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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I've seen some great ideas here. Really inspired to want to start building props for our family's Halloween decorations.

I wanted to have a zombie that was running in mid-stride, but haven't really seen anything to guide, so I brainstromed a little. I just built the stand and skeleton today. Hands are in process of drying. Made them by shaping some chicken wire into the palm and then used some wire hangers to craft fingers. Will post more of the hands when they're dry.

Let me know what you think, and PLEASE share any tips or recommendations. :)

Happy Halloween! Soon!

after constructing base

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after painting base, and placed a mannequin head on for some extra realism before I begin work on the body, extremities and the real head

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Trace,.

I used 1" PVC, though now in thinking, perhaps 1/2 to 3/4 would have been sufficient. He's a little heavy after assembling.

I've been working on the hands some and unfortunately, this is my first go around and I'm learning the hard way.

I applied modeling clay over my mached hands and now while it's drying it's starting to flake away. I need to find a way to arrest the flaking and somehow make it adhere to the hand frame.

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Thought I'd send some updates. Got the body done, and tested out what the clothes look like on it. I can tell you that I really should have glued the legs in place, but that may have been a problem with getting the pants on. I suppose one could make them like. tear aways where it velcros on the back of the pant leg and seam. May make this correction next time.

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Well done! It's so hard to create an armature that is balanced and sturdy enough to support a prop in forward motion. I've done two for this year and both wound up having to be staked with a rope from behind to keep them from falling forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the kind words everyone :)

I've been working some more tonight on the details.

I've decided to re-do the eyeballs, because last time I just put too much red yard for the venules of the eyes. They're much better this time around and don't look fuzzy.

I've also started work on the other hand and the head. I've decided to paint the varnish over the clay before it's had a chance to set, so we'll see what happens there. Perhaps it won't crack, but then again it might not dry properly either. Oh, and I accidentally made two left hands. whoops! Perhaps next year this might be fixed.

I painted, lightly with black spray paint the mannequin head. Had to be careful though as too much starts to dissolve the Styrofoam. I also began cutting out room for a mouth and apply the base layer of clay for the head. I'll have to layer this up before I start painting. I'd like to do the zipper head idea with this. I'll keep the pictures coming as I progress.
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Good God, man, that is beyond fantastic! The realism on that face is downright scary!!! Excellent job!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you CreepyCreations

I put some more work on the right eye this morning. the left eye cracked as expected. I'm going to try to work with this regardless. May prove to be a benefit unforeseen.
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Wow. That looks amazing so far. :D
And as for the cracking and flaking, maybe you could use it to your advantage as a "decayed" effect on the skin. ;)
 

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I got the skin and basic structure of the face down now. I figured out to be adding some water to smooth things out as I proceed. This has been pretty satisfying so far. I'm not anywhere near finished yet though. Any suggestions about where to get some teeth? :)

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Not sure if you have found an idea for teeth yet. You could use a pair of plastic or rubber fake teeth and either stick them in just like that, or cut them into separate teeth and then you can position them any way you'd like. :)
 

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You know Daceswithdoom, I did just that. I bought some nasty looking teeth at the Halloween store. Meant to be used by people. I had to cut them down a little bit so it looked like they recessed proportionately. I drilled small holes in them, and then stuck nails through the holes into the styrofoam mouth. I painted the inside of the mouth black too. You can see that the skin has chipped significantly during the drying process. I've also painted some coats of dry-lock, matte, to protect the skin from the elements and sun.

I also got the idea to try to make it appear as if his brain were exposed. I referenced a picture online and used Great Stuff to lay out the waves of the brain. Once it sets I'm going to start sanding it down and working on the details of the folds of the brain. Then paint it and dry-lock it.

I've also decided to PVC glue the attachment of the pelvis and spine. I'm also going to glue the femur into the hip, and the medial part of the clavicle into the sternal area so that it doesn't slip out, but this still allows for positioning of the legs are arms in general as I want them.

will post more tomorrow as I make more progress.

I browsed strobe lights in the Halloween store, but was hesitant because they look way marked up there. Any recommendations for good strobes that are reasonably priced JustJ?


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Oh wow. Those teeth look gnarly. In a good way of course. :) You and I must think a lot a like because we are both attempting this similar project (mannequin formed zombie head with partially exposed brain matter and funky teeth). I gotta say, yours looks ten times better than mine though. ;) Keep up the awesome work! Cant wait to see it finished. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
made some progress tonight with shaving down the Great Stuff.

I thought I had the tools to shave down this head some, but realized that clay working tools simply didn't have the "cutting" power. I resorted to using a double edged razor blade and holding it with both hands and carving away sections that "didn't belong." (*wink* thanks Terra) Afterwards I used an abrasive sponge to sand it down to a smoother surface. The cool un-intended effect is that because the Good Stuff is "bubbly" it gives the impression of actual bone anatomy. Next I'm going to draw the lines of the brain folds and then carve away the actual brain folds.

BTW, MAKE SURE TO USE A MASK WHEN SANDING DOWN THE GOOD STUFF. You don't want that particulate getting into your lungs!

Will update with pictures soon!

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I learned a good lesson with the Good Stuff: It doesn't like to be picked and prodded in any 'detail' oriented way. Or even burned. I was going to use a heating element to burn away the wrinkles in the brain, and it just wasn't happening. Plan B.......ummmmmm.....brainstorm.

I had some spider webbing, and liquid latex, so I applied the webbing and painted the latex over. It looked ok, but seemed to be missing something. I decided to use a hot-glue gun and drip hot glue all over the "exposed" portion of the back of the head and neck. Kind of gave it a nice, veiny effect. I painted it black to give a base, and then I'm going to start adding darker reds over it, and then make some blue, or black on the veins.

I'm going into uncharted territory now with deciding how to proceed. Don't really have a plan at this point. We'll see where the painting takes me.

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