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Discussion Starter #1
Last year was my first year doing a home haunt, and while I did get something decent put together, I didn't have time to finish carving my tombstones. I used Terra's method for construction, and used Dry-Lok for the stone effect. But I can't live with blank tombstones, so I needed a way to transfer a printed inscription onto the stone and cut it. Dry-Lok is very rough, so there was just no way to get the inscription on using the standard methods (and I suck at drawing, so freehanding was out of the question). I needed a way to smooth out the Dry-Lok. I tried sanding it, but that didn't work well, so I figured that if I couldn't take the Dry-Lok down, maybe I could build it up.

Bring on the monster mud!

Martin-Byrnes-mudded.jpg

I put a few thin coats of monster mud on the stone where I planned to cut the inscription, and then sanded that down to a smooth surface. I could then transfer my inscription. In the past, I've printed out the inscription, used Rasterbator to get the right size, then used an engraving tool to press the outline into the foam. I would then cut it with a Dremel. I had problems with this method on the mud because the mud tended to crumble when doing fine lines or small spaces. The Dremel cut through the mud and Dry-Lok just fine, though, and after I put another coat of Dry-Lok on top, you can't tell that anything unusual was done to it.

Martin-Byrnes-carved.jpg

Still, the final product didn't turn out too bad, because the problem areas that crumbled just looked like weathered stone. In other words, it's not a problem, it's a design feature!

Martin-Byrnes.jpg

I planned to use this tombstone for my popper--hence the multiple burial dates (the guy just won't stay buried!). Here's a shot of the mechanism--it's pretty typical.

Martin-Byrnes-mechanism.jpg

Obviously, I still need to paint it. I used the light-up skull from the Fright Props bag of bones, and the motor handles it fine. I probably should have used PVC instead of aluminum rod, but I'm not going to mess with it right now. I have another project on the way...

Cauldron-1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks!

The extra weight is negligible. The mud is really only thick enough to fill in between the rough grit in the Dry-Lok plus a very small bit above. The tombstone is heavy enough on its own that I doubt I could tell the difference even if I had the before and after versions in my hands at the same time.
 

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Very nice popper, are you going to add hands to the outside of the stone to give the effect that he is pulling himself out of the ground ?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Very nice popper, are you going to add hands to the outside of the stone to give the effect that he is pulling himself out of the ground ?
Thanks! And yes, I am going to attach hands. I actually have a pair that I'm keeping with the popper so I don't forget and use them for something else! I wanted to paint the stone first, though, and it's going to be a while before I get to that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's not a bug - it's a feature!

This is a great idea and gave me an idea to use crumbled monster mud as an additional way to add age. Your new improved stone is terrific.
Thanks, Terra!

I suppose this is one of those "happy little accidents" that leads to something new. After all the inspiration your tutorials have given me, I'm glad I could return the favor in some small way.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you use the crumbled mud.
 
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