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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Latest Halloween Project

This is the finished head of our 'decaying corpse'. Read on to see how he started out.

I had an old 5 foot plastic skeleton that had seen better days. It had been exposed to too much attic heat and sunlight making the plastic brittle. About two years ago he began to slowly fall apart, requiring frequent repairs until I realized that his happy-go-lucky skeleton days were rapidly drawing to a close. Soon it would be the trash, the parts graveyard, or.......something new for the old boy. I decided to salvage what was left of him by converting him into a corpse. 

First I made a nice coffin from some very old and weathered tongue & groove from Wally's garage:

Here's our old boy trying out his new home for size. You can see one of the locations where his plastic bones were breaking on his upper femur. At this point I already decided what his final repose pose would be.

Then it was time to add some rotting innards and put some 'flesh' back on his old bones using old pool noodles and expanding insulation foam.

Then I covered the parts with plastic tarp material and 'shrink-wrapped' it using a heat gun. To add some color, I used some diluted wood stain.

Here's the torso.

And here's an arm showing the combination of foam, plastic, paint, and stain.

Once I got the limbs and torso to a certain point, I turned my attention to the skull. The original skull was in very bad shape and ridiculously brittle. Any pressure at all resulted in my finger poking right through it like a thin egg shell. To combat this I injected the interior with expanding foam. Then I completely cut away the upper teeth and carved out the lower teeth to make them more realistic. Then I positioned the lower jaw so that it looked dislocated, and then began to add layers of cotton and latex:

"IIIIIII.....ain't got"

Once dry, I painted the head, and worked on the hands......which I did not take pictures of unfortunately....using more cotton, liquid latex, and fake nails. Once ready, everything got a final paint job. After I had all the parts to a coloration that seemed workable, it was time to reassemble the entire body......and give him some clothes that I weathered by beating all the cut edges with a brick against another brick.

Almost there.

To give him a realistic look, I used matte water-based varnish as a stiffener and glue for the clothes. I anchored him in place, tossed on some dirt that I glued in place with spray lacquer, and then stood him up in his box, and placed him in our living room:

And here he is......a once-dilapidated skeleton, now reborn as a pretty realistic rotting corpse in a coffin. I may do some minor tweaking as I live with him a while, but otherwise, he is pretty much complete. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks dear. I patterned him on how I look before I have my coffee in the morning. LOL

  2. This is fantastic! I love this so much! No wonder everyone gets excited for the Halloween party!

    1. Thank, Honey! It certainly helps to have loved ones get excited. It makes all the work worthwhile. Can't wait to see your "Conceptual Snoopy".