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Discussion Starter #1
Here are some work-in-progress shots of my pumpkin-head scarecrow. It's yet, another Pumpkinrot knock-off :) but I'm trying to give it my own look and feel. In addition to pumpkinrot.com I took a lot of inspiration also from spookyblue.com and howloweenqueen.com among others. This is the first prop build of the 2007 season and it's great to be working on something.

This is my first big paper mache prop and I've learned a lot so far - including a number of things not to do. The pumpkin started life as a 17" inflatable beach ball which I covered in duct tape and then several layers of plaster wrap like they use for casts. This added a lot of strength which was needed as I had a problem with the duct tape pulled away from the plaster when I deflated the beach ball. I cut a hole in the bottom and pulled out the ball and duct tape. This left a thin shell that I reinforced with paper mache on the inside. I put in several layers of newspaper mache and then 2 layers made with heavy workshop paper towels. I didn't measure precisely but my paper mache mix was probably 60% Weldbond white glue and 40% water. This ended up being incredibly strong, especially as the paper towels would soak up the mixture before hardening. To make the ridges on the pumpkin I drew guide lines and then sprayed lines of Great Stuff down the side of the pumpkin. Once cured I carved these to shape. The face was cut out with an xacto knife and then I started to apply Celluclay to fill out the form and add texture. The stalk started as rolled up newspaper, them reenforced with chicken wire and coat hanger wire. I covered it with the paper towel paper paper mache and then added additional vines and roots using twine. One it's all done I'll seal it with a urethane spray and paint it with acrylic paints. I still have to make a body and have thought about using grape vine wreaths available at craft stores. The black trench coat will be distressed and weathered.

For the support I used a 2" x 3" post attached to a piece of 3/4" plywood as a base. I added steel L-brackets to the base to secure the post. Always concerned with storage I worked out a way to make the arms removable. There is a short cross piece of wood for the shoulders and then the arms themselves are made out of broom sticks. To make them removable I used utility hangers mounted to the back of the cross piece. These are friction fit hangers so to mount the arms I just slide the broomstick through the sleeves of the coat and snap them into the hangers. For storage they come out just as easily. With the head and arms removed the body on the post will take up minimal space.







 

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Looking good. I like you smorgasborg style of prop-making materials.....a little of this, a little of that..... very close to the way I work most of my props. That is going to be a really cool looking scarecrow!
 

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Lookin Good Uruk...
good mock up ...should turn out great
waiting for your finished piece..
 

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Very nice. I've made a pumpkin head from great stuff for a scarecrow as yet unfinished, but it doesn't look as nice as yours!
 

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Your scarecrow is really looking good. I also love the way you mixed materials. Sometimes that's what works best. I make all my monster heads and hands out of Celluclay and now have discovered Paperclay. This stuff is great because it's finer textured than Celluclay and is lightweight, water soluble and dries pretty fast. You can get the kind of detail that clay gives when using this product. Another product that's good for weather resistance is Sculpt-or-Coat and Flat Plastic Varnish from http://www.sculpturalarts.com/ The varnish really does dry flat which is great for covering the layer of Sculpt-or-Coat which is shiny. I highly recommend both of these products. I love using them!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for all the kind words. I'll post some more photos once it's further along. This will probably be my major prop for this year although I'm also working on an oscillating fan werewolf that's getting more elaborate as it goes along. Isn't that always the case! :)
 

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She looks so normal
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Looking great, I am working a a pumpkin paper-mache where I used a large balloon for the base. It's taking alot of coats to make it strong. I'll try the paper towels.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just wanted to share the progress I'm making with the scarecrow. I finished up the post and added the lighting using an outdoor utility light wired into an extension cord. The view from the back shows the hangers that will support the broomstick arms but allow them to be removed for storage. I also finished the Celluclay modelling on the pumpkin head and after some experimentation, painted it up. I was going for a "been sitting rotting in the pumpkin patch" sort of look. It looks not as washed-out in real life. For the wart-like bumps I made small blobs of Gorrilla Glue that would then expand as they cured. I aways found those really bumpy gords you see at harvest time freaky looking. The last photo is just a quick shot to test out the lighting. It's certainly going to be evil looking. I still have to detail the body and distress the overcoat. I've got more progress shots on my website.

http://www.hectorturner.com/halloween/scarecrow.html









 

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Very Nice! he's looking great....the paintjob is turning out cool, and I love the lumps and nodules you have added....I'm feel the same way about gourds...creepy like a disease or something.
 

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very creepy looking punkin head there..love the gorilla glue idea...must keep that in mind.
should look great when you get him dressed
 
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