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Hauntless
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Note: This is a repost of an old tutorial whose links to pictures were broken with the software update at HF.

Here's how to take a raw plain skeleton and make him ALIVE! er...I mean DEAD!


This skele was made with a raw latex version of Boogedy purchased from Fright Theatre. Unfortunately, that company is no longer in business, but this will work with most skele forms you can buy today. This will help you learn how to latex (corpse) anything and paint gruesome paint details. As a special bonus, you will learn how to make a Lazy Susan platform. No charge.

A video of Boogedy in action:



Items Needed:
Skeleton form
2 quarts latex
Chip brushes
Spider webbing
Disposable latex gloves
White acrylic paint
Large bottle black acrylic paint
Large bottle Chromium Oxide green acrylic paint (or an avocado green)
Raw Sienna acrylic paint (or golden brown)
Yellow oxide acrylic paint (or a saffron yellow)
16 oz. bottle Liquitex Gloss Varnish
20" x 12" plywood (if making Lazy Susan base)
20" x 24" plywood (if making Lazy Susan base)
Lazy Susan (if making Lazy Susan base)
8 #10 5/8 wood screws (if making Lazy Susan base)
Bottle of wine (motivator)

Equipment needed:
1" brush
Paint cups
Large paint jar
Airbrush or cheap pump sprayer ($2 at a crafts store)
Drill (if making Lazy Susan base)
Ruler (if making Lazy Susan base)
1/2" drill bit (if making Lazy Susan base)
9/64" drill bit (if making Lazy Susan base)



Open Box (picture 1): This is how Boogedy arrived from Fright Theatre.

Stand-up and Admire (picture 2): How he looks on his foot plates.

Latex Bottom (picture 3): Okay, now we start the fun. If you want, put a tarp down on the ground because this will get messy. Also, put on some old clothes and tie up your hair. If you get latex on your hair, it's hard to get out.
Notice the directions of the bones on the skele. This is the direction you'll be applying the latex.

Place the skele down on the ground and prop up its legs. Prior to using the chip brush, pull on the bristles to get rid of any that are loose. Don disposable gloves, dip chip brush into the latex and paint his feet, bottom of pelvis and under ribcage. Let dry. If it's breezy or you put him by a fan, he will dry much faster. Can take 2 hours to overnight to dry. Go ahead and throw away the chip brush, it's ruined now.



Optional Lazy Susan Instructions:
Materials Ready (picture 1): Get your top and bottom platforms and Lazy Susan ready on your workbench.

Mount Lazy Susan to Bottom Board (picture 2): Place the Lazy Susan (right side up) on the bottom platform. I placed mine on the left side so when the top platform is mounted it fits perfectly over one half of the bottom board. Mark where the center would be on the left side of the board. Now, as you look at the Lazy Susan you will notice that in one set of the corners there is a large hole with a tiny hole next to it. This is the one that we will be mounting the Lazy Susan onto the bottom platform. Mark with a pencil the four large hole positions on the bottom platform. Pre-drill with the 9/64 drill bit. Drill in four of the screws.

Mount Lazy Susan to Top Board (picture 3): Turn the Lazy Susan so the other corners are opposite the mounted corners. Mark those holes on the wood. Move the corners of the Lazy Susan out of the way. Drill pilot holes and make sure you go all the way through the wood. Using the 1/2" drill bit, make larger holes where you just drilled the pilot holes. Move the corners of the Lazy Susan back so the corners are above and centered through the 1/2" hole.

Place the top platform upside-down on your workbench. Invert the bottom platform over that and line up (by looking through the 1/2" hole) where the lazy Susan touches the top platform. Mark with your pencil. Pre-drill the holes with the 9/64" drill bit. Now drill in the other 4 screws.

Attach Foot Plates (picture 4): Attach the foot plates to the top platform. I used 1/2" wood screws.



Latex Remainder: Stand skele on the foot plates. Adjust the arms so they are a little away from the body to make it easier to latex. Spread the fingers apart. You'll be working from the head down but doing the arms last so you have something to grab onto. Because skeles aren’t the stiffest prop, it will wiggle and bend away as you paint so you'll usually be grabbing it to hold steady.

Don your disposable gloves again, pull on the bristles of the chip brush and start at the head and begin latexing the rest of the body. Just brush on the latex like it was paint, keep the following the direction of the bones.

While latexing, if you find the brush gets too clogged with dried latex, throw it away and grab a new one. Let dry overnight. Open bottle of wine and savor your first latexing job. Begin to conspire what other props you have that will benefit from a latex job. Muh ha ha haaaaa.....A new POWER!

By the way, if you made the Lazy Susan platform you will realize the benefits of being able to spin a prop around as you latex, corpse and paint them.



Corpsing: OK, if you thought latexing was a new power added to your prop building skills arsenal, wait until you learn how to corpse! By the way, this is messy so make sure you got those old clothes and disposable gloves on.

Take the spider webbing out of the bag and uncoil it. Cut into 8" strips.



