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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started/finished my first PVC-framed dummy today! Over the weekend, I got an Emperor of Evil costume at Ocean State Job Lot for $17 (Fright Catalog wants like $30 for it), so I decided to get some PVC pipe, connectors, a wig head and some hardware cloth (leftover from another project) and went to Zombietronix to calculate the frame dimensions. A few hours later, and BAM! A new prop.

It was already dark when I finished it, so no good daylight photos just yet. I had to shine a nearby green floodlight on him to get him to show up, but here he is:
 

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Nice. What did you use to pad him up and give hime some bulk? Or do you have photos of what he looks like under the costume. Your gloves work out well and the positioning of the weapon.

I got one of those costumes last year and almost used it on my grim reaper. I more or less used the ScareFX instructions. My grim reaper's coat hanger wire hands didn't work out. The coat hanger wire was too short to make a full hand for some reason. I gave him glowing eyes and a Scary Sound maker under his chest that was a hit with the T-o-T's last year that should make up for the lasck of finish.

My scarecrow was a lot easier as it doesn't have to look human. That's using a store bought post-Halloween costume also. I want to make a Zombie now that I see Don of the Dead's. Lots of cross-posting but they're all simialr in the basic PVC static construction approach, and if I have time I'd like to bulk up my reaper and make his hands grip the scythe if I knew out how ; )
 

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That prop looks good in the graveyard Z! What amazes me about PVC dummies is how many people expect them to be "live". When you do the proportions well like you did, you'll fool a bunch of people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To fill out the chest of him, I used some hardware cloth to form a "chest" and lower abdomen so I could tie the belt off to him. I think I still need to fill out the arms a little, and I may get some pipe insulation to wrap around the PVC for that.

You're right ScareFX, if you get the proportions just right and fill the body out appropriately, it looks like something that could easily walk at you. I may use this to my advantage and replace the dummy on Halloween with my brother wearing the same costume to mislead all those people that have seen it day in and day out standing there.

My wife came home tonight and had to go check him out because I didn't tell her I made him and she thought somebody was standing out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For the hands, I traced out my hand on a sheet of paper and cut five lengths of 14 guage SOLID wire to the lengths of my fingers. I then bent them into the "shape" of my hand and taped the bottom together with masking tape. I then taped the meaty part of the hand with tape so the wire would hold its shape and proportions.

From there, I used some cotton rags (the company I work for uses for cleaning products) to fill out the meaty part of the hand and taped it onto the frame. I did the same for the fingers, wrapping the cotton rags around the finger frames and taping into place.

At the bottom of the hand, where all the wires are taped together, I keep wrapping cotton napkin material and tape around it until it's of a diamater that slides into the end of the PVC pipe snugly.

Viola! Hands! If I have the time (and remember to do so) I'll make another hand and photograph the process. It doesn't take very long, and you wind up with a pretty good posable hand that works well inside a glove.
 

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Nice. What did you use to pad him up and give hime some bulk? Or do you have photos of what he looks like under the costume. Your gloves work out well and the positioning of the weapon.

I got one of those costumes last year and almost used it on my grim reaper. I more or less used the ScareFX instructions. My grim reaper's coat hanger wire hands didn't work out. The coat hanger wire was too short to make a full hand for some reason. I gave him glowing eyes and a Scary Sound maker under his chest that was a hit with the T-o-T's last year that should make up for the lasck of finish.

My scarecrow was a lot easier as it doesn't have to look human. That's using a store bought post-Halloween costume also. I want to make a Zombie now that I see Don of the Dead's. Lots of cross-posting but they're all similar in the basic PVC static construction approach, and if I have time I'd like to bulk up my reaper and make his hands grip the scythe if I knew out how ; )
Both of those props look good Fright Zone! As for the hands, I had to use the entire length of a coat hanger to make the fingers long enough. But to tell you the truth, the witch hands I made based on Merlin's Corpse Hands were much better for "gripping".

Zombie-F's solution seems like a real good one too!
 

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Zombie - that really looks like a person standing there.... you got all the proportions perfect! Looking forward to the poseable hand how-to...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Very impressive! Pardon my ignorance but what is "hardware cloth"?
It's a wire mesh similar to chicken wire. Except where chicken wire is hexagonal in the shape of the mesh, the hardware cloth is square in shape. It's also a thicker guage than chicken wire, so it'll hold a shape better.
 

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Yes and as gmacted clued me in for the ice tray on the fog chillers, hardware mesh is found in the fencing section at Lowes and Home Depot, usually outside, by the chicken wire. It comes in a roll. Mine was 2ft x 5ft 19 gauge "Galvanized to resit rust" "for Screen door guard, storage bins, animal pens" they forgot "Halloween fog chillers and props" LOL. I got mine at Lowes for $6. You use tin snips to cut it and it's very sharp so maybe wear work gloves or be careful. Use black duct tape on the edges before you bend the torso into shape if using it for a prop. If using it for a fog chiller ice tray, tie it to the PVC frame with zip ties. And add a couple more zip ties to the hardware mesh like loops so you can lift up on the tray if you have to. Hardware mesh doesn't cut you easily but you know it's there if you get stabbed by it.
 

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It's a wire mesh similar to chicken wire. Except where chicken wire is hexagonal in the shape of the mesh, the hardware cloth is square in shape. It's also a thicker guage than chicken wire, so it'll hold a shape better.
Gotcha! Thanks!
 

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that's real cool looking in that light good work.
 
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