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Monday, September 29, 2014

Nervous ToT Zombie: Part 1, Armatures and Corpsing

It's been a while since I made a regular Halloween prop, since I haven't had a haunt of my own for a few years.  I recently got an opportunity to make something, so I decided to go back to my roots with a goofy zombie. I used to do plenty of groundbreakers, but I never got to do a full figure zombie in my style, so that's this week's project.

I like to start with a sketch. I don't draw, but I can doodle!

The armature is in my traditional style-- 3/4" PVC, X coupler at the shoulders, T at the pelvis. All the other joints are posed simply with a heat gun. It makes for a cheaper structure that has fewer weak points. Perhaps most importantly, it allows for infinite flexibility in the pose, which I think is the most important part of a static character. This post by Pumpkinrot really sums it up for me.

I do the ribs, bone knobbly bits, and such with rolled or crumpled newspaper, as in my skeleton tutorial:http://www.instructables.com/id/Paper_Mache_Skeletons/

Cardboard sternum, pelvis, palms of the hands. Wire fingers.

And then I go for the skin. A few folks know how I do mummified corpse skin, but I don't think I've explained it publicly yet. It's basically just paper towels soaked in latex house paint. Lay it on, wrinkle it up. It dries super hard, depending on how much paint is on the towel, is basically waterproof, and gives you your base color

I do the majority while he's upright, so I can get all around

You'll notice the hands aren't attached when I begin corpsing. I find it's easier to do them when you can get all around, and since they're going to be all tangled up together, keeping them separate seemed the way to go.

Then I lay him on his back to do the stomach and neck. If I did these standing up, the paper towels wouldn't drape as nicely.

By the way, you probably noticed the head is already done. That was a little guy who peeped around the corner last year. I figured his expression was close enough that I could repurpose him to save some time. I actually rather liked doing it this way, though.

More to come...

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