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zondag 29 september 2013

Tombstones, part 2

Okay, here's the second part of my build log! In my previous entry, I talked about the design and construction of the styrofoam shapes. I had already made four tombstones with the names or horror writers on them. I wanted one more, a cross, before I proceed to the next step.

The cross
The cross is made from another 5 cm thick styrofoam slab, and a bit taller than the other stones. The shape is a classic Celtic cross. Making the circular section was quite difficult. I had to do a lot of adjustments to make it fit properly. There were a few gaps, wich I tried to fill up with small wedges of styrofoam as good as possible. To make it even a bit taller, I made a pedestal with thin slabs of styrofoam, wich added another 20 centimeters to the height.
There's no name on the cross, but I did put some text on it. It says: "My body lies but still I roam", a Metallica reference. More carving with a wood burning tool! It's best to do this either outside, or, as I did, in the kitchen under the hood. The fumes are nasty!

The last picture is of Mary Shelley's tombstone, who is, as you may know, the author of Frankenstein. I thought it would be cool to add a Frankenstein reference to the stone, so I cut out Boris Karloff's silhouette from foamboard and added two screws (made of styrofoam and PVC tube) to the sides. Also, I managed to make our cat Mira pose in front of the camera!

Mudding it up!
The next step is coating the styrofoam with Monster Mud. This is a mixture of drywall compound and latex paint, wich becomes a rock hard shell when dry. Most recipes say you should mix five parts drywall compound and one part latex paint. I soon found out, this means five parts prepared, liquid compound, not dry powder! Apparently, in the US (where the recipe originated) the most common type is premixed, liquid drywall compound, while here in Belgium powdered stuff is more common. So, you have to prepare the mixture with water first and then add the latex paint.
The next series of pictures is taken in my basement. It's quite messy stuff, and I didn't want to do it in my appartment. Cleaning up styrofoam beads is one thing, Monster Mud is a lot worse! I also put some plastic foil on the floor. I started with three tombstones, and at the time of writing only the cross was finished. I wanted to finish at least one completely, so I can already start painting. But that's for the next chapter!

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