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dressform question

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  • slc_fire
    I ve made duct tape dummies in the past and they have always collapsed on me. I was wondering if anyone had ever used surgical plaster and Great Stuff
    Message 1 of 17 , Jun 27, 2006
      I've made duct tape dummies in the past and they have always collapsed
      on me. I was wondering if anyone had ever used surgical plaster
      and "Great Stuff" expandable insulation to make a form. Any tips?
      Any drawbacks? Any success?

      I may be adventurous and try this method this weekend. I don't have a
      few hundred dollars laying around for a good manufactured form so I
      need to make one.

      Thanks!
      Sheree
    • Ann Garner
      I have not made a duct tape dress form, but I m planning to. All the ones I ve seen have had the expanding insulation or similar stuff poured inside to fill
      Message 2 of 17 , Jun 27, 2006
        I have not made a duct tape dress form, but I'm planning to. All the
        ones I've seen have had the expanding insulation or similar stuff
        poured inside to fill the duct tape dress form.

        Ann in Arkansas

        At 11:57 AM 6/27/2006, you wrote:
        >I've made duct tape dummies in the past and they have always collapsed
        >on me. I was wondering if anyone had ever used surgical plaster
        >and "Great Stuff" expandable insulation to make a form. Any tips?
        >Any drawbacks? Any success?
        >
        >I may be adventurous and try this method this weekend. I don't have a
        >few hundred dollars laying around for a good manufactured form so I
        >need to make one.
        >
        >Thanks!
        >Sheree
      • Kimberly
        There are lots of kinds of poly foam you can use to fill a form with, but there are a few I tried I would DEFINATELY NOT reccomend. (They were really really
        Message 3 of 17 , Jun 27, 2006
          There are lots of kinds of poly foam you can use to fill a form with,
          but there are a few I tried I would DEFINATELY NOT reccomend. (They
          were really really bad, and a major headache!)

          The spray-paint sized canisters sold in the hardware store that are
          used to seal plumbing and such worked horribly -- they left big gaping
          holes where the foam refused to expand into, and the "filled" areas
          took on water when I soaked the remaining plaster off the form, and
          therefore couldn't be filled or painted for over 2 weeks. I would
          have needed about 25 cans of the stuff just to fill the form too! Bad
          stuff.

          I tried the 2-part poly foam mixes sold in hobby stores (each part is
          8-10oz), and it worked well, but you have to work *extremely* fast
          once you mix the 2 parts, and even 2 batches of the "large" kit didn't
          fill a size 6 form more than a few inches deep. This product also
          gets VERY hot, so don't slop any around. Your plaster shell has to be
          quite firm because of the power of expansion, so re-plaster any thin
          spots to make sure it's rigid enough before you fill it with anything.

          After I had tried the 2 kind of foam, I went ahead and bought from a
          company that sells large quanties of poly foam mix kits -- even with
          the highest expansion ratio foam liquids, you need a lot. I used
          almost 2 full 1/2 gallon kits to fill the form the rest of the way.

          http://www.jgreer.com/Foam%20Page.htm

          ... was about the cheapest I found online -- the hobby store stuff is
          about 6x as expensive. The "john greer" stuff is very strong and
          doesn't take on water at all -- and it expands a lot more
          consistently, instead of leaving open pockets that have to be filled
          in later.

          They sell the poly-foam mix kits for squashy foam too, but if you
          compare the expansion values of the squashy stuff vs. the rigid
          carvable foam, you'll need tons more for the squashy sort to fill your
          form (and a lot more money!). Plus, the rigid foam can be sanded
          smooth and cut where the foam pokes out or is uneven, and it will
          weigh a lot less when finished.

          Removing the plaster from the foam was no small ordeal, but I had
          thickly slathered the inside of the form with vasoline, so that at
          least helped! You use a lot of muscle to get it all off, since the
          heat of the foam makes the vasoline a little less useful, but it does
          all come off eventually.

