Introduction: Fell Beast Photo Booth Wall

Picture of Fell Beast Photo Booth Wall

    My idea started out as a wearable monster perched on my shoulder with its jaws around my head. Fun costume to act out, right? But as I thought about it I realized EVERY COSTUME looks more dramatic next to a terrifying monster and other people would enjoy having their pictures taken with an attacking beast. Also, I had recently watched this video by Tested where Frank Ippolito and his team created the life-size 3D head and front legs of a dragon that merged into a 2D backdrop with space to pose for pictures in between. That's when I realized a photo booth was the perfect solution! I got to work planning, sculpting, 3D printing and painting. The idea came to life at a massive scale, so I hope you enjoy the tutorial and get inspired to make a giant monster photo booth wall!

    The fell steed of the Nazgul (Lord of the Rings) was my inspiration for the details of the monster but you could easily tweak the design to make it a dragon or other such reptilian beast if that better fits with your party's decor. The size and positioning of the beast provides your fancy garbed guests with options - pose as if moments from being devoured or as if trying to escape the gaping jaws. Stand alone for a portrait while fighting the toothy creature or crowd in for a tasty monster buffet group shot.

    Most of the supplies you will need are readily available online or at your local home improvement store. I've provided the file for the model I made of the head, so you can save time there if you have a 3D printer. If you don't have 3D printing access, you can still make this project by modeling the head using the same materials and technique as the body. Just add some pumpkin teeth or make them from clay.

    This is a large project that will take several weekends to put together, but imagine how many people will get to enjoy the photo booth once it's done! It's the ultimate shareable prop and totally worth the time invested :)

    Supplies you will need for this project:

    General

    • Large work area with good ventilation
    • Respirator
    • Heat gun
    • Pipe cutter
    • Craft knife
    • Scissors
    • Low temp hot glue gun and lots of glue sticks
    • Spray adhesive
    • 14 gauge wire
    • Rust-oleum spray paints: flat black, dark gray, satin granite, camouflage sand, satin classic navy, flat red primer, dark gray automotive primer, satin stone gray, camouflage earth brown, camouflage army green, matte french cream, metallic silver
    • Cable ties
    • Gorilla tape

    Head

    • 3D printer and filament
    • Soldering iron and solder
    • Glue for your choice of filament
    • 3D pen or other gap filler
    • White and red LED strips
    • Electrical wire and connections
    • Power supply adapter
    • Filler primer
    • Mineral spirits
    • Clear caulking
    • Blue watercolor paint
    • Small flat brush
    • Pallet knife
    • 2 each screws, nuts and washers
    • Sugru
    • Plastic welder or old soldering iron
    • Scrap filament
    • Heat proof gloves
    • 1" PVC pipe
    • 8" x 10 ft. Aluminum Flex Pipe
    • Large bubble wrap
    • Packing foam roll

    Torso

    • 8 mm corrugated plastic
    • Plastic poultry netting
    • Expanding foam
    • Aluminum Screen
    • Packing foam roll
    • 1/2" PVC pipe and connectors

    Wing

    • Foam floor mat
    • 3/8" by 1/2" by 6 ft. Tube Pipe Insulation - QTY: 4
    • 3/8" by 3/4" by 6 ft. Tube Pipe Insulation
    • 3/8" by 1" by 6 ft. Tube Pipe Insulation
    • Paint stir sticks
    • Thin plastic drop cloth
    • Wood burner
    • 4 mil plastic sheeting
    • 1/2" PVC pipe and connectors
    • Selfie stick with camera bracket

    Backdrop

    • 8 x 9 ft. display stand
    • Grommets
    • Acrylic paint
    • Plastic poultry netting
    • Aluminum foil
    • Corrugated plastic or cardboard
    • 0.7 mil clear plastic drop cloth
    • Masking paper
    • Hay or straw

    Step 1: Planning With Clay and Tape Models

    Picture of Planning With Clay and Tape Models

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Sculpey clay
    • Skewers to prop up model wall
    • Wire to support model neck
    • Masking tape

    Making a Scale Model

    I started planning this project by using clay to figure out what size and orientation would work well in photographs.

    Next I used masking tape to roughly outline the fell beast on the wall to ensure the design would fit in the room with enough space left for the photographer, lights and walking space.

    I'll provide dimensions as we go if you want to make exactly the version shown in this tutorial, but if you would like to customize the design, you will need to spend some time in the planning stage.

    Step 2: 3D Printing the Head

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Access to a 3D printer
    • Filament (I used Cheetah for the mouth and Tech-G for the eye and throat sections)

    Sculpting the Head

    Good news - This part been done for you! I studied a variety of reference pictures and sculpted the gaping fell beast jaws using Fusion 360 and Meshmixer.

