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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've been working on this Grim Reaper. He's looking really good. Too good.

No, I'm totally not an egotist. :p What I mean is that he looks too clean and prim and proper. I know that I need to rough up his robe, tear it, paint it, "muss it up". But for some reason, I have this fear...like I will mess it up in a not good way. Have you ever had this feeling, and if so, how did you get over it?
 

Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I never had a problem tearing up fabric, but messing up tombstones I've spent several hours carving? I had so much trouble hitting them with spraypaint to age them, but they looked to sharp-edged and clean if I don't.

I realized that if I don't do it, I'll know they could have looked better - at least to me - and I'll always feel like I did a [email protected] job on a prop...and then go at it. :D
 

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I *definitely* have that problem.... the way I get over it (If I have time) is to leave it pristine for about a week, get my fill of looking at it, THEN age it, tear it up, or otherwise mess it up, LOL. Takes the anxiety away for me, and allows me to do something that just has to be done :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You're right. I just need to do it. And hopefully I won't mess it up in the wrong way...whatever that means! haha

I used to be a professional seamstress/costume technician, so precision in costumes (even for my props!) is always a major goal for me. Trouble is, when you want something to look all old and tattered and such, that's REALLY not a precision job! It's more.....organic, loose. I guess I need to practice loosening up! :)
 

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Since you used to be a professional seamstress/costume technician think of it as the job calls for it to look old and battle worn.So your not finsihed with it yet.You can always take some pics of the before so you know what it did look like.and think about what parts should be worn more design it in your head then go to it like it's part of the costume and it should be easier.try the Idea on some extra fabric first so you'll see you can do it before you go to the real prop.that way you don't mess it up.
 

Bringing the Dead to Life
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I had this problem with my first tombstone. ( I attached an image if anyone cares) First, I just cut it out of a 4x8 sheet, carved an epitaph, and painted it gray. It looked too new, so I took a wire brush to the whole thing, roughed up the edges a little, cut the base at an angle so it looks like it's sinking, and eventually repainted it so it looked weathered. Like Frankie's Girl said, you will regret it if you don't take a chance. I say to always test a technique on a similar material before doing it on the prop youve been working on all week. If you know that something should look more aged, go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I guess maybe the biggest part of the problem is I just don't know where to start! I mean, if I were going for a corpse that's been mouldering away in the earth for a while, I would kind of know what that should look like and then try to achieve it. But I'm hoping to give him more of a "travelled through eternity / ethereal / yet creepy" look. And what the heck does that look like?! :confused: I really don't know! haha :eek: Any suggestions as to what that might mean to you?
 

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I guess maybe the biggest part of the problem is I just don't know where to start! I mean, if I were going for a corpse that's been mouldering away in the earth for a while, I would kind of know what that should look like and then try to achieve it. But I'm hoping to give him more of a "travelled through eternity / ethereal / yet creepy" look. And what the heck does that look like?! :confused: I really don't know! haha :eek: Any suggestions as to what that might mean to you?
How about a picture or two of where you are at right now? Maybe then we could offer some suggestions on where to take it...
Check google images for 'wraith' ( from Lord of the Rings) and 'dementor' ( harry potter)...both are excellent examples of ethereal and creepy. You might also try 'ghost of Christmas past' as a reference resource.
 

Lord of the Cemetery
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It's a dilemma, isn't it? You've worked hard, created a good looking prop and there you are thinking, effectively, about vandalising it!! However, weathering and distressing can really make all the difference , and can make the difference between a good prop and a great one, so you shouldn't be frightened of giving it a bash.

There are many different distressing techniques to experiment with, and for me this is a major part of the "fun". whether I'm building a prop or one of my movie monster figures.

The one tip that I would give, as well as agreeing with all the advice previously given, is to be subtle..work gradually and when you are satisfied with the result, Stop.

It's a bit like adding salt to your food..the right amount can enhance the flavour and too little can be rectified, too much cannot.
So don't be nervous..jump right on in...get creative by ruining something!!:D:D

Best of luck, look forward to seeing some pics!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Dave, thank you for the excellent suggestions on reference material! I found a version of a wraith that I really like and is where I hope I can get this guy to go.

Here are the links to pics of what my Reaper is looking like now:

Mariah鈥檚 Gallery 禄 HauntSpace.Com

Mariah鈥檚 Gallery 禄 trying out a little cheesecloth 禄 HauntSpace.Com

And here's the inspiration picture I like the best:

http://arnoldwurzel.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/wraith.jpg

This being my first "big" prop, I am just not sure how to take it there. Any and all suggestions and advice would be very appreciated! :)
 
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