Introduction: Make Your Own Princess Leia Metal Bikini

A LONG TIME AGO (ETC ETC ETC)...

In my mind, the greatest Star Wars costume…is Darth Vader (from Episodes IV-VI, take your pick). However, as I do not have thousands of dollars to spend making that costume, I went with the next best thing; Princess Leia’s Metal Bikini, as worn by the talented and lovely Carrie Fisher.

This is not the first time I have made this costume. A long time ago I made a sad, sorry version out of a clothes hanger and model magic. I followed a “tutorial” I found online that had about 6 quick steps, a great accompanying photo, and it sounded SO easy. It…it was…well…it was something from the dark side.

I really wanted to revisit the outfit one day and do it proper justice. So, after sculpting, casting, molding and painting other costumes in the past, I decided to take another swing at it.

I tried to take progress photos along the way, so I can show others the way I made the outfit. It is not the only way, it is not the best way, and there are steps and materials that can be changed. But hopefully it can be of some help to you. I recommend looking at how my Liara, Donnie Darko and Terminator costume pieces were constructed if you’re just starting out in sculpting and casting – and definitely do further research on how to make copy of your body!

WHY LATEX
1: I had a ton of latex (and wire) on my hands. 2: There were two bikinis used in the movie, one that was actual metal, and one that was rubber…so making a latex one seemed to be a safe bet. And 3: making one out of metal would be expensive (same goes with resin, which would need an expensive silicone mold). You could make one out of resin if you like! (Just replace the ultra cal mold with a silicone one, and sub in resin for latex)

(first pic by Pin-Up Perfection Photography)

Step 1: Supplies

YOU WILL NEED:
 
- 407 Slush Latex
- Plasticine (or any oil based clay)
- Ultra Cal 30
- Sturdy non-stranded coated wire
- Cheesecloth (or burlap if you don't mind the mess)
- Sculpting Tools
- Old Cake Piping Bag and Small Icing Tip
- Silicone chalking
- Gold (Latex) Paint (you can mix in...)
- Red (or purple, or brown, or whatevercolouryoulike) silk(ish) fabric
- Brown (or purple, or dark red, etc etc etc) suede(ish) fabric
- Thick black elastic
- Fabric snaps
- Pair of old tall flat boots from your closet or Value Village
- Cheap gold (coloured) thin wire hoop earings
- Back of stud earrings
- Leather cord/thong
- Two hair clips(French barette)
- Silver Paint
- Copper paint
- Thin aluminum wire
- Dollar Store Round Shower Curtains
- Wire Snips (or some other means of cutting thick plastic)
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Variety of brushes, sponges
- Oven, parchment paper, cookie sheet
- Gloves, goggles, dust mask and 2 pairs of thick needle nose pliers
- Body Double and Head Double (see next step)

Depending on your hair, you may need to buy a braid or a wig.
Depending on your shyness, you may need to buy pasties and underwear. (Costume malfunctions can and do happen!)



VENDORS/TUTORIALS

Styling your Hair tutorial, by Tristanc2003
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k25Kgz2wgaw
Instead of parting my hair into 3 sections, I did 2. I made a pony tail, attached my fake braid underneath it, wrapped the braid once around the based of the ponytail and then followed the rest of the tutorial.

Fake Leia Hair Braid, from PuppyCatMeow (Tressa)
She not only sends you free colour samples, but she can do custom colour blends for your braid! This is the one I got.

‘Strapless’ panty!, by Shibue Couture
Because you really, really should be wearing something underneath.

Sculpting, Casting and Molding forum, at TheEffectsLab
The people on this forum were a big help. For example, I was stuck on how to do all the fine lines on the hip plates. Their solution? Putting caulking in an old pastry bag and using a fine icing tip!

Gallery and Chain/Boot/Earring tutorials, from Kay-Dee.
Her site not only has a wonderful reference gallery of photos taken of the REAL costume, she has a tutorial on how to make chain links (and earrings, and how to do the boots, and fabric as well!). She made her chain links out of resin, after making a mold from tubing.

Make The Bikini – with Sculpey! By Angel Monkey Studios

Make The Bikini - with PVC Polystyrene! by ‘Kim’

Kristen Andrews aka Mirax – a *huge* inspiration.