    Feel free to customize the model if you like, but otherwise it's ready to cut into printable pieces based on your print volume.

    Printing the Head

    Since 3D printers vary greatly, I can't provide specific guidelines for the slicing and printing settings for your printer.

    The head model is BIG. Even cut into 13 pieces, each one barely fit on my buildplate. Keep in mind how each piece will be oriented on the printer when cutting the model for your printer size. Meshmixer is a good tool for this.

    Use as little infill as possible to keep the weight down (12% was the lowest I could go for the teeth pieces and still get a quality print). The walls need to be thick enough to withstand sanding (mine are all 1.2 mm). Also, we will fastening brackets to the flat piece at the base of the neck, so make sure that area is extra sturdy.

    I used a flexible filament for the mouth so people wouldn't poke themselves on anything sharp while posing with their heads inside the jaws. The portion with the eyes needs be be a translucent filament so the LED's added later would be visible but diffused.

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    Tip: If you don't have access to a 3D printer, sculpt the head from mesh and foam using the model as a referenc. Create teeth from clay or purchase pumpkin teeth.

    Step 3: Forming the Torso

    Picture of Forming the Torso

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • 8 mm corrugated plastic (can substitute 2 layers 4 mm corrugated plastic or foam board)
    • Plastic poultry netting
    • Cable ties
    • Scissors
    • Craft knife

    Shaping the Body

    I used a thick sheet of corrugated plastic for this step because the backing will need to support the weight of the body and neck once the beast is mounted on the wall.

    Cut out an irregular oval shape about 24" high and 18" wide. Remove a circle of material from the center but leave a thick enough border that the piece remains sturdy.

    Adding Depth

    Cut a piece of poultry netting to wrap around the border of the body and attach in place with cable ties.

    Fold the opposite end down into the center. Pull through until the body is about 10" deep at the top where the neck will enter. Push, pull and zip tie the material in place to refine the shape so the breastbone area is more muscled and the bottom and sides have irregularities which will become folds of skin.

    Leave a 6" hole in the top toward the back so the neck attachments can be added later. Trim away any excess netting.

    Step 4: Filling and Carving the Torso

    Picture of Filling and Carving the Torso

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Expanding foam large gap filler (I used 2 cans)
    • Sharp kitchen knife

    Spraying the Foam

    Following the instructions on the can of expanding foam, spray the material over the outside of the netting. It doesn't need to be thick, just enough to fill in the gaps.

    Shaping the Body

    Make sure the foam is thoroughly dry before cutting into it. I've found that a really sharp, non-serrated kitchen knife works well for carving the foam without making a lot of dust.

    Trim away the extra bubbles of foam to get a semi-smooth surface. It doesn't need to be perfect because it will be covered with "skin" in a later step.

    Remove extra material from the neck hole and redefine the skin folds created in the previous step.

    Save the scraps of foam for future steps.

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    Tip: It will be easier to finalize the torso shape and arm hole position once other parts of the project have been constructed, so set this piece aside for now.

    Step 5: Assembling the Wing Bones

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Scrap of 3/8" foam floor mat
    • 3/8" by 1/2" by 6 ft. Tube Pipe Insulation - QTY: 4
    • 3/8" by 3/4" by 6 ft. Tube Pipe Insulation - QTY: 1
    • 3/8" by 1" by 6 ft. Tube Pipe Insulation - QTY: 1
    • Paint stir sticks
    • Scraps of expanding foam (leftover from carving body)
    • Scraps of thin (0.7 mil) plastic drop cloth
    • Spray adhesive
    • Hot glue (low temp)
    • Sharp craft knife
    • Scissors

    Making the Hand and Attaching the Fingers

    Trace your hand onto a scrap of 3/8" foam floor mat. Draw the fingers extra long and curve them away from the thumb. Shape the thumb into a pointed claw. Also include a few inches for the wrist.

    Cut out the shape using the craft knife then trim as needed until the fingers fit into the 1/2" pipe insulation tubes and wrist fits inside the 3/4" tube.

    Glue the four fingers and wrist in place using low temp hot glue (high temp will melt the insulation tubes).

    Trim 18" off the end of the pointer finger tube and 8" off the middle finger tube so that the wing shape will curve slightly upward toward the outside tip.Save the scraps for future steps.

    Reinforcing the Hand

    The hand needs to support the weight of the wing and hold a hanging bracket.

    Cut wooden paint stir sticks into pieces and hot glue in place on the front and back of the hand. Add extra glue as needed to strengthen and fill in gaps.

