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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, with 2 projects complete it's time to move on. Next on my list is making monster busts out of styofoam wig forms. The first one I want to do is Frankenstein.



Obviously I have a lot to do to form my big hunk of man. My wig form is the female with the head tilted slightly. Ew.

Anyway, I'm wondering what would be the best thing (and cheapest) to form my darling Frank's head. Clay? Mache? The all around adored duct tape? What do you think?
 

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Excellent choice. I love the old creatures. I wish I could help you on this, but I don't have a clue. I have been wanting to do something like this for a long time but didn't know where to start. I will be following you in your indevor. Post pics of your progress.
 

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Scared Silly
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I take it you want to do the Glenn Strange version? Cool!

I have sculpted on wigheads before, and I prefer to start with a skull, but it certainly can be done. I cut off the lips, nose, and sides of the wighead to make it easier to reshape. Then I cover it in tinfoil and sculpt in Model Magic. The trick to using MM is to use plenty of water to keep it from cracking and to cover it in a plastic bag when you're taking a break (ie: overnight). Dip your sculpting tools in water, too, to let them glide across the surface when sculpting wrinkles, etc. For larger forms (nose, etc.), use your (wet) fingers.
Before it has dried completely (give it a day in the sun), cut the sculpt off the wighead so you have a front and back. Peel off the tin foil when it's not too sticky. The reason you want to take it off the wighead and remove the foil is to let the clay dry all the way through uniformly, without cracking. To further prevent cracking, and to seal the clay, give the whole head (outside only) a coat of house paint. Once that's dry, you can begin painting.
To mount it, I shoot a little Great Stuff onto the end a a pvc pipe and stick that through the neck hole to bond on the top of the head.

Here are some examples of heads I've done in this fashion:
The witch to the right:

The gravedigger:

This witch was sculpted over a foam skull, but same technique:


One last tip: the eyes on the wigheads are funky. Use your own half spheres (I made a plaster mold of a decent sized ball and fill it with hot glue, but you could just find balls that work and use them directly.

I recently sculpted a Karloff Frankenstein Creature. My progress is here: http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/76862-3-axis-frankenstein.html

EDIT: some of my pics don't seem to be loading consistently, but if you right-click and open in a new window, you can see them.
 

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Hauntless
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I love the idea of using Model Magic! (writes a note).

I just got done doing a head using LaurieBeasts tutorial for her Vampiress Morbida and The Bride. She does the foam head, then Celluclay (pre-mixed paper mache). Seal with a sealer (I used Sculpt or Coat) and then a layer of Paperclay (art quality Model Magic - air-dry clay). You then do a couple coats of thinned down sealer, primer, then paint. This technique will give you a very fine, detailed head if that's what you desire. This is a big endeavor which is why I like Mr. Chicken's idea of using Model Magic. Quick and easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow Chicken! Your Frank is incredible! There's no way mine will come anywhere near looking that good! Hell, I'll just be happy if I get his eyes and brows even!
 

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Scared Silly
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Thanks!
But if you think mine is good, you should see this one: TheEffectsLab.com :: Log in

I should add that the Model Magic works very well for a quick and dirty sculpt like mine, but you could never get the level of detail or precision of that one or Lauriebeast's sculpts.

If you go the molding and casting route (which you shouldn't unless you want it to be made of something else (latex, silicone, etc.) or you want to make copies), I suggest using a harder clay than the VanAken that I used. It's a little too soft and squishy.
 

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Reaper
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Sounds like an excellent project to work on! I've been wanting to make something similar but haven't gotten around to starting
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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It's going to take a lot of sculpting to turn a female wig form into Jack Pierce's iconic "Frankenstein Monster"...the basic shape isn't even close.

However, nothing in prop making is impossible..Not on Halloween forum anyway!!

What I would suggest is to use card and tape to build up the forehead and lower jaw. (check out Stolloweens site, and see how he uses this technique on his "Demon reapers")
Cover the whole thing with a few layers of paper mache to get the basic shape and cover the area around the joins, then build up the other areas (brow ridge, cheek bones etc) with paper clay and paper mache. The facial features can be constructed using Das clay.

Finish off with celluclay and Das clay. (I prefer to use Das clay as it is easy to work and sculpt and is resistant to cracking, unlike some other air drying clays).

Best of luck...keep us updated with your progress.
 

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My apologies if someone gets upset .. not trying to get anyone riled here , but MR CHICKEN , would you mind telling us what you used and how you did the mouth/teeth/gums for that witch ? That is GOOD !
 

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Scared Silly
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The teeth are translucent sculpey clay. I shaped 'em and baked 'em, then embedded them in model magic gums, and let those dry. You could also use sculpey for the gums. Once the MM is dry, you can remove the teeth (they won't stay there on their own) and paint the gums. Then hot glue the teeth back in place (remember their positions). Lastly, hot glue the whole thing in place. Easy stuff.
 

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Scared Silly
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It's going to take a lot of sculpting to turn a female wig form into Jack Pierce's iconic "Frankenstein Monster"...the basic shape isn't even close.
This brings up a good point. Remember that the wighead can only really be used as a basic armature so that you don't have to use clay (or paper mache or whatever) for the whole head. Try to forget that the wighead is in a head shape, because it's not the head shape you want. Treat it as a blank canvas.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This brings up a good point. Remember that the wighead can only really be used as a basic armature so that you don't have to use clay (or paper mache or whatever) for the whole head. Try to forget that the wighead is in a head shape, because it's not the head shape you want. Treat it as a blank canvas.

Right. It'll help greatly with proportion and ear placement! HAAHAA
 

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Reaper Queen
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when I use a wig head, I cut out eye sockets, and also cut off the chin and mouth, attach it back on with wire, , like a open jaw would be, , use celleuclay to hold it in position, and go form there when dry, I have also used scrap peices of foam to change face, head shapes,again using wire to attach, then the celluclay, i basically use Laurie Beasts method of the celluclay/paperclay to make my prop heads. I have used the model magic before, for other things, and had the cracking problem, will have to try again, using more water, like Mr.Chicken said! Have a bag of it in the house already!
 

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Scared Silly
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I have used the model magic before, for other things, and had the cracking problem, will have to try again, using more water, like Mr.Chicken said! Have a bag of it in the house already!
I may have worded that misleadingly. I use lots of water to keep it moist while sculpting, but the trick to avoiding cracks is to let the piece dry uniformly, otherwise the outside dries before the inside, causing it to shrink and, thus, crack. This is why I sculpt hollow heads and let them dry on the inside while the outside is drying. The latex-based paint sealer also helps.
 

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Actually I would advise you to try to find a local beauty college if you have one and see if you can get a hairdresser practice head. Most colleges have them . The heads are better than styrofoam and you can sometimes find decent male heads for basic forms.

Good luck.
 
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