And of course:

Leia’s Metal Bikini – Buy It!
Plan B: Buy one ;)

Step 2: Chain Construction

One of the funnest parts to make :)

Unless you have a special hardware store that carries circular chain links, buy some plastic shower curtain rings at the dollar store to begin making this cheap chain!

The shower curtain rings are going to be a bit too big, so you will need to cut them. I snipped off the opening/closure of the ring with wire cutter snips (that I use for cutting wire for chainmaille rings). You could...use some heavy duty scissors or carefully use a hacksaw or maybe a band saw?

Preheat your oven to about 250. Cut up your other rings while waiting. Once the oven is heated, put one ring on parchment paper, on a cookie sheet, and pop it in the oven for around 4 minutes.

Carefully (use oven mitts/gloves!) take the ring out of the oven. Using two pairs of pliers, twist the ring so the open ends over lap. The plastic is hot, allow you to alter its shape - however it will spring back a bit, so that's why you're overlapping the two points. Hold it in place for a good 5 minutes. You may find that you need to put it back in the oven, reheat, and rebend.

(I admit, I forgot to take progress photos of how to make the chain, so I grab a shower curtain ring and took some quick photos. My 'real' rings have the opening a *lot* closer together.)

Once you've done that for all your chain pieces (remember, your openings will be *much* smaller), link them together. Seal the openings with a little bit of hot glue - EXCEPT for the top chain link, which will need to remain open to add to your collar.

Finally, spray paint your chain a silver-ish colour, paint some coppery coloured aged/rust spots, and twist thin aluminum wire around two spots on each link. I wrapped the wire around the hot glue joint, and then at another spot parallel to that. For the top chain link, I twisted the wire around the opening, and then slide it to the side when I attached it to the collar (and then put it back in place, to hide the opening).

If you want, you can sand down the chain links (before painting/attaching/bending) to remove the seams/made in ' ' stamp. Feel free to paint your chain/wire as you see fit!

Step 3: Body Double

I am hesitant in revealing how I made a copy of my body, because it ended up being kind of dangerous. If you go this route, please, please do additional research. I've talked to other people who have used this plaster-of-paris-bandage technique and they ended up making wooden bracers to help them stand and had several people working on the body cast at once to make things go quicker. And even with those additions, things still go wrong. In other words, "Make a Body Double. But Not Like This."

I advise doing a duct-tape form. Or do the plaster of paris strip mold, but do the back, let it dry, take it off, then tackle the front.

You'll also need a copy of your head for the 'hair pieces' and the collar. Alternatively you can get a foam head and bulk it up with clay. You can read about how to do a head cast here or here.




Well before I started this costume, I wanted to make a dress form, which went disastrously wrong in so, so many ways…but at the end of the day I did end up with a cast of my body, so I kept it and used it sculpt the bikini pieces on.

What I used was
- Plaster of Paris Strips/Bandages (please, don't use just straight ol plaster of paris!)
- Vaseline
- Two Part Quick Expanding Foam
- Piece of Pipe

To make a fitting Leia costume, you really do need a cast of your body. I can’t stress enough how you’ll need to research how to do this in a safe, safe way, because I’m sure I did it (almost) completely wrong.

My husband and I made a plaster of paris mold of my body, like we have done of my head previously; after being covered in vaseline, the back of my body was covered in 4 layers of plaster of paris strips, ample vaseline was added to the side edges to prevent the front half from sticking to it, then the front layers were added and both pieces were removed once dried

That's what ideally would happen. It took us three tries to get a body mold, because I kept almost passing out. Which is why YOU should research alternate methods. We ended up using fewer layers, and I had to eat and drink during the entire process so my cast got a bit of a pot belly.

Once the the two separate halves of the mold were removed from my body, they were cleaned and left to dry completely. They were then plastered together. I covered the inside with vaseline to act as a release agent for when we made a foam cast. The neck and arm holes were sealed up (though in hindsight, we should have sealed the bottom and poured the foam in through the neck)

We poured a two-part quick expanding foam into the mold. It. Was. Awful. Originally we wanted to pour the foam in through the neck, but we wanted a post going through the form (to attach to a stand). The foam expansion was so rapid and strong, and there were so few layers of plaster of paris, it pushed through the sealed neck seams, and seeped through the plaster of paris bandages. I tried to peel, cut and scrape off the plaster of paris, and in the end I had a half-plaster, half-foam monster torso. But at least I ended up with an armature for sculpting…yay?