    Use hot glue and scraps of expanding foam scraps leftover from carving the body to cover the support sticks. Also draw a few lines of glue onto both sides of the hand as blood vessels (detail will show up better in the painting stage).

    Finally, use spray adhesive to glue some scraps of thin plastic drop cloth over the the whole hand to smooth it out a bit and make it easier to paint.

    Creating the Elbow

    Cut a slit into the forearm tube 14" from the end. Fold back the short end and insert large scraps of expanding foam to start building out the elbow.

    Make the elbow support rib by gluing the larger scrap of 1/2" tube onto the short end of the forearm tube. Trim this rib to extend a total of 24" from the elbow.

    To create the upper arm, glue 3' of the 1" insulation tube onto the foam scrap elbow. Save the other half of the tube since that will be used along with the 8" piece of 1/2" tube later to bulk out the shoulder.

    Step 6: Texturizing the Wing Bones

    Picture of Texturizing the Wing Bones

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Expanding foam scraps (leftover from carving body)
    • Wood burner with pointed tip
    • Hot glue (low temp)
    • scissors

    Reference this part of the wing video tutorial to see this step in progress.

    Creating Texture

    Use scissors to taper the end of each finger tube. Dab hot glue onto the end of each finger and shape the foam into a gradual, rounded point.

    Also cut random chunks out all the way up the fingers.

    The insulation tubes melt when exposed to heat, so use the wood burner tip to quickly carve lots of skin texture lines along the length of each tube.

    To make the lines of the fingers more organic, cut a few random slits in the tubes and glue in rounded lumps of scrap expanding foam. These knobbly bits resembling knuckles will make the fingers have some slight angles instead of perfect curves.

    For the arms I used a larger tip on the wood burner to create a simpler, flatter texture that will blend into the texture we will us on the shoulder.

    Step 7: Attaching the Wing Membrane

    Picture of Attaching the Wing Membrane

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • 4 mil plastic sheeting
    • Paint stir sticks
    • 14 gauge wire
    • Scissors
    • Hot glue (low temp)
    • Spray adhesive

    Reference this part of the wing video tutorial to see this step in progress.

    Creating the Membrane Pocket

    Use scissors to cut all the fingers in half down the center line parallel to the thumb. Extend the slices as close to the hand as possible. Also slice down the inside edge of the forearm and upper arm (no need to cut the outside edges).

    Attaching the Membrane

    Insert a large piece of plastic sheeting between the halves so the front and back of the wing will each have a set of fingers. On one side of the wing, splay the fingers tubes into a nice wing shape that tapers out toward the bottom. Add a length of wire into the outside finger to make it more rigid and make the wing easier to pose then attach the half tubes in place using spray adhesive and hot glue. Flip wing over, align tubes on other side and glue those in place, too.

    Around the hand, trim the plastic as needed to make it fit. Fold the edges up and glue them to the sides of the hand so the seam blends in with the texture.

    Tuck the inside edges of the plastic into the arm tubes. To make the arm more rigid I added a few paint stir sticks and lots of hot glue to reinforce the forearm tube before gluing shut over the membrane. I also added a length of wire from the tip of the elbow extension to the top of the upper arm with about 12" at the end for mounting to the body.

    Step 8: Distressing the Wing Membrane

    Picture of Distressing the Wing Membrane

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Wood burner
    • Heat gun
    • Hot glue (low temp)

    Reference this part of the wing video tutorial to see this step in progress.

    Adding Battle Damage

    The wing needs to show the age of the beast and the many battles in which it has fought.

    Use the wood burner to melt a series of holes along the bottom edges of the membrane. Rip off the excess plastic to create an irregular edge.

    Melt and tear more holes of random size further up on the lower half of the wing to represent damage from arrows and stones shot at the beast.

    Puckering the Plastic

    Use a heat gun to heat up all areas of the wing membrane that have creases from being folded up in the storage bag. This doesn't completely eliminate the folds but it will make them less noticeable.

    Don't overheat the lower areas of the wing so they stay relatively smooth, but toward the top get the plastic hot enough to become soft and stretchy. Stop heating when interesting textures and wrinkles have formed.

    Be careful not to burn a hole through the plastic!

    Drawing Blood Vessels

    Use hot glue to draw blood vessels growing out from the finger tubes in various places.

    Tip: It's helpful to look up pictures of bat wings to get ideas for placement and branching structure of the blood vessels.

    Step 9: Painting the Wing

    Picture of Painting the Wing

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Rust-oleum spray paints: flat black, dark gray, satin granite, camouflage sand, satin classic navy, flat red primer, dark gray automotive primer

    Reference this part of the wing video tutorial to see this step in progress.

