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Need advice on fake limbs. Answered

 So my classmates and I are kinda planning on putting on a haunted house next year for Halloween. Most of us are pretty artsy and creative. I'm just asking the intructables community what you guys and gals honk we should use for making cheap realistic limbs.
 I was thinking of something like latex rubber but I've never worked with that sir of materials before. We don't want to use paper stuffed cloths or low stuffs like that. We are planning on using a material that will feel a lot like real limbs if dropped on people and just quick glances.
 Thanks in advance for your advice. Anything you need specified simply ask and I shall specify :)



Best Answer 6 years ago

Latex rubber would be a good choice. Its not too expensive, and your school can probably organize some fundraisers in that time. But the first thing you need is an alginate to make the mold. The process is called Life Casting. You need to look for an alginate that's safe for the skin, and you'll mix this up and spread it on your arm model in order to make the mold. Once its dry, you carefully remove it and depending on the quality of the alginate, you should have a super detailed mold (some will even get fingerprint detail). Then you'll want to mix up the latex rubber and pour it into the mold and allow that to dry. Its best to get a flesh colored latex so that you don't have to buy a ton of paint. Once dry, you'll want to carefully remove the mold (so that you can reuse it until you run out of latex rubber). Again, depending on the material you select, you should be able to use a recommended paint to create some characteristics (like freckles, scars) and to exaggerate the "wound" at the end of the arm (with fake blood etc). Once all that dries you should have yourself a very realistic limb, with similar weight to a real arm. ~ What you really don't want to use is any kind of plaster to make the mold as you'll need a release agent (to prevent hair from sticking) and some plasters have been known to get really hot and be way too sensitive for the skin. Adding a watch, ring or even a partially ripped sleeve can help in making things look real (and covers up any "arms" that you mess up on).

It sounds like it'll be a really fun project. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions. :-)


Answer 6 years ago

Thanks for the advice. What types of latex rubber would you recommend? what grade or where would you recomend buying it from?

We live in a small isolated town in oregon and will most likely only be able to order stuff online. Any recomendations there?


Answer 6 years ago

Its kind of hard to give you too many specific suggestions because I don't know your budget, where you are willing to compromise on materials or processes (if you need to save money), and how many molds and total limbs (or other parts) that you want to make. 

Whether you need to find a store or order online I recommend Smooth On. They've been in business a long time and have a ton of products (I could literally spend hours browsing their website!) They sell to individuals, schools, professionals and for major movie and TV productions (in more than 30 countries). They have a lot of helpful videos on their media page (and a YouTube page), a section just for How To Guides and lots of other useful links. You can also get a PDF of their catalog here.

I also like the information from this website because they've laid out several options, that include ways of using less expensive materials. Just don't rely on their price estimations. It was written many years ago, but the rest of the information is quite helpful.

So after you go through all that, you should have a much better idea of what you want and can contact Smooth On directly for additional support.