I need to add that I did do small-scale tests! That worked! But I think a number of factors (ie. Pouring in foam from the bottom, everything was on a larger scale, fewer plaster layers were used since I kept half-fainting) contributed to the mucked-up “final” version.

Step 4: Sculpting the Bikini

So, using my functional-yet-visually-disgracefully-half-foam-half-plaster body cast, I started to sculpt with plastercine. I first did the top. I covered a large selection with oil-based clay/plasticine before beginning – so when I make an ultra-cal mold of the sculpt, the ultra-cal won’t stick to body.

If you can make a clay worm, you can do this! Small sections of clay worms make the initial bikini bra – then you just blend blend blend the worms together! Use sculpting tools to make lines and ridges.

While working on the top, I also did the front bottom panel. I used the same techniques, with the addition of silicone chalking. There are lots of fine lines on the bikini – too fine, I found, to roll out into small worms and blend them. So I ended up using caulking in an icing bag, thanks to the suggestions from theeffectslab.com

After making molds of these sculpts, I sculpted the other pieces. I sculpted the shoe piece after I had cut my boot top, but before covering it with fabric. I only sculpted one boot decoration and used the mold for both boots. In total, there were 13 pieces sculpted: the top, front plate, back plate, side hip piece, the snake arm bracelet, wrist bracelet, collar, two ‘bun’ hair pieces, braid hair piece , boot piece, earring and bead piece. 20 pieces would end up being cast.


[There's a picure of tiny sculpts of an earring piece and a ‘bead’ alongside a claw from a Donnie Darko costume. These were done when I was working on my Frank suit, so all these items got a silicone mold and were cast in resin. I casted over 6 earring and top ‘bead’ pieces (just in case something went wrong). The earrings themselves were made by cutting circular earrings in half, gluing an earring piece to one end, and the other to a earring fastener. You can make those pieces out of latex, but since I had it, I used resin.]

Step 5: Making Mold of Bikini

Ultra-cal and cheesecloth molds are made of each individual sculpt. Some of the pieces require separate mold pieces – for example, the top was done in three different sections (the front and the two sides).

Surround your sculpt with a clay wall. Coat your sculpt with vaseline (or release agent of your choice). Cut up the cheesecloth into little squares. Add a little bit of water to a small amount of Ultra Cal 30 and mix, until you get a consistancy similar to river bed mud. Goopy. Cover cheesecloth squares in the mixture and lay on top of your sculpt. Once it's cured, you remove the mold, clean it, and if needed, put pieces back together by applying the ultra cal mix to the sides of pieces. he boot decoration, snake bracelet and collar all had several mold pieces. The pieces were ultra-cal-ed back together for the latex cast.

I go into more detail about ultra cal 30 molding here and here if you need it!

Step 6: Making Latex-and-Wire Cast of Bikini

So after all the ultra-cal pieces have been assembled together, cut your wire and position it to fit freely in the molds. This means that the mold is not bending the wire in shape – rather, the wire is just resting in the mold, already in position. You’ll want to use solid, insulated/coated wire (so it wire doesn’t rust or have some other nasty reaction to the latex). This is one of the most frustrating steps.

You should add wire to the top and all the bottom pieces – at least! I also added wire to the wrist bracelet, and if it wasn’t so straining on my hands, I would have added wire to the hair bun pieces.

So once your wire is bent into shape, remove it and add coat of latex to the mold. I used “leftover” slush latex I had from previously projects. The latex is added layer by layer to ensure that it cures all the way through, adding latex every 10 minutes or so.

Halfway through, the wire is put on top of the initial latex layers, and more latex is added.

I added snaps to the top (and to the front and back panels) so I could remove the fabric sections for cleaning/swapping out colours. The snaps were plunked into the final layer of latex.

Repeat for the front, back and side bottom pieces, two boot covers, two hair bun clips (adding hair snaps to the back of those), two hair braid pieces (once removed from the mold, they were merged together with latex), the collar, the arm snake bracelet and the wrist bracelet. Ooph.