    Prepping the Wing

    Paint the entire wing flat black to eliminate the shininess of the plastic and provide a good base for building up layers of color.

    Tip: This is a good time double check that all the plastic and foam parts are securely glued down with no holes or loose parts.

    Adding Color

    I painted the back of the wing first so I could experiment on parts that wouldn't show much in the final design. The second side went much faster!

    Lightly mist satin granite down the center of each panel of the wing, keeping the edges soft. Repeat with camouflage sand but don't go up or out as far so the granite shows toward the edges.

    Sparingly spray splashes of satin classic navy. Focus this color toward the edges to blend in with the black foam fingers plus a bit on the battle damaged bottom edges.

    Spray a puddle of flat red primer into a disposable container. Use a gloved finger or brush to highlight the blood vessels and any interesting textures in the plastic. Don't forget the veins on the hand! Also, add a very light misting of the flat red in a few areas to tie this color in with the rest of the design.

    Use the dark gray primer to shadow the edges of each panel and touch up any areas of the foam that got too much over spray. Also darken the bottom edge and battle damage, blending softly into the lighter colors. Touch up the rusty red highlighted veins and textures as needed in any areas that got overly darkened.

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    Tip: I had some adhesion issues with parts of the wing due to excessive dust in the area.Try cleaning the plastic right before painting. If it does start to flake, mist some spray adhesive on top of the paint and allow it to dry thoroughly. Make sure parts don't touch each other before it's dry or it will damage the finish. The glue helps the paint stay flexible and adhered without drastically changing the finish.

    Step 10: Preparing and Hanging the Backdrop

    Picture of Preparing and Hanging the Backdrop

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • 8 x 9 ft. display stand
    • 10 x 14 ft. 4 mil plastic sheeting
    • Grommets
    • Cable ties
    • 14 Gauge wire
    • Hot glue (low temp)

    Reinforcing the Plastic

    The top of the plastic will need to support the weight of all the texture and paint that will be added in the next step.

    Fold down 3" on one side of the 10 ft. direction. Hot glue in place then fold in half and glue once more. You should now have a 1.5" hem four layers thick.

    Add grommets every 18" along the hem.

    Suspending the Backdrop

    My photo booth was built around a popup display stand which I extended wider with a piece of PVC pipe attached at the top with cable ties. I used this specific model because it's what I found second hand for a great price.

    Loop cable ties through the grommets. Further extend the attachments as needed with 14 gauge wire twisted through the cable ties and around the top bars of the display stand.

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    Tip: You will need to adapt the mounting method if you use a different style of display stand or mount directly to a wall. The most important thing is to make sure all mounting points are sturdy and any freestanding display stand is properly weighed down so it does not fall over from the added weight of the decorations.

    Step 11: Texturizing the Backdrop

    Picture of Texturizing the Backdrop

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Acrylic paint / brush
    • Plastic poultry netting
    • Expanding foam scraps (leftover from carving body)
    • Aluminum foil
    • Corrugated plastic or cardboard
    • 0.7 mil clear plastic drop cloth
    • Hot glue
    • Spray adhesive
    • Heat gun

    Sketching the Stone Wall Pattern

    Use the acrylic paint to trace the shape of the fell beast's body onto the backdrop slightly lower than center. Leave this part blank as a reference for where the body will attach later.

    Sketch a rough stone wall pattern (it's helpful to look up some reference photos first!) onto the whole backdrop, leaving 2 ft. on sides and bottom. Don't worry if you mess up - the acrylic paint washes off easily, so you can adjust the pattern until it looks even and proportional.

    The blank portion at the bottom will be painted like grass in a later step, and the sides will be folded back and trimmed as needed once the backdrop is installed.

    Building Shattered Stone Texture

    Around the body the stones will be smashed outward to look like the beast broke through. The shattered part will have 3D texture as the focal point.

    Start building out the central stone shapes using scraps of the poultry netting. Fold and cut pieces to make them irregular before hot gluing onto the backdrop. Leave the areas between stones flat to represent the joints.

    Further build up and fill in the stone shapes using scraps of expanding foam and crumpled aluminum foil.

    The stones closest to the fell beast body cutout will be most shattered, so cut jagged pieces of corrugated plastic or foam board and glue in place protruding out and breaking the regular joint lines.

    Blend the texture out to smaller and further spaced pieces. The backdrop should now have gradually lower texture applied for about 2 ft. outward from the edges of the central hole, fading to flat plastic.

