in a fast amount of time.

His method only takes 5 minutes because he is setting the seep of the alginate to cur faster so that the model don't have to wait 30 minutes for this stuff to set.
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Unread 06-09-2014, 11:14 PM   #7
wanders_alone
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There are differnt types of alginate that set at different speeds. We were using 8min cure alginate which looks almost exactly like what was used in that video. The water temperature thing is true. However, it's pretty easy to bust out a face or an arm but trying to do a head and shoulders lifecast can quickly turn into a nightmare. You've also got the problem that you'll probably have several miss casts if it's your first time doing it. We too three tries at doing one before changing direction and just buying a sculpting armature. I only got one partial derp cast because the mold collapsed and deformed.

In general Body Double silicone maybe takes 10 minutes to cure. Either way, it's almost a whole day event.
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Unread 06-10-2014, 08:43 AM   #8
Ani_BEE
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Reminds why I want to get a profesionnal casting. My cosplay buddies are in the GTA and the people I know would be terrified to do it on me. lol

Admittedly mot people only use a half face and solder cast because it's best to break up a prosthetics into sections and a back cowl as needed.


wanders_alone what kind of sculpting armature did your get? I know that red heads are popular for bald caps but that might not be what you got.
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Unread 06-10-2014, 11:30 AM   #9
wanders_alone
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The male half mask sculpting form by David Mosher.
http://www.davidmosherfx.com/STORE.html
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