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Discussion Starter #1
I'm making zombie heads for my Halloween display. I'm using styrofoam wig heads and then transforming them using Stiltbeast's excellent video

In the video he makes wig head skulls, but I want to make zombies so I'm changing the process a bit. I'm leaving much more skin on, and instead of dry brushing as Stiltbeast does, I'm going to give it a paintjob that makes it more 'moist' and alive.

Here's where I'm at right now...
0811151313.jpg

As you can see the eyebrows are disappointing as are the teeth, but I don't care so much. I painted a nice white base coat, but what do I do now? How can I make realistic eyes, and how do I fix the fact that he looks like he's wearing a plastic mask? What colors and type of paint do I use? How can I make lips? Remember I'm a terrible artist and have no artistic background or skill. Help!!!
 

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Looks good so far. As for the brow...stick some more Paper Clay up there and mold it anyway you want it to look.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Those eyes are AWESOME! If I cut out eye sockets though he'll look less like a zombie and more like a skull which I'm trying to avoid. I wonder if I could just cut some of the eyeball out or cover it with something to make 'lids'. Would liquid latex work?
 

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I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit because I think it looks great! The teeth are awesome! I'd use latex but maybe after you've corpsed it a bit more with either more plastic or other materials, maybe some areas where the skin is hanging off. You're definitely on the right track!
 

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I watched the video and Stillbeast certainty has an excellent and unusual method. I took a slightly different route in sculpting on top of Styrofoam heads back in the day. I used 2 part plumbing epoxy putty (to sculpt) and 20 minute air dry latex painter's caulk to fill and smooth when I got to your stage. I also used a 1" wooden ball from the hobby store for eyes as opposed to a ping pong ball. Mainly because they could be sanded slightly flat to receive the photographic iris, plus they are closer to human size. You also can use the epoxy putty to make eyelids. I also attached a file of Iris's for you to cutout if you want.

I am by no means saying this is a better method, its just how I used to attack the problem. I hope this helps.
zombie_small.jpg
eyes.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wonder how ping pong balls would stand up to a heat gun. I'll give that a test, because if they last slightly longer than the grocery bags then I can make eyes and put them in, then melt some bag over them to look like eyelids that are dying and shredding. Or that might just mess everything up.

Some great ideas in here guys. I'm definitely gonna use some of those eyeball ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here's how he currently looks

0816151527.jpg

I've just got a base coat of Brown with a little bit of red-brown blood highlights. I'm not thrilled with the color of the highlights because they look a little too pink. I'm going to try a little bit of greens and dark browns next to see if that darkens him up a bit. I like how I made the top of his head look like his scalp was ripped off, that was a happy accident.

I have cut up ping-pong balls for the eyes, but I'm going to attach them last after I'm done painting. IMO he is starting to look much better.

**EDIT** Why does google always flip my pictures over on their side? Fixed it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Finished?

zombiehead.jpg

Yes the eyes are very large. I figure in his rotted condition his eyelids are completely gone which makes them look big.

I learned quite a bit while making this guy, and I ordered a couple more mannequin heads to zombify using my new found skills. I HIGHLY recommend this project for anyone just starting (like me). I get the heads off Amazon at two for $7 and the only extra costs involved are a heat gun and some spare paint. This is a very cheap project but you learn a ton of skills that will help you in other Halloween projects.
 

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Rutherford Manor Haunt
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Ice 456789 it looks great for first effort! I made one a while back and I would recommend a dark brown base colour rather than white. You can really lighten it up with other paint and dry brushing afterwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Trex! I'm actually glad I went with the white base because wherever I rub the paint off it looks like the skin has worn away and the bone is showing. I watched another of Stiltbeast's vids on painting and he went over when to use dry brushing and when to use 'antiquing'. It makes sense to dry brush a skull or a tombstone because you want them to look dry and crusty, but I wanted a 'wet' look so I did what he calls antiquing. I think some people call it 'a wash'. You start with a lighter base and add darker paint mixed with a lot of water, then remove most of the paint by dabbing a sponge. Unfortunately I still didn't end up with much of a wet effect because the paints I used were mostly flat with no gloss. Since this is such an inexpensive project though I'll definitely give one a shot your way and see how it ends up.
 

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Aahh yes bones peeking though, yes that is a good idea because that detail really needs to appear as the base layer when it's all said and done. I will try it!
 
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