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Body Casting: How to Make Full Head Molds with Body Double®

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 ACMI-rated (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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
 Our model - ''Jacques''

1 - Our model - ''Jacques''
 Putting the bald cap in place to protect our model's hair.

2 - Putting the bald cap in place to protect our model's hair.
 Blending the edge of the bald cap with isopropyl alcohol.

3 - Blending the edge of the bald cap with isopropyl alcohol.
 Make sure all edges are securely blended...

4 - Make sure all edges are securely blended...
 The bald cap properly in place.

5 - The bald cap properly in place.
 Body Double® Lifecasting silicone rubber PRE-MEASURED. Each measurement of Part's A & B represent a separate batch of material that will be mixed & applied.

6 - Body Double® Lifecasting silicone rubber PRE-MEASURED. Each measurement of Part's A & B represent a separate batch of material that will be mixed & applied.
 Plaster bandages PRE-CUT. 
To save time during the moldmaking process - it is recommended to have all moldmaking materials & supplies measured out before hand.

7 - Plaster bandages PRE-CUT. To save time during the moldmaking process - it is recommended to have all moldmaking materials & supplies measured out before hand.
 Any exposed skin surfaces are prepared by applying a thin layer of Body Double® Release Cream. This will hold hairs down so they do not get encapsulated. Body Double® FAST SET is then mixed and applied from top of head down.

8 - Any exposed skin surfaces are prepared by applying a thin layer of Body Double® Release Cream. This will hold hairs down so they do not get encapsulated. Body Double® FAST SET is then mixed and applied from top of head down.
 The mold is being built to separate into two separate pieces without the need to cut with scissors. The parting line is creating by 'sculpting' the Body Double® silicone rubber.

9 - The mold is being built to separate into two separate pieces without the need to cut with scissors. The parting line is creating by 'sculpting' the Body Double® silicone rubber.
 A second batch of Body Double® Fast Set - this time with Thi-Vex® II Silicone Thickening Agent added in to provide a more thick consistency - is applied to the first layer to build-up the mold thickness.

10 - A second batch of Body Double® Fast Set - this time with Thi-Vex® II Silicone Thickening Agent added in to provide a more thick consistency - is applied to the first layer to build-up the mold thickness.
 After two layers of Body Double® FAST SET have been applied to the back of the head - plaster bandages are then applied to create the support shell (or mother mold) for the back half of the mold.

11 - After two layers of Body Double® FAST SET have been applied to the back of the head - plaster bandages are then applied to create the support shell (or mother mold) for the back half of the mold.
 After the plaster bandage has been adequately applied on the back side - more Body Double® FAST SET is mixed up with Thi-Vex® II silicone thickener and then applied to the exposed strip of silicone....

12 - After the plaster bandage has been adequately applied on the back side - more Body Double® FAST SET is mixed up with Thi-Vex® II silicone thickener and then applied to the exposed strip of silicone....
 ... the new batch of Body Double® FAST SET permanently bonds to the existing silicone. Furthermore, the Body Double® FAST SET is applied to slightly overlap the plaster support shell. This will help create a tight seam later for casting.

13 - ... the new batch of Body Double® FAST SET permanently bonds to the existing silicone. Furthermore, the Body Double® FAST SET is applied to slightly overlap the plaster support shell. This will help create a tight seam later for casting.
 Body Double® STANDARD SET is applied to the face. This batch has Silicone Thinner added into the mix to loosen-up the consistency of the silicone rubber. This will ensure that the material picks up even the most minute detail on the skin.

14 - Body Double® STANDARD SET is applied to the face. This batch has Silicone Thinner added into the mix to loosen-up the consistency of the silicone rubber. This will ensure that the material picks up even the most minute detail on the skin.
 The first layer of Body Double® STANDARD SET applied from top to bottom and left to right.NOTE: On this layer the material is not laid up against the FAST SET yet; also the ears are left exposed for as long as possible so the model can hear.

15 - The first layer of Body Double® STANDARD SET applied from top to bottom and left to right.NOTE: On this layer the material is not laid up against the FAST SET yet; also the ears are left exposed for as long as possible so the model can hear.
 Second layer of Body Double® STANDARD SET applied direclty onto the first layer after the first layer developes a tacky surface.

16 - Second layer of Body Double® STANDARD SET applied direclty onto the first layer after the first layer developes a tacky surface.
 Two layers of STANDARD SET applied. Once the second layer gets tacky - a third layer of STANDARD SET with Thi-Vex® II silicone thickener added in will be applied to give the mold thickness (or structural integrity).

17 - Two layers of STANDARD SET applied. Once the second layer gets tacky - a third layer of STANDARD SET with Thi-Vex® II silicone thickener added in will be applied to give the mold thickness (or structural integrity).
 Body Double® STANDARD SET Thi-Vex® II added in. Notice the thicker quality in the silicone rubber.

18 - Body Double® STANDARD SET Thi-Vex® II added in. Notice the thicker quality in the silicone rubber.
 Still leaving the ear canal open for communication purposes. Body Double® silicone rubber will bond exceptionally well to itself, so when we add rubber into the ears, there will be no problem getting the rubber to bond to itself.

19 - Still leaving the ear canal open for communication purposes. Body Double® silicone rubber will bond exceptionally well to itself, so when we add rubber into the ears, there will be no problem getting the rubber to bond to itself.
 Two layers of Body Double® STANDARD SET with Thi-Vex® II silicone thickener added in...

20 - Two layers of Body Double® STANDARD SET with Thi-Vex® II silicone thickener added in...
 After the two layers were applied to the facial areas, then small batches of STANDARD SET with Thi-Vex® II are mixed and applied to the ear canal.NOTE: Prior to applying Body Double® to the ear canal be sure to coat the ear with Body Double® Release Cream

21 - After the two layers were applied to the facial areas, then small batches of STANDARD SET with Thi-Vex® II are mixed and applied to the ear canal.NOTE: Prior to applying Body Double® to the ear canal be sure to coat the ear with Body Double® Release Cream
 After the STANDARD SET has cured beyond the tacky stage, plaster bandages can then be applied to create the support shell for the front half of the mold.

22 - After the STANDARD SET has cured beyond the tacky stage, plaster bandages can then be applied to create the support shell for the front half of the mold.
 When applying the plaster bandages, be sure to NOT cover the breathing holes for the model. In this application, the model is breathing through his nose.

23 - When applying the plaster bandages, be sure to NOT cover the breathing holes for the model. In this application, the model is breathing through his nose.
 After the plaster bandages have been completely applied, it is necessary to left the bandages cure solid. This will usually take about 7 - 10 minutes.

24 - After the plaster bandages have been completely applied, it is necessary to left the bandages cure solid. This will usually take about 7 - 10 minutes.
 Once the plaster bandages have cured, the front support shell is removed followed by the front half of the Body Double® silicone rubber mold.

25 - Once the plaster bandages have cured, the front support shell is removed followed by the front half of the Body Double® silicone rubber mold.
 With careful preparation and precision usage of Body Double® silicone rubber, a full front/back head mold for body casting is produced and the model is safe. NOTE: After the mold is completely removed, the nose holes in the rubber mold are plugged with more Body Double®

26 - With careful preparation and precision usage of Body Double® silicone rubber, a full front/back head mold for body casting is produced and the model is safe. NOTE: After the mold is completely removed, the nose holes in the rubber mold are plugged with more Body Double®

                   
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