Undead Pirate Haunted House Pages: Main Drunken Pirate Prisoner Monkey Skull Light
Undead Pirate Haunted House Room: Dead Drunk Pirate
As mentioned on this haunt's main page, the drunken pirate was really something of a last minute thought. Fortunately, I had a lot of material that I could quickly create to assemble him.
Well, I had a lot of material that would be hard to replicate. Since his came conceptually after his brother (or sister, depending on how much you know)- the prisoner, what I didn't have was a skeleton to start with.
I have built rib-cages before, but my focus this year wasn't going to be the undead people...it was the undead monkey . So I needed a skeleton.
Fortunately, there are companies who can help people like me (besides Psychiatric Solutions, that is): Applam came to the rescue and I picked up a Bucky male skeleton for a reasonable price. This is the foundation upon which the drunken sailor is built.
The other piece I needed to make this job simpler was a drunken-looking head. I searched my old HEDZ products and found the perfect candidate: Shaw Blade. (OK, that really is that last of the gratuitous self-page references. I promise!) It had been awhile since the HEDZ had seen any action and this was the perfect opportunity. Sans blade, Shaw was the perfect drunkard.
Bucky required an extensively amount of prep work for his close up. First I needed a seat - a barrel was decided upon as being perfect fairly early. I purchased the thing from Lowe's. (If they only knew what it was going to be used for.) It was made of something that smelled a lot like fiberglass to me. I then cut four 2x4s to the correct