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Discussion Starter #1
Evening all,

So tonight i began my journey into the prop making world and decided to try a ground breaker. So far I have the torso armature started. This is my first time so be gentle lol. I'll be the first to admit that i had some problems getting the collar bone to look right... and he may be a tad taller than I wanted, but oh well. Most of the newspaper i used is the Obituaries from many papers... I figured maybe it would give me some good luck and turn out half decent if its made from them :) If anyone has any constructive criticism (or to quote Michael Scott from the office) Constructive Compliments please leave them below :)

Stay tuned to this thread to get updates on the adventures of the new guys ground breaker.



Tomorrow (or possibly later tonight) i think im going to begin work on the arms. I am torn between the idea of making arms out of wire hangers and paper... of Great Stuff. Right now im leaning toward hangers and paper. We'll see how it goes. wish me luck. :)
 

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SuperBeast
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I think it looks great so far. If it were me, I would stay as far away from Great Stuff as I could. (bad experience). This year, I'm gonna' make all of my skelly props from paper mache, duct tape, etc.

The Office is my favorite show, by the way. Between Michael and Dwight, it really doesn't need any other characters, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Rookie :)

Dwight and creed are my favorite...although Creed doesnt get a fair share of the lime light. Anyways, I agree, i think im going to mache the heck out of him including the arms. I hear alot of good things about Great Stuff... but I also here that when great stuff goes wrong.. it goes realllly wrong.

Thanks for the constructive compliment :) lol... from one office haunter to another..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got a partial arm + right hand!!

Evenin all,

OK progress update. I got the lower part of the right arm and hand completed with a first layer of mache. Let me just say... as a first time, never touched the stuff before, mache user...that stuff is difficult. I mean, ok, maybe larger parts wont be so bad... but getting the fingers and knuckles of this guy... I was ready to pull my hair out!!! (On a side note... nothing on your body will itch, until both hands are covered in glue ) :( ANYONE with advice for macheing hands and fingers, please speak up before this guy looses his mind :) also, I made waaay to much glue mix for just the one arm... i covered it with a plastic bag.. how long will that stuff last? I hope to begin the second arm tomorrow or over the weekend... think it'll make it?

on with the pic:

 

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Bête noire
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I use the 50/50 white glue and water mix, and I have a plastic bucket with a snap-on lid that I store it in. It lasts for months. I just add more as needed. Once in a while I have to scrape some of the thicker glue coating off the bottom of the bucket but that's all. As long as it doesn't dry out, you're good to go. If you're using food products like flour in your mix, there may be an issue.

Good lookin' hand and arm! Use paper towels for the overlay, they give you a nice dried skin texture. Squeeze out most of the mix (until it stops dripping) and cover the newsprint. Use 2 -3 layers, letting them get mostly dry between applications. Use your fingers to push wrinkles and folds into the layers. A fan helps with the drying time.
 

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I am using stalloweens process: STOLLOWEEN The Basics

So far so good. I am building 4 skeletons. Figured I would do a large load so I could get an assembly process going. Mache about 16 bones a night and still building the base as I go. Good thing to do while you are watching TV, except when your daughter walks off with your box of material and scatters them out in the kitchen.

I havnt done my hands yet, but I have learned 2 things about the smaller pieces. First just apply paste to your base and letting it sit over night seems to give it a little extra strength. Also I have been doing smaller parts seperate from the rest. So with my forearm bones, I paper mached each small bone seperate with 3 layers. After that I taped joint portions of the bone on to these pieces. Just finished my 2nd layer on those and they are looking real good.


One other happy surprise I found is that toilet paper works good for a final coat if you are looking for something to hide the lines but also to give a rather bumpy look. But with TP you want to coat your item first then TP followed by more paste on top. If you try to dip it like news paper it will disingrate before you get it on.
 

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Obssessed Haunter
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I usually use latex for my skin. Latex and paper towel is a great combo... I like the idea of the latex paint with the paper towel, expecially if you want your corpse to have a color other then a flesh color. Latex dries to an excellent flesh color.
I've used glue before too and that works great to. I just started using latex because I could buy a gallon of it at a pretty reasonable price.
Looking great... keep us posted on the progress !
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for the positive comments.

@ lynn, I was thinking about going the latex route.. but to get a decent quantity, i would have to order online, and then pay shipping, and its not worth it (least not yet since i am a first timer) if i can actually get good at this prop thing, i may venture into the latex realm.
 

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I was thinking about going the latex route.. but to get a decent quantity, i would have to order online, and then pay shipping, and its not worth it (least not yet since i am a first timer) if i can actually get good at this prop thing, i may venture into the latex realm.
I use carpet latex as well, and it is very cheap to buy, and works great:D
 

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I also used carpet glue and paper towels, with a 1X2 spine, newspaper and tape for my ribs, pvc for the arms and neck. I like to use the wood because I can screw the pvc into it. Let me try and attach one of my pics of my groundbreaker in progress.

Damn, Im stupid, cant paste it.

Heres the link. 056 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
**Update**

Evenin guys,

Ok time for a quick update. I pretty much finished the body and arms. Now, comes (to me) the difficult part, macheing the crud out of it. So far i like the general look of the armature, but im a little concerned about the weight of the arms. they droop a little more then i like. I like the Idea of using PVC, and will more than likely do that on my next one. I think i have the bug now lol. ok enough gab, heres the pics.





and from a different angle



 

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Hi loner, it looks great so far, just a suggestion for the arms, while you mache, place a brace under the arms to support them as the wetness from the mache can soften them up, and they can (will) droop. Once the mache is four or five layers deep, and dry, they'll stay up just fine as the mache will re-enforce what you've already built. I can't wait to see more pics as it gets further along. Keep up the good work!!
 
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