          Here's the description from one of the foam sites about this kind of foam:
          * This two-part liquid, expanding rigid urethane foam is a closed
          cell, pourable foam, which will resist the absorption of water.
          * The densities shown refer to the weight per cubic foot of
          expanded foam (12 in. x 12 in. x 12 in.).
          * Once fully cured this foam can be laminated over with any type
          of polyester, epoxy or vinyl ester resin without melting.
          * This product can be poured in multiple layers with excellent
          bonding between layers.
          * All expansion rates and times given are temperature critical.
          Temperatures below 75 degrees F will lower the expansion rate
          therefore requiring more foam. Ideal working temperature is 75 to 80
          degrees F or above.
          * Accurate measuring of these products is extremely critical.
          * Working time before foaming: approx. 45 seconds
          * Time before full expansion: approx. 5 minutes
          * The lightweight foam is commonly used for filling voids, filling
          under decks and practically any other flotation or insulation
          application.
        • Cat Devereaux
          ... on me. I haven t made the plaster ones... but I often put a center in the duct tapes ones, if I m not making them over a smaller form. The center can be
          Message 4 of 17 , Jun 27, 2006
            >>I've made duct tape dummies in the past and they have always collapsed
            on me.



            I haven't made the plaster ones... but I often put a center in the duct
            tapes ones, if I'm not making them over a smaller form. The center can be
            cardboard or anything light but durable. Then I wrap with the blanket
            quilting... stuffing only goes in around the edges to make the bumps and
            lumps. You still do need to check the measurements every so often.



            -Cat-



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • slc_fire
            WOW that was a FANTASTIC answer!! Very helpful! Now I know what not to do. Thanks!
            Message 5 of 17 , Jun 27, 2006
              WOW that was a FANTASTIC answer!! Very helpful! Now I know what not
              to do.

              Thanks!
            • Ann Garner
              **blink** plaster shell? Plaster is not used when making a duct tape dress form. Ann in Arkansas ...
              Message 6 of 17 , Jun 27, 2006
                **blink** plaster shell? Plaster is not used when making a duct
                tape dress form.

                Ann in Arkansas

                At 01:59 PM 6/27/2006, you wrote:
                ><snip>
                >The spray-paint sized canisters sold in the hardware store that are
                >used to seal plumbing and such worked horribly -- they left big gaping
                >holes where the foam refused to expand into, and the "filled" areas
                >took on water when I soaked the remaining plaster off the form, and
                >therefore couldn't be filled or painted for over 2 weeks. I would
                >have needed about 25 cans of the stuff just to fill the form too! Bad
                >stuff.
                <snip>
              • Kimberly
                Regarding the confusion about mentioning a surgical plaster (I assume she meant surgical plaster bandage) shells: The original question was whether or not
                Message 7 of 17 , Jun 27, 2006
                  Regarding the confusion about mentioning a surgical plaster (I assume
                  she meant surgical plaster bandage) shells:

                  The original question was whether or not anyone had used surgigal
                  plaster filled with foam stuff -- since her duct tape dummy was
                  flopping a bit.

                  Quote from original post:

                  "I've made duct tape dummies in the past and they have always collapsed
                  on me. I was wondering if anyone had ever used surgical plaster
                  and "Great Stuff" expandable insulation to make a form. Any tips?
                  Any drawbacks? Any success?"
                • Judy Mitchell
                  ... no, not for making *DTD*. but you can do it that way. I went to a panel at a CostumeCon where the presenter had used the same method but instead of Duct
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jun 28, 2006
                    Ann Garner wrote:
                    > **blink** plaster shell? Plaster is not used when making a duct
                    > tape dress form.
                    >

                    no, not for making *DTD*. but you can do it that way. I went to a panel
                    at a CostumeCon where the presenter had used the same method but instead
                    of Duct tape or paper tape, she used the quick-dry plaster cast bandages.

                    What she did was get 'taped' with the plaster tapes, let it dry. once
                    dry and off her, she sealed the arms and the neck opening (and the back
                    where she was cut out) with more bandages. Let it dry for a couple of
                    days. Then filled it with insulation foam. Cracked the plaster off the
                    foam (having cut off all the little burgeoning 'mushrooms' that had
                    poked through the plaster) and put a stretch cover on it and put it on a
                    stand (ok, I think she put a center pole in it before she filled it). It
                    also too a little bit of filing and smoothing to even out some ofthe
                    little 'blooms' that were still there.

                    It was very interesting! I tried it, but it was a disaster: didn't have
                    enough plaster bandages, and I had to get cut out before I passed out
                    when I only had 1/2 of me wrapped - hadn't even got below the waist! so
                    it was in two parts that I planned to join together. just didn't work
                    for me. But it was interesting to see her final one.

                    I wouldn't use the plaster tapes alone, though. this was just to make a
                    mold to pour the foam into.

