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Rotted Talking Head

19427 Views 86 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  MikeBru
This is the first time I am posting, uploading pics, starting a thread and documenting a build. What could go wrong right?

For some reason I have always been fascinated by skulls and mummy heads in the movies. They seem to get more and more realistic. I became seriously intrigued whenever Spielberg used heads and mummy corpses in his movies. The store bought ones are cool but they lack the detail I took note of in the movies. So, I thought I would try to do it on my own. Since I wanted this head to go on display in my haunt I wanted it to do more than just sit there like a rock. I'm going to make it talk to the TOTs. It will have a demonic voice projecting from it.

Credit goes to skullkit.com for giving me the sense I really could do this. Thanks for getting me into trouble.

If you want to do this you'll need some stuff and instead of letting you just take a guess as to what that might be here is a list. I didn't put everything in there because some of the items are just things I have around for any project, and I figure you have them too (dremel, soldering iron, etc).

Lindberg Skull $20.
Wood Stain.
LEDs, All Electronics Blue Oval $1.
Speaker, 5.25 inch, All Electronics $8.
Latex $14 Motion Picture F/X Company, Special Effects Makeup Supplies - MonsterClub.com
Acrylic artists paints $7-$14 a tube, Daler Rowney System 3.
Teeth, $6 set, Uhler.
Cotton balls, $2.

Whatever else you may need to do the job.

Get your head and stain it.
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Start by wiping down your skull with alcohol to rid it of finger prints, oils etc. Then slather your stain of choice all over all parts of the skull
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This isn't in order because I started to take the photos after I was already starting the work on Fred the Head.

The teeth are actual denture teeth meant for humans. I think they add something to the overall look. The shade is 81, I think. I will go darker next time. I built up wax gums from the wax that lined the trays the teeth came in. I then pressed the teeth into the wax. I removed the teeth I wanted to and then used the acrylic nails kit (not mentioned above $6) to cement the teeth into the upper and lower jaw. I cemented them in from behind. Afterward, I removed as much of the wax as possible. I wound up with some under the teeth but the rest came off eventually.
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Ok, the pics are difficult for me to figure out.

Anyway, I now drilled one hole in each eye socket. BUT, I drilled the hole in the top FRONT of each socket. I really like the lit up eyes on many skulls but I think seeing the bulb or LED in the back of the socket takes away from the effect. So I mounted my LEDs right up front in the top of the socket! (Head slap, stupid me) You'll see why in a bit. (I was experimenting... and it worked!)

In the pic the LEDs are just sticking straight down. Put a little patch of masking tape on the very end of the LEDs and bend them back flush into the eye socket so they are flush along the roof of the socket.
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Here is maybe a better shot of the LEDs in the front top of the socket. This is before the patch of tape on the tip and before bending them up to the top of the socket.
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Here you can see the brain pan above the eyes. The leads for the LEDs are sticking up. I then hot glue the leads so there are no leaks and so the lights won't move and short out. I only want to do this once per head.
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I then soldered and hot glued the LED leads to wires which go to a double AA battery pack.
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If you note, the wires are also hot glued down into place so that they don't get up to no good later on, or even buzz.
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Ok, two things happened in this photo. One, I sprayed flat black primer into the eye sockets and coated everything in there. I then went in with black acylic paint and touched up anything that wasn't jet black. Flat black paint should reflect nothing. When dry, i pulled the tape off of the LEDs

Second, I set the lower jaw where I wanted it, and just like with the teeth, used acrylic nail filler to cement the jaw in. Note, it isn't set in straight on purpose. I want to give the impression of the ligaments having rotted and allowing the jaw to come unhinged.
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Next I took the 5.25 inch All Electronics "Woofer" and placed it upside down on top of the skull. I then marked the metal surround for what I had to cut off. I figured the biggest speaker I could fit in Fred's head would give me the best sound. The best sound puts more fear into the TOTa.

Oh, yeah. I didn't document this but... I enlarged the hole on the base of Fred's head so the sound has somewhere to come out of and the rain (If I have any) can't come in. Plus the closer to his actual mouth that I can make the sound exit the more 'death like' it will present to the TOTs. Maybe even make 'em wonder how he is growling at them.
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Another shot of the speaker. Now you can see that the metal flange has been cut away on the top and bottom in the picture. One of the metal "ears" that have been created has been bent down. (In the photo it has been bent up toward you) This will create the point to mount the speaker with a screw and nut to the back of Fred's skull. I'll cover that up later. The other ear is simply hot glued onto the brain pain up near the LEDs. You'll see in the next photos.
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Another pic. I also touched up the speaker with fresh paint to prevent rust and the chance it might show through the eyes.
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About as much brain as Fred is gonna get. The rear of the speaker in bolted in, the front is glued in.
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A little teaser. With the LED's and the entire eye socket blacked out and only the tips of the LEDs exposed and shining into to back of the socket..... the sockets just kind of glow without a source. Trick worked! (BTW, the LEDs all but disappear in person)

Sorry, have to get on my bike and ride home. I will try to post more later!

Next I'll get some Wet Work done on Fred's Head.
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For the wet work I will be making muscles, blood vessels, skin and any other bits I can think of.

I poured a little pool of latex liquid into a bowl and put around one pencil eraser sized drop on the acrylic artist's paint into the latex and gave it a stir. For the muscles I used one drop of Daler Rowney crimson and one drop of burnt umber.

I took a cotton ball and unrolled it. Then, as best as I could, got it saturated with the colored latex. I then placed the 'muscle' on the face where muscles would actually be found. As the muscle dried it darkend quite a bit. Also, as it darkened I used the back of an Xacto knife and a toothpick to make detail in the muscle to indicate the striations in muscle. I also took a hemostat and the toothpick to open holes in the muscle to expose the bone underneath and to tease out tufts of the tissue.
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This is the 'muscle' going on. In all of these photos the muscles is still wet.
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In this pic the latex and cotton muscle is still very wet and kind of looks like, well, crap. As it dries I added more detail.

The blue and silver twisted wire in the photos is the 16 gauge speaker wire going to the speaker in Fred's head. I'll paint it later or cover it in some colored latex.
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