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Reaper
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That's very cool. I'm going shopping this weekend and hopefully will be making one of my own! Thanks for the great tutorial!
 

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Man, love'n all of your projects. Great work! What weight/size/scale do you recommend for the chicken wire? Last time I was at Tractor Supply Co., I remember them having several grades of chicken wire to choose from. Does it matter? Do you have a preference?

Thanks!

*thud*
 

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Excellent tutorial! Possibly the best I've seen for reaper MM projects and I've seen many.
I particularly like your frame, looks like it could take a fair force wind!

Now for possibly a silly question. What is this latex paint and where can I get it in the UK? I've been lookin at this with such a dumb expression. The closest I've been able to figure is exterior masonry paint.
 

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Hauntless
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Latex paint is also known as acrylic paint. It's the everyday common paint that is water-based. When you go to the paint store there are basically two kinds of paint. Acrylic paint(latex) or oil paint.

I've been down that confusion road myself. I wish they would pick one word and stick with it. Did you also know that oil paint is also known as alkyd paint?! CONFUSING!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Lol that latex paint thing confused me too at first :p As for the question about the chicken wire I just bought the standard stuff at home depot. I believe it was 2 or 3 ft by 25 foot roll. I used maybe half the roll but I figure I got some extra for more props later ;)
 

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Hope some folks are still reading this thread.

Having advanced along in constructing my Reaper, I've noticed the burlap I used is more of the type you'd wrap the ball of a plant in than what might be called "fabric." The weave is much more open so that when MM is applied to it, there are many holes still visible. I've posted a picture below to illustrate what I'm talking about.

My question is, how critical is this "flaw?" The picture shows the results after having applied two-plus coats of MM, but the waterproofing paint has yet to be applied. Since that is thick as well, I'm hoping many of these holes will disappear.

In short, will the prop be ruined if, after painting it, it is left out in the weather?

Next year I'll go for the fabric material so as not to have this worry. Thanks!

Rich

 

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I love this prop. I've never used MM, and this looks like a really easy prop to try for my first time using MM. Thanks for the great tutorial!
 

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livin Halloween every day
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If you leave your monster mud pal out in the rain he will get ruined. I coated mine with varnish after painting him and it gave him a very good seal. I still dont think i would leave him outuncovered in the rain, protected or not.
 

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Thanks, kprimm.

I ended up putting another coat or two of MM on him, with the second coat being a little thinner than the first and third to try and get as much coverage as possible (used up the full 5 gallons of joint compound). I'm now painting him with Dry-Loc water block, but in between the folds of the cloth it's difficult to reach.

I like your idea of spraying him with a protective finish. After I paint him I'll hit him with the finish using my compressor and sprayer. That should allow me to reach areas the brush couldn't get to. Between the water repellant, the paint, and the finish, he'll be as protected as I can possibly get him.

I sure would hate to see him melt in my front yard, though, if one of those cold, October rains comes whipping through.

Rich
 

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I've finally got mine constructed. Going to pick up some drylok this weekend to paint it.

Anyone attempting to build this prop, do yourself and your back a favor. Get a friend to help you with the burlap application. It took me about 5 hours to fully soak the burlap and get it on the form to my liking. A 3 yrd piece weighed easily 35 lbs when it was saturated. After 5 hours of squeezing, pulling, soaking burlap your hands are nearly worthless. Trying to work on a prop that is 8.5' tall doesn't help much either.

Get a friend, cut your time and effort drastically.
 

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Fatman, I hear ya!

I'd also recommend not taking the MM-soaked burlap and tossing it up on top of the outstretched arm, at least not if you haven't glued the PVC pieces together. Why, your whole assembly might just come apart...not that that happened to me, of course.

I've been thinking of putting together a list of "Don'ts" that people might want to think about if they're considering building a Reaper of their own. Such as...

...Don't put support beam to the side of the Reaper, put it in front since it tends to lean that way (just like the tutorial's photos show!);
...Don't forget to put TWO screws in bracket that hold up the outstretched arm;
...Don't get burlap sack material; spend the extra $1 to get the tighter weave fabric.

Yeah, that sort of stuff. Oh yes, this project was a lot of fun!

Rich
 

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These are amazing!! We have spent all day building two of them and they are turning out fantasticlly!!

One question though, how do you go about attaching the burlap to the chicken wire so that it stays once you coat it in the MM? We can't figure out how to attach it and are stuck!
 

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Itsjustme,

I had a head-scratching time figuring that out myself. There were several pieces that weren't a problem because they draped over the top of the frame. The cowl, for example, stretched from the lamp-holding arm, across the head, and then off the opposite shoulder.

But the piece that hung in front gave me the dickens of a time. What I ended up doing was taking one corner, twisting it into a long-ish strand and pulled it through the chicken wire to tie a knot, sort of. Since it was hidden behind another piece of fabric you couldn't see it. I did the same on another hanging piece.

One other issue I had was having two pieces not quite meet so there was a slight gap between the two exposing the wire frame. I had considered hanging another piece of burlap, but I wasn't too keep on the idea (because I'm cheap, for one, but also because I thought it would make the Reaper look too heavily clothed.

My solution was to cut a short length of wire that had wrapped my chicken wire bundle and pushed it through both pieces and then through the wire frame beneath. I then brought it back out and tied it off. After cutting off the extra, I bent it down into the fold that was created and hid it. A small application of MM, plus all the paint and coatings afterwards, completely hid the joint.

Hope that helps.

Rich
 

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I made mine out of burlap bags I cut open to lay flat.
I stapled the pieces together, and when I had the front and the back ready
I stapled them together at the top and left room for the head to poke out.

Then I put it all in the mud, and when it was on the way I wanted I used the stapler
to staple the sides up.

Works great, but keep a bucket of water handy to clean the stapler, otherwise it will clog with drywall compound.
 

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We made this Grim Reaper today. We first tried dipping the burlap fabric in the MM bucket. That did not work very well, we were exhausted.

Finally, we got the bright idea to lay a piece of plywood across two sawhorses, we put the fabric on the board and stretched it out, kind of like we were ironing. We started at the end and coated it with our hands, this worked very well. As we finished a section we rolled the fabric which helped coat it even more and kept the already painted part out of our way. We were able to coat the entire thing in about 30 min or so. There were two of us.

I purchased the Wal-Mart Burlap for 2.45 a yard and got 4 yards. We did our reaper 7ft tall and it fit perfectly when we folded it in half, put the center over the neck area, it was long enough to reach the bottom in front and back. We wired the sides together then made a shawl out of landscapers burlap that we had left over from something else. Once coated with the MM we coudln't tell the difference at all.

Thanks for this tutorial, it will help make our haunted hayride a big success.
 
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