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Surface backscattering profiles from a human forearm and transmission profiles through a human thumb, of red and near-infrared lasers, were determined. For the preparation of tissue-equivalent phantoms, white paraffin wax mixed with various wax color pigments were used. The surface reflectance profiles of a human forearm were matched with that of the phantom by mixing color pigments in various proportions. The reconstructed surface reflectance image of the phantom prepared by this procedure was similar to that of the human forearm. The transmission tomogram of the human thumb was obtained in fan-beam configuration by a near-infrared laser tomography system. Based on the horizontal scan of this tomogram, a two-layered phantom was made. The color composition of the phantom was so adjusted that its horizontal scan was matched with that of the thumb tomogram. The phantoms of complex tissues, prepared by this procedure, could be used for evaluation and calibration of new optical diagnostic imaging techniques.