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ok how do all yall get those pumpkin heads so perfect......... before i begin the adventure i need to know............round is what i mean .....just use wire frame then go at it? .........get shape from somthing else ? i need tips ......been seeing alot of that thing i wanna make one now!

thanks in advance
Mike
 

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DeceptiProp
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hibladrade is right. Just get a plastic caudron. it works great. You would think that the bumpy sides screw it up, but it is fine.

Now you could use a wireframe. This is how they make puppets. So, yes you could but it is going to take you a while to make it and you won't know what it will look like till you get the skin on.
 

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DeathTouch, your Pumpkinrot head is one of the ones I have been studying before making my own. Did you realize you have the same basic layout that pumpkinrot used? Lines drawn from the top corners of the mouth travel along the eyes and intersect at a point equal distance from the inside corners of the eyes and above the center of the mouth? I think this is a key in capturing the pumpkinrot feel, I did the same and cut it out last night, and I'm very happy with the results. I'll post a picture as soon as I get the base paper mache on it.
 

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Oh yes heresJohnny I know. I have John's pumpkinrot picture on my computer upstairs as a desktop.(Yes, I have more than 1 computer(5 to be exact)) I have studied his design for some time and sent him many emails. One of those saved my but this year. I bought the wrong caldron. I showed John and he went thru the roof. "Who told you did get that one?", he said. Some guy on Halloweenforum. "Well, I am going to kick his ass.", John said. That is a direct quote. LOL. The next day I bought the right one. That was last year, so you know how long I have been waiting to build Pumpkinrot. I want to collect the whole series. LOL. I kinda leaned that the best way to cut the mouth is with tin snips. Why you ask? Because you are wanted to rip and tear the mouth a little. It gives it character. Do you know what I mean? Oh, the wrong caldron that I bought will be used for my 20 dollar project.
I was thinking about roots, but I don't think roots is my favorit. I know he is working on another one right now, similar to Sleepy Hollow's.
 

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DeathTouch, I am not suprised. I figured you had the same layout as pumpkinrot for a reason. I wonder what all I am doing wrong (LOL). Any hints would be appreciated. I had an old cauldren lying around from last year, I guess it is 24" in diameter, it may not be the right one but it looks good! I cut mine out with a dremel after tracing the the design with a white crayon. I will have to email the guy at Pumkinrot once I get a few more pictures posted, see what he thinks.
 

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Well, what do you think you are doing wrong? Got pictures? Like the old saying, there isn't nothing to it but to do it. I used a dremel too on the eyes and part of the mouth. But then I took the tin snips and cut a little more out of the mouth the rest of the way. It made it more jagged, which looks cool. I bought an extra caldron just in case I had screwed the first on up. But since I didn't, the wife wants it. Go figure.
 

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So you Pumpkinrot gurus who learned directly from the master, it is now my turn to pick at your brains a little...

What is the right cauldron? I am about to undertake this journey myself and would like to be able to ask LOADS of questions of you guys.

This will also be my first adventure into the world of paper mache. :)
 

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Ghost Maker
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Ask away Zombie. I can't get to the head right now, but mine was a cheap plastic witch cauldron that shows up in WallMart and Target before halloween, around 20-22" in diameter. You can see it lying on the ground in the picture...


I think the key to the pumpkinrot look is to draw a line from the corners of the mouth down to a spot just above the center of the mouth. The eyes will be along these lines. If I had it to do again I would have the made the eyes a little bigger, and the mouth holes a little bigger.

I think the secret to papermache is getting the armature right using what ever works. For the pumpkinrot head I crumpled up newspaper then layered it under additional strips to build up the ridges you see on pumpkins. I also built up ridges above the eyes, and tried to make the cauldron handles look like the jaw.


I used pudrid's snotrag mache technique, but if I had it to do again I would use krough's paper towel mache (elmers glue and water). With the paper towels it is EASY to form a wrinkled textured look.

 

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Wow, thanks! Great photos and information. Now I do have a few more questions for the peanut gallery. :)

How does the head mount to the post? Does it just sort of sit on it, or did you make some kind of bracket to mount it?

If I build one of these, is the finished product able to withstand rain? I'd like to set it up some time in early-to-mid October and would like to know if it's able to handle weather, and if not, what could I do to make it so it could handle the outdoors.
 

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Ghost Maker
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I have seen 2 ways to do it. I think Death Touch screwed a PVC T into the top of the head at the right location and angle so that when it was put on a PVC 'neck' it looked the way you wanted. I wanted to seal the head so I could put some light in it, so I cut out a scrap of plywood that would fit the cauldron opening, attached 3 paperclips so they would stick out from the edges of the plywood as hooks which would hold the head. Then I mounted the plywood to the top of my scarecrow post at the proper angle (sorry no pictures). You can see the difference in the following pictures, the first is without the base sealed, the second is with (look at the eyes).



As far as rain is concerned, myself and others have had mache props out in the weather, and they may soften up a little but have always hardened back up when brought in. The key is to seal the mache well with polyeurathane. In Central Florida the only way I could get mache to stay hard in the humidity was to seal everything well.
 

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Thank you yet again. :D I definitely want mine to be lit up from within as well, so I will likely use your method -- or some variation of it -- to mount my head.

Now, let's see if I can get a cauldron today... Maybe Michael's has started putting their stuff out. :p

I have seen 2 ways to do it. I think Death Touch screwed a PVC T into the top of the head at the right location and angle so that when it was put on a PVC 'neck' it looked the way you wanted. I wanted to seal the head so I could put some light in it, so I cut out a scrap of plywood that would fit the cauldron opening, attached 3 paperclips so they would stick out from the edges of the plywood as hooks which would hold the head. Then I mounted the plywood to the top of my scarecrow post at the proper angle (sorry no pictures). You can see the difference in the following pictures, the first is without the base sealed, the second is with (look at the eyes).



As far as rain is concerned, myself and others have had mache props out in the weather, and they may soften up a little but have always hardened back up when brought in. The key is to seal the mache well with polyeurathane. In Central Florida the only way I could get mache to stay hard in the humidity was to seal everything well.
 

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Hmmm... one last question (for now anyway). Did you paint the inside of the head at all? I think I want a yellow glow for mine, so I'll probably use a yellow lightbulb or some LEDs for the color, but to get the light to reflect out, I imagine something other than black is needed inside the head.
 

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Hmmm... one last question (for now anyway). Did you paint the inside of the head at all? I think I want a yellow glow for mine, so I'll probably use a yellow lightbulb or some LEDs for the color, but to get the light to reflect out, I imagine something other than black is needed inside the head.
LOL, well painting the inside of the head and lighting it never happened last year, I ran out of time. I imagine painting it flat back with a stronger light, or white or yellow with a more subdued light would work.
 

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Did you guys use tree branches or grapevines? If you used grapevines, did you get them in the woods or buy them somewhere?
 
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