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Hi all,

Just wanted to start this thread to share some of the props I've been making this year. Apart from the "spooky trees" and foam boards for my windows from 2016, this is the first time I've really had a go at making my own props so I'm always looking for advice or tips on what/how to do it all better.

I want to preface this by saying that in Australia, the pink/blue foam you all have such easy access to is practically non-existent, so I am relying on mostly white Styrofoam - and it still costs us an arm and a leg!

I'll keep updating this thread as I make new props.

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CEMETERY PILLARS

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These were made with 25 mm boards, and 40 mm boards for the capping blocks. Used a heat gun for some aged texture, and a soldering iron for the cracks. I've still got one more to complete, and I'm going to dress them up some more with moss once both are finished. I'll have a couple crows sitting on top of one of them on the night. Undecided whether I should include a plaque or some kind of lights instead.

In terms of painting it was a little bit of an experiment. I did a grey first, then mix some darker grey and did 50/50 with water and used a spray bottle to give it a running effect. Once that dried I dry-brushed some green for a bit more aged effect. I mixed black with water and sprayed it again once the green dried and while still wet I wiped most the excess off. A lot of that detail is lost in these pics and they actually look a lot brighter than they are due to the direct sunlight. I might try to get some more pics in low light because they honestly look even better. I finished it off by doing the cracks in black, but in hindsight I do wonder if I should have just done that in a darker grey instead.

These are 1200 mm plus the 40 mm capping blocks top/bottom, so they are a pretty good size and I think will be an impressive addition to the little cemetery I'm doing and a great way to frame the entrance.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
TOMBSTONE #1 - Work in progress!

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My first Tombstone! As the 40mm sheet didn't allow for another two caps for the second pillar, I used the leftovers to make this tombstone. It's a good size, standing 600 mm before I added the top/bottom caps so it's actually just shy of 700 mm tall and approx 400 mm wide.

What I learned from this is to do the lettering before jumping in to the ageing details and cracks, otherwise you make the job harder for yourself.

I've got a little more painting to do before I call this one finished, but the approach was almost identical to the pillars above. I have the Clawing Cathy prop which I think will become my "Dianne Rott" and she'll be positioned in front as a feature piece of the cemetery.
 

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TOMBSTONE #2 - Work in progress!

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So I tried to tame my excitement and plan my second tombstone a little better rather than just rushing in. This is actually a 50 mm sheet, so "HELEN BACK" is a bit thicker tombstone than "DIANNE ROTT", despite being smaller in height. I experimented with some embossing details for this one, and I really like how it has more character by doing so. I considered a skull in the semi-circle at first (you may be able to see the faint sketch marks) but ended up deciding on a simple yet effective cross instead as I wasn't confident my carving skills were up to scratch to make the skull look great. Learning from the last tombstone I also did the lettering first, then once carved I sketched my cracks around it.

The plan for this one is to add a strip across the front as a decorative piece, and it will be mounted on 50 mm footings shaped from the leftover pieces where I carved the rounded top. These footings will also be used for the stake holes to ensure it's securely mounted. The reason for raising this one is I will hide my fog machine behind it, so on the night a thick, ground-hugging fog will be seeping out from the base of this tombstone and crawling through my cemetery which should look magnificently creepy.

In terms of painting, I haven't quite decided on how to approach this one just yet, but I feel it needs a different colour scheme and look to the previous one and the pillars. Open to suggestions on this!
 

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Excellent work MyKH3LL , as DandyBrit stated its harder to get the blue here in the U.K. in fact where i am in the south its bloody hard but i prefer the white i guess because that was all i could find to work with , and i like the texture it gives , i actually use a print program to get the letter stencil printed out , then i cut it out then use it as a masked stencil and use solvent spray paint to burn into the unmasked letter area giving you the embedded writing , its a hit and miss affair but i like that method , and just a quick spray from solvents can be a good way to distress the gravestone or burn the crumbling or broken look to the polystyrene , but i,m guessing you know all this already , looking forward to seeing more of your gravestones , there still my favorite halloween projects , keep up the excellent work m8 , i also made a stone tomb type thing a few years ago with plywood with polystyrene stuck IMG_2988.jpg IMG_2989.jpg IMG_3044.jpg on top , it came out quite well , heres a couple pics to show you , good luck with your project .
 

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Thank you MyKH3LL , it was a lot of work but i was pleased with it , but like i said tombstones and markers are such good fun , heres a couple more pics IMG_1073.jpg , please post more of yours IMG_1082.jpg as you get them done .
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So I have been very busy lately and finally finished my "Dianne Rott" tombstone paint job and added some moss. Not bad for my first tombstone, if I may say so myself.
 

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Here's my completed "Helen Back" tombstone and although not obvious in these pics, I've mounted this in such a way that there's a gap underneath so when I hide my fog machine behind it, it will creep out from seemingly underneath.
 

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Here's "Dustin Bones" which is one of my favourites. It's simple, classic and the crack effects look really good in my opinion. As you can see in the second pic, I updated the moss in the last few days.
 

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Here's my completed Cemetery Pillar pair! I've actually added some more moss since taking these pics.
 

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I experimented today with making a plastic chain look real. I'll eventually use this to chain my skeleton to the trees I've made.
 

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