Backstory: I was invited to a costume party thrown by an expert in the art field. I felt compelled to impress as I assumed this person's guests would all have distinguishing eyes for "fine art".
Be warned if you undertake this project, it is time consuming and can become expensive. My budget came in somewhere around $150 or more. I am afraid to add up the receipts.
The idea is to create a body cast.
Step 1: MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT
Clear packaging tape
Sheet metal cutting shears
Plastic spreaders for spreading fiberglass resin/jelly
Cordless power saw
Bunjee cord, flat
Bunjee loop with ball end
Pine 1" x 8" x 8"
Seamstress flexible measuring tape
Metal foil tape
Step 2: MAKING THE MOLD
The mold is then cut from the body with a slice made by scissors along the length of the mold. Once removed the mold is retaped with clear packaging tape.
Next the mold should be filled with something lightweight to help it hold its shape. I used packing popcorn from a recent internet purchase and crumpled newspaper.
Cardboard pieces should be cut to cap off the openings on the molds and to help maintain its shape as shown in the "New Thigh" shown later.
Step 3: MAKING THE CAST
Measuring the mold sections with a flexible seamstress ruler makes life easy. The measurements are transferred to the mesh and the mesh is cut. The pieces are placed on the mold.
Fiberglass resin is mixed and spread over the mesh and left to dry. Fiberglass jelly is mixed and spread over the thin layer of dried resin and mesh to create the cast. Partway through the project I learned that by mixing resin with jelly and then adding the hardener that came with the jelly, a honey-like mixture resulted. Working time was longer as well as a better overall workability with more consistent results.
Partway through the project I realized placing the mold and casts on a vertical holder maintained the integrity of the shape of the cast. Additionally, this allowed me to cast all sides in one step. When cast horizontally only one side can be worked on at a time.
Step 4: PAINTING THE CAST
Then a specialty "hammered" silver paint is used.
Artistic license used on "the package".
Step 5: CUTTING THE CAST
The arms will be cut at the elbow. The legs will be cut at the knee. The torso will be cut vertically up the front and the back. The shin portion below the knee will be sliced vertically as they were very tight and I could not get my foot through. The waist and thigh section needed to be remade since they did not fit during my test fitting of all parts and there was not a simple solution as with the shins. The thighs were remade and because I only had a few days before the costume party, I used an old pair of sweat pants as the waist area. Plus, this solved the issue of having to use the commode after a few beverages.
Step 6: FABRICATING THE SHEET METAL PARTS
Step 7: ATTACHING THE SHEET METAL TO THE CAST
In order for the shin/calf section to be worn and put on I had to slice the front vertically because they were too tight to slip my foot through. The velcro applied to either side of the slice was self stick but didn't stick well to the fiberglass. I then used epoxy on one shin and JB Weld to fasten the velcro. I used each in order to compare results. They both prevented the velcro from pulling away from the fiberglass. These will be the surface the metal strips connect to. The velcro stuck fine to the sheet metal.
On the day of wearing the costume, the front and back of the torso will be connected using Gorilla Tape and then metal foil tape over the Gorilla Tape.