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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, after looking at tons of old threads, i've decided that i'm going to build a grim reaper stalkaround costume. From what i've read, it'll take effort and time.

So I need tips! Im going to go for the white pvc piping for teh frame and probably those ring bolts for the shoulders and hinges for the elbows.

Im hoping to find a tripod somewhere so I can have up&down and side-to-side movement too for the head to follow mine.

Does anyone have any tips on things that they learned the hardway?
Im going to try and reduce the size of my forearms in comparison to other's walkarounds to amke it more realistic, but i know that this will limit my arm's overall movement. Does anyone have any experience with the ratio limits here?

Im going to wear a builders helmet.

Another thing that has striked me is that ive never seen a giant walkaround grim reaper with a scikel...so im going to try and incorporate that into the costume with maybe a connection for it in the robe to the main frame and an office chair wheel on it's bottom to roll it along..

Im going to hack simple LED lights from somewhere, smash the casing of the light to get the bare neccessities and just glue them in the skull's eyes. I have no experinece with circuits or soldering and have no equipment anyway so couldnt do it even if i had the know-it-all.

Ive been brainstorming about moveable didgits for the skulls hands, and im thinking about making the hands first out of wire, beeds and dough, then paper masching over it to get a hollow set of hands so i can feed maybe fishing line through the fingers, up the forearms and onto keyrings on my fingers as i control the forearms.

Id like to point out that practically none of these ideas are mine (apart from the dough i think), theyve all been stolen from other designs and id like to thank those people for all the inspirational info they put up.

So if anyone has any tips it would be greatly appreciated.
Even things like how long to have the robe (tripping over it),
breathing better when I have the costume on,
would be greatly appreciated.

Im also thinking about including some sort of stand in the costume so I can lower my height if need be, or take it off /put it on without much effort when im in the club for calls of nature etc...

Any tips or random ideas would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Heres a couple of things I ran into with the stalkabout I created...

For the fabric I bought two cheapo costumes at party city. A reaper robe for the stalker and the zombie with glowing eyes to put in my mask for a solder free solution and the robe to wear underneath. I used the tattered gauze from the zombie outfit to accent the stalker robe. Cut the reaper robes sides to add black sheets to it. Cut the armpits down a bit for better access. If you dont sew get a fabric hole punch and just lace the sheets together.

For the mask taped the glowing eyes on the inside filled it up with expanding foam with a 1/2 pvc pipe acting as the neck. To connect it to the tripod I bonded a pvc plug with male connector and screwed the head into a 1/2 flange that was bolted into a metal receptacle cover that I attatched to the tripod.

I've noticed that the professional ones were secured around the shoulders but if you plan to be in it for too long I would suggest attatching the pvc to an alice pack frame you can buy for cheap at a military surplus store. With the alice pack you can adjust the straps to where the weight will be on your hips which is much more comfortable.

Depending on the weight of the costume sometimes you have to add weight to the bottom of the frame to counterbalance the weight up top.

My stalkabout is intended for outside use so it is 9 1/2' tall. If you plan on wearing it inside I would consider making it 8' tall so all you have to do is crouch to go through doors.

If you plan on doing some papier mache I would construct a partial ribcage sticking out of the costume. If you plan to make the skull out of papier mache the reaper from gore galore has a pretty freaky skull.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Im actully taking gore galore as a model, at least for the cloak which looks great! I like your idea of the gauze and especially the fabric punch hole!
Im still looking around the net for a cloak design though so I how big my pieces need to be! Speaking of which, had you any trouble with tripping over your robe and if so, how did you counteract it? Im thinking maybe putting in a circular ring around the bottom to keep the cloak away from my feet! wouldnt want to be falling over, might ruin the effect!!! haha

Yes I was thinking along the same lines with the backpack bcz im going to be wearing it all night. Did you need to add weight to yours? How did you??

Im thinking maybe of having a mechanism on my back to higher/lower the overall rig should i need to (like an umbrella). Or some sort of stand on wheels as part of the costume so i crouch and move easily if needed.
Im fairly tall as it is so 8ft wouldnt really be that much of an addition.

Thanks for your tips, theyre very much appreciated!! hopefully starting my rig tonight!!
 

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Yeah the gore galore reaper is killer but for next year I plan on taking inspiration from their jack o lantern stalkabout. I'm already constructing a papier mache pumpkin after getting ideas from stolloween.com

The robe on my monster is just shorter than mid calve so I plan on wearing a robe underneath with my black jogging shoes. If you slice up the bottom in around 6" strands it will create a bit of an optical illusion so your feet underneath is hardly noticeable afterall, everyone will be looking up anyway. The length works good because I can take off in a dead sprint and it worked fine.


To even the weight I just duct taped a 10 lb weight at the bottom of the alice frame.

I'll post some pics of my finished product once I head back home next week..

Have fun with the construction. The finished product is well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Was looking at that guy too! pumpkinrot have some great scarecrows too, but i figures the tiggy hands would be dangerous in a crowd bcz id definately poke someones eyes out!!

Having trouble finding a backpack with bars in it that isnt very expensive (no such thing as alice packs over here) so i might just extend the main frame down my back and attach straps....

Looking forward to seeing your pictures
 

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Yeah my current stalkabout has the deluxe sized reacher hands attatched to it so I don't run into the same problem..

The half skull half rotted pumpkin at pumpkinrot is pretty killer..

Along with shoulder straps you'll need a waist strap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ah i see, i probably should have looked into them....

