Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Scared Silly
Joined
·
1,930 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Been a while since I made a regular Halloween prop, since I haven't had a haunt of my own for a few years. I recently got an opportunity to make something, so I decided to go back to my roots with a goofy zombie. I used to do plenty of groundbreakers, but I never got to do a full figure zombie in my style, so that's this week's project.

I like to start with a sketch. I don't draw, but I can doodle!


The armature is in my traditional style-- 3/4" PVC, X coupler at the shoulders, T at the pelvis. All the other joints are posed simply with a heat gun. It makes for a cheaper structure that has fewer weak points. Perhaps most importantly, it allows for infinite flexibility in the pose, which I think is the most important part of a static character. This post by Pumpkinrot really sums it up for me.


I do the ribs, bone knobbly bits, and such with rolled or crumpled newspaper, as in my skeleton tutorial: http://www.instructables.com/id/Paper_Mache_Skeletons/

Cardboard sternum, pelvis, palms of the hands. Wire fingers.

And then I go for the skin. A few folks know how I do mummified corpse skin, but I don't think I've explained it publicly yet. It's basically just paper towels soaked in latex house paint. Lay it on, wrinkle it up. It dries super hard, depending on how much paint is on the towel, is basically waterproof, and gives you your base color

I do the majority while he's upright, so I can get all around
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
It's coming along nicely Mr. Chicken. Can't wait to see the finished prop.
 

·
Scared Silly
Joined
·
1,930 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You'll notice the hands aren't attached when I begin corpsing. I find it's easier to do them when you can get all around, and since they're going to be all tangled up together, keeping them separate seemed the way to go.



Then I lay him on his back to do the stomach and neck. If I did these standing up, the paper towels wouldn't drape as nicely.



By the way, you probably noticed the head is already done. That was a little guy who peeped around the corner last year. I figured his expression was close enough that I could repurpose him to save some time. I actually rather liked doing it this way, though.


More to come...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
Nice! And, hey, I use the papertowel & latex paint trick too!! I never thought about it until you said it, but it does seem like it would be waterproof. I usually spray lots of liquid stain on them and they do holdup well. I've only had a problem if something gets bumped or stressed pretty hard at a joint and then the papertowels might tear and expose the lighter/unstained towel part.

Can't wait to see the finished product...
 

·
Scared Silly
Joined
·
1,930 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks folks!
I've been corpsing this way since I redid my flour-and-water mache props in about 2008. Works great for vines and things, too.
I think these guys were the first two to get the treatment


You should all go read that Pumpkinrot post I linked to regarding pose. The idea that the figure is captured in the moment stopping to take a breath really works.
 

·
Scared Silly
Joined
·
1,930 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Updates!
Moving quickly on this guy to have him done before the weekend.

Once the mache (which DevilsChariot has been calling "Chicken Mache" haha) was dry enough, I started dry brushing. Drybrushing, washes, and rubouts are awesome for getting "free detail" in your paint jobs. I took a little of the base color, and mixed it with white and yellow to get the drybrush color. Actually, I did about three or four variants on that color to keep things from getting too much the same all over.





Now I'm going to turn you onto another cool trick. You can get this stuff called Polycrylic at Home Depot. I think it's for sealing wood, but it gives a nice clear satin finish to just about anything. Just makes things pop a little better than if they were matte. It's pricey at about $50/gal, but you hardly use any. If you don't stir it, it comes out glossy, which is kinda neat, too.

Someone asked about the eyes. I think it's a trick I got from Born2Haunt: http://www.born2haunt.com/Ledeyes01.html
I believe these ones were a little plaster mold I made of a half ball of clay. Shoot in some hot glue (no need to fill it, just skin the surface. Bam. Eyeballs. I run the thing under cold water to speed up the glue cooling down.


I decided to paint the eyes. I had left them glue colored before because they have LEDs behind them, but they look kinda lame in the daylight like that. Turns out the light will still shine through a thin few layers of acrylic.


Then I glossed them. I did the teeth with an acrylic gloss, and it looked fine, but I really want the eyes to pop, so I used a couple coats of 5 minute epoxy. It doesn't show up so great in this picture, but I'll do a proper photoshoot later in the week.


So now we're at like 95% complete. Here's where you come in. I'm toying with the idea of giving him a little bit of costuming to go with the ToT bucket. What do you think, creepy cloth or no creepy cloth?

 

·
Here to burgle your turts
Joined
·
2,305 Posts
Wow! That's a million-dollar post right there. Just packed with info. You make this stuff look SOOOOO easy. :)

I don't mind the idea of the cloth, but as it is it kinda looks like a shawl... I don't know how you'd make it look costume-y. I agree with FH that you definitely don't want to cover up too much of the awesome detailing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
I'm thinking something 'cute' to go with the jack-o-lantern candy bucket. Like a Spider Man mask on the top of his head so that it's not hiding any detail. And then start thinking, 'What is s/he looking at? What would spook a ghoul?'

Maybe Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus. Juuuuuust kidding!

Looks FANTASTIC, Mr. Chicken! Thank you for sharing the Chicken Mache technique as well as the steps for the build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
The hands are cardboard palm, wire fingers and then fleshed/corpsed with latex paint soaked paper towels?

You experienced haunters sure make stuff look easy. ;)

How do you end up securing the hands to the armature? Great work as usual, Mr. Chicken!

Oh....I like the look without the creepy cloth. Not sure why, but the cloth makes him look like my mother-in-law. I KID!!!
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top