Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's Alive! The Bride of Zombienose

Welcome back to another fun filled exciting edition of my madness!

Let's get right down to it. I had a Classic Monsters show to do and I had to come up with something fun. Rick Baker was headlining this show and a lot of other notable artists were participating so I couldn't drop the ball (but if you don't like this piece, I guess I did).

Anyway, I knew I was going to make a monstery bride character so I started without any real plan. I used a resin head I had previously sculpted and added a large mouth full of sharp teeth. Say Cheese! I also quickly made some hand forms out of super sculpey, neglecting the detail because the end result would be bandaged up and covered. Here's what I started with after some paint was splattered on. (Pay no attention to the wooden sign prop for my cowardly lion artwork laying next to the hands.)

I laid down some armature wire then added a supersculpey body form. I cut thin strips of black batting tape (for baseball bats) and used it as the bandage that wraps her hands and arms.

So I got the figure started, but what was I going to do for a setting or backdrop? I mulled this over for a few days. Then one night, without any thought, a lightening bolt of inspiration struck me and I built this wooden backdrop deciding I would plan it out afterward. The idea was to create a backdrop that felt like a room and was still visible from more than just a single angle. 

It didn't look like much, but it was a start. And best of all, I could now envision it as a portion of the laboratory set. I bandaged the bride's body and attached some blue hair to her before I placed her in her new living space. 

She was a little too short but things were shaping up. I now plotted out where to place the props on the set. I used the Bride of Frankenstein movie as reference of course.

So, I began the drawn out session of brick cutting. I used thin fun-foam sheets to make the brick patterns, then glued them onto the wooden backdrop. This was time consuming, but necessary. I sprayed some gray on them to test the look- it was 100% Zombienose Approved!

In the meantime, I pinned the bride's gown on and adjusted her height to be more appropriate. I stood her on a temporary wooden stand to wait. She was looking quite regal and worthy of a decent home.

This thing was already looking the way I had hoped, but I had a loooong way to go. (In the background, to the left, you can see my Tinman and Tight Rope characters.) Anywhooo...I continued cutting and gluing bricks, cutting and gluing bricks, cutting and gluing bricks...

To firm this background up and add to the stoney appearance, I coated it with a layer of gypsum cement Ultra-cal 30. 

Then I painted the cold stoney hell out of it, staining the corner crevasses and drips on the walls. Tada!

With the confidence of Dr. Frankenstein himself, I went home feeling pretty accomplished that night. When I returned the next day, I was eager to knock this art piece out. Once again I checked how things were looking... I began using some junk I had to make some electrical props that slightly resembled things used in the movie. The doll head from which I used the blue hair lies near the feet of my bride!

Below, you can see the mess of junk I considered using and combining together to make my props. I'm a slob when I work. The light above her head is going to be lit along with other aspects. 

The main large machine was referenced entirely from the film, with slight modifications. I wanted lights in the gauges as well at the other machinery. I made some details with my junk and created some tiny gauges with an empty space behind them so I could light them later. Since I had acquired some cheap led flash lights I lit 'em up and they really made these things come alive!

You might notice the clear suction cups used to illuminate the top of this prop below. The black rings were once a cd rack which I heat formed into this cylindrical shape. To allow the light to shine more brightly, I later added a bar shaped magnifying glass so the light would travel up to the suction cups and illuminate the main machine.

 Then I began making a miniature table because every work area has a table to put stuff on, like brains and quills. This came together without any major headaches as well... at least that's what I thought.

I was happy with the initial look ,but it became very obvious that I wouldn't be able to follow through with my original layout (as shown in my scribbled blueprints). I was going to have to rearrange the laboratory equipment a bit. After the tears dried, I began to build the other electrical machine that was no longer going to fit. It's best just to move forward when you get stuck, so I did. 

Added more details and stuff...

As I got the piece together I realized the solution to fitting all of the work together was easy- I simply moved the table to the other side and spread out the other 2 machines. Somehow, I convinced myself this looked fine and I didn't second guess myself after that.

I almost forgot to add a brain in the jar! Sculpey brain, coming right up!

I had to seal it with epoxy so the water wouldn't eventually wear the paint off. Yeah, most of the jars had colored water in them for effect. The test tubes were made with purple sand and superglue and the tiny quill is an actually feather from a finch. I printed out the notes but hope nobody uses them to create another monster. I trust you've got better things to do.

This nightmare was nearly complete. It was nearing the finish line.

Then there was the electrical elements to figure out. Yay! My favorite! That's right up there with tooth fillings and kidney stones. Anyway, I'm fortunate enough to have a zombie brother that is very knowledgeable of such things. He wired my flash lights and added some other lights so I could get the effect I wanted, all connected to a single board so they could be powered by one switch. He even made the knife switch work to turn them on and off! Very cool feature! Since he lives in a different state we had to share notes, like the photo below (the flicker lights are for the main machine and the light above):

To let the future owner know how to turn on the lights, I sent a note along with the artwork for the show. I added a handle on the back for easier mobility and made a holder for the ac adapter too. 

And when you flick them on in a dimly lit room it will look like this (photos courtesy of HalloweenTown):

And this concludes our lesson on how to make a bride for your monster. It can be a lot of work, but in the end you'll have a companion for life. Once last thing - don't forget to always add snot to your monster!

For information on purchasing this piece, please contact me. Thanks and have a nice life!



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