Step 7: Painting Latex Pieces

All the latex pieces were trimmed, primed and painted. I added a latex paint base to my acrylic paints, to prevent the paint from cracking. It was a bit tricky to get a shade I liked. Leia's outfit 'changes' colours throughout the movie, depending on if she's indoors, by a window, outside in the shade, in the sun, what version you're watching - so I ended up choosing a colour that I liked.
All of the pieces were given a coat of a matt water-based sealer.

I decided to age the metal a bit - I believe that the bikini was not something special made specifically for Leia, but rather was worn by other slaves and stored in the Hutt's 'prisoner-wear' closet. It also wouldn't surprise me if it had gone through the rancor's digestive track a few times (ew). So while the fabric should be new, the metal...maybe not so much.

This theory is probably not canon, and there might be more of an elaborate added-on history about the slave outfits that I'm not aware of - but if George Lucas can make up stuff after-the-fact, so can I :)

Step 8: Fabric Boot Covering

Despite the fact that Leia was forced into this costume, the metal bikini is one of my favorite 'girl' costumes - for the fact that she's wearing practical, kick-ass-able, comfy boots. No 6-inch high-heels, no knee-high platform boots - she wears something flat that you can run in without worrying about breaking your neck. It's a bit strange if you think about it - JtH tries to humiliate her by placing Leia in a revealing outfit but draws the line the line at impractical footwear? I guess we can all assume if he put Leia in stilettos she would have broken off the heels and killed everybody in the barge.That and the folks in the highheel business might have not been doing so well on a sand planet.

ANYWAYS.

I started out with an old pair of winter boots. I recommend getting a pair that you can slip into (like a cowboy or ugg boot). Since mine originally laced up, I sewed some elastic across the front opening, after covering them with fabric.

Cut the top of the boots to the correct height and angle. (I then covered a boot in aluminum foil and sculpted the boot piece). Leia's boot looked like it was made out of three sections - the heel, the toe, and the 'leg'. I took some practice fabric and basically draped the pieces I needed. I pinned everything in place, marked the shapes, cut and repined, before making the final pieces.

I also ended up lining my boots (since the insides were originally black) which was done using a similar process.

The final boot pieces were stitched or glued to the boot - there were some places I could not get to with my sewing machine or with a needle, so glue gun it was.

So, for comparison, there's a pic of an uncovered and covered boot - and a glimpse of the boot decoration! It attaches to the boot by stitching the decoration to the fabric, at a few spots along the top.

Step 9: Adding Fabric to Latex

I took a bra completely apart and cut the curved (red) foam (that was inside) to fit into the bikini top. Much like I made the boot cover, I draped fabric over the foam until it looked nice. To get the fabric smooth and tight, you need to add a dart - you can make a dart/cut in the fabric at the bottom and hide it right behind the center 'squiggly' in the top. I also did cut out the red foam peeking out - you're just seeing the 'before' pic. Snaps were added to the fabric, so that it could be attached and removed from the latex frame.

Thick, rounded black elastic was used as the straps - it was small enough to fit through the beads and the holes I drilled in the latex, strong enough to hold everything up! I wasn't able to find any, but I would have preferred to use a rounded leather strip.

Here you can see the snaps added to the fabric and lower plates. The bottom fabrics were just two large rectangular pieces, given a rolled hem all the way around, and added to the front and back plates. Small strips of thick black elastic were added to the plates with snaps AND hot glue (just in case).

Step 10: You're Done!

Sweet.

Now go hit the beach/convention/party and have some fun!

Additional photos and info can be found here and here.

