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Plays and films often feature a character who breaks his leg. It would be inconvenient to encase the actor's leg in a real cast, so a fake one is made instead. You can make a fake cast out of plaster bandages, available in most hobby shops. This cast will look real, but can be removed at any time and put back on just as easily. While most modern casts are made of fibreglass, plaster is still accepted by most audiences.
Wrap your model's foot, ankle and leg in three loose layers of gauze. Extend the gauze past the tips of the toes, and two inches higher than the desired top of the cast.
Unwrap a roll of plaster bandages and dip them in cold water. Squeeze them while underwater to saturate the entire roll, then squeeze them again over the bowl to remove the excess water.
Beginning above the toes, wrap the entire foot, ankle and leg in a single roll of bandages. If one roll is not enough, activate a second roll and continue where the first ends.
Allow the plaster to dry. This will take eight to 12 minutes, depending on the type of bandages you are using.
Fold the gauze extending over the toes up over the plaster, and fold down the gauze extending above the top of the cast.
Activate another roll of bandages and cover the entire leg, leaving a band of exposed gauze at the top and bottom ends of the cast.
Cut more plaster bandages into strips. These strips will vary in length depending on their placement on the leg: the thigh will be longest, the ankle will be shortest.
Dip the bandages in water one by one and apply them to the cast. You want to leave a thin, open seam running down the back of the leg and bottom of the foot.
Apply two layers of bandage strips, leaving the thin seam down the back uncovered.
Allow the bandages to completely harden.
Carefully cut open the first two layers of bandages along the seam.
Flex the cast open and remove the model's leg. The leg can be reinserted at any time.
- University of Ottowa: Long Leg Cast
- "Stage Makeup-Sixth Edition"; Richard Corson; 1981
- If the fake cast must look real from the back, have the model put it on and apply a single layer of plaster bandage along the seam.
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