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Posable 6' - 10' spider (for under $50)

14315 Views 20 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Deathtouch
Posable 6' - 10' spider (Finished!)

Hi everyone! I was building a giant spider this year and thought I'd take pics along the way and share them. This is a 6' spider based on the shape of the wiper spider prop by PR0CRASTINAT0R on youtube (4' body and 2' extra length with the front legs) but the price between the 6' and the 10' shouldn't be that much different as I think my 6' spider only used about a half sheet of 2" foam. I used alot of scrap foam so I'm not exactly sure how much foam it used. I'm going to break it into 2 parts: building and finishing. I think the building part will be the toughest to get through so I'll be posting that first and post the finishing later this week. Many people will have their own way of painting/finishing as well, but my method will (most likely) be sanding, monster mud, sanding again, then painting along with any embellishments I think of on the way.
Here's a great website at Zombietronix that has a spider proportion calculator if you want to change things up a little:

spider proportion calculator

Fist off - supplies:
24 - 3/4" pvc 45's ($12)
8 - 3/4" pvc tee's ($4)
2 - 10' lengths of 3/4 pvc ($4) 3 lengths if you want a larger spider
16 - steel brackets ($5)
1 - 2" XPS foam board ($20)
scrap 1/2" or 1" XPS foam
scrap 3/4" plywood
a bread knife and utility knife worked great for cutting down the foam

I used the 3/4" plywood as the backbone of the spider and the anchor for the steel brackets that hold the legs on. The orange 4' level and the 1' ruler are in the pic for scale. I took alot of weight out of the plywood by cutting out some excess wood from the back part.

next is applying 2 layers of 2" of XPS foam to the entire top of the spider and attaching the pvc tee's with the steel brackets to the bottom of the head part. The brackets are screwed tightly only around the outside of the brackets closest to the edge of the spider while the screws toward the inside of the spider are screwed just enough to keep the pvc tee's snug. This will alow the legs to move freely for posing and can be screwed down tightly later to keep the pose. If they're not snug when screwed all the way down, wrap some duct tape around the tee's till they become snug.
Cut a small piece of 3/4" pvc and glue it into the tee's to add some length so the 1st 45 degree elbow is at least past the edge of the spider. This will be the only pvc fitting that will be glued.

The next two parts are just building up the spider's body. First is building up the body around the legs. I used 2 sheets of 1/2" foam board, cutting out holes to fit over the tee's, then cutting around the interior row of screws so they can be adjusted whenever needed and keeping a section in the middle to support the black cloth that will be used to cover up the holes after completion. After the glue dries, carefully cut out an area for the pve tee to fit into so the legs will rest close to the plywood.

Building up the back part of the body is pretty much the same. I used a piece of 2" foam for the bottom of the back and 2 more pieces of 2" foam for the top of the back (bringing it to 10" total, 2" on the bottom and 8" on the top) After cutting away the foam to get the right shape, cut the pvc to the desired length for the legs making sure not to glue them together. All the legs will be posable up/down and front/back. After pushing them tightly together some duct tape or screws will hold them in position for the season and allow you to break down easily for storage.

I'll be adding to the post while I get to the finishing part but basiclly I'll be sanding it, covering it in monster mud and painting it black then adding some slim white fangs, red eyes to the head and a red hourglass to the back to make it a black widow.
Hope you enjoyed it!

The second half of the build is now ready! Go down a couple of posts to see the pics :)
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Wow really nice! Don't forget to show us what he looks like when he's all done!:D
looks great i would love to see the outcome of this as well.keep us posted:)
a very interesting design, i never would have thought of it. great job, can't wait to see what it turns out like
WOW ........... Amazing!!! I can't wait to see it when it's done!!!!!
thanks all :) put the first coat of MM on yesterday, next one is going on tonight. Sand and paint and I should have the finished pics up in a few days. I did carve some more relief into the neck area and added a 1/2 inch of foam to the back for a nice rounded look. Is it just me or does that last pic look like that Klingon war vessel thingy from star trek?? I keep going back to the pic expecting the uss enterprise to come blazing in from the left side of my monitor firing torpedos!
Here is the second half of the build:

For the building of the legs I couldn't think of anything that would cap off the end of the pvc so I ended up buying a dowel rod about the same thickness of the pvc and carving them myself with a utility knife. To secure them to the legs I used gorilla glue and screws.

The fangs are made using thinwall poly pipe, aka sprinkler tubing. The type I got was rigid, straight and sold in 2' sections so I had to heat up the pipe about 2 inches from the end to make the 90 degree bend. Use a blow torch set on very low flame to heat up the pipe till it becomes soft and easy to bend. To get the bend to become permanent, just run it under some cool water. To make the slight arc in the fang, repeat above and be careful not to kink it. For the tapered point on the fang I cut out triangles at the end with the top point of the triangle about 1 inch from the bottom of the pipe. Heat up the end and while using a thick glove, pinch the bottom together to form the point, then run to the sink and cool it under cool water to set the shape. Don't worry if it doesn't look very good right now, just the general shape is needed. I used my trusty utility knife to carve away at the pipe to get the final shape. Now is a very good time to give the tubing a sanding so primer and paints will adhere to it.

On to the body. I used foam balls from Walmart cut in half and glued on the face. I used a couple of thin dowel rod sections as pins to hole the eyes in place as the glue dried, then used latex to smooth the space left between the eyes and face. Next I sprayed a light coat of primer on then a couple of thin layers of monster mud. To attach the fangs, I drilled out holes in the head and used gorilla glue. My holes were just a tad too big so I used small thin strips of foam to wedge the fangs in place. After the glue dries use a knife to cut off the excess glue and use latex to smooth it out.

After some sanding and another light coat of primer it was time to paint and here's the finished product! I'm going to hang him on the roof right above the front door with the legs posed to look like he's trying to clinb down. Everyone will have to get good and close to get some candy :D

I'm not sure how well the legs will hold the prop up off the ground, my main concern was in being able to move the legs around both up/down and front/back to simulate walking and being able to use it in different areas of the yard if I wanted. But in playing around with it in the garage the legs were very stiff when tightened down fully.
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Looks outstanding!! I need to build a large spider myself, legs were a great idea.
Very cool spider and a great tutorial to go with it! :) Thanks for sharing!
What a great project. Thanks for sharing the details. I needed a good giant spider....no excuses now!
Sweeeet!, as far as a victom, make a dummy with some close and wrap him with spider webbing, go to walmart and get one of those crawling hands and use that for his hand. he'll be wrapped up in a coocoon but his hand will still be moving.
This is awesome. I have thinking about next years haunt with a spider theme. Something like a big spider coming down a web via a garage door opener.
wow, I have always wanted a large spider, thanks for the tutorial, maybe next year I will get to one!
Nice spider! I made a similar one and for a victim I made a small dummy dressed in street clothes and carrying a TOT pail.
The dummy is upside down and wrapped with web. I tell all the kids that he was the first kid not wearing a costume tonight(Halloween):p
You should see the eyes widen:eek:
looks great; and great tutorial!
I just saw this. Awesome spider. So beautiful.
Thanks JustWhisper! The wife and I just pulled him out of the shed a couple of days ago, can't wait to get him out in the yard.
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