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Discussion Starter #1
K, so I am new to this forum thingy but I will try to figure it out after I say what I need to say:)
I want to build a horse, a life size horse...by halloween...think I can do it???
Anyone have any ideas?
I would love to sculpt with fibreglass...but I don't know how to make an armature. I need to get the frame idea down pat and then I can roll with the body. I am making, or should I say, I am thinking of making a reared up horse with a skeleton man on its back holding a metal pumpkin head with flames coming out on a garden hook or a shepherds hook.
Got a mental picture? It is so exciting when you get an idea but scary at the same time because your imagination is so different from the actual finished project. I don't want to disappoint myself :)
 

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horse

Use pvc pipe it will be strong enough to support the horse especially if it's going to be on two legs, pick up a metal disk with threads and four holds at home depot, the pvc pipe will thread into it then bolt it to a lg piece of ply wood, the metal disks are in the plumbing section, some stores have them in the same aisle as the pvc pipe, use chicken wire to mold the shape of your horse. after that, what ever medium you want. sounds like a great project, better get started.
 

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Someone else has a thread on here where they made a life size paper mache horse. They used 2x4s to build the frame then used chicken wire to build out for the body. I tried to find the thread for you but had no luck, but will still look.
 

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STARK Raving Mad
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Static rearing horses are very off-balanced (see Attached Image). PVC legs would sag and eventually bend over time. Personally, if it is going to be free-standing, I would use threaded iron pipe with 45- and 90-degree fittings for the back legs and hips, then maybe wood or PVC for the rest. Attach the legs to a large base using threaded pipe-flanges. This will give you a very solid platform onto which the rest of the body can be built.

I also attached a set of measurements for a typical horse. You can interpolate for the dimensions of yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
pvc will likely bend in time, you are right!

I have to agree with you on the fact that the pvc will sag in time. I think I am using wood. I am going to use the chart with the measurements though. Thanks for that, this diagram is going to very useful. I will post pics when I can. I have the head shaped from wire, cardboard and duct tape. Next I am going to cover it in chicken wire then finish with the monster mudd. Thanks for taking the time to share your diagram and skeletal model. I will be using it as a reference.
Holly
 

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STARK Raving Mad
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... Next I am going to cover it in chicken wire then finish with the monster mudd.
One other suggestion would to use a different finish than Monster Mud. MM tends to be very heavy and brittle. For a project like that I would use the following method:

In a 5-gal bucket, blend together a mixture of half white glue and half exterior latex paint. You can get gallon-sized bottles of white glue at Lowes or Home Depot. The paint should be your intended base color.

Option 1: Buy some paper towels that do not have a raised pattern on them (I think Viva is a good one). Separate them into squares. You may tear the straight edges off of them, if you want. Brush a little of the mixture onto the project over an area a little bigger than a square. Apply a square, then brush enough mixture over it to completely cover it, smoothing out the edges. Repeat until project is completely covered.

Option 2: Buy some muslin (about the cheapest fabric out there). Tear it into strips. Make some strips 6" wide and several feet long for covering large, flat areas, and some 3" wide and a foot long for smaller, irregular areas. Dip an entire strip into the mixture and work it until completely saturated, then remove excess mixture by pulling the strip between your fingers as you remove it from the bucket. Apply directly to the project, smoothing out the edges. Repeat until project is completely covered.

When dry, these methods result in a light-weight, slightly flexible, non-cracking, plastic-like "shell" over your project. Option 1 allows for a very smooth, seamless finish. Option 2 results in a stronger shell, but edges of the fabric may show.

Details like eye lids can be made with small pieces of paper towel saturated in the mixture. An aged skin texture can be achieved by slightly bunching up the paper towel or fabric as it is applied.

Here are a few pics:

Gigi - first layer complete:


Gigi - finished:


Death Tree:


Muslin strips in a bucket of the mixture:


Same strips spread out to dry:


Same strips attached to Pirate Ship frame:


Completely covered Pirate Ship:
 

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I know you've already decided against PVC, but I just thought I would chime in and totally agree with that. I had a thread on here last year asking how to make pretty much the same thing (rearing horse). A lot of people gave me great help but I went with the PVC. When I put the PVC pieces together to just get an idea, they did bend (especially the spinal piece). I just ended up scrapping that idea for last year. But I'd sure like to see when you get yours finished because I'd like to do one sometime in the future. Looks like you got some great help from the posts above.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I appreciate your input! You suggested applying glue and paint rather than burlap with MM. Can I apply the burlap with the glue and paint mixture????? I just re-read your thread on suggesting alternative applications to the horse. I don't want to make a mistake now...yikes that would be devastating:)
 
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