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Zombie Newb

1202 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  discozombie
Hi! New to the Halloween scene...first post. :eek: We finally live in a neighborhood with tons of kids...so, naturally, we want to scare the heck out of them. We decided to go for a graveyard/zombie theme for our driveway. (House is one stilts, so we will be hanging in the driveway on The Big Day.)

We are toying with the idea of making the zombie heads vs. buying masks. Any tips or tricks? Foam head vs. paper mache skulls? What to use to color or paint them? Etc.
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well ... i'm really into black light :) ... so everything of mine is painted to be black light reactive ...

here's a panoramic of one side of my yard ... its over exposed, and looks better in person ...

and you can't go wrong with fog in a cemetery :)

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First time doing props? Buy them, Halloween is coming and props take a long time if you don't know what/how to do them. Unless you don't have a job, it takes time to get things right. I think it was my third year (a year after I joined here) I finale did a prop I was 100% happy with? Buy the masks, use PVC for the body and get your feet wet.
Welcome IfYouDare, great choice of a screen name!

I'm doing a zombie build myself this year. Here are some things that helped me out immensely.

StiltBeast Studios is a great wealth of info on creating your own props.
First, how to paint them. For zombies you definitely want a wet look.

Second, wig heads are a great way to make zombie or corpse heads. Here's a tutorial.

And here's a link you can get two wig heads for $7 shipped. http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZHKB534

For the body, definitely go to Spider Hill Prop Works. Their cheapest kit is $26 and includes everything except for $10 worth of PVC. Also their owner or manager Diabolik is VERY active on this forum and is a great source of info.

This is my first year building zombies too, but it is actually a very forgiving process. I have no real artistic ability but every mistake I made could be turned into something cool. For example when I was using a heat gun to melt corpsing to the head, one of the outer bags ripped and left a big smooth hole on top. I painted the hole white with some red antiquing and it looks like the skin was ripped off and his skull was exposed in that part. And even if you do make a huge mistake, the styrofoam heads are only $3.50 each. Just jump in and try it, you'll impress yourself!
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I agree with all the above its too late to start any major projects. For paper mache' I would check out http://www.stolloween.com/ he has some great tutorials. If rain is heavy in your area I would reconsider mache' ... I used to do mache' props but found they ended up being covered by tarps during half the month to protect them. I used every technique to protect mine from rain..spar urethane, several coats of dry lock to fiberglass resin. This year I went with foam on all my props.
For zombie heads you can find some good tutorials using a foam wig head as the starting point. posable skeletons from Home Depot, Costco, Menards etc are also inexpensive starting points. Check out corpsing techniques using garbage bags and a heat gun. http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Corpse-a-Skeleton-The-Quick-and-Dirty-Way-/

good luck and welcome to the madness!
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