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Lord of the Cemetery
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Discussion Starter #1
I have seen some amazing props built by forum members using Monster Mud.
I have never used Monster mud but would like to experiment with it.
I am planning a few props this year that seem as though they would benefit from the use of this medium. could anybody give me any pointers as to how to make it or use it. Is there one basic "recipe"? If I made a batch, how long would it keep if I didn't use it all in one go? How durable is it?
I would be grateful for any information anybody can provide, although I would ask that you provide the type of product rather than a brand name. (i.e "Expanding foam" rather than "Great Stuff") as some brands may not be available or familiar here in the U.K

Many Thanks

Baron S.
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Discussion Starter #3
That's a great link, Terra. Thank you very much.
Looks like a great medium to work in..I'm gonna mix up a batch this weekend.
 

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Going bump in the night..
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Just a reminder - you'll want to make certain you've sealed your creation well, if it's going to see outdoor use.

I've used a similar mixture (plaster of paris and latex paint), and didn't seal it (autumn in Southern California is not known for it's moist conditions)...sure enough, freak rain front moved through, soaked it, and the thing began to deform...

I'm thinking you may encounter "moisture" in your neck o' the woods around autumn, so don't forget to seal that monster mud!
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Discussion Starter #6
Just a reminder - you'll want to make certain you've sealed your creation well, if it's going to see outdoor use.

I've used a similar mixture (plaster of paris and latex paint), and didn't seal it (autumn in Southern California is not known for it's moist conditions)...sure enough, freak rain front moved through, soaked it, and the thing began to deform...

I'm thinking you may encounter "moisture" in your neck o' the woods around autumn, so don't forget to seal that monster mud!
Yes.. It can be just a tad moist around october time over here. Thanks for the tip Joe. What can I use to seal it and still retain a matt finish? Would a normal matt varnish be o.k?

GothicPrincess..I always wear old kit when working on props anyway..I am the sort of guy that makes a cup of coffee and ends up looking like I've been guest of honour at a chimps tea party..:D
 

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Hi Baron, I built my alligator with it. He is over a year old now and has been kept in a covered shed. That is open with no floor. He still looks great. I used the burlap from the home depot garden section. It has more holes then the good stuff, but at a 5 to 1 mixture of mud it covered fine. We used 3 lights coats, because it was our first attempt and didn't have a clue. But I have learned light coats not only dry faster, but cure better. So you have less cracking. After the mud was all dry we used Dry Lock to seal everything. He hasn't been rained on, but we live kind of on a island. so there is a lot of night moisture. But it didn't bother him. If you have small areas, don't worry about laying small pieces. You will never know when you are done. The ribs on his back are 1.5 inch pieces of burlap soak in the mud then I ran them through my hand to drain some off. Laid them on flat and pinched them up to form the rib. It is just as strong as fiber glass. Where I made the rubber hinge for the head. I came back and made a skin out of cheese clothe and carpet latex. I bonded it to the monster mud with the latex. It is still stuck very well. I blended it in bye, just pouring the latex over the edge and letting it self level. Hope this helps just some things I found that did work.

moving gator pictures by brushe2008 - Photobucket
 

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livin Halloween every day
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I built a7 foot tall grim reaper with it and he turned out awesome. I used varnish to seal mine and he is very durable. Monster mud works great and i will definately be making more props from it.I would recommed though not leaving it out like other props. I bring mine out on halloween and hook him up, dont think i would want to test his water proof power if i dont have to.
 

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Going bump in the night..
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Yes.. It can be just a tad moist around october time over here. Thanks for the tip Joe. What can I use to seal it and still retain a matt finish? Would a normal matt varnish be o.k?
Anything that will repel water should work great. Varnish of any kind will likely be more than adequate.
Don't forget to seal the bottom too - I've seen comments from folks where that was the Achilles Heel of their prop...almost literally, I guess.
 

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I am of the thought that you really dont need a sealer. I have several MM props that stay outside from mid Sept through Halloween with no ill affects regardless of the weather. If you have the time and the sealer I am sure it wont do any harm....but it's really not nessasary. IMO!
 

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It depends on your prop. If it has voids that could catch water, you might run into some problems. The latex paint mixed with the joint compound gives you some weather resistance, but it probably won't stand up to an extended soaking.

Varnish would work for a sealer, or a deck sealer. Basically, any product used to waterproof wood products would work fine on the Monster Mud.

We built a 10ft tall reaper last year and I ran out of sealer. I only had the creature's hood partially covered, when it got caught in a downpour while I was away at work. I worried about the prop a good bit as the head was made from paper mache. When I got home, the prop was hardly damaged. It did get a little soft in areas, but nothing too bad.
 

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When using monster mud or any latex paint make sure the sealer is compatible with latex sealers with acetone in them oil based will make the latex bubble and peel.I don't know if you have DRYLOC in the UK if not what dryloc is; is a sealer/paint for wet areas like the inside of a basement wall.google dryloc and you can get a description of what it is and go to your paint store and tell them what your looking for.
 

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Not that this is proper building technique but my 1st grim reaper was MM and I didn't seal it and it lasted 5 years outside the whole month of OCT. Since he was my 1st MM prop it was ok, did the job of scaring just fine. But after 5 years I tired of him and he broke down to where he needed to be replaced.

So if you build a great prop seal it, otherwise mine stood up well to Wisconsin falls with no sealing.

MM makes for easy repairs as well
-PB
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Discussion Starter #15
Many thanks guys, for all your help and advice.
 

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I am working on my first Monster Mud project right now. The only tip I have is to not get discouraged. After dipping the bottom and largest portion of my reaper, I didn't like how it looked. I kept playing with it and finally got it looking how I wanted (draping, etc.) After it dries and hardens it looks 100 times better. I did get very frustrated at first but I am so glad I stuck with it. I have been Halloween crafting for a long time but never used this method. I can see myself using it for all types of applications.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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A quick question for all you mudders....did you use the whole five gallons to make your reaper? I want to make 3 of them.
 

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Life size props that I have made usually didnt require the enitre 5 gal compound/ 1 gal paint mixture. Whatever was left I just sealed up and used on the next prop. A lot of the amount used depends on other factors apart from size. Some people like to spread on additional MM to the faric after it has been applied and fill in all of the holes where others with leave some holes in the burlap.
 
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