Step 2: Adding the armature

In model making and sculpting an armature is the skeleton, or framework, used for support. I choose to use steel studs (available from most home improvement stores) to build my armature because they are light, sturdy, and surprisingly easy to work with. 

Safety tip: Make sure to wear gloves during this step; it's all to easy to stab or slice your finger open.

Using a pair of tin snips cut, or slightly notch, the sides of the stud, then bend them to shape. I started by screwing down a section of a stud about a foot from the end to the top of the the plywood. Then I folded the ends together, overlapping the sides, and fastened with sheet metal screws. Working my up I notched, bent, and fastened the stud every so often to form a curved shape. I made three "arms" this way jutting out from the plywood at different angles and heights.

Also shown in this step is building up the outside of the fake sewer opening with a length of vinyl trim (this was some sort of flashing also found at a home improvement store). This particular piece of vinyl has two ridges running down its length which made it easier to center over the short 1x2 boards. I painted both sides of the vinyl, wrapped it around, cut it to length, then screwed it into place (through the vinyl into the 1x2s).

The final picture shows a test placement over the top of our manhole. The boards rest solidly on sewer and the vinyl extends around the outside, down to the ground.
<p>Japan, here I come!</p>
Very Very COOOOOOOL!!!!
How long did this take?
I probably spent a couple weekends on it. WIth all the steps laid out now, someone could probably hammer it out in a couple days...some of that just being time for coats of paint to dry.
Serious awesomeness!! And fantastic techniques so much easier/better than what I would have guessed you'd used.
We totally need to do this. Great instruction and pictures. PERFECT for the fog machine! <br>
This is just TOO wonderful!!! Our historic Neighborhood hosts a big Halloween &quot;party&quot; and we see 3000+ trick or treaters each year. There is a contest for the best decorated house; unfortunately I'm out of the &quot;zone&quot; and have to keep my decorating to a minimum since I can't afford to buy that much candy on my own. However, I'm betting I can find a friend in the zone who would LOVE to use your idea, as much as I would!
Oh my gosh that's so scary! I would steer clear of a house if I saw this in the front yard! o.o
That thing is awesome, the only thing that it's missing is some movement & it would be perfect.
Congratulations on the win! I love the idea and execution.
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can&rsquo;t wait to see if you win! Good luck! (I really love this monster)
This looks like you could use a fan to inflate the tentacles &amp; give them some movement (the material looks too heavy to be self supporting with air pressure alone, but perhaps hinges in the frame would give it some flexibility)
If you used thin (like plastic bag thin) sheets turned into tubes or nylon tubes you could do it. But it would be pretty nosy.
Hmmmm..... <br>Maybe thicker plastic, and music playing to cover up the sound of the fan? <br>An inflatable doll attached to one of the flying tentacles? <br>I'll just have to run the experiment for next year's Halloween, I guess.... (bwaahahahahaha)
Ever see those fan powered things that are just giant air tubes made of nylon that dance around, something like that could be made out of one peace if you where any good at stitching you could sew a monster together in one or several parts and even give them bends so that the air flow caused them to fale about erratically or controlled. But when I say plastic http://www.designtavern.com/2009/01/street-art-joshua-allen-harris-inflatable-bag-monsters/ I'm thinking of both this artwork and there is a way in movies even species used it, to create realistic looking life by using nothing more then plastic inflated either with fluid or air. But ideally THIS is what I mean http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv1EQ_BAO7U&amp;feature=plcp
This looks great and I think having one of the tentacles wrapped around a lifesize dummy would look fantastic <br>
lifesized dummy?!? No, no, next Halloween get a girlfriend wrapped in it and your costume should be an exterminator trying to get her out.
I've seen enough hentai to know where this is going.
Cool idea!
Awesome idea - may have to use this idea for some tentacles in the future!
I loved this man. BIg and easy. Could probably add some movement with out too much trouble. I'lll have to try it next year. Thanks, hope you win. dx
just a note, if you paint the suckers before you cut them up, it will be A LOT easier.
For the most that's very true! I wanted to hit the ends (one per) with paint, too, but yeah you could do a combination of painting before and after cutting :)
hope you win
This has got to be one of the best yard decorations I've ever seen- awesome!
This is awesome. very creative use of common products to make a fantastic yard decoration.
WOW I love this! Looks great!
Great Job! i know what ill be doing next year. Thanks for posting. Voted

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Bio: Web developer by day. Gamer by night. Halloween fanatic and DIYer, all the time! My projects tend to combine pop culture, technology, and craftsmanship to ... More »
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