THE CORPSE FACE EXPERIMENTS
"Gruesome Wall Hangings"
After staring at my model skull for a while, I decided I wanted to construct a gory, severed head. I didn't want to ruin my model skull, so first I experimented by making a latex mold of the skull face and cast a few 'plaster faces' to experiment with.
EXPERIMENT #1: "The Johnny Face"
The 'fleshy' areas were built up with 'stretchy-spider web' material that had been pulled, rolled and saturated in Elmer's glue. The eye and most of the coloring is from a Paint 'N' Peel Third-Eye Makeup kit. The hair is crepe hair, glued on with Elmer's glue and trimmed to length. 5 Minute Epoxy was applied to all of the bloody areas and around the eye for a 'wet' look. The photo on the left shows the Johnny Face right after it was made. The photo on the right shows how the Paint 'N' Peel makeup and Epoxy has aged in 2 years.
EXPERIMENT #2: "The Dennis Face"
To see what kind of 'rotted' results I could get, this face was constructed using layers of Kleenex and glue, varying shades of green Paint 'N' Peel makeup, some plastic bugs, spider-web material and clear acrylic spray. The spray created a 'dewey' or 'moist and rotting' appearance by 'beading up' on the spider web. Unfortunately, the camera's flash washed out the detail.
By making several partial plaster castings I ended up with a variety of good graveyard-decorating accessories. The brown face was colored by melting brown sculpture wax over the plaster and I added acrylic teeth to this one.
THE LARRY HEAD
"The Severed Spiderweb & Snot-Rag Head"
After completing the "Corpse Face Experiments" I began constructing a head that would be missing at least half of it's face.
Unfortunately I could only locate ONE Paint 'N' Peel Third Eye makeup kit so I made a second eye out of the plastic packaging from the kit (by coating the plastic half-sphere with several layers of white glaze...for that 'rolled back' look).
The eyes are internally lit with a cheap set of 2AA battery powered lights from a salvaged Halloween door cover. The tongue is a novelty item (purchased from our local costume shop).
Using Gray's Anatomy as a reference, I pulled lengths of stretchy spider web material, rolled it in Elmer's glue and used it to build up the musculature of the head. (The entire head was built up this way). The eyes were glued into place and the 'mottled skin' and ear were made out of glue-saturated Kleenex. I replaced the plastic front upper teeth with acrylics and covered the rest of the plastic teeth with red enamel. Crepe hair was glued on and trimmed to length. This year, (thanks to friend Betty M.) Larry will finally get his right eyelash. I cover the base of the stand with a black cloth or spiderweb material on Halloween (too lazy to just paint the thing black). : )
These are the first construction photos.....took forever to pick a roll of film that year. : )
This is after the hair was attached. The center photo was an 'eyeball light' test.
THE DROWNING VICTIM
(still working on it)
CONSTRUCTION OF THE HEAD:
This started as a papier mache model...the features were built-up by using Amaco Sculptamold and Elmer's glue as a paste (Mix Sculptamold/Amaco Claycrete Papier Mache or any other 'ready-to-mix' papier mache product with glue until it is a thick paste and apply it directly to your 'sculpture' or 'armature'. Setting time depends on the material used. Sculptamold will set up faster...and it is heavier. Only mix as much as you will use at a time)
Finer details (the nose, etc.) were made out of glue saturated Kleenex.
The 'skin' was made out of 'Snot-Rag Mache' (Kleenex saturated with Elmer's glue) and painted with multiple colors of paint for detail.
After applying the paint (for a 'sea-weedy' appearance), 5 Minute Epoxy and Minute Rice was used to create a 'maggot-infested' eye socket. The 5 Minute Epoxy has aged and yellowed..but it kinda adds to the 'oozing' effect.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE HANDS:
I plan to corral my brother and make life casts of his hands and forearms out of hydrocal....then I'll apply the 'snot-rag-mache' and paint to them to match the head.
The head and arms of the Drowning Victim would appear to be rising from a pool of murky water. A motion sensor and event timer would control very brief illumination to this. The pool will be a partially buried kiddie-pool and the head and hands would be on blocks (or risers) in the water. The bottoms of the head and hands will be sealed well since they will sit in water. An aquarium air pump will be used to make 'gurgling' noises....and the water will be colored a murky green/brown (MUD!).
Drowning Victim's head under construction:
THE BAG HEAD
"Static Prop Head"
Roll of paper towel
Plastic gocery bag
Cheap Costume Teeth and Ping Pong Balls (ala John Hart's Ghostly Head method)
Papier Mache or Amamco Sculptamold and Elmer's Glue
1. Make a ball out of loosely crumpled newspaper and place it inside a plastic grocery bag. Tape the bag shut.
2. Squeeze one side of the ball (where the bag's handles are) to get a shape resembling a large light bulb.
3. Wrap the 'bulb' with masking tape - covering the whole thing - to hold it's shape.
4. After tape-forming the shape, use a utility knife or exacto knife to cut an 'X' where each ping pong ball 'eye' will go.
5. Push your fingers into the 'X' openings and press the newspaper aside to create eye sockets. Size them to fit your ping pong balls (or eyes of your choice) and secure the shape of the eye sockets with strips of duct tape.
6. Form basic shapes for the nose, cheekbones and ears out of paper towel and secure them in place with tape.
7. Cut a slit where the mouth will be (side to side). Push your fingers into the 'mouth' and pull the 'chin' down to open the mouth. (You may have to cut through a bit of newspaper (and/or plastic bag) to do this.) This should create a 'gaping mouth'. (Push the newspaper towards the back and sides of the mouth to create the inside (cavity) of the mouth.)
8. Install your ping pong ball (or other) eyes and use papier mache or Amaco Sculptamold mixed with Elmer's glue to cover the head and build up further details.
9. Install your teeth. (I used Sculptamold/Glue paste to do this.)
10. Paint and seal your bag head to suit your tastes.
My First Bag Head
I used colored ping pong balls for the eyes and 'melted' openings in them to install a set of cheap 2AA battery operated lights. The wiring runs through the head and comes out underneath where the head will be 'impaled' on a 7 foot PVC and chicken wire stand. The eyes and teeth were coated with multiple layers of clear gloss.
The hand (ala Scott N.'s Ghostly Hands) was made out of masking tape over wire...with a little paper towel added. The claw-like nails were made out of black Fimo clay and the skin is 'Snot-Rag Mache' covered with two different shades of red paint. The hand will slide into a PVC arm which will be part of the 7 foot stand and a black cloak will cover all but the head and hand.
See Halloween-L member sites and Mark Butler's Monster list for more information. My links page will take you there. : )