Take a section and stretch it out a little and dip into the latex. Squeeze out some of the latex and stretch it out a little more. Drape it on the skele’s back while continuing to stretch it out.

Now, grab another piece and do this again and continue to add corpsing until you like the look. Now, move onto the rest of the body but just pick some sections to do this to. In some areas I really stretched the webbing thin. Just like when you normally drape webbing: Hook it on an edge and pull taut. You'll get the hang of it quickly.

Now take smaller strands and put them in random places over the body (like they were tendons). Make some more stretched strands and have them hanging down at the elbows, behind the rib cage, in front of the ribcage, on the rib cage...anywhere you think it would look good.

Get your significant other to look at it for you. Have him (or her) tell you that it needs some more corpsing. After they leave, think they are crazy but try putting some more on anyway. And, darn it, it did look better. heh.

Let dry overnight again, fan helps. Drink more wine.



Painting: You will need a lot of paint for this first stage. Because I used some leftover paint in a gel form that not a lot of people use, I will try to explain what color and thickness you are trying to attain, but I can't give you ratios. Sorry.

In the large paint jar, mix the green with black. Keep doing this until you get a black with a hint of green in it. Water this down until you get a consistency that will cover the latex but thin enough to get into the nooks and crannies as best as you can. Make about 12 ounces.

Put on some disposable gloves and pull the bristles on another chip brush. Brush and dab the paint all over the skele. As you can see, I used my fingers to help get the paint into the crevices and behind the corpsing. I would really suggest wearing some disposable gloves... Let dry overnight.



Spray in Paint: As you can see, after it dries you will still see some spots you missed. This is where your airbrush or cheap pump sprayer comes in. Spray areas that you missed brushing. Let dry again.



Drybrushing Green: Drybrushing is when you dip your brush in the paint and then brush it almost dry on a paper towel. Then you drybrush going ACROSS the detail. Not with the detail... across the detail. Your skele will start to come alive with this technique.

Using just straight green, drybrush all over the skele going across the detail but start to miss some areas. If you look at the very first picture in this tutorial, you will see that the inside of the pelvis was skipped, eye sockets, inside his nose. It will help make it more 3D. This will dry more quickly so check back in an hour and see if you can continue. Or just let dry overnight again.



Drybrush Lighter Green: Lighten up your green with some white. Just enough to lighten it. Drybrush this on now. Miss even more areas, you don't want to cover up all your dark green. Start to skip between the ribs, under the ribcage and things like that.



Drybrush Raw Sienna: Lighten up the raw sienna with some white. Drybrush this, again skipping some areas. You are focusing on the parts of the skele that extend out from the body. Things like its skull, bones and ribs. Let dry. More wine.



Drybrush Yellow: Lighten up the yellow oxide and drybrush in specific areas. This is an accent color. Skip anyplace that had corpsing. Focus on exposed bone. That helps give you the illusion that the corpsing is remnants of its skin. The picture showing the feet shows the effect you are trying to achieve. You can also see the effect on its arm, parts of its skull and on one side of its ribcage. Let dry



Final wash: This final wash will help blend in all your colors. Darken the green with some of the black. Then thin out with a lot of water. Test to see if it's thin enough in a small spot on your skele. The paint should be like muddy water. You don't want to cover all your hard work with a layer of paint. This is a wash step, not a paint step. If your mix is too thick, add more water.

With a dripping wet brush, start at the top and wash the paint down. There's a fine line with how much watery paint you want running down your prop. You don't want it puddling up in the crevices too much, it will lift off your previous paint colors. This is a bit tricky but don't worry too much. I made mine a little too runny and it lifted a bit of the paint off its toes. So, after it dried, I came back in with a little more paint and repaired it. If you want, you can use the airbrush or pump sprayer to get any areas under the corpsing you missed. I didn't because my wash was a little too wet, but it did a great job of getting into the crevices (don't recommend my way) heh. Definitely more wine needed for this step. Let dry overnight.



Varnish: In the picture is a flexible gloss varnish. This protects your skele somewhat from UV and the elements. It also gives it a wet look and blends the colors even more. Basically, it makes it look juicy.

If you think latex is sticky when it dries on you, just try varnish! So, watch your hair or you will be watching TV that night picking it piece by tiny piece from your hair. Not that I was stupid enough to bump the top of my head into my wet Boogedy. Nooooo...

Anyways, put a bunch of varnish in a paint cup and starting at the head, paint/dab the varnish all over. I was liberal with the varnish and ended up using about 12 ounces. I liked the really wet look, but you may want to be more reserved. It's up to you. Let dry overnight.

Note about varnish: When you get too vigorous brushing on varnish it likes to froth up. That is bad because it can dry frothed up and look cloudy far away. So, that is why you don't want to work it in too much with your brush. To help avoid missing spots and having to work it in with the brush too much, you want to be generous when you first apply the varnish. Also, don't go back over the wet varnish too much while it dries, it will froth up too.



You are all done!


Now, you can play dress-up:







Thanks for looking at my tutorial...
 
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