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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I'd do a short thread pertaining to my minor mods for the Home Depot Gravedigger.
I really like the height of this prop, as he tops out at over 6', with rather burly shoulders that lend an extra menacing stance.

Since my theme is pirate / 18th century gothic, this prop's factory-supplied attire was comfortably within the realm of the gothic style.
I did, however, want him to look more like a member of the brethren of the coast. He needs to fit in as a denizen of our "Selkie Cove", where our haunted home, "Iverson Manor" resides.
I really wanted him to have at least a different hat than the sorry, floppy mess that is packed in the box. Luckily, the hat is a separate piece from the head; his long gray hair, however, is connected to the hat. The solution is to either keep him bald, or add some hair extension pieces!

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I was going to give him a different cloak/frock coat, but I ended up using a waist sash and two weathered belts. I had a rather long sword from the Assassins Creed prop line that really suits the tall prop.
By luck, I found a set of "pirate accessories" in a costume box that I had formerly forgotten about! These are el-cheapo accessories, but they'll do for this year and any inclement weather. A pair of vambraces and and boot covers make a this guy a more believable buccaneer.
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This picture shows him without the hair, as a reference. I used a Spirit Halloween pirate hat ($20), and it fits him just right.
I modded the lantern to give it a little more realism, using a black wash and some copper rub n buff. Also added some elmers glue mixed with yellow wash to age the lantern "glass".
Here he is inside our kitchen, and then outside where he will stand guard for Halloween-
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Here he is, under the nighttime lighting-
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You will have noticed by now that his cheeks are kind of misshapen; they're just "too sunken". I'm going to attempt a face reconstruction with some thin bits of foam. The cheek area has very little backing as it is supposed to move, so there is not a lot support area to "flesh out" those jowls.
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Overall, I'm very pleased to have him on board with my crew, and he strikes quite a presence in the yard!
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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I love the changes. The lighting is fantastic!!

I agree his cheeks are really sunken but in the lighting it looks really good. The exaggerated effect really makes him look like an undead/corpse of a pirate and gives him a more sinister quality... you know when something isn't quite right, so it's unsettling? That's what I like about it. Not that you shouldn't do whatever you'd like to him, but just a devil's advocate for giving him a bit of a wait and see if it grows on you so you can devote your (very creative) efforts to other amazing things. :D
 
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We kind of like the sunken jowls. It makes him look a few shades deader than if you were to fluff them up. Your theme is mostly dead folk, so having a living prop look a few steps on the wrong side of the grave seems like a good idea. If you're really adventurous, you might look at how well the mask is attached and with a bit of careful cutting, remove part of the face and replace it with a skull. Then you have an even deader undead. Regardless, if you don't do a thing, we think he looks like a part of your family. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the reactions and, even more, a fresh perspective on the sunken undead look, Zombie4, Frankie's Girl, and Chubstuff! Sometimes I'm just too close to the work to see how it can blend in overall. Ironically, I really was hesitant to add a "fleshy" member to the skeleton crew, and your advice gives me great inspiration!
Thank you once again for the kudos, insights and support; you all rock!
 
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