Winter Soldier Arm, Marvel Studios
The Winter Soldier Arm takes the cake for most time-intensive project I’ve ever tackled, roughly doubling the hours of the previous record holder, Star-Lord. A lot of thought went into how to make a piece that effectively portrayed what you saw on-screen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was predominantly CGI. I knew I wanted the final piece to be chrome-plated, which dictated a hard-cast piece, not a flexible one (there were a number of other reasons for this decision, but my choice of finish was the predominant one).
I started with a life-cast of the client’s arm, and sculpted the musculature over that. This new arm was molded, cast, and details were added. This version was re-molded, cast, cleaned up, and cast in urethane resin. The entire process is detailed on my blog here, and here.
The final piece is cast in Smooth-On ONYX urethane resin and metal plated with a bright-satin, nickel finish. It is 3 pieces: a bicep and shoulder piece, and a 2-part forearm piece with removable insert to allow the wearer’s hand to pass through. All 3 pieces are held together with rare-earth magnets and fiberglass flanges, allowing the wearer to “unlock” the Arm at the elbow to move, and “lock” it into a single, seamless piece for photos.