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Hi guys.
I’m new here but have been following a few tut threads on here for a while and wanted to show my process for building my first proper groundbreaker, just so I can get some feedback from more experienced makers. I’ve tried Stiltbeast’s plastic corpsing method on a scarecrow before but wanted to be more adventurous. I haven’t used paper mache since I was 5 so this seemed a good way to relearn as well.

Firstly, I wanted to do it whilst saving as much money as possible. Things like wood glue, pvc pipes and garden hoses are actually pretty expensive here in the UK so decided to make the whole thing out of whatever I had lying around.
The only thing I spent money on was the skull. I find proper anatomical skulls look scarier than the misproportioned foam ones and if I follow Stolloween’s skull replication tut I can use it as many times as I want.

Armature:
I used a plank of scrap plywood as a base. The spine is a stick that had a subtle backwards curve in it, which I secured to the base with a spare shelving bracket. Arms are also a pair of sticks. The ribs were made from fencing wire. I also used two smaller sticks for collarbones. I lost my duck tape so it was all held together with low tack parcel tape.

Automotive design Engineering Machine Retail Toy

The skull had a removable brain cap so I taped that shut so the neck wouldn’t keep poking it open.

I made a paper mache skull replica using Stolloween’s method. I didn’t have any newspaper but I did have a metric ton of Amazon packing paper lying about. Mache recipe used was just 50:50 water/pva with the final paper layer using straight pva only. I used more packing paper to bulk up the ribs (if you’re doing it this way then for gods sake don’t secure the ribs in place first, it’s a pain to wrap them otherwise). I also bulked up the collarbones as they looked a bit flimsy (found my duck tape). I added some trap muscle sticks too, but they weren’t really worth it by the time it was finished.

Wood Sculpture Art Twig Trunk


Skinning:
This is where I kinda messed up. I used shop towels and the same 50:50 mache mix, but rather than small strips I tried laying massive whole sections on the armature. This meant that instead of nice well defined ribs I ended up with a wrinkly blob as his torso. I put maybe two layers on (including some shoulder bulk)then sprayed the whole thing black when dry.

Plant Statue Sculpture Wood Trunk

Before anyone says it, I know I should’ve put the shop towels on the skull too. My genius brain decided that because it’s already paper mache it shouldn’t need more skinning. Didn’t realise until paint how different the texture would be.

Corpsing:
I decided to try my hand at cotton ball corpsing as this is the method that apparently yielded best results for people. I used the same mache recipe as before, being sure to wring out the cotton before applying it. In hindsight I should’ve used much larger cotton balls as the tiny little ones I used just weren’t big enough once unraveled. As a result I couldn’t make the sinewy tissues very long and the skin ended up full of holes when I stretched it out.

Sculpture Wood Grey Art Bone

I was going for a Rot style face, I should have skinned the whole skull rather than just bits of it tho as the rough/smooth texture issues made paint a nightmare later. I’m not sure I’m sold on the cotton as it’s a ***** to use and takes forever to dry, but it does give a lovely mummified skin look when finished properly.

Paint:
I have two paints in my house. A can of black plastikote and a mid-grey acrylic.
I gave the whole thing a blast of the black. Didn’t have enough for two coats so had to just pray it looked good after.

Jaw Sculpture Lawn ornament Statue Art

It’s starting to come together :)

I then did a very simple grey drybrush.
It was at this time I realised the smooth skull texture was picking up way more paint than the cotton/paper sections so his head much lighter than I wanted.
Eye Nature Sculpture Wood Statue


And that’s literally all I did. I popped him in a foresty bit for some decent shots afterwards.

Plant Wood Branch Sculpture Trunk

Plant Leaf Sculpture Wood Grass

Plant Sculpture Statue Wood Trunk

Plant Sculpture Terrestrial plant Grass Groundcover



If I had a bit more time/cash I would have properly weatherproofed him. This was a first go as an experiment and not designed to last but I had a lot of fun making him.
There are plenty of things I would do differently next time but hey that’s what learnings all about.

If anyone has any ideas on improvement I’d love to hear them.
 

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Looks good, maybe pile up some fresh soil around the base to give it the just broke out touch..


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I think this is AMAZING and incredibly resourceful. I found my way here from pintrest and I'll be adding this to my "give it a try" list:)
 
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