Introduction: Smoke Breathing Ravey Stags Head, Aka "Rupert"

Something I & the rest of the FFTT crew do each year is host a tent at a festival called Boomtown, where we decorate a tent in the theme of a manor house, and throw a 3 day party.

Last year we had great stags head on the front of the manor made by the wonderful Anna, but alas it didn't survive the weekend. This year I wanted to up our game a bit and make a one that could breath smoke...and have strobe eyes!

Here's how I got along....

Step 1: Research & Planning

Last year's stag was great (Cheers Anna!) but this year I wanted to up our game a bit.

I found some great instructables to help me out...

First up was J3443ry's instructable on making a cardboard stags head. I used this to make my mold.

Next was Apix's instructable on how to make a fiber glass speaker tricycle. Having never used fiber glass before this was a great help.

Lastly there was Xarphael's instructable on making a giant animal mask thing. This was fiber glassed and covered in fur so another great source.

Big ups to all 3 of em...i couldn't have done this without their shared knowledge!

Everything else I just sort of figured out as I went along.

Step 2: Sourcing My Bits

As with everything else I have to make for our tent at boomtown, it was on an incredibly tight budget. It came in at just under £100 with some bits & bobs left over for other projects.

Stuff that got used.....
  • Cardboard and hardboard for mold - £0 (free pile at Ikea)
  • Cheapo polyester sheet from Asda - £2
  • 4 fibreglass kits from toolstation - £33.60
  • Various bits of PVC pipe for antlers/smoke - £6
  • Smoke machine off ebay - £23
  • 2 Strobe lights off ebay - £13
  • Fur - £20...but I bought way too much.

  • Jigsaw
  • Table saw (not essential)
  • Knife
  • Glue gun
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Drill & 32mm/102mm hole saw

Step 3: Mold

J3443ry's instructable was invaluable for this!

I wanted my head to be a lot bigger though. J3443ry provided a PDF template for all the pieces his was made out of, which I scaled up by projecting onto a mix of cardboard & hardboard, and tracing on with a pen. Then I cut them all out using scissors/knife/jigsaw, and made the slits on my table saw.

It all got put together as shown in J3443ry's instructable, then it got mounted on a shield shape with a hole cut in the back for plugs n' pipes.

Step 4: Internal Stuff

The smoke machine was gonna get pretty hot so putting inside the head wasn't an option. Instead it was to be mounted behind the head with pipe running to the nose. I ran a bit of PVC pipe from the back of the head to the nose, drilling a hole through each piece of hardboard/cardboard with a 35mm holesaw on a long ol' drill extension. I "swiss cheesed" the panels in the nose so the smoke could get through.

I also mounted the strobe lights at this point, masking them with electrical tape so the faces wouldn't get ruining by fiber glass. The cables were run along the spine and popped out the same hole as the smoke pipe.

For the antler mounts I simply attached a chunky bit of softwood, with a rebate made with a 32mm hole saw to receive some PVC pipe.

Step 5: Fiber Glassing

Then taking a leaf from apix's instructable, I stretched a smart price polyester sheet over the mold and painted on some resin. This gave me the finished shape to fiber glass onto.

For the fiber glassing I simply followed the instructions on kit, and kept going until I'd used up all the resin & fiber glass sheet that came in 3 of the packs. I didn't manage to cover the whole thing but instead just focused on the areas that needed to be solid or would get knocked about a bit in transit.

The finish was pretty shitty but it didn't really matter as it was going to get covered in fur.

I cut holes for the eyes with my little dremel tool, and in the nose with a forstner bit (using eye protection & dust mask).

Step 6: Antlers

For the antlers I used PVC pipe. I made the bends by cutting slits in the pipe. Then they got taped up to hold their shape. The sticky out bits were made by drilling holes in the main pipe and feeding in a smaller bit of pipe.

They got fiber glassed too but it went a bit wrong. The tape absorbed the resin and lost it stickiness and the antler started collapsing! Some frantic bodging of supports and leaning stuff against it seemed to do the trick, but this meant it was damn near impossible to get the antlers to match up!

A bit of filling & sanding (using dust mask), a quick coat of primer, and they got finished with black spray paint.

Step 7: Fur & Details

I had a bit of red plastic so taped it over the eye openings.

To make it reasonably weather proof I just pulled a 75p dust sheet from tool station over the top and taped in on. Fingers crossed it'll be enough to protect the electrics if it rains!

Then I gradually attached the fur with a hot glue gun, cutting it to shape as I worked. I did the neck in one piece, the ears as 2 others, then the head & whatever was left as another.

I painted on the mouth & nose with some black looks a bit shit though so any suggestions on how I can do it better will be appreciated.

Step 8: Finished!

And there you have it!

Boomtown isn't until august, so any suggestions for additions/improvements from you lot will be appreciated!

Next up.... a photo booth & a ridiculous 10 tier water fountain thing!