How to make a Custom Figurehead for our boat?

Don't want to spend a fortune and yet want a durable classy custom designed FIGUREHEAD for the bow of our boat.  Hubby wants MY IMAGE of the head/bust with my long braids and possibly Angel wings that wrap around the bow on each side.  Someone suggested it be made out of PVC?  How does MY face/hair/bust get duplicated?  Does anybody do Wood Carving like this anymore?  

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Kiteman's suggestion of a body cast is probably the best way to make a lifelike cast, which you can then amend to suit your requirements.

Could be a fun project for a couple. Send the kids away for the weekend....
pbilling (author) 3 years ago

Any specific sources, links would be greatly appreciated. Especially in Wisconsin. Thanks to all for contributing. And IS an issue!

Short of hiring someone to carve your likeness into a medium and spending lots of money you'll have a large learning curve ahead of you.

Start looking into creating a plaster cast of things. Learn how to create a plaster cast of yourself and then you can use that cast to create a fiberglass figurehead. Adding additional items may require you to carve it yourself. There are many ways you can produce your own carving but many of them will cost a good bit of money to get the equipment needed.
pbilling (author)  mpilchfamily4 years ago
Thank you for the answer, Let's revisti the comment about not "spending a fortune" and delete it. What if money was no option then. what about INJECTION MOLDING? My husband helped me make a lightweight dressform by taping duct tape over paper over my body, cutting it in the back to get out, re tape it and then fill it with CRACK FOAM for the house. Obviously this would not hold up at sea, but the concept is there for you guys to build on??
Sesrch the site for body casting - you use dental alginate to cast your face/body, then mould that in the material of your choice.

This is good:
pbilling (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
Now this was the kind of answer I was looking for. Thank you for sticking to the point and actually trying to help me find an answer. Money is an issue as is quality and durability. Your comments are appreciated, Any more ideas? Better yet any links?
Do you mean off-site links, or instructables?
If money no bar then get a sculpture to do a wooded bust of you.

Otherwise I suggest a body cast and fibreglass. There are people around who do this - or you can DIY.
Forget injection moulding ! That's not realistic for a one off - the tools would cost many 10's of thousands of dollars.
Well if money was no option then why not, right?
Granted, we could even cast it in solid gold.
That would be sweet!
If money was no option you would talk to companies that produce this sort of thing. They may be able to create the figure head off pictures and have it made of multiple materials. You could get it cast in brass, injected molded with plastic, or made from fiberglass or carbon fiber. The materials used to make it can be vast and each requiring a different method of creating and using an initial mold of the figurehead.
You could 3D scan, and then get a wooden form milled....