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Somewhat Eccentric
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My one desire this year is to create a groundbreaker. I originally planned on using PVC for the spine, but wanted to keep the materials to stuff every one would likely have around the house. So I present my pre-mache armature made of newspaper, hot glue, tape, cardboard, two screws, and a scrap of wood.

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I started with this

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and ended up with this

I took several pictures of the progress and plan to put together a tutorial with templates, measurements and changes I will make on the next one for anyone who wants to attempt this. It may take a week or so as I'm still in the middle of a remodel but I'll try to hurry :)
 

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Somewhat Eccentric
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I thought putting together a tutorial would be a way of giving back to the forum which has been such an inspiration to me. :) Also this has been the most intimidating project to date and I hope I can take some of the intimidation out of it for anyone else who wants to attempt this.
 

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Somewhat Eccentric
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Have some pictures to post on the progress and just discovered I hadn't transferred them to this computer. Tutorial will still happen, but making several changes and noting what I should have done differently.

Also being in the middle of a remodel, finally being able to work outside and my impending return to work has limited the amount of time I've had for this project. Will get photos up in a day or two :)

I guess I should have put WIP in the title as this definitely is that.
 

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Somewhat Eccentric
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
looks good, I did very similar methods my only warning is take you time added the mache strips, the weight of the wet mache may cause your rib cage to sag if too much is added right away.
I rolled the newspaper pretty tight for the ribs with that in mind. I did however only add a layer of mache every day of two just to be on the safe side. I used newspaper for the first two layers and then decided on paper towels because I just wasn't getting the strength I wanted on the ribs. My biggest problem was getting the ribs to stay in position until I could get enough mache on them to become stiff. I think I'll incorporate your coat hanger method on the next one.

Here's a few photos of the progress, though I'm not finding the picture i took (or thought I did) after I added some paper clay. The thing that sucks most about not having internet is that I can't just go into the next room and snap a picture. :(

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It's really starting to look like a skeleton now.

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Notice how I used wire and tape to achieve spacing and positioning of the ribs. Kind of a pain in the butt, but hey it's a learning process. Planning to use brown craft paper as my final layer to get rid of the patterned paper towel look.
 

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Looking really good! I’m getting things together to form a rib cage for a stalkaround I’m working on this year. This was very helpful. If anyone has any info on forming a rib cage for a stalkaround please let me know. Thanks much! Albert
 

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Somewhat Eccentric
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, unfortunately it is still unfinished. The rolled paper spine was a disaster and hoping to someday replace it with PVC.
 

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How did those ribs hold up? I’ve made mine with irrigation tubing, but its hard to get the exact shape you want. In the end its ok, because I am making decayed zombies so deformed ribs arent necessariliy a bad thing, but if I ever wanted to do a skeletal groundbreaker I’d want more perfect ribs.

I do use a pvc spine and that was a good choice. I use the Mr. Chicken method and just color/ mache in one move as I corpse them. I guess another benefit of the tubing is the strength and the ability to jump right to the last stage of mache.
 

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Somewhat Eccentric
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow! I guess I've been gone longer than I realized. VenomStorm the ribs have held up fine over the years though it's still unfinished. The spine however is another story as it has been moved around so much over the years that it's now broken in two places. Lesson learned: never ever go with a rolled paper spine again. I've seriously thought of tossing it but I have so much time and work invested that I'm hoping to cut the ribs from the original spine and replace with PVC. I did make a smaller ribcage for a pumpkin demon a few years ago and used wire hangers to form the ribs which worked pretty good. If I were to attempt another groundbreaker torso I'd either go with tubing or a heavier gauge wire.
 

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Somewhat Eccentric
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I decided to pull out the groundbreaker and cut out his backbone. Cruel as that may sound, it's his only hope of survival. Right now he's still in a bit of pain as he has a broken rib and a few dangling until his new spine is successfully implanted. In the eight years since his creation, he's been subject to being knocked off the shelf a few times, having stuff piled on top of him by the other adult in this house, subject to paint and stain drips and overspray from other projects and home to many, many spiders and dust bunnies. He has an upcoming surgery and then a cosmetic session with the Dremel to clean up a few issues and prepare him for a brand new layer of paper. Hopefully if all is successful, a final layer of paper towels will be added and maybe we can work on digging up some other body parts for him as well.
 
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