This Halloween my son wants to be a Ghostbuster , so what kind of dad would i be if i didnt build a full size slimer for him to take pictures with. Plus as an added Bonus he'll look pretty awesome on my roof for the trick r' treaters. This guy is approximatly 3.5 ft tall and weighs about 25 lbs. He is completely sealed and ready for the outdoor elements hes bound to face on a Chicago Halloween.
Step 1: Familiarize Yourself With the Spud
Draw out a plan, and get Lots of photo references. Break down the image into big shapes and think of things you could use to create those shapes, and then put them together. once you have broken down your figure into his core shapes, i recommend going to your local hardware store and Dollar store to find things to fit those shapes and see how different elements work together. If you are able you can also carve the whole thing from the insulation foam. For this project I used:
- a full 4x8x2 sheet of pink insulation foam,
- *a large pack of sculpey,
- numerous pairs of chopsticks,
- 3 cans of locktight spray foam,
- 3/4 in pvc ,
- wooden balls(for eyes),
- an electric foam cutter,
- Meadow Green Rustoleum spray paint,
- Fluorescent green spray paint
- tubes of acrylic paint for all other colors.
- 4, 4lb containers of Water Putty,
- about 1/4 bag of drywall compound
- .He is finished with Total Boat epoxy, polyurethane, and
- 3 Pool Noodles.
Step 2: SCULPEY!!!!!
Slimer is basically a big green Blob, but you need to get a few things right. For one His teeth. I used a lb of white sculpy to sculpt his teeth around the end of chopstick anchors. Once the teeth were baked i scuffed up the teeth slightly with a wire brush, and did a light wash of sienna yellow followed by a coat of glossy poly acrylic to give them that wet sheen. To hold them during this process i just pushed the Chopsticks through a piece of foam to hold them in place.
Next i used some green sculpey to sculpt slimers nose. use your photo reference and its just like playing with play dough. have fun with it.
Step 3: EYES
I bought 1.25 inch wooden balls from a craft store and drilled a hole in each about half way through, just large enough for one end of a chopstick to fit in. I used a Drill Press But this can also be done with a hand drill. A quick note about safety: when drilling with the drill press make sure the ball is secured in a clamp so it doesnt spin out and hit you in the face or pull your hand into the drill bit. if you are drilling with a hand drill, make sure the ball is secured in a vice so it doesn't move.
Then hot glue the chopstick into the ball until you have something that looks like a wooden lollipop. The balls got a base coat of Yellow spray paint and then a second coat of yellow after the base dried.
To get convincing iris and pupils, I chucked the back end of the chopstick into a drill and slowly spun the ball while applying paint with a small tipped brush. this allows you to make perfect centered circles that add to the illusion of the eye.
I then hit each ball with 5 coats of glossy polyacrylic.
Step 4: Try and Try Again
So at this point I had planned to you use a large foam ball from a craft store for the core of the head, but Slimer began to look like the original 1930's era King Kong. The jaws are created by cutting two half circle shaped pieces of 2 inch thick pink foam, approximately the size and shape of the roof and base of the mouth. Push the Chopstick anchors through the foam and hot glue in place. For added security I also hit the seams with clear silicone. Then using a hot wire, scoop out the inside of the roof and base to make them look concave and more like the inside of a real mouth.Then cut two pieces of foam as a mount and secure the roof and base of the mouth with screws and hot glue.
So at this point he didn't look terrible but he didn't look as good as i had hoped so I decided I would have to sculpt a better head out of Pink Foam. I abandoned this head design and used it as storage for the teeth and eyes and nose while i began to work on the body. The one thing I WAS happy with were the jaws, so i used those to begin the build of the body... after all Slimer is basically a giant floating mouth.
Step 5: Body Work
I built an armature out of various lengths of PVC piping and cut two large body profile pieces which i sandwiched the jaw between and glued together with Locktite spray foam.
In the second picture you can see the armature,foam profiles and the jaw in place with the original head structure set on top.