                    -Judy
                  • Judy Mitchell
                    ... you may be thinking about the My Twin dressform kit $170 for kit, stand & video. does NOT include the foam alhtough
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jun 28, 2006
                      Ann Garner wrote:
                      > I have not made a duct tape dress form, but I'm planning to. All the
                      > ones I've seen have had the expanding insulation or similar stuff
                      > poured inside to fill the duct tape dress form.


                      you may be thinking about the My Twin dressform kit
                      <http://www.mytwindressforms.com/> $170 for kit, stand & video. does NOT
                      include the foam alhtough suggestions on how to get it, or the bandage
                      scissors you need to get cut out (though you can buy them there).


                      -judy
                    • Aurora Celeste
                      My experience with the expanding foam and a duct tape mold was a really bad experience. I don t know if it was because I had my little brother do the taping
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jun 28, 2006
                        My experience with the expanding foam and a duct tape mold was a really bad
                        experience. I don't know if it was because I had my little brother do the
                        taping or because the triple-expansion foam expanded too much on one side
                        and not on the other, but my dummy had a constantly bent look, as if she was
                        standing with all her weight on one hip and compressing one side of her
                        torso. It's okay for displaying costumes, but not for making them.

                        I may have to try this plaster method, it seems like it would give a great
                        shape to do wonderflex armor over or to make detail work on. Where can you
                        get plaster bandages?

                        Aurora


                        On 6/28/06, Judy Mitchell <judymitch@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Ann Garner wrote:
                        > > **blink** plaster shell? Plaster is not used when making a duct
                        > > tape dress form.
                        > >
                        >
                        > no, not for making *DTD*. but you can do it that way. I went to a
                        > panel
                        > at a CostumeCon where the presenter had used the same method but instead
                        > of Duct tape or paper tape, she used the quick-dry plaster cast bandages.
                        >
                        > What she did was get 'taped' with the plaster tapes, let it dry.
                        > once
                        > dry and off her, she sealed the arms and the neck opening (and the back
                        > where she was cut out) with more bandages. Let it dry for a couple of
                        > days. Then filled it with insulation foam. Cracked the plaster off the
                        > foam (having cut off all the little burgeoning 'mushrooms' that had
                        > poked through the plaster) and put a stretch cover on it and put it on a
                        > stand (ok, I think she put a center pole in it before she filled it). It
                        > also too a little bit of filing and smoothing to even out some ofthe
                        > little 'blooms' that were still there.
                        >
                        > It was very interesting! I tried it, but it was a disaster: didn't
                        > have
                        > enough plaster bandages, and I had to get cut out before I passed out
                        > when I only had 1/2 of me wrapped - hadn't even got below the waist! so
                        > it was in two parts that I planned to join together. just didn't work
                        > for me. But it was interesting to see her final one.
                        >
                        > I wouldn't use the plaster tapes alone, though. this was just to
                        > make a
                        > mold to pour the foam into.
                        >
                        > -Judy
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Ann Garner
                        ... It s not called plaster bandages, but it s the same thing. I bought some at Hobby Lobby, but have not yet used the package. This was in the plaster
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jun 28, 2006
                          >
                          >
                          >I may have to try this plaster method, it seems like it would give a great
                          >shape to do wonderflex armor over or to make detail work on. Where can you
                          >get plaster bandages?
                          >
                          >Aurora

                          It's not called plaster bandages, but it's the same thing. I bought
                          some at Hobby Lobby, but have not yet used the package. This was in
                          the plaster casting supplies, IIRC.

                          Ann in Arkansas
                        • Ann Garner
                          ... Let me rephrase that.....Hobby Lobby carries a very similar item but it s not medical grade. I found a package in the plaster crafting isle of the store.
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jun 28, 2006
                            At 08:39 AM 6/28/2006, you wrote:

                            > >
                            > >
                            > >I may have to try this plaster method, it seems like it would give a great
                            > >shape to do wonderflex armor over or to make detail work on. Where can you
                            > >get plaster bandages?
                            > >
                            > >Aurora
                            Let me rephrase that.....Hobby Lobby carries a very similar item but
                            it's not medical grade. I found a package in the plaster crafting
                            isle of the store.

