How would you create a skinless arm on a microbudget? Jen Cardno, Hermes Pittakos and Tom Smith put together an experimental test in preparation for the Ben Aston‘s film “He Took His Skin Off For Me” and achieved some pretty amazing results. Here’s a step by step guide to how they did it.

He Took His Skin Off


The first step was to sculpt each individual muscle group in chavant, an oil based clay that can be left out without drying out and distorting unlike water based clays. Using fine sculpting tools and lighter fluid the chavant was worked until enough detail was built up to give the effect of raw exposed muscle. The lighter fluid acts as a solvent to break down small clumps of chavant leaving a smooth fine appearance rather than the rough edges that tools used on their own can give.


After sculpting each piece they were layed onto boards to prepare for the moulding proccess. A wall was built around each part to provide a well for the silicone to sit in while it cures and makes a flexible negative of the sculpt. The silicone we chose for this project was Platsil Gel 10, this was mainly due to its low viscosity and quick cure time. With the silicone being so fluid it meant that all the work put into sculpting wouldn’t be lost to air bubbles of pockets appearing in the mould. Also with it having a cure time of around 30 minutes meant we didn’t have to wait the usual 24 hours for standard rtv silicones.

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