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18067 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  EdgarWhelp
Seeing some examples of statues we have done in the past, the wife and I decided to try and make a reaper statue for our yard this year using PVC, chicken wire, sheets, monster mud and a few accessory items.

I started out making a base out of some extra mortar I had laying around from doing some tile work. (Works great and mortar is really cheap)
Then made a basic skeletal frame using PVC and chicken wire. We decided to add a piece of wood to help support one arm that will be holding a lantern.
Wood Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies Window

After that, we made a big batch of monster mud and soaked a sheet in it and then draped it around the chicken wire and let it sit for a few days to cure. Did you know a queen size sheet soaked in monster mud is heavy? (insert The More You Know NBC commercial here)

Textile Personal protective equipment Paper Jeans

Next, gave it a good coat of black paint, followed by several coats of dry brushing grey on there to give it that old statue look.
Wood Outerwear Jacket Sculpture

Dress Textile Recreation T-shirt

Next we wrapped a strand of red lights we picked up in after Christmas sales and weaved them through the chicken wire inside so he would glow out the bottom. Set in a lantern to test the look.
T-shirt Personal protective equipment Jacket

We took a skull and drilled a hole in each eye socket, then ran a few of the red lights up into his head and poking out the holes. Applied a lot of hot glue to keep it in place and give it a better effect.
Head Eyewear Jaw Selfie Glasses

I didn't want to put a band spanking new lantern on him (thought that would look bad), so I took one of the new lanterns we bought and aged it up with a few different types of spray paint. Took out the LED Bulbs and put in a Dollar Store Flicker light to give it an older look.
Lantern Lighting Lamp Emergency light Light fixture

This time after attaching the head, instead of soaking the sheet in Monster Mud, we placed the sheet on his head and used our hands to just spread the MM all over his "hood". I found this to be a much easier way to apply it. Let it cure, and did the same painting technique as before.

Here is the final results. Took a picture in dark and in light to show the detail and look.
Statue Lady Monument Costume Outerwear

Outerwear Abaya Costume Fictional character Robe
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Really nice reaper - love the added red glow at the bottom! :cool:
i know storage is always a problem ... so you can ship it to my house & i'll store it on my front porch until you want it back ;-)

looks amazing!

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Great Job. Never working with monster mud before I have a question. How brittle is it after it hardens? With a statue that big with a mortar base is there a big risk of damage during movement?
All totaled, how long did this take you? How long does that monster mud soaked sheet take to dry? I love the way your finished reaper looks.
the thicker the layer you put on the stiffer it is. the paint on it also helps hold it together. It never got brittle on us, but what we noticed is that the higher the humidity was, the more pliable it got. Free standing wasn't much of an option then, but we had already built a base and planned on PVC to keep it up.
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I'd say it took us maybe a week if we worked on it non stop. The Base took a day to cure, and the Monster Mud took a day to cure, then the rest was just painting (let it dry, paint again, let it dry, etc) and working on the other parts and pieces while we waited.
He looks fantastic! Is he going to be on the porch? Maybe also put a light from behind or above too .
We also built a gate to go in between 2 six foot pillars we made last year. He is going to stand behind them with the gate chained shut until Halloween, then we will move him. Not sure where yet. Still laying out the yard and lots more to build this year. :)
I've been holding off making my own reaper for the last few years but I think you've convinced me MTDave - that looks awesome.

Now to look into alternatives to joint compound monster mud (too expensive here)... has anyone had success with the PVA (aka "white" aka "Elmer's") glue and paint method?
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