Back to Process Basics

Base options

Duct Tape or Paper Tape Dummy - This option is very inexpensive and gives a good likeness to the model used to make it. Anyone can make one, so long as they have someone who wants to wrap them up! These dummies are soft and light and take pins well. They can be covered with material for a better look and with a good stand are very sturdy, though the heavy Haldir armor does tend to make my dummies droop. The great thing about these dummies being so cheap, is that not only can you feel free to papermache on them without fear of ruining them, you can make as many as you want to display all your costumes!

Paper Mache Dummy - This option is a bit more involved, but it gives you a much more accurate and sturdy form.

http://www.taunton.com/threads/pages/t00002.asp -This page has four excellent suggestions and tutorials for making your very own Duct Tape, Paper Tape or Paper Mache dummies. There are pictures and very clear explanations.

http://www.dressformdesigning.com/dressformvideo.html - If you think you need better instructions, this site actually sells videos and gives on line classes that will teach you how to make a Dress Form.

Plastic Form/Mannequins - This option has the potential to be expensive if you buy brand new. But sometimes you can find something being thrown away at a store, or sold on ebay that is quite cheap. Unless you are built very thin and boney, chances are it will require a bit of modification to fit you. Taking your own measurements and adding some padding, or simply using it to get a basic shape and then trying it on a model for the specifics. This option is also good for sculpting clay on, as Got Maul's sculpt pictured above.

Dress Form - The price can be nearly $200 if you buy an adjustable dress form, and if you only plan to make clothes/armor for yourself, you may want to buy a cheaper one with your measurements. However, if you plan to use it for anything messy, like papermache or fiberglass, you will want to cover it VERY WELL with something such as seran wrap to protect it.

http://www.fabulousfit.com/ - You can buy a dress form or accessories to help make your mannequins fit your size better.

http://www.manne-king.com/dressforms.cfm - This site has a very wide selection of mannequins and dress froms you may purchase.

Model - From personal experience I can say this seems like a good idea, but unless you have another costumer who is invested in the project, it's more trouble than it's worth to ONLY use a model for creating your template/patterns. And using yourself as a model for your own costumes/clothes is also very difficult, especailly when first designing your patterns/templates. The time when a live model is best is when you are taking a photo comparison picture with your template. It helps visualize for sizing and shape accuracy. It is also good to try your final product on your model before you do the finishing touches.

Live Model Armor Tutorial Workshop - This is a workshop presented at The Gathering 2003 in Toronto Canada where participants (pictured above) learned hands on how to create armor templates.