Body Casting: How to Make Full Head Molds with Body Double®
Gallery courtesy of Smooth-On, Inc.
Body Double® Silicone Rubber is used by both professionals and hobbyists to make ultra-high definition impressions directly off the human body. In their cured state, body molds made using Body Double Silicone Rubber exhibit virtually no shrinkage. Furthermore, Body Double molds will maintain their dimensional stability for many years even after being cast many times. Body Double is the only skin safe (non-toxic) rubber in the world designed specifically for life and body casting.
When Guy Louix-XVI of HI-Realism Mannequins by Guy Louix-XVI SFX (Ottawa, Canada) is called upon to fabricate ultra-high realism mannequins from lifecasts for museums, he chooses Body Double Silicone Rubber because he know's the ability of the rubber to pick up the finest detail on his models skin. Such was the case recently for Guy when he was contracted by the Canadian War Museum to provide numerous lifelike mannequins for recreated battle scenes from WWI & WWII.
By choosing Body Double to make his lifecasting body molds, Guy save's countless hours that would be spent resculpting his lifecasts. Guy say emphatically:
"Frequently in lifecasting projects, when either alginate or other silicones are used, the mold material tends to entrap air in undercut areas like around the lips and eyes. When that happens I have to take time to correct these imperfections in my castings, then make a new mold! When I began using Body Double, especially the Standard Set, it gave me time to work it into the detail so that my molds come out virtually flawless. Now I don't have to resculpt or make a second mold. The Body Double mold is all I need. It's amazing how much time I have shaved off my project turn-around time!"
There are two versions of Body Double available: STANDARD SET & FAST SET. There are only three distinct differences between the two versions:
- Pot Life – the amount of time you have to work with the material to get Part's A & B mixed thoroughly and applied before it gels. The STANDARD SET has a 5 minute Pot Life; the FAST SET has a 90 second Pot Life.
- Cure Time – how long it takes for the silicone rubber to fully cure. The STANDARD SET has a 25 minute Cure Time; the FAST SET has a 6 minute Cure Time.
- Color – the STANDARD SET has a purple color when thoroughly mixed; the FAST SET has an Aqua Green color when thoroughly mixed. We gave them different colors so users will know which version they are working with.
It is possible to incorporate both versions of Body Double into one mold, especially in situations where a longer Pot Life in the silicone rubber is desired in order to pick-up ultra-high definition on the surface of the skin, such as facial features. In the sequence below, Guy has chosen to utilize both versions of the silicone in the mold of his model Jaques.
Other processing options when working with Body Double include the opportunity to mix in Smooth-On's Silicone Thinner to give the Body Double a looser consistency (which is very useful on a first coat) and Thi-Vex® II to give the Body Double a more buttery consistency (useful in building up undercut's).