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The problem with this method from what I understand it that the UV rays will attack it . Ask SKAustin.
I had not heard that. Any time frame on when this happens? Everything seems pretty solid in storage. I will touch it up with more paint when I put it out, but no signs of problems yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
The Barghest: Concept

My thinking about building the Barghest really started with Terra's Hellhound.



However, a normal canine really isn't going to fit my yard well at all.

That led to me looking up other canine creatures. Virtually all my designs spring from research.

With tales of black dogs everywhere, I settled in on the Barghest because, like all the Chimera, it is a nebulous creature. At various times appearing as a dog, a bear, a goblin, or a human. Usully covered in mist, and sometimes with a green glow.



Well, this gave me a direction for color, glowing, and the various jumble of animal inspirations to make a chimera out of it.

I also wanted to play with my "carapace" design (featured in Chimera 3) and see if I couldn't improve on it some. With these basics down, it was time to start building.


The Frame.

The main frame of the Barghest is formed by 3 pieces of 1/2" EMT. 3/4" was considered, but to get the pose I wanted with the legs, I needed the more pliable 1/2".

One piece each was made for the left and right side, taped together. The pose was selected to bring in some of that "bear" element. One arm raised so that I can make a more humanoid type hand.



The third conduit would form the tail and neck.



The remainder of the frame was fleshed out with hardware cloth.



Chest purposely being left open for lightplay later.



The rear of the frame was designed specifically to hide a fog machine to bring that misty shroud to the creature's design. Floral wire used here to hold the hardware cloth to the spine.

 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
The Barghest: Head sculpt

I wanted the head to be a little nebulous, but vaguely canine. Inspiration came from my son's ipod game:



I'm sorry for the quality of this pic, don't know what happened.

The initial sculpt was done with a cheap air dry clay. Normally I would use Klean Klay, but it's no longer available and I didn't spend the time to find an alternative. The process is the same, just that other clays are more reuseable. I was only wanting a rough shape, and cheapo the clay would work fine for that.



From the initial skulpt, I made a quick shell out of plaster wrap. (Rigid Wrap in Michaels)



Wiring the top of the skull for it's light, DAS clay used to hold the fixture in place as well as hide the wire and reinforce the plaster shell.



Binder clips and the Sunday paper hold the jaw in place as the glue attaching the pieces together dries. An attachement form built into the back of the head with a scrap piece of 1/2" EMT to allow this to slip right onto the frame. All DAS clay glued down with mod podge.



Initial fit test. The Mod podge proved inadequate, so reinforced the neck attachment with more DAS and paper mache.



Reinforced neck, the exterior was given a coat of DAS to smooth out the sculpt. Adjusting neck to hit the proper gaze, will stare into the eyes of an 8 year old.




Back to front.

The Barghest needs to be monster mudded from back to front.

Reasons a 2 fold. First, and perhaps most importantly, the "carapace" method demands it. However, it also makes good sense with this design to keep the weight in the back first before loading down the front end.

Making sure the fog machine and corrugated tube fit before mudding.

The first mud session is really just to give a basic structure to the hind end, which will serve us until we come back and detail the whole mode.

The torso was wrapped with the fabric store styled burlap to make a nice frame for that fog machine, and to prevent light penetration as we want the back end to fade away.

The legs were created with the Jute Netting burlap. This kind of burlap can take a LOT of mud. By twisting the burlaps around the lower legs, and spreading it up higher, we're able to make some thighs and give structure to the legs.



The torso was sagging, so the paint bucket propped in there to hold it till it dries. How's that for teporary frame?



Toes easily created by separating strands of the burlap netting.

 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
Ribs part 1...

With the hind done, it was time to move on to the chest.

First, we had to think about lighting. Normally, my Chimera have one light for the head, and one for the body. However, with the fog tube running down the center of the Barghest, that was really not an option. I toyed with the idea of getting some of those strip LED's and coiling them around that fog tube, but decided on the cheap route and wired additional sockets.

Again, DAS making holders for the sockets right into the hardware cloth this time.



The problem was, I needed that chest area more or less level. The best I could come up with is a comedy of bucket stands. Wishing I had waited to make toes...going to have to go back and do them again.



To make the ribs, I cut off one side of that Jute netting (seen center) and then unraveled the rest. You need to cut an end since they are all tied/stitched at either end. Separated into little 'rib piles'.



Simply grab one of your piles, mud it, and drape it around the frame. I had some of it wanting to slip, so floral wire was used to hold those to the hardware cloth where needed.



More of the fabric store burlap was used at the shoulders to HIDE THE LIGHTBULBS.



Note the shadowplay on the back wall. This is exactly what I wanted to see for the carapace method to work.



The Carapace Method.