                            <Note to self: never reply to emails after a 12 hour night shift>

                            Ann in Arkansas
                          • Ann Garner
                            No, I was not even looking at a kit. I have a friend that has helped do a duct tape dress form before, and another friend that wants to learn how to do them.
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jun 28, 2006
                              No, I was not even looking at a kit. I have a friend that has helped
                              do a duct tape dress form before, and another friend that wants to
                              learn how to do them. I have read the article in Threads magazine
                              and the process is not complicated at all, just time
                              consuming. <G> I'm a crafter, I already have the bandage scissors
                              and some suture removal scissors in my craft supplies.

                              Ann in Arkansas

                              At 08:25 AM 6/28/2006, you wrote:
                              >Ann Garner wrote:
                              > > I have not made a duct tape dress form, but I'm planning to. All the
                              > > ones I've seen have had the expanding insulation or similar stuff
                              > > poured inside to fill the duct tape dress form.
                              >
                              >
                              > you may be thinking about the My Twin dressform kit
                              ><http://www.mytwindressforms.com/> $170 for kit, stand & video. does NOT
                              >include the foam alhtough suggestions on how to get it, or the bandage
                              >scissors you need to get cut out (though you can buy them there).
                              >
                              >
                              > -judy
                            • Judy Mitchell
                              ... the DTD is very simple to do. make sure you have the room fairly cold - maybe a fan blowing on whoever is getting taped, and have them sip ice water. it s
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jun 28, 2006
                                Ann Garner wrote:
                                > No, I was not even looking at a kit. I have a friend that has helped
                                > do a duct tape dress form before, and another friend that wants to
                                > learn how to do them. I have read the article in Threads magazine
                                > and the process is not complicated at all, just time
                                > consuming. <G> I'm a crafter, I already have the bandage scissors
                                > and some suture removal scissors in my craft supplies.


                                the DTD is very simple to do. make sure you have the room fairly cold -
                                maybe a fan blowing on whoever is getting taped, and have them sip ice
                                water. it's easy to overheat - but you don't want to drink a lot and
                                need a bathroom!

                                Most people have not had good luck filling a DTD with expanding foam -
                                it's not strong enough to hold the foam in. remember: duct does actually
                                stretch, and it's very difficult to seal the cut (where you got cut out)
                                strong enough that the foam won't blow it out. I'm not saying NO ONE
                                has, but most I've heard of had foam everywhere.

                                -Judy
                              • Bran Marah
                                I made the plaster version - twice. The first time we didn t make the layers of bandages nearly thick enough, so it wasn t sturdy enough when it was cut off
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jun 29, 2006
                                  I made the plaster version - twice. The first time we didn't make the layers of bandages nearly thick enough, so it wasn't sturdy enough when it was cut off me. I also had better luck wrapping down from the shoulders instead of up. I got the bandages from a surgical supply store - they also sell walkers/wheelchairs, and even scapels and stuff. It took way more expanding foam than I'd expected, but I just kept going back to the hardware store for that. I eventually decided to leave the plaster on, it didn't change the size that much (I'm making costumes, not nuclear warheads), and was just too much work to get off the foam. Before I filled the shell with the expanding foam, I inserted a structure of a sturdy wooden hanger and PVC pipe (down to the legs) - now I can theoretically hang the form from the hanger hook at the neck (never actually done that), or sit it on the PVC stand that goes up into the 'legs' of the form (and is exactly my height). The biggest challenge
                                  was joining the two halves of the plaster form - duct tape won't stick to plaster bandages, at least not enough to hold it together. I actually stitched it with leather twine, a very heavy needle, and an awl.


                                  slc_fire <slc_fire@...> wrote:
                                  I've made duct tape dummies in the past and they have always collapsed
                                  on me. I was wondering if anyone had ever used surgical plaster
                                  and "Great Stuff" expandable insulation to make a form. Any tips?
                                  Any drawbacks? Any success?

                                  I may be adventurous and try this method this weekend. I don't have a
                                  few hundred dollars laying around for a good manufactured form so I
                                  need to make one.

                                  Thanks!
                                  Sheree







                                  Bran

                                  http://www.raven-wing.com/home/


                                  Raïa qu'écorce turban béret crosse
                                  Toussez afin laide y appeau nez ouate torse.
                                  Rhinanthes heure fin guerre, sans bel sonneur tôt.
                                  Chiches. Lave moujik où est révère chicot.