    Solidifying the Textures

    All of these bits need to be joined on a continuous plane before they can be painted.

    Cut up a plastic drop cloth (clear so you can still see the sketched stone lines). I found pieces 18" or smaller easiest to work with. Using spray adhesive, cover about 1/3 of the central stone section.

    Make sure the plastic gets pressed down into the crevices to ensure good adhesion and to preserve the variety of textures. Don't try to get a smooth surface - all the little wrinkles will add to the weathered stone illusion.

    Tighten and further wrinkle the plastic by heating it up with the heat gun.

    Patch any holes and make sure all edges are glued down.

    Step 12: Painting the Backdrop

    Picture of Painting the Backdrop

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Rust-oleum spray paints: flat black, satin stone gray, satin granite, camouflage earth brown, dark gray automotive primer, matte french cream, camouflage sand, camouflage army green, flat red primer
    • Masking paper
    • Hay or straw

    Defining the Shapes

    Clearly define the stones using the black and stone colors. This layer doesn't need to be perfect or solid since there will be other colors layered on top.

    Layering Shadows

    Tear pieces from the masking paper. Use the rough edges to mask off areas of the stones while misting the granite color along the edge. Change the angle and direction of the paper often so the shadows look random and natural like roughly hewn stone. Get a fresh piece of masking paper when the excess paint starts to drip.

    Using the same masking method, add variations to the cracks between stones with the earth brown color.

    The dark gray primer will go on both the cracks and the stones. For the stones selectively darken a few lines to represent level changes on the faces. Shift the masking paper slightly between light mists of paint around the outlines to soften some of the edges. Blend the stone edges into the cracks.

    Highlighting and Emphasizing Texture

    Adding bright highlights will strengthen the illusion of depth in the flat areas and bring out the textures toward the center of the backdrop.

    Spray the cream color onto a crumpled piece of paper. Dab onto protruding pieces of stone and onto lighter areas of the flat stones to make them appear to protrude and have more texture.

    Use the same method more generously with the granite color - spray a little paint onto crumpled paper and rub it over most of the textured areas to make the wrinkled plastic look like cracked stone. Also dab granite onto the flat stones overlapping some of the cream highlights to unite the highlights with the rest of the layers.

    If any layer of paint mistakenly gets overwhelmingly light or dark, use masking paper and stone or dark gray to bring the area back to neutral.

    Add the final highlights using the sand color. Dab a bit onto the sharpest protrusions and some of the larger textures on the stones around the hole. These areas should already have cream highlights, so the sand color will provide some warm contrast representing hot spots of direct sunlight.

    Finishing the Bottom Edge

    The bottom layer of stones will blend into grass and debris where the plastic drags on the ground.

    To create this effect, first spray a coat of army green up to and in some places overlapping the stones. Add splotches of the sand color and a mist of cream.

    Spread bunches of hay over the base coat. Use earth brown and black to spray over the hay. I also added just a few light areas of flat red to brighten up the look. Remove the hay to reveal the grassy patterns underneath.

    When staging the photo booth, scatter they painted hay over the ground portion of the backdrop to give it more texture.

    Step 13: Mounting the Torso

    Picture of Mounting the Torso

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • 1/2" PVC pipe and connectors
    • Cable Ties
    • String
    • Gorilla glue

    Installing the PVC Bracket

    The torso will hang from a PVC support projecting through the backdrop from behind. The wire from the end of the wing's upper arm also ties into this central connection.

    Hold the torso up to the backdrop and mark where the bracket needs to be for the edge of the corrugated plastic backing to rest on it. Cut a slit in the backdrop.

    Cut a piece of 1/2" PVC pipe to the height of floor to support hole. Add an elbow connector and a scrap of pipe that extends through the backdrop into the torso. Add a ''T" connector so the torso won't slip off the end when it's hung. Once you are sure everything is the right size and the neck/arm fit properly into the connectors, glue the pieces together.

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    Tip: If your display stand doesn't have supports all the way across, you will need to modify the suspension method. Try setting up a ladder behind the backdrop and weighing it down with sandbags to create a stable base for the PVC supports. If you plan to mount everything directly onto a wall, find a stud or use wall anchors rated for the weight of your pieces. Ensure each piece is amply supported to avoid injury due to all or part of the display tipping over.

    Step 14: Suspending the Wing

    Picture of Suspending the Wing

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • 14 gauge wire
    • Hot glue (low temp)
    • Scissors
    • 1/2" PVC pipe and connectors
    • Gorilla glue
    • Retractable selfie stick with detachable camera connector
    • Black spray paint
    • Cable ties

    Attaching the Connector to the Wing

    At the back of the wing slide scissors or a knife blade into the foam at the base of the hand to create a slit behind the back layer of paint stir sticks.

