I needed a few Zombie Killing props for a Haunted House/Halloween Graveyard a friend and I were planning to build.
During the summer, yard saling I had found a Scythe and a ??? (I am told it is a tool loggers use) that would make great props. Only a few problems however.
(1) Both tools were antiques and leaving them out in a yard for someone to steal was a concern.
(2) Both tools were to heavy for the PVC maniquins we were going to use to hold.
(3) Both tools would make GREAT weapons in the wrong hands.
SO, I needed to replicate them.
This is the prop and the real scythe displayed side by side. Can you tell the real one? (Hint: the prop is covered in BLOOD!)
This is the real Logger's Tool and the prop displayed together. Can you tell the fake from the real tool? (Hint: Again the prop has more BLOOD on it!)
Construction was fairly simple. Using the real tools, I traced their shapes onto pieces of pink insulation foam that was the same approximate thickness as the tools. Using a Coping saw I cut the shapes out. Then, using a power sander, Dremel and hand sanding I shaped the blanks until they resembled the originals.
When working with the foam you have to remember a few things.
(1) The foam while tough, IS breakable!
(2) Solvents in glue and paint WILL dissolve it!
(3) It has a "grain" and you NEED to sand/shape WITH the grain.
To glue pieces of the foam together, I used the Elmer's version of Gorilla Glue. It works GREAT! It is strong, waterproof, sandable and when it foams, it fills any voids.
After the replicated pieces were finished, I used Acrylic Craft Paint and Faux painting techniques to give the tools the look of rust.
For the handles I again turned to the original tools as models.
For the Logger's Tool, I used a piece of 1x2 pine. After tracing the shape of to tool's handle on to the wood I used a Saber Saw to cut it out and a power sander to shape it. Finally I glued the head to the handle with the Gorilla Glue and coated the entire prop with a few coats of clear spray paint. (After you paint the foam with the Craft Paint, it is safe to use solvent based paint on it.)
The Scythe handle was a bit more difficult. Traditionally it is made with a Oak tree branch that nature has shaped into a gentle "S" curve. I did not have any Oak branches but, because I make Wizard's Wands and other things from tree branches I did have a couple of Apricot Tree branches that were the right shape. After cutting the branch to length, I used a power sander to finish the handle and a Dremel to shape the area where the Scythe Blade was going to be attached. Because Apricot wood is VERY white, and I wanted the "aged" Oak look, I used thinned black Acrylic Craft Paint on the handle. I attached the Blade using Gorilla Glue and some steel Zip Ties I bought. As with the Logger's Tool, I coated the entire prop with clear spray paint to protect it.
For the "Gate's of Hell" Cemetary Fence we built, we needed a lock on the gate to keep the Zombies out. I had a real "old time" lock that was perfect except for it's weight so I made a Pink Foam replica using the same techniques I used for the Zombie Killer Props.
One of the Zombies was a worker from a nuclear waste plant and he needed a leaking waste barrel. Using some scrap styrofoam, cardboard, Spray Foam and Gorilla Glue, I made a Toxic Waste Barrel for him to stand beside.
Here are the props being used.