This'll have to be a bare bones intructable as the deadline is today and I want to publish in time for the mega contest.
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 made by wrapping the body part first with a layer of Saran plastic wrap and then clear packaging tape. Additional layers of each will provide a stiffer mold and is recommended.
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
Fiberglass mesh will be placed around the mold.
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
First a grey primer is used.
Then a specialty "hammered" silver paint is used.
Artistic license used on "the package".
Step 5: CUTTING THE CAST
The cast will be cut to add articulation to the joints and to allow for getting into costume later.
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
Sheet metal will be used to cover shoulders, elbows, and knees. The strips shown below are rivited together at either end and then fanned to create the shoulder guard. The picture showing the offset shows indicates the 2 inner strips holes should progressively be offset towards the center to prevent buckling of the sheet metal when the shoulder guard is bent and fanned. The offset is about 1/4"-3/8".
Step 7: ATTACHING THE SHEET METAL TO THE CAST
The sheet metal was attached to the cast by using rivets installed in predrilled holes. 1" diameter backer washers were made from the scrap sheet metal. This creates a sandwich effect without creating too much strain on the fiberglass.
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.
Step 8: CONNECT THE SHOULDER, TORSO, AND ELBOWS
Using flat bunjee cord and Gorilla Tape, I connected the shoulder, torso, and elbows together to hold the costume together while allowing some flexibility for movement.
Step 9: CONNECT THIGHS AND WAIST
The sweat pants for the waist are taped to the inside of the thighs using Gorilla Tape. The waist is then held up using suspenders. The suspenders are concealed underneath the torso and for simple dressing.
Step 10: ACCESSORIES
A plastic funnel and cordless drive belt clip are spray painted silver. The funnel is held to the head using a bunjee with a ball on the end and strung through the funnel to make a chin strap. The cordless driver belt clip attaches to the sweat pants and the oil can hangs from there. The maul is left unchanged. The heart was made from a scrap piece of pine and cut on a band saw. The heart is hung by a length of lamp pull chain. Crocs painted silver are not pictured here but can be seen in the picture at the beginning of this instructable.