Started one of my hands last night, going to paper mache over it so that I have a hollow hand so I can have internal lines to hopefully move the fingers!! Am working on a method to unbend the fingers at the moment after I pull on the lines. Im thinking if I have elastic bands in the fingers that are set to make the fingers go straight(er), then have a line up the costumes arms to my fingers that will bend the costumes fingers....would be awesome to be able to point!!!

Yeah I was thinking I could use some sort of belt as the strap, does mean that the pipe frame would be going down to my waist which will be a tough enough limit to achieve if I want to sit down in the costume (which I'll have to). Still hoping to find a rucksack with bars somewhere. Dont suppose you know if hardware stores would carry a similar joint to a tripod? Or are those joints particular to tripods?

The cloak in this video looks great, do you reckon they used some sort of monster mud or pva glue to set it so all of teh wrinkles wouldnt unwrinkle??

 

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If you feel the need to sew the robe, then I recommend go and getting a black king sized sheet from a discount store. It helps to have very wide fabric on these, I am alittle worried on mine. I haven't had time to dry run it outside yet with the robe on, due to the fact its raining and its to tall for my garage.

Edit- Its the little things that can make a big difference, some of the really well constructed stalkabouts look plain because of the new black robes. Add some accents and some creepy cloth makes a huge difference. Look at gore galores, they are covereved in creepy cloth and what not, it also adds movement to emphasize things. Heres a pic of my baby sitting on the floor, it stands 6ft tall when sitting on its backpack and 12ft worn.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That looks epic Biggie! Liking the blair witch figure neckless too.
Yeah was going to get black sheets, have been looking around the net trying to find ways of ageing cloth. Baring sandpaper, theres doesnt seem to be much besides painting it... Im on the look out for other materials too not to mention a black see-through cloth...

Thanks for the picture, inspirational, and dont worry, sure its ages until halloween yet!
 

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That looks epic Biggie! Liking the blair witch figure neckless too.
Yeah was going to get black sheets, have been looking around the net trying to find ways of ageing cloth. Baring sandpaper, theres doesnt seem to be much besides painting it... Im on the look out for other materials too not to mention a black see-through cloth...

Thanks for the picture, inspirational, and dont worry, sure its ages until halloween yet!
Creepy Cloth, its the brand cheese cloth you need to order online. The stuff is awesome, pre died and looks great. Also for the see through fabric, go to a walmart or kmart and buy a mesquito net from camping. Then dye it black and you have your see through mesh, then use creepy cloth to mask it.
 

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The animatronics on that Reaper is sofa king awesome! Nope no pics yet.. I'm still in the PA area but will be back in VA this thursday so hopefully I'll have some posted friday... My head is still stationary but I've got my tripod mount prefabricated for the costume.

Biggie is right. Definately layer cheese cloth and thule over. I used some grey spray paint to shade my black robe as well..

How far along are you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Grey spray yeah?? sounds good and easy-ish to do. I was thinking about spraying on some very dilute bleach as well to fade it, do you reckon it'd work or would it just ruin it???

I've finished my main rig and the base of one of my hands. Started paper mache-ing it yesterday, got 2 fingers done and it took AGES!

Hoping to get the tripod today so once I have that I'll have the main body finished once I configure the skull to my head movement.

I'm going to get the bedsheets today too. Since I havnt got a sowing machine I was thinking about cutting the sheets out and then sticking the various pieces together, do you think it would work or would it come apart??

I was thinking too about, after ive fitted the sheets to the frame,soaking the sheets in some sort of weak flour water solution to harden it up a bit so that it would be more rigid so the cleases would stay put as opposed to flowing.
(id make the creases on the frame when the cloth was still wet, so it would dry in place.

I'll definately keep an eye out for the creepy cloth, looks perfect!!

Looking forward to the pictures!!!

Any ideas on attaching the scythe to the frame???
 

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Yeah I'm a crappy sewer so I had to find an alternate way of hemming the sheets. The thing about these stalkabouts its all about trial and error. I like the idea about the creases. It would definately add more detail to a plain robe. I used the spray paint to add depth but a combo of the two would look great.

I bought my creepy cloth at party city for like 3 bucks a sheet.I also bought these door hanger creepy cloth that was white with red at the end of the tattered tips. I spray painted the white with shades of black and they look pretty killer.

As far as the scythe I would attach it to one of the hands and connect the bottom part of the scythe to the side of your costume to act as a pivot point.

Glad to hear your stoked about your progress. I want to make another already and I havent even scared the kiddies with the one I have!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was casually thinking about attaching an office chair wheel to the bottom of the scythe, and then attaching the scythe twice to the main frame to make it sturdy,
so I can position it leaning over the shoulder.
But thats all AFTER i do the rest of the things which is taking alot more time than I thought, but I suppose thats always the case.
I realised last night that my main frame was far too big in the shoulders so I sleaked it down a bit last night and did the shoulder joints.
Im torn now between making the costume imposing, and scary due to the shear size of the thing, or making it smaller but more realistic, making it scarier in that sense.

Haha well I'm looking forward to scaring the bigger 'kids' with this one!
 

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I'm finally back in VA so I was able to photograph my stalkabout. It will look alot creepier in the dark because the eyes glow on and off... I bought the Insane Pain mask online as well as the deluxe size werewolf hands. All of the accents like the creepy cloth, the blood stained door drapes and the plastic chain with meat hooks I purchased at Party City for hella cheep. I will be entering it in a couple of costume contests...
 
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