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Discussion Starter #1
I need a caretaker for my graveyard. I don't want to buy one but I need some help with my first life sized build. I'm thinking PVC for the armature. My dad and I built one about 15 years ago out of 2x2 lumber. He was really heavy and needed repairs every year as he tended to break at the "joints". PVC seems lighter and easier to work with. Also if I could dismantle him to some degree for easier storage that would be a plus.

I've looked for threads on life size prop builds but apparently I'm not looking in the right places. I know that there have got to be some on the forum so if anyone could help me out with some links that would be great. I really want this guy to be a focal point. A stoic old soul unbothered by the strange goings on happening in his cemetery.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That is a genius idea! Those joints are fantastic. Increases the price a little bit but makes the armature so versatile.
 

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I've built several over the years with abs and pvc pipe. I utilized pipe elbows etc for shoulders and bends and sometimes glued them together or screwed them together so they could be taken apart for storage. Chain link joiners look like they'd work as noted above or if you want to spend a little, you can use plastic spider joints - see the adjustable body kit at www.halloweenasylum.com/full-spider-joint-kit.html

I guess it will depend on how you want your caretaker to stand - on his own or propped over a gravestone or a sign.
You could also drive a shovel into the ground and attach him for support - as well as make him look like he's digging.

grave diggers wanted.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Those kits look handy. The spider joints are fantastic. Thanks PoCoHG and Weeping Angel for those links.

I think I want my Caretaker standing one foot in front of the other, body leaning slightly forward, one arm raised holding a lantern (how will I support this arm with the weight of the lantern?), the other hand holding onto a shovel. I figure I can use the shovel for support as PoCoHG stated. I was also thinking of drilling a hole in the boot of his back foot so I can sink a rebar post in the ground then set him on it (having the rebar go up inside the PVC leg). I may do the same with the front foot.

I'm planning on gloved hands so I can just make a wire hand, put the glove on, and bend the hand to suit my needs. As for his face.... I've done some sculpting (doll faces only) so I think I'm going to try my hand at the DAS clay. Any other suggestions with the face? I'd rather not use a mask. I did check out the "bride" tutorials on here and that looks amazing as well.
 

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Keeper of Spider Hill
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Those kits look handy. The only down side to them is the legs can't move one in front of the other... But the spider joints are fantastic. Thanks PoCoHG and Weeping Angel for those links.

I think I want my Caretaker standing one foot in front of the other, body leaning slightly forward, one arm raised holding a lantern, the other hand holding onto a shovel. I figure I can use the shovel for support as PoCoHG stated. I was also thinking of drilling a hole in the boot of his back foot so I can sink a rebar post in the ground then set him on it (having the rebar go up inside the PVC leg). I may do the same with the front foot.

I'm planning on gloved hands so I can just make a wire hand, put the glove on, and bend the hand to suit my needs. As for his face.... I've done some sculpting (doll faces only) so I think I'm going to try my hand at the DAS clay. Any other suggestions with the face? I'd rather not use a mask. I did check out the "bride" tutorials on here and that looks amazing as well.

If you are looking to add a little more flexibility to our body frames, you can add 2 additional Spider Joints at the ankles. We sold a lot of kits that way at the MHC show. The ankles were very popular. We will likely have it offered as a kit at some point. :) If you need any help with dimensions, there are basic plans on our site as well. Will at least help give you a jump start regardless of how you build your body.

http://www.spiderhillpropworks.com/Halloween-Prop-Plans_ep_41-1.html

D.
 

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S_Toast, If you want cheap atriculating joints you can try a tip that I got off the forum last year. Sorry I can't find the link and I don't remember who the person was who posted it but this is what you do. Get the length of each part of the PVC frame you want to build: Forearm, Upper arm, Upper Leg and so on. Then heat each end of the PVC pieces with a heat gun. When the PVC is sufficiently soft squeeze about 1" of the end together with a clamp and let it cool. Once you have flattened the PVC at each articulating joint drill a 1/4" hole through the flattened ends. Put the joints togehter and bolt with a 1/4" bolt, washers to allow for smooth movement when you want to change positions, and lock nuts. This is a cheap, down and dirty way to make articulating joints for PVC framed props and it worked really well for me. Once the PVC frame is tightened at each joint it is really rigid and will stand sort of like a "Pose and Stay" skeleton but way more sturdy and will give you an almost unlimited variety in poses. I will continue to try to find the link for this. To make my PVC frame props "stand" I normally make a rectangular base with 3/4" pvc, 4 - 3/4" pvc elbows and 2 - 3/4" pvc T's. I attach the lower leg of the PVC prop to the T's in the base and voila...instant stand. I use 3/4 PVC for the stand even if I am using 1/2" pvc for the prop because it is sturdier for a base. You can use a 1/2" x 3/4" PVC adapter / bushing to attach the frame to the stand when using 1/2" PVC for the prop frame.
 
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