What I have dubbed the Carapace method was initially designed for Chimera 3, and rather timidly used there. The customer had requested shadowplay in 360 degrees. Where I was already basing that design on beetles, it made sense to look to the segmented carapace for inspiration. (in addition to Halloween, Entomology is also a hobby of mine.) Since then, I've been wanting to base an entire design around it.

The idea is to make layered plates of monster mud that will allow light through in between them.

Measuring out the fabric for one of the plates. You'll notice the hardware cloth has also been cut and rolled around the mud ribs.



I'm also adding support with some loose ends of the jute netting tying the bottom of the ribs up to the neck.


To make the space for separation, some plastic sheeting is placed between the 'bottom, and where the new plate will go.



First rib wrapped, second carapace section up, gradually making the angle of each section wider.

 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
The Carapace Method, part 2

Hit the picture limit on the other post there, so here we go.

The thing about the carapace method, however is that only the top layer really gets a chance to dry, what with all that plastic.

So, where we built back to front, you have to dry front to back.

Removing the top plastic from our first mud session. Had to break to scrounge up more burlap.



As it stands.



Tying up the last two ribs.



Showing our gaps for light and fog to permeate.



Basic body form all mudded, finally. Need to go make some more mud now, as we have a LOT of the Jute netting to do.



With any luck the breeze will dry this swiftly and we can try a light and fog test tomorrow.
 

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Loving this stuff UnO. I'm racking my brain to see if I can apply any of these techniques in my plans for "BearTrap". The fog thing is what really is churning away in the back of my brain. Not so much as putting it into him as surrounding him with intense fog. But first I gotta get over this back injury, I'm so itchin' to get started on my Halloween props!
HM
 

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SK Austin was telling me that he was seeing problems after a year or so. Dont really know for sure. He uses latex and tissue paper or paper towels for his ground breakers. The problem must not be to bad because he is still using this method.
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
SK Austin was telling me that he was seeing problems after a year or so. Dont really know for sure. He uses latex and tissue paper or paper towels for his ground breakers. The problem must not be to bad because he is still using this method.
I've used paper towel/latex for years. Aside from the birds wanting to eat it, I haven't had too much trouble till about 5 years. But, my stuff is usually only out a week at a time and it's the UV rays that deteriorate Latex.


More coming this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
The Barghest: Left Arm

Not as much done as I wanted, some soggy/humid weather prevented me from getting a second mud session in.

I wanted to start detailing as I did the arms, and in order to do that, I needed something to hold the burlap into shapes I wanted. Enter stem wire.



This was threaded onto the current mud layers and made something of a 'frill' to extend from each carapace. The IDEA was that as I put the burlap on the arm, I could unravel the top part and twist them onto these to make little spines.



That's not how it worked out, however...

So, like moving back to front, I need to move left to right with the legs for weight reasons.

Left leg. Note how the forearm is twisted tightly around the conduit, then fanned out starting at the elbow to creat some definition to the upper arm/leg.



The burlap kept slipping, however, so I had to scrap the idea of just unraveling this piece and instead wrap individual strands around each of those wires. After it dries, I can go back and make the spines more of an even progression from the carapace.

Another shot showing how the upper arm is defined using this method, folding the front section of burlap under to make it a little thicker.



Burlap tightly wraped at the neck to prevent slipping at the leg.



Front shot of the spines, will get better defined later.



Closeup of forearm.

 

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Discussion Starter #35
The Barghest: Right Arm


Much the same process as the left arm.

Setting the wires up for the spines.



And the fingers. These were just bent and shoved into the conduit for a tight fit.



Like the spines, the fingers need some more done to them, but we're waiting for the mud to dry first before building them up.

Unfortunately, despite mudding all this on Friday, it was still not dry this morning (Monday). Patience is sometimes the hardest part.

Thinking I'll move on and do the tail next to act as counterbalance (complicated reasoning why I've waited, mostly due to not really knowing what I wanted to do with it), as the WET arm proved just enough weight to push this to the tipping point, so I had to brace it up with some paint cans.

 

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Discussion Starter #36
The Barghest: Neck and tail.

Nothing really dramatic here. You've seen the processes by now. Still working with the big jute netting. Looking back I should have done the tail prior to the right arm for counterbalance, but live and learn.


Measureing the little stretch of neck, wanting to hide the chord and add support to the head itself.

While working, we also fleshed out some of the spines and the fingers.




The front of the neck piece was unraveled to add some detail to the head itself.




The arm doesn't NEED to be on that paint can anymore but you might notice it's a bit cramped in there.




Tail.




I'd call it ready for paint, but I've decided to hide some tie downs in the legs for good measure. This is easily the lightest Chimera I've built, so want it to have a little more opportunity to be secured.



We'll be painting as early as this weekend depending on weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
The Barghest: Final Touches


With the sculpting complete, a base coat (ok several coats) of exterior flat black latex paint was applied with a power painter.



Followed by drybrushing with white the head and shoulders, so they stand out and show the details.






 
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