The Project Alligator

Step 6: Alligator Head

Picture of Alligator Head
C:\temp\t1\18 wireframe_plaster_2.jpg
C:\temp\t1\20 unpainted_jaw_2.jpg
C:\temp\t1\19 unpainted_jaw_1.jpg
C:\temp\t1\21 finished_1.jpg
C:\temp\t1\22 finished_2.jpg
We decided to become creative and take our chances with the alligator head. Against JR's advice, I decided to build the head rather than using a stuffed toy. I built a wire frame of the head using a 14 gauge electrical wire. My son wrapped the wire frame with plaster wrap from the craft store. The plaster wraps are like these 2-3" wide band-aid type cheesecloth, which has a pre-applied layer of plaster of Paris. When wet the wrap becomes very soft. When the wire skeleton was covered with these wraps and dried, it became hard and gave a definitive shape to the alligator head. To make further shapes, we used a product called, Celluclay (instant papier mache). This stuff comes dried like paper dust. You add water and mix it like dough. It is great to make three-dimensional shapes. Thanks to all the folks at the rec.models.scale newsgroup, who contributed with many creative ideas to achieve the same result. I would highly recommend the book, 'Make Something Ugly for a change' by Dan Reeder for some great ideas. We used different shades of green to paint the head after it was thoroughly dried. Once the colors were dried we sprayed the head with gloss glaze, also from the crafts store.
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