Thursday, June 16, 2016

Project Scrab, Part III

My experiment with EPS foam / plastic coated modelling is completed and I'm really happy with the way the Scrab turned out. The nice thing about the plastic coating that I bought (Styrospray 1000) is that it is supposed to work great with paper mache too!

Here he is with a basic paint job, before detailing with the airbrush.

"Husqvarna Orange": it's not just for tractors
 Spar varnish gave added shine and protection.

A peg was added to support the head's weight; wood screws did the rest.

The peg slots into the PVC support

I had a nice name plate made through ebay - quite cheaply.

Airbrushing was a new experience too. I think it really brings out the color of his eyes.

If you see this in the wild, you're dead!

A proud trophy

"Struth! This little beauty is a ripper."

A proud Scrab hunter*

*No scrabs were harmed in the making of this blog entry.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Project Scrab, Part II

Now to put some teeth in this creature. Teeth were formed in the usual way from polymer clay and then oven baked.

Here you can see some of the teeth in place as well as the tongue. The tongue was carved separately then glued it into place.

(Scrab tongues are not just a pointy weapon, they are also a delicacy.)

Here's the head and upper jaw in almost-finished form. This is still raw EPS foam at this point and you can still discern the separate foam sheets. The ridges were formed from paper clay.

The two head parts.

After some detailing of the mouth interior, the head parts were re-joined.

What Odd has joined together let no man put asunder.

This is the real purpose of this whole project: to test the use of Styrospray 1000 on EPS foam. Styrospray is a two-part quick-setting plastic that cures in the presence of moisture. This stuff is pricey but very cool. I just had to try it. It sets, in 30 minutes, into a hard shell which can be sanded, drilled, cut and painted. Several coats have been applied by brush at this point.

(It would be interesting to actually spray this stuff instead of brushing it on - but that's a project for another day.)

The mouth and tongue were coated and allowed to set, then painted. After attaching the jaw (with Styrospray) the mouth was masked off.

A wall-mounted trophy needs a plaque. After designing and cutting out the shape, I gave it a nice stain and sealed it with polyurethane.

This project has been a ton of work, but I think the results will be worth it.

Next: Painting!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Project Scrab

Here's yet another Oddworld project: the Scrab!

The scrab is one of my favorites creatures from the video game franchise. They're tasty too - if they don't eat you first!

Although paper-clay is used in the detailing, this is not a true paper mache project. It is my first venture into creature sculpting with EPS foam, commonly known as styrofoam.

First step: the creature concept.
Because of the size of this guy I decided to limit it to a wall-mounted head.

The head shape I wanted was drawn on to a sheet of EPS foam. I stacked nine of them to give me the desired thickness.

I'll have the short-stack - with bacon
Because this is to be a wall-mount, a PVC support is made and hot-glued into place.

There's a little 'ell in all of us.

Doing a little on-line research, I found out about a product call Glidden Gripper primer, and used this to glue the sheets together. It's inexpensive and you just paint it on.

Here the head shape has been roughed out with my nifty hot-wire tool. I bought mine, but there are lots of do-it-yourself hot-wire tool plans on the internet.

Here he is roughed-out:

A bit of sanding with a coarse grade worked great at removing material - almost too well. The nice thing about the hot-wire is that it fuses the surface; sanding, of course, makes a mess.


Here the early stages of paper-clay detailing is shown. The jaw was temporarily removed to make it easier to work on the mouth insides.

Open wide!
 More scrabbiness to come!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monkey Mischief Managed

Well, that's one monkey off my back! Seriously, though, I had a blast making him.

Schlep was created for a community theater production of "Zink: The Myth, The Legend, the Zebra".

Glamour shot

You see, Schlep is a monkey who thinks he's a zebra.

(The costumer produced some amazing results!)

Elegant singing zebras. L-R: Zap, Ice Z, Zip
Here's his first time out of the box* - meeting the actresses.

The hands are leather gloves which were fastened to the arm fabric with pop-rivets. Extra fur was glued to the hands. When the puppeteer slips her hands into the gloves Schlep will be able to point, gesture - even handle things.

Of course she'll need a third hand to work the mouth.

The limbs and tail are simple sewn tubes fitted like sleeves over the body parts. All other furring was done piece-by-custom-piece and hot-glued into place. Thanks to my wife for teaching me how to use a sewing machine (I think!).

Schlep (on your left)
*Thanks to Out of the Box Community Theatre for permission to post their pictures.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bits and Pieces

Ooh, plastic tubes and pots and pans
Bits and pieces and ...

Weird Science

Heavy gauge wire (scavenged from political signs) used as attachment points for the arms and legs.

Monkey bones

The movable jaw is made of shop towels and bits of can.

Rolling my own:
Knee joints are PVC sections joined by rope. The tape will be covered with more paper mache.

Assembled legs plus a kneecap.

Here's Schlep's head after painting and installing eyeballs. Eyes are ping-pong balls with paper irises.

 I bought green fur* online with which to cover this beast. I'll skip the "furring" details except to say that sewing and lots of hot glue were involved. Also hair spray.

Hair Club for Primates. I'm also a client!
Completed monkey pictures to follow.

*No green-furred animals were harmed in the making of this project.