    Bend a length of wire in half. Add hot glue to the loop end and insert into the slit.

    Separate the phone connector from the selfie stick. With the screw socket side facing out, position the other side of the connector against the back of the wing under the wire. Wrap the ends of the wire around the connector and carefully glue everything in place to ensure a secure connection at the back without damaging the front side of the wing.

    Building the Attachment Base

    The selfie stick combined with PVC will support the wing and allow for tweaking the height and angle after installation.

    Screw the selfie stick onto the wing and hold up to the wall to figure out where the support for the wing should be mounted (58" from the floor and 29" from the center of the torso cutout worked for me).

    Cut a slit in the backdrop to allow a pipe to poke through.

    I found that the end of my selfie stick fit snugly into the 1/2" PVC. Use connectors to form a disproportionate "t" shape that reaches enough bars on the display stand to make a secure connection, and fasten in place with cable ties. Once your're sure the shape of the pipe support is correct, permanently glue the fittings.

    The hardest part was finding an angle that projected the wing far enough out but not too high up. The adjustable selfie stick makes it easier to fine tune the height and angle once the anchor pipe is attached to the display frame.

    I painted my selfie stick black so it would be less noticeable.

    You should now have a pipe coming through the backdrop with the selfie stick inserted into the end. The wing can be put up and taken down easily via the camera connector.

    Hook the upper arm wire into the torso connector to position the arm in the shoulder socket.

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    Tip: If your display stand doesn't have supports all the way across, you will need to modify the suspension method. Try setting up a ladder behind the backdrop and weighing it down with sandbags to create a stable base for the PVC supports. If you plan to mount everything directly onto a wall, find a stud or use wall anchors rated for the weight of your pieces. Ensure each piece is amply supported to avoid injury due to all or part of the display tipping over.

    Step 15: Shaping the Torso Connections and Upper Arm

    Picture of Shaping the Torso Connections and Upper Arm

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Aluminum screen
    • Insulation foam tube scraps from previous step
    • Hot glue
    • Scissors

    Preparing the Shoulder and Neck Sockets

    Cut a hole in the torso where the wire from the arm will poke through and attach inside the body.

    Mold pieces of aluminum screen into skin folds to build up a shoulder socket around this hole. The goal is for the wing and body to remain separate pieces for easy assembly but to look like one piece once put together.

    The neck will be made from an 8" diameter duct pipe. Cut a long strip of screen, fold in half and mold around the pipe. (The fit should be snug but leave a little extra space for the added bulk once the neck is covered in skin.) Glue this ring around the neck hole.

    Widening the Upper Arm

    The upper arm needs to be tapered wider toward the shoulder and rounded to fit in the socket. Open the upper arm slit and Insert the scraps of 1/2" and 1" insulation. Glue in place.

    Use scissors to round the end of the arm. Ball up some scrap mesh and foam. Glue this into the top of the arm piece and form the end of the foam around it to make a shoulder shape.

    Add more mesh to the shoulder socket on the torso to conceal the seam where the arm will attach.

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    Tip: I ended up adding more mesh to build up the shoulder after seeing the shape once it was painted and against the backdrop with the wing.

    Step 16: Skinning and Painting the Torso

    Picture of Skinning and Painting the Torso

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Packing cushion foam roll
    • Spray adhesive
    • Caulking
    • Rust-oleum spray paints: flat black, dark gray, satin granite, camouflage sand, satin classic navy, flat red primer, dark gray automotive primer

    Adding the Skin

    Use spray adhesive to attach a layer of cushion foam over the torso. Add skin folds around the arm joint and neck. The material has a little stretch to it, so you can create some interesting wrinkled skin textures while stretching it over the body.

    If you end up with unwanted seams that show up after painting, use some caulking to fill the gaps then dab with a scrap of cushion foam to even out the texture.

    Painting the Torso

    Follow the same basic process as for painting the wing - black base coat, granite and sand for highlights, dark gray, navy and black for shadows and flat red accents.

    The blue especially will help to distinguish the fell beast from the wall on which it's mounted, so make sure to blend plenty of this color with the dark gray and black toward the back edges.

    Note: After painting I noticed the shoulder was too small for the rest of the proportions, so I added more mesh, skin and paint until it looked more balanced in context.

    Step 17: Attaching Head Parts With LED's Inside

    Picture of Attaching Head Parts With LED's Inside

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • White LED strip
    • Electrical wire
    • Aluminum foil
    • Hot glue
    • Soldering iron and solder
    • 3D pen or your choice of filler
    • Glue appropriate for your choice of filament
    • Sanding tools

    Reference this part of the video tutorial for the head to see this step in progress.

