The Importance of the Life Casting Modeling Stand

The Importance of the Life Casting Modeling Stand


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In life casting, a model stand serves as an essential tool for creating larger body casts with precision and efficiency. Here's why it's needed:

The Model’s Comfort Always Comes First: Ensuring the model's comfort and relaxation is paramount in life casting, not only for ethical considerations but also for practical reasons. Casting sessions can be lengthy, and maintaining a natural pose for an extended period can be challenging. A model stand plays a crucial role in alleviating this strain by taking the weight off the model's body, allowing them to relax in a more natural position. This not only enhances the overall experience for the model but also contributes to the accuracy of the cast.

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Relaxed muscles result in a more authentic representation of the body's contours and proportions, which is essential for achieving a lifelike final product. Additionally, a comfortable model is more likely to remain still during the casting process, minimizing the risk of movement that could compromise the quality of the cast. Thus, the use of a model stand not only facilitates the technical aspects of life casting but also prioritizes the well-being and comfort of the model.

Stability and Support: Life casting involves applying materials like alginate, plaster bandages or silicone directly onto the model's body. A model stand provides a stable and supportive platform for the model to lean against or rest upon during the casting process. This ensures that the model remains comfortable and stationary, reducing the risk of movement that could distort the cast.

Model on model stand

Model on model stand can lean back against the stand to take weight off her feet.

Consistent Positioning: To achieve an accurate front torso cast, it's crucial to maintain consistent positioning throughout the casting process. A model stand helps the model maintain the desired posture, whether it's standing upright or slightly leaning backwards, allowing the artist to capture the anatomy precisely.

Accessibility: Working on a model stand allows the artist to access all areas of the front torso easily. This accessibility is essential for applying mold making materials evenly and smoothly, ensuring that every detail of the model's body is captured with fidelity.

Safety: Casting materials can be heavy and may pose a risk if applied incorrectly or if the model loses balance. A model stand provides a secure platform for the model, reducing the risk of accidents or injuries during the casting process.

Professionalism and Efficiency: Using a model stand demonstrates professionalism and expertise in life casting techniques. It streamlines the casting process, allowing the artist to work efficiently and achieve high-quality results in a controlled environment.

    Overall, a model stand is an indispensable tool in life casting for creating front torso casts with accuracy, comfort, and safety for both the model and the artist.

    Building a Life Casting Modeling Stand

    If you are creating just one or two torso casts you can make a model stand from a discarded door (flush-style—not raised panel). You want to attach lengths of rope or belting (how about old dog leases?) about three feet long, one at each of the top corners of the door. This will create handholds to keep model's arms out of the way of the torso. For your first mold we recommend this. You can get fancier in later casts and include the arms or hands.

    Lean the door against a wall and have the bottom about 2 - 2.5 feet away from the wall. You will need to put something between the door and the wall to prevent the model, which is leaning back on the door, from pushing the door back into the wall. Two 2 x 4s cut to 2 - 2.5 feet in length will work nicely.

    Model stand diagram

    If you plan to make a number of torso casts, then you can construct a more permanent model stand. We bought one 36-inch wide hollow-core bi-fold door and 2-inches thick piece of foam rubber about the size of the door at Home Depot.

    We then cut the foam into two pieces to match the size of each side of the bi-fold door and hot glued the foam to each panel. We purchased 9 yards of heavy-duty vinyl fabric which we applied over the foam rubber. That was purchased at a local fabric store. We then secured it to the door using a staple gun.

    The result was a two-panel bi-fold door, that when not in use, folded in half for storage and because it was hollow, it was light enough for easy transport. 

    For the added comfort of the model, we made a foot stand from a 36-inch-long piece of mica-covered shelving. We attached three screw-on, 4-inch-tall legs (the kind you put on the bottom of a box spring mattress) to the front edge of the shelving to angle it backwards. We picked these up in Home Depot as well.

    On the rear edge of the shelving, we installed three 1/4-inch diameter, 4-inch-long bolts sticking them in from the bottom, so they protruded about 3-1/2 Inches up Into the air. In the bottom of the bi-fold door we drilled three holes that the bolts could fit into so that the door shelf up into the door to itself could be held firmly to the bottom stand. See the diagrams.

    No Building Needed - Finished High-Tech Model Stand Is Available

     Life Casting artist, Peter Nagel
    Buffalo, NY and Greenville SC


    Peter Nagel Model Stand-1

    For Sale: Hi Tech Life Casting Model Stands Available

    This bespoke life casting model stand was carefully built by life casting artist and ALI member, Peter Nagle and is available for purchase. It features a rack and pinion mechanism, allowing it to adjust from a horizontal position to approximately 60 degrees vertical, even with the model's full weight. Hand crafted entirely in aluminum, it offers complete adjustability, providing a stable surface for the model to lean against assure relaxed poses every time. Additionally, it includes adjustable arm locations to accommodate van infinite number of arm poses. The stand weighs about 50 pounds.

    Peter Nagel Model Stand-2

    Pictured above, the model stand is shown adjusted to the vertical. It is strong enough to support any model in this position. The substantial rack and pinion gearing is leveraged to allow even a child to effortlessly adjust the table with the full weight of the model on it.

    The image below is a picture of a different kind of full body lifecasting model stand.

    In addition to the life casting table in the two images shown above, Peter has carefully constructed another type of life casting model stand. It is well suited for a standing pose position allowing plenty of support for the model during the mold making proccess. It is build out of aluminum tubing and bolted together in such a manner as to allow quick pose adjustment using just an allen wrench Then is can just as easily be locked in place.

    If you are interested in or have questions about any of these items, please leave your email in the comment section below. Peter has promised to get right back to you. Remember it is first come, first served for these unique artist's tools.

    Ed McCormick

    Ed McCormick

    Edmund McCormick is the founder of Cape Crystal Brands and EnvironMolds LLC. He is the author of several non-fiction “How-to” books, past publisher of the ArtMolds Journal Magazine, editor of Beginner's Guide to Hydrocolloids, and author of six eBook recipe books available for download on this site. He resides in Far Hill, NJ and lives and breathes his art and food blogs as both writer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.


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