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Well I came outside this morning and found the oddest creature walking around my yard. It looks like a tortes with long legs and strange, tube like things on its back. After watching it for awhile I saw something even more amazing. Steam actually shots out of those tubes in its shell! Needless to say the first thing I did was close the gate so it couldn’t wonder off then went and grabbed my camera to take these pics.









The shell is rough like stone and looks brownish green with some mold growing on it. Along with some streaks of ash. Its skin is also a brownish green color and very leathery. No teeth that I’ve been able to see yet but I did catch it chewing on one of my sprinklers. Really seems to like water.



I also took a few pics after dark, it’s hard to see but there’s a red glow coming from inside of it.





P.S. because I plan to keep this guy, girl? (How would I check that?) I’m also looking for a good name for him/her.
 

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Ah finally finished the tutorial for my steam tortes.



Originally I was thinking something along the lines of using the paint can for a mask of some kin. I’ll spare you the long random thought process that lead me to where I ended up. Using the paint can as a smoke stack.

I started out by covering the top half of a cauldron, (bottom if it’s sitting right side up) with foil then cover in paper Mache strips. Because it’s only the top half you won’t have to cut it when removing it. It should just slide off. Once it’s off paper machie the inside. This it done because the outside cover will lose its shape when the wet clay is applied if it doesn’t have support.

I set it back on the cauldron when I applied my paper clay to the outside as extra support. When the shell was dry I marked out where I wanted the head and legs to go and applied more clay there creating, well I don’t know the proper name but the part where the shell comes out some on real shelled animals.





The steam stacks were made with two different methods. The first was a paint can, one of those small little sample ones, about the size of a soda can. I cut off the handle and the bottom turning it into a tube then covered it with paper clay so the texture would match the shell. And easier way I found when I ran out of paint cans is to use soda cans. Both cheaper and easier to cut. I ended up using a can opener to cut the bottom and top off.







While all that dried I moved onto the head. I’m sure some of you will cringe when you find out how I did this, especially people who plan out their heads carefully and make templates. But I just tape some balls of rolled up paper together into a lump, cover in the paper clay and when its dry find the head that’s naturally appeared. Worked really well this time. A second layer to add some detail like nostrils and eyelids. i also kept the jaw open so it can be eating a hand or something if i want.

Now the legs, each leg is made up of two water bottles taped end on end at a 45 degree angle. Covered with the clay again all four were set out to dry. Once they were dry I added the foot, nails and a little bracing at the back where it meets the body.



 

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Time to connect the tubes to the back of the shell. Mark the spots you want them to come from and cut a hole one to two inches wide for the steam to rise through. Then connect the tube to the shell with a little ring of clay, just enough to hold it in place while support is added. Here you can see my support is lengths of clay I used to give it a more natural look.





I put some clay on the top making the lips you see, added a crack to the side of one of the tubes, and added a few buds to the shell to added interest.


Painting, the worst part for me. I did the shell with the black then dry brush method. Layering colors on, black, white, brown, light green. Then I sprayed on a darker green and used a paper towel to dap at it exposing the black underneath giving it a charred look.


I did the same thing with the head. The legs just got a lighter covering, no black or white under cover to keep them looking lighter.





When I set it all up I thought it still needed something. Then I remember some grave moss I’d gotten a few years ago and for some reason never used. I found the spots moss would naturally gather, little crevasse and indents in the shell. Then a little hot glue to hold it and tada! I really think it pulled the shell and the rest of the guy together.











 

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A small hole was cut opposite the head, yes in its butt, for the fog to be shot through. I had some pipe parts that got smaller and they went and the larger end was just right for the end of the fog machine. On a side not even though the inside is covered in paper I had no problems with it getting hot or anything even after letting it run for quite some time.



I plan to have a blue light on it for Halloween so I decided to stick a red on in the shell to simulate the look of fire. Hard to see in the pictures but it looks pretty good in person







 
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