    Positioning the Eye Lights

    Create a trench behind the eyes, removing as much material as you can to create a clear path behind the eyeball dome to let more light through. Block off the rest of the inside of the trench using aluminum foil.

    Solder a strand of white LED's to a wire long enough to reach out through the lower back of the head.

    Curl up the ends of the strand and tuck into the eye sockets. Hot glue in place and close the area with more foil. Run the ends of the wire through a hole out to the back of the piece.

    Test to make sure the lights work before proceeding.

    Create an additional hole behind the tongue out to the back of the neck for running power from the mouth for red LED's which will be added after the head is painted.

    Assembling the Head

    Glue all pieces together using your choice of glue (I used gorilla glue for the translucent pieces and gasket adhesive for the flexible pieces). Make sure the wires for the eyes remain accessible to attach to a power source later and that wires have a place to run from behind the tongue.

    Fill seams using 3D pen or your choice of filler. Sand all the seams, imperfections and major print lines.

    Step 18: Making the Head and Neck Bracket System

    Picture of Making the Head and Neck Bracket System

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • 1" PVC pipe and connectors
    • Heat gun
    • Heat proof gloves
    • 2 each screws, nuts and washers
    • Gorilla tape
    • Plastic welder or old soldering iron
    • Scrap filament
    • 8"x10 ft. aluminum flex pipe
    • 14 gauge wire
    • Cable ties
    • Sugru

    Creating the Head Brackets

    Reference this part of the video tutorial for the head to see this step in progress.

    We need to create a joint at the back of the 3D printed piece so the head and neck can be installed separately.

    Cut 5" lengths of PVC. Heat to flatten the whole piece then bend down 3/4" on one end to create a 90 degree angle. Make four total, two sets to sandwich the ends of each of the two pipes that will form the neck.

    Use scrap filament and a plastic welder (or old soldering iron you don't mind getting dirty) to attach the brackets to the back of the head using scrap filament to build up the weld around the PVC. Test to ensure these joints are very sturdy to fully support the weight of the head.

    Forming the Neck Support

    The neck support will made from two separate pieces of PVC. First stretch the aluminum duct and shape the neck curve to bend nicely from the body around to the head.

    Once you have a the neck curve defined, use the heat gun to mold two pieces of PVC into this shape, stopping at the point where the neck curves back to meet the backdrop. This is where the pipe will go through the wall to connect to a vertical support. Mine was about 34" long from backdrop to head joint. It takes some patience to get the curve right, so just keep reheating and testing until the shape matches the neck.

    Where the neck meets the backdrop, bend down the pipe toward the floor so an additional pipe can be attached for support. Also, heat and twist one pipe around the other to reinforce this point so it doesn't bend as much.

    Flatten the ends of the neck pipe to fit with the connectors on the head and drill screw holes through all pieces. To make attaching the head easier, embed the nuts in some Sugru.

    Strap the pipes as needed with gorilla tape to keep them from shifting. Thread the ends of the neck pipes through a hole in the backdrop and attach more PVC as needed to brace the weight of the head. Secure the pipes to the display bars using wire, cable ties and gorilla tape.

    This is the heaviest part of the project that could most easily cause the display to tip. Make absolutely sure all your connections are sturdy and have proper counterbalance.

    Step 19: Painting and Finishing the Head

    Picture of Painting and Finishing the Head

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Filler primer
    • Rust-oleum spray paints: flat black, dark gray, satin granite, camouflage sand, satin classic navy, flat red primer, dark gray automotive primer, matte french cream, satin stone gray, silver
    • Mineral spirits
    • Red LED strip
    • Additional wiring, connectors and power supply adapter
    • Soldering tools
    • Clear caulking
    • Blue watercolor paint
    • Small flat brush
    • Pallet knife

    Reference this part of the video tutorial for the head to see this step in progress.

    Painting the Head

    Once the rough sanding and filling stage is complete, spray on a coat of filler primer to further smooth things out and make it easier to see what areas need further sanding. Fill additional imperfections as needed.

    Mask off the eyes so they remain unpainted and translucent.

    Follow the same basic painting process as for the wing - black base coat, granite and sand for highlights, dark gray, navy and black for shadows with flat red accents on the outside. Also paint the inside of the mouth using the red.

    Adding Details

    Use a brush and the cream, light gray and sand colors thinned with mineral spirits to paint the teeth. Start with a light layer then dab on some rough thicker strokes for highlights.

