Monday, November 9, 2009

Getting Some Skull

Skulls. Lots of them. I need 'em. I've got a lot of ideas for my haunt for next year and a lot of them revolve around getting head(s).

I have four projects distinctly in mind, and all start with a skull as the basic building block. I want to increase the creep factor of the haunt so I want not only more groundbreaker zombies to populate the front graveyard, but I want hanging skeletons for the side yard as well. Additionally I want to create some specific human-like props, much like AranaMuerta's Mr. Hemlock Dench, the cemetary caretaker, and a fireplace surround with lots of skulls.

Yet being the cheap but (in my mind) creative type, I don't want to buy any of these props, or even the basic armature beneath. I want to build it all from scratch, so I plan on making lots and lots of papier mache skulls.From there I want to craft bodies. Right now I have three half skulls on my workbench and two full skulls, all in various stages of construction. Since my plans for the yard require at least 7-11 figures (3-4 hanging corpses, 1-2 humanoids, and a good 3-5 groundbreakers), I need to make at least another 5 full skulls.

I figure I can papier mache a full skull every other day to allow for drying, so I should have them done in a few weeks. However, since my fireplace surround is going to require a good 20-plus half skulls, that takes up a lot of the intervening hours. I'm figure over the course of the winter I should have them all completed and can begin work on many of the bodies in the down hours and really begin in earnest come springtime.

What's slowing me down now is my wife wants a Santa's sleigh for our Christmas display. And a Christmas locomative for the front yard. I've got the basic form of the sleigh completed, constructed out of bathroom panelling a neighbor was throwing away. It's flimsier than I thought it would be, and my original plan for using L-shape aluminum to make it a knock-down fixture for easier storage didn't quite pan out. Again, that's only because of my frugality.

Trying to make this as inexpensive as possible, I bought 1/2" aluminum which really didn't give me enough room to work with the 1/4" bolts I bought. In the end I opted to make the frame out of 1x2 wood that I had on hand and fitted the paneling over it. Now that it's together I plan on painting it with Dryloc, paint, and sealer. If it lasts through the winter as I think it will (just thru December 31 would be fine) I'll be happy and will construct a more durable one next year. This one is only to keep the missus off my back! Then it's on to the locomotive.

Hence my belief it will take me through the winter to complete the initial stages my Halloween projects. I'll try to post some in progress pictures as I go along.



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