Comments

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HollyHarken made it! (author)2012-09-06

Years ago I read a great book called Sewing For Plus Sizes by Barbara Deckert. In the book she details how to make a dress form without killing yourself. She states that this method has been around since the 1930 and is cheap. It does take two people to make the paper-tape dress form. I'm quoting from the book. First put on a tight fitting old tee shirt that covers your hips and you are willing to destroy. Then use strips of brown Kraft paper tape that has a wetable glue on the other side. Be sure to go to the bathroom as you need to be able to stand for about 2 hours without a break. Use a large sponge in a basin of water to wet the paper tape. Wrap the strips snugly, slightly overlapping them, around the body over the tee shirt. Use shorter, diagonally placed strips to define the curves of the bust, neckline and armscyes and longer strips to wrap the torso horizontally, mummy-style. Wrap about 3 layers of tape evenly over the wrapee, with some exta layers around the neck, armscye, and lower edge for durability. When you are finished wrapping, use a hair dryer to dry the tape thoroughly, or the form will lose its shape when you remove it. When the form is quite rigid, use a sturdy pair of large shears to cut the form carefully up the center beck, right through the tee shirt. Carefully pry open the form to allow the wrapee to escape. Then use more paper tape on the underside and the outer side of the form to seal the cut up the center back. Once completely dry, you can hang the form on a hanger, set it on a table, make a T-shaped stand with 3 pieces of PVC pipe and a T-joint mounted in a Christmas tree stand.  The author suggests using an old dress form to mount the new one.  I know that I've seen some great ibles on how to use the expanding foam to fill up a dress form.  It seems to me that building an armmature and a base first out of either PVC or wood would be the best place to start.  Then you can mount your dress form to it and fill it with foam or some other kind of stuffing. 

I hope this helps you design a better dress form without harming yourself in the process.

Awesome ideas and techniques with great documentation.  Keep up the good works.

author
Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-06

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this out!!! I remember my Nana telling my about using the paper tape method to make her own dress-form. And now that I think of it, my mom did that too...I guess I was trying to be a rebel in the family by trying plaster of paris ;) I think the method you mentioned (or the duct-tape one, which is pretty similar) is one of the best, safest AND (bonus) cheapest ways to go.

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danzo321 made it! (author)2012-09-06

Hoo boy! Please look at my website, http://www.lifecast-art.com. I did a foam body a couple of times, but I make much stronger clamshell plaster molds, I block off leg and arm holes with more plaster/glass, and I use a more expensive, less explosive urethane foam rubber. This gives a mannequin you can endlessly stick pins into and see effects of stretching cloth tight.

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wilgubeast made it! (author)2012-09-04

Love the step 8 digression about Leia's footwear. Also, this project is awesome. That cross-promotional Frank/Leia lead image is a stroke of genius and also mildly disconcerting.

Great build, really useful links, and you gave plenty of time for legions of Halloween 2012 revelers to figure out other ways to make a body mold. (Two options for molds: packing tape or silicone/chocolate.)

author
Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-04

Those are great links! Though I think the chocolate might be a bit of a problem when it comes to sculpting/casting everything ;)

(But in all seriousness, that tutorial is great for seeing how to do a body-mold part. You just use foam/ultra cal/plaster of paris/cement in place of the chocolate. You can also sub-in alginate for silicone!)

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pinkyuuu made it! (author)2017-03-31

This is so f***ing cool

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Andrew Garfield made it! (author)2014-03-11

you really look dangerous

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caarntedd made it! (author)2013-10-09

Have you tried putting your heated plastic curtain rings under running water while holding them in position with the pliers? The cool water should make them harden up almost straight away, so you won't have to hold onto them for so long.

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Martha Macgyver made it! (author)2013-10-04

For those looking there's a pretty cool body form instructable that may work for them for your project. Some similar ideas with the foam but they used that brown water activated paper tape stuff.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Custom-Dressform-from-Paper-Packing-Tape/

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sabu.dawdy made it! (author)2013-04-16

you re looking soooooo beautiful:D

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armored bore made it! (author)2013-03-11

Sexay! That mask is so hot!

Oh, and I guess that bikini is nice, too.

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DeesSqueeze made it! (author)2012-10-31

Hot. And very creative. As are your other costume posts. Do you act as well as SFX?

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Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-10-31

Eh. I used to do youth community theatre and took a class here and there. Next year I'm hoping to get into reenactment, along with really taking on the roles of costumes I wear (not too easy for me as I have a voice that's quite different from all my costume characters!)

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james.m.k made it! (author)2012-10-31

Hot Hot Hot!

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charlessenf-gm made it! (author)2012-10-30

Wow! like the movies. And your model, well, Wow once more.

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baldmosher made it! (author)2012-10-30

I've seen the other pictures from the link... I assume that they are the SFW ones, given the "angles of attack" and the evident careful skirt-holding! Cheered up my day, no end! Excellent work.