    Accent the gums with black and flat red, making sure to get some onto the bases of the teeth to make them look grimy.

    Create a reflective area around the inside of the eye lids by carefully painting silver from the underside of the upper and lower lids to the corners of the eyes

    Finalizing the LED's

    Add a long strip of red lights inside the mouth, threading the power cable through the hold drilled behind the tongue in a previous step. It's easier to leave the strand loose for now and arrange the lights after the head is posed on the neck.

    At the back of the neck solder together both sets of LED wires along with a detachable connector (this makes it easier to install the head later). Also add a long cord that reaches from the head to the back of the display plus a power supply adapter.

    Making the Eyes Glow Blue

    Remove the protective tape from the eyes.

    Squeeze a small amount of clear caulking into a dish and mix in mineral spirits and stir vigorously until you have a spreadable consistency. Add watercolor paint to create a deep translucent blue.

    Working quickly, spread the mixture over the eye domes. It's easiest to have they LED's powered up while working so you can see what the final effect will be with the light from behind.

    Step 20: Finishing the Neck

    Picture of Finishing the Neck

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Spray adhesive
    • Packing cushion foam roll
    • Aluminum screen
    • Velcro
    • Large bubble wrap
    • Gorilla tape
    • Masking tape
    • Scissors
    • Rust-oleum spray paints: flat black, dark gray, satin granite, camouflage sand, satin classic navy, flat red primer, dark gray automotive primer

    Finalizing the Shape

    Cut a hole for the neck support pipes to enter and apply gorilla tape over the sharp edges.

    Slide the neck onto the pipes and attach the head for a test fitting. Once the the neck aligns properly with the torso and head, cover the entire tube in masking tape to make it more sturdy and smooth as a base for the skin.

    Skinning the Neck

    Remove the neck from the supports and follow the same procedure as for the torso - glue packing foam over the entire surface. Near the head end, add some individual bubble wrap bubbles under the foam to echo the texture of the head.

    Also create a separate neck panel from aluminum screen and foam to conceal the joint where the head and neck attach. Mine was about 8" and long enough to wrap around with some extra length for an overlapping joint.

    Painting the Neck

    Follow the same basic process as for painting the wing - black base coat, granite and sand for highlights, dark gray, navy and black for shadows and flat red accents. Ensure that the color pattern is consistent with the torso.

    Installing the Neck

    Run the electrical cable through the neck and out the back of the display.

    Slide the finished neck on to the supports and into the neck sleeve on the torso - it will stay in place since it's so light and wedged in. Attach the head, hook up the LED power cord, wrap the joint cover around the gap and Velcro tightly in place.

    Step 21: Staging the Photobooth

    Picture of Staging the Photobooth

    Supplies needed for this step:

    • Variety of freestanding lights (neutral, green, blue and yellow)

    Placing the Lights

    Lighting is key to setting the mood for how the final photos will look. For the photos in this tutorial I directed a green light onto the wall behind the wing, blue lighting on the beast, yellow lights low on the wall and neutral lighting on the subject. I experimented throughout the photo shoot with switching off some of the lights to get a variety of effects.

    You can also turn off all the lights except the eyes and mouth for some unique, creepy shots!

    Tip: You don't need special filters to get the colored lights as long as they use a type of bulb that stays cool. My green filter was made from two layers of green bubble wrap draped over one of the box lights!

    Congratulations, you're done!

    Anyone lucky enough to have their picture taken with your photo booth wall will get some amazingly sweet shots. Change up the lighting as needed to produce a variety of effects to complement different costumes.

    Whether you're there in person with the fell beast looming above or looking through the shots later, this monster wall is a showstopper of a feature which makes each person's costume look cooler!

    *************************************************************************

    I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and are now feeling inspired to make a monster photo wall. Feel free to contact me if you should have any questions!

    Comments

    IrishSnow35 (author)2017-11-13

    Love the monster idea...but that robot arm on the girl in the first pic...any future or existing instructables on anything like that?? (I really want a robot arm..)

    There's a video about the making process for that costume! https://youtu.be/7Mvq1IbNIC4

    DanielK146 (author)2017-11-13

    That is a ton of work! Can you haul it to a con so other people can take pictures with it?

    That would be fun!

    Honus (author)2017-11-13

    Fantastic!!

    Swansong (author)2017-11-13

    That looks really awesome! You did an amazing job, I think the lighting in the mouth is the icing on the cake. It looks really neat :)

    Thank you!

    About This Instructable

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    Bio: I enjoy experimenting with a wide range of materials, techniques and technologies. My favorite projects combine 3D printing with the craftsmanship of conventional methods to ... More »
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