A Client Guide to Figures – Life Casting

Part 3 of 6: Life Casting

This the 3rd post of a 6 part series discussing the management and fabrication of human figures.  This month we’ll be discussing the process of life casting and its place in creating a figure.  We tend to be a little sloppy when we use the term life cast, often using it as a substitute for “figure.”  Some figures are completely assembled from life casts but most are a combination of sculpted and life cast pieces and some are totally sculpted with no life cast components at all.

Life Cast Figure - National Museum of the Marine CorpsThe term “life cast” refers to the process of making a mold of a body part from a live model.  Life casting is preferable to sculpting whenever a suitable model is available.  Life casting is an exact reproduction.  The level of detail and scientific accuracy life casting produces is impossible to completely achieve by sculpting.  The most common use of life casting is for hands and heads. If the figure being produced is of a young child, member of a historical ethnic group, or a historical person the head will most likely need to be sculpted instead of life cast. Continue Reading