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alphydan made it! (author)2012-10-30

Impressive work!

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jesseditson made it! (author)2012-09-28

Hey! I'm working on creating a form to sculpt on, and tried using "Great Stuff" expanding filler to fill up the form - in this case it's a thigh, but I'll do each piece and eventually get the torso. I had pretty poor success because the Great Stuff doesn't really expand that much.

So I have the opposite problem you had, the foam isn't expanding enough! What foam did you use? If you did it again, would you use the same stuff with a vaseline'd up duct tape form? That's my direction, but I've never done this before.

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Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-28

Hoo man, I'm a bit hesitant to say what foam I used, since the whole body double thing went a-muck...and I'm not even sure if it would be the best material to use for sculpting form. My original foam body double was meant to be a sewing mannequin, but it was so awful, it ended up being "demoted" to a "sculpting body"!

The foam has its advantages and disadvantages. On the good side, it's light, and the foam did cast...however it really "leaked" through the plaster of paris bandage mold and is pretty porous so the clay REALLY gets in there. So, foam at your own risk!

I used a 2-part-liquid 4LB Density Urethane Pour Foam (I believe this is where I got it from).

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asipe made it! (author)2012-09-18

I always just assumed that since Jabba doesn't have feet he doesn't think about feet.

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ravenking made it! (author)2012-09-18

I am fan of Star Wars and I certainly like your costume! :)

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crjeea made it! (author)2012-09-08

I hope you didn't get too cold on that beach (:

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Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-08

It never fails; of course it was hot all summer except for that day! Brr.

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crjeea made it! (author)crjeea2012-09-08

Also like the shock tactic namely the Donnie Darko mask an amusing combination :D
I'm glad you enjoyed your self, must have been tricky getting the full body cast stage done. I find faces to be the trickiest myself.

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-chase- made it! (author)2012-09-08

Pretty cool... and looks convincing enough.

Question since you brought it up - kinda.

Do you happen to know what the original costume varous parts were made from or out of?

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Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-08

Sadly, no. All I know is that one was "metal", the other "rubber."

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DGerman made it! (author)2012-09-07

DANGER: plaster of paris doesn't dry. It cures releasing (lots of ) heat.

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Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-07

Precisely why I say to use the plaster of paris bandages - the stuff you can get in craft stores. Direct plaster of paris is bad stuff - and straight on ultra cal 30 is even worse! So be safe and use the bandages! Doctors have been using it for years for casts :D

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jcvillar made it! (author)2012-09-07

Would have been a convincing sell without the monster mask. You may want to forget about sending those resumes to Madison Avenue.

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Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-07

We have powerful friends. You're going to regret this.

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ccrazed made it! (author)2012-09-07

Very nice and very cute! Oh and the outfit isnt to bad as well.

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stealthop made it! (author)2012-09-07

great ible i would like to make a sith mask this way. you are also very beautiful.

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allenamistral made it! (author)2012-09-06

Dan knows his stuff, so I would listen to him. My dad also does the same thing Dan does, so I've seen lifecasts done MANY times and been a model for them too. That being said, I've never sat for a straight up plaster bandage cast. I do, however, know that plaster bandages heat up really quickly when they start to cure and they get really hot.

The heat of the plaster is probably part of the reason you felt like you were going to pass out. Maybe Dan has a better suggestion for a medium to reduce the heat, but I would think you could reduce the heat by putting some cotton gauze around your body before starting the cast. It will add a little bit of bulk, but it will save you a lot of pain and stress in the long run.

I can't say much for the filling because I usually don't work with that type of medium.

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Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-06

I'm going to say that while the plaster heating probably contributed to my fainting spells, I believe that it was standing in on position for so long (and originally with "locked legs") that caused me to black out. In the past I have almost passed out from just standing on the spot in one place for too long (without any bandages). Either way, I think there were a couple of factors that made it difficult!

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allenamistral made it! (author)allenamistral2012-09-06

Oh no! That doesn't sounds good. What about the possibility of kneeling? Less strain on your body. You just have to make sure that your legs stay relatively close so you don't end up with distorted hips.

