Recently Mr. Lawrence McGowan asked about reproducing figures for
his project. I would suggest looking to the doll hobby world for
assistance. There are lots of molds out there to reproduce antique
figures. They can be poured in porcelain, wax, plaster, air-drying
paper clays, or even used for fiberglass.
Reproduction wooden Santos figures come in all sizes and often have
beautiful antique-look faces and hands.
Yours sounds like a great project and not at all crazy. (Well,
maybe a little!)