So, it finally happened. We made a full head lifecast!
This has been on our wish list from the beginning. We recruited our friend and fellow builder, Daniel Harte, to help with the process.
- When removing the mold, use bandage scissors (With the Flat-tipped bottom blade) so you don’t cut the person inside on accident.
- Be generous with the nose holes. Check in with the person being lifecast often.
- Make sure the person being lifecast always has pen and paper to communicate.
- Have an emergency abort word or signal. If the person gets claustrophobic and panics in the casting and needs out right away they can easily and quickly inform you.
- Have a plan of how to get them out right away.
- Keep person cool while bandages are curing.
- Use Fast Set Gypsona® Bandages (not X-Fast set)
- We recommend having at least two people to do the life casting.
The first step was the bald cap.
Not until we had everything set up and ready to start did we realize that latex reacts with the Smooth-On Body Double SILK silicone. Low and behold, out of the 8 bald caps we own, none are latex free. Because we planned on correcting the lifecast and re-molding it anyway, we weren’t too concerned with it being perfect. We ended up pulling a “MacGyver” and fashioned a cap out of plastic wrap, Pros Aide and masking tape.
Once Courtney was prepped and ready to start, Daniel and I each starting mixing a batch of silicone.
Once thoroughly mixed, we began applying it to Court’s head and ears. The silicone began to set fairly quickly, with a pot life of about 6 mins. We continued mixing batches until we had full coverage, paying extra attention to the nose and seam-line.
Once the silicone set (about 20 mins) it was time to start the plaster bandage shell.
We started with the back half, adding extra bandages to the edge to reinforce the seam-line. When the bandages hardened, we applied Vaseline to the edge where the back was going to meet the front. In addition to Vaseline, we added wet paper towels to further avoid sticking.
Plaster bandages were then added to the front, again paying close attention to the nostrils.
At this point we ran into a bit of trouble. As the bandages cure they generate heat. Courtney was not only encased in rubber, but she also had a heat radiating shell. She was able to communicate to us in writing and we got her an ice pack, fan and made sure her nostrils were clear. She recovered quickly and we were able to successfully remove the hardened shell.
Using Medical scissors, we cut up the back of the silicone, being careful not to cut Courtney.
This is when we discovered that Pros Aide sticks to silicone! There were a few spots around the makeshift bald cap that had some exposed adhesive. Using Prose-Aide remover and Q-Tips, we carefully released her skin from the mold. She was then freed from her silicone prison. Despite a few air bubbles, the mold turned out great.
Be sure to check out the highlights of our stream on our Twitch page~