The Haunted Mansion has these great faux wooden skull mouldings in the portrait gallery when you exit the stretching room which, long story short, I needed to replicate. I'll explain why in a later post.
I visited the old house and took a lot of reference pictures of these, with my hand for scale. It's remarkably difficult to get a good shot in the low lighting there, but I got enough information from these to...
...Mock up a digital model. I considered building this out of foam board or something of that sort, but I realized it was actually a prime candidate for 3D printing. It's a geometric object that's just a little more complex than would be easy to figure out from traditional materials, especially the shapes around the eyes. It was still tricky to do in the computer , since this isn't something I have much experience with, but ultimately it did take less time this way, and it's more precise than I'd have been able to do on my own.
I set my Printrbot to make the parts while I was at work, then came home to assemble it. I did it at about 75% of full size, because I just didn't need anything that big.
I used filler primer to help me sand out the grow lines, but I didn't get too picky, because I followed that up with some Apoxie Sculpt to add in the rough wood texture. This is just before molding for that other project.
But I saved the original, and painted it up for my little display case. I really enjoy projects like this. A fairly quick turnaround, some new skills learned, and a cool prop I get to keep!