                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Kimberly
                                  ... the layers of bandages nearly thick enough, so it wasn t sturdy enough when it was cut off me. ... Yeah, I made sure my hubby did at least 2 layers, and we
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Jun 30, 2006
                                    >>I made the plaster version - twice. The first time we didn't make
                                    the layers of bandages nearly thick enough, so it wasn't sturdy enough
                                    when it was cut off me.
                                    >>

                                    Yeah, I made sure my hubby did at least 2 layers, and we started from
                                    the shoulder and wrapped down as well -- we did the tight stuff around
                                    the arms last though, since I kept wiggling! We used a hair dryer to
                                    stiffen all the bits before cutting out of it too, which seemed to help.

                                    ___________________________________________
                                    >>I eventually decided to leave the plaster on, it didn't change the
                                    size that much (I'm making costumes, not nuclear warheads), and was
                                    just too much work to get off the foam. >>

                                    I slathered the entire inner shell of plaster with a thick layer of
                                    vasoline, and it was only hard to remove the shell from the
                                    insulation-foam where the vasoline was too thin. If I did it again,
                                    I'd go totally crazy with the vasoline just to make sure it was
                                    very-very-well coated. ;) My plaster shell was too well fortified on
                                    the outside with extra plaster and twine to look like me anymore, so I
                                    had to pry it off.

                                    ________________________________________
                                    >> The biggest challenge
                                    was joining the two halves of the plaster form - duct tape won't stick
                                    to plaster bandages, at least not enough to hold it together. I
                                    actually stitched it with leather twine, a very heavy needle, and an
                                    awl.>>

                                    Oh, that would have worked for me too, I'm feeling silly for not
                                    thinking of that myself! I had issues trying to match up the halves,
                                    since they dry a little out-of-shape but we ended up stuffing the
                                    shell full of newspaper to make sure there was less "flopping" inward
                                    at the seams while I sealed them shut with strips of muslin heavily
                                    dipped in plaster of paris (a lot stronger and stickier than the
                                    surgical bandages, and I had both plaster and muslin already). Since
                                    it's not on skin any more, the plaster getting hot wasn't an issue. :)
                                    I also tied twine around the form in 5-6 places (several in the hip
                                    area since it seemed to be the most prone to flopping open. I used
                                    the extra plaster of paris to solidify some of the more saggy areas,
                                    especially under the arms and around the belly where the plaster kept
                                    moving as I breathed. (The surgical bandages didn't set up as hard in
                                    those spots for that reason).

                                    The seams don't naturally match up well, but you can fill in areas of
                                    the seams that "sunk" inward with spackle, or plaster once the halves
                                    are solidly bound together. If you're keeping the whole plaster form,
                                    you want the outside to be as realistic as possible, and not blugy or
                                    sunken in in weird spots! :) This poor matching of the outer shell
                                    will affect the shape of your foam, but you can easily cut and fill
                                    afterwards to make it perfect again. :)

                                    I was able to get the plaster off the form with some effort (my arms
                                    were tired at the end though!), and as Judy mentioned, you do have to
                                    cut a few "mushrooms" off the form, and the more rigid your foam is,
                                    the easier this will be. I had a few big voids in the foam, which I
                                    stuffed with newsprint and spackled over to fill.
                                  • Drake
                                    Hello everyone, I ve been lurking on here for a few months now and thought it was time to introduce myself. I m Drake, I m 27 and a student at Kent State
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Aug 3, 2006
                                      Hello everyone, I've been lurking on here for a few
                                      months now and thought it was time to introduce
                                      myself.

                                      I'm Drake, I'm 27 and a student at Kent State
                                      University. I'm a big fan of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and
                                      Rennaisance faires. I'm also an amateur Fire artist
                                      (eating, spinning, breathing, etc) looking toward
                                      going professional. So obviously I'll need
                                      performance costumes.

                                      So far, I've really only done one costume from
                                      scratch, which was a Peacekeeper Jacket from the
                                      Farscape Series. It didn't fit quite right, but it was
                                      pretty good for a first attempt.

                                      I do have some other experience in fiber arts, with
                                      dyeing and things like that, thatnks to a class I took
                                      as part of my crafts minor at kent.

                                      I have a crafts section on my website so that you can
                                      see some of the things that I'm currently working on ,
                                      at http://www.personal.kent.edu/~mbcollin

                                      At the moment I'm making my Duct-tape-dummy for
                                      costuming purposes. After that I'll be working on my
                                      fire-eating doublet first. I've got some reference
                                      photos on the doublet page, but that's about all so
                                      far...





                                      test'; ">

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