In the third picture you can see the build up for the new face. Rather than using the parts I had purchased I, decided to carve it from the foam as I felt it would look better and more cohesive. In addition it would add strength to the form. I Glued multiple pieces of Pink Insulation foam together with the spray foam and used the Styrofoam ball for the peak of the skull.
I also stacked together pieces of foam to fill in the stomach and affix to the jaw. After all this dried i also added two smaller pieces of foam to each side around the arms to add the taper to the body.
Step 6: Carve Carve Carve
To achieve believable lips surrounding the mouth I used pool noodles cut and anchored into place with spray foam and tooth picks. Once that dried, it was time to carve ....EVERYTHING. Using my photo reference I began roughing out the basic shapes that I identified in the first step using the hot wire cutter. The box for the Eyebrow, the two bulbous cheekbones and the dome of the skull. This part is very touch and go, and at one point I actually used the foam cutter to completely shear off the cheekbones and reposition them with spray foam.
Make sure when carving that your eye sockets will be big enough to fit the eyes you have made, but testing frequently.
Remember just because you made a mistake doesn't mean you cant fix it. Don't get discouraged. And if you see something isn't quite right don't be afraid to mess up while trying to fix it. You can fix that too.
After a couple of hours I got to the point of cutting in all the wrinkles and fat creases all over Slimer. Make sure to keep referencing your images every couple of cuts to make sure you are staying true to what you are building.
Now that the body is basically formed the arms need to be coated.
Step 7: Arms and Hands
For the hands I traced my own hands onto the pink foam and carved them into rounded hands. The arms I coated with a pool noodle and shaved down with the foam cutter for shaping muscles etc. The hands were glued onto chopsticks which later would be slid inside the pvc for mounting. Once this was all put together I used model railroad foam filler to patch any small crevices or seams in the foam.
Step 8: Water Putty
I want Slimer to live outside this October so he needs to be sturdier than foam. Plus if the foam is sealed it can be painted with spray paint. Unsealed insulation foam will disintegrate from the chemicals in spray paint or laquer. Once the core was finished I used about four 4 lb cans of Durhams Water putty to coat his entire body. Here you can also mix it up thicker and fill large gaps , smooth areas and take out larger imperfections. Water Putty is great because it is cheap, easy to mix up, and dries quickly.
Step 9: Spackle Up Those Imperfections
I found the best way to smooth out your Slimer and take out those last few imperfections is to coat everything with a layer of Drywall compound. It goes on easy over the Water putty layer, and you can easily smooth and sand this to give your Slimer that finished surface. You can also sculpt up areas that may be too small.
At this point i realized i hadnt anchored one of the pvc arms well enough and the putty/drywall kept cracking at the shoulder. To fix this i drilled a hole in the armpit straight through the pvc pipe at the joint and filled with spray foam. once that dried I mixed up a layer of tiling thinset mortar and built up a stronger shoulder. Now the arm is secure.
Step 10: Paint
Try out different greens and mix multiple colors to give him that realistic look, and play with different types of paint to find the colors you like. I used Meadow Green by rustoleum and a Fluorescent green top coat to achieve my perfect green. The Gums, tongue and roof of the mouth were painted a deep red to start. Always make your first coat is the darkest and slowly build up the highlights. Keep the creases dark and add the brighter colors to the most bulbous of areas.
I coated the inside of the mouth with black plastidip prior to painting to add water fastness, as it will collect rain if and when it does this October.
Step 11: Install and Finish.
Install your eyes, by cutting down the chopstick to a short length and pushing the eyes into the sockets and gluing. After finishing up those highlights, then coat the whole guy in a layer of two part epoxy. I painted mine on with a foam brush. this waterproofs him and makes him look glossy and slimy.
To add some gingivitis to the gums I bought some "fall foliage" meant for a train set miniature , mixed with epoxy and packed into the gum creases. And that is it. Slimer is ready for the roof.
Runner Up in the
Halloween Contest 2018