Lying on your back is a bad idea, also. Aside from the fact that you want a full torso (back and front), lying on your back will distort the proportions of your body, so anything like this, you always want to be upright.

On a side note, it sounds like it was a good thing you weren't doing your arms so you could eat!

And even though I didn't say this before, I love this instructable! This Leia costume has always been one of my favorites and you did a great job with it!

author
Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-06

I'm curious, does anyone know what they did for Carrie Fisher? I know "the" story behind the body mold. One of the guys kept going on and on about how excited and eager he was to mold Carrie Fisher, to the point that he made everybody uncomfortable so was replaced shortly before the mold was made. But what exactly did they use/do for the mold?

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dacut made it! (author)dacut2012-09-06

I never realized just how tricky doing a plaster cast was until reading this step and Dan's tech page. Much more tricky than casting inanimate objects where I just throw some release compound (assuming I'm not too lazy) and slather the plaster on! Your detailed description (and associated comments) of the wrong way to do it has been very insightful; thanks!

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Dezri made it! (author)2012-09-06

Woof! Hoping to get extra vote for showing skin?

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Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-06

I don't know what you're talking about. I am a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan...

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richardsan made it! (author)2012-09-06

here's this story. i worked for a bronze sculptor at one point. one of my jobs was to take plaster casts from female models. one of the models, i had just finished covering with plaster and we were waiting for it to set up. the heat built up, she passed out and i had to grab her to keep her from smacking the concrete floor.
be careful!!!

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Jayefuu made it! (author)2012-09-04

Awesome build! You should definitely change the first picture to the one without the donnie darko mask though. The mask is cool, but unrelated.

James

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Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-04

I find the pic with the mask tends to be the least frightening photo I have ;)

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CanWire made it! (author)CanWire2012-09-06

Having now seen them all, I disagree strongly ;)

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victorvector made it! (author)2012-09-06

Absolutely beautiful !

The costume / bikini is not bad either!

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chuckyd made it! (author)2012-09-06

This site: http://www.smooth-on.com/Special-Effects-an/c1241/index.html contqains materials and instructions for molding and casting body parts, among other things. Rather than placing plaster directly on the skin, a resilient coating is first painted on. Then the plaster is applied to hold the shape of the form. The process may take longer for only one person to apply the material, so a helping hand is most desirable.

Great work, and a great model.

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Tatterhood made it! (author)Tatterhood2012-09-06

Smooth-On is great! I've used their products before (as seen in my Terminator and Donnie Darko Instructables) and this video in particular is a good reference - but (like a lot of other body life-casting vids/tutorials I've found) it only does half the body. Another interesting point (seen in this and other videos) is that they have the model on a raised and slightly tilted platform, so her whole body is resting on a board - so chances of fainting are a lot slimmer! However I think that may only really work for doing half the body (you could do the two sides separately, then carefully attach the two molds together). The only limiting factor with the Smooth-On is, as wonderful as it is, is that it's a lot more expensive than duct tape, paper tape or plaster of paris bandages!

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Susan La Zazou made it! (author)2012-09-06

fantastic job! I am in awe of your persistence!

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MrMike made it! (author)2012-09-06

I'd add to list of materials (you will need)...
- A woman that will look good in the outfit...

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DIY Micah made it! (author)2012-09-06

Great job! A great way to paint latex without worrying about mixing colors and such is the following: first, buy the acrylic paint in the color you want from whichever art store you like (Michaels, hobby lobby, Walmart, etc. I like the little 1 dollar bottles). Then buy some pure ammonia from the cleaning section of most big stores (again, Walmart). Finally, take your slush latex, put it into a tubber-ware container, add enough ammonia so that your latex becomes sorta snotlike in consistency, and add a good serving of your acrillic paint and mix. Then, using a paintbrush liberally coated in dish soap, paint on your new latex paint (the dish soap allows you to wash out the latex when done thus saving you costs from buying a trillion brusshes). The initial color may not match when it's wet but when it dries it's the same color as your acrillic paint would have been but it's stretchy and flexible like latex.

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danzo321 made it! (author)2012-09-06

Instead of holding hot plastic for 5 minutes, why not dunk it -held correctly- into cold water?

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm an indie game developer who enjoys making costumes, comics and cupcakes. I like video and board games, halloween, and laser dolphins.
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