Introduction: Wampa Star Wars Faux Taxidermy Mount
This snow dwelling creature from Star Wars is the ferocious giant that Luke SkyWalker faced and one of the memorable scenes from the film.
I have recreated a mini version of a Wampa head mount made of simple materials but an awesome decor for Star Wars fans.
Step 1: Materials
- Polymer Clay (oven-baked modelling clay) - Sculpey Living Doll in Light; Premo in white and red colors.
- Liquid Clay - Fimo Dekogel
- Round wood panel - 20 cm diameter
- Steel and aluminum wires
- Aluminum foil
- 2 part epoxy - e.g. MagicSculpt
- Polyester fiberfill and batting
- Sculpting tools: spatula, needle tool, knife, ball stylus
- Faux Fur - white
- Felt fabric - black
- Embroidery and Waxed thread
- Hook needle
- Drill bit
- Paint brushes
- Industrial strength glue - e.g. E6000
- Tacky Glue
- Genesis heat set paints or acryluc paints
- Picture hanging kit - 2 D-rings, 2 screws, picture wire
- Polyurethane varnish - matte and glossy
Step 2: Sculpting the Face
Make the armature for the face by shaping the aluminum foil to a flat round piece and adding more foil to the lower half of the face for the muzzle.
Cover the front part of the armature with flesh colored clay. Indent sockets for the eyes and place 2 round pieces of clay. Add in the upper and lower eyelids with rod shaped pieces then attach long rod shapes on top to form the brow. The nose is made by shaping a triangular piece with 2 small spheres on each side. Draw out the opening for the mouth and remove the clay with a knife. Continue adding clay to make the basic shape and forms of the Wampa's face. Make sure that there is enough mass to the cheek, forehead and muzzle area.
After the major forms are achieved start blending in the seams. After which, detailing the face further by defining the eyes, lips, folds, fur and wrinkles on the face using a spatula and needle tool.
Make a hole on both sides and upper and lower part of the face with a ball stylus.
Bake this for 40 minutes in a 130 degrees celsius pre-heated oven. (Temperature will depend on the clay's brand.)
Step 3: Mouth Details
Now that the face is fully baked, we can start fiddling with the mouth and not worry distorting the face.
Brush liquid clay on the upper and lower part of the mouth then add in the flesh colored clay to these areas to form the gums. Then shape the tongue from red colored clay and attach to the middle area of the mouth. The teeth are individually shaped and was pre-baked so that it can easily be inserted on the gums.
Bake the piece again for 40 minutes.
Step 4: Painting the Face
Paint in thin layers using heat set paints or acrylic paints.
Paint the eyes and nostrils black. Then paint areas around the eyes, nose and around the mouth with burnt umber. Continue painting the mouth with dark red. Paint in some ochre on top of the burnt umber. In addition, apply some black to the area around the mouth and gums.
Step 5: Preparing the Mount
Drill four holes on the middle of the wood panel.
Cut four pieces of steel wire. Take two pieces and attach each end on opposite sides of the holes. Then take the other two pieces across to the one already positioned. Use the aluminum wire to wrap the wires in place.
To secure the wire armature, put two part epoxy to areas where the wires touches the panel.
Step 6: Attaching the Face
Carefully peel off the foil from the back of the face and carve the midsection to accommodate the steel wires. In addition, glue felt fabric on the back with the mid portion exposed. Place some two part epoxy to the exposed area and press it to the steel wire armature.
Step 7: Stuffing
Stuff the steel armature with polyester fiberfill and wrap this with thread. After which, continue wrapping with polyester batting around the armature until it forms the shape of the Wampa's head.
Step 8: Faux Fur
Estimate the amount of fur fabric that you need by placing it on the lower part of the head and attaching pins. Do this for the topside of the head as well. Then cut the fabric and glue it to the sides of the face and wood panel.
Step 9: Fur Details
To make the face realistic, glue wefts of fur cut from the fabric using tacky glue. Attach the fur from the bottom up taking note of the direction of the fur growth from a reference photo.
To add more dimesion, color the fur with copic markers sand to the chin area and some parts of the sides of the head. Vermillion is also used to achieve the bloody stain on his chin.
Step 10: Horns
Make two curved armatures using aluminum wire covered with foil and floral tape. Wrap this with flesh colored clay, smooth it out as best you can then detail it with a needle tool.
Make two holes on the wide end of the horn then bake for 50 minutes.
Paint in layers either with heat set paints or acrylic paints. First with black. Then dry brush with ochre and gray. Apply matte varnish when dry.
Attach the horns to the sides of the head using a hook needle and embroidery thread.
Step 11: Finishing
To add life to the face, brush with gloss to the eyes, gums and teeth.
Cover the midsection of the back of the panel with felt fabric.
To make the sculpture wall ready, attach two D-rings with screws on the back of the panel and wrap wire through the rings. I bought mine from a picture hanging kit from the hardware store.
The project is complete and you now possess a Wampa head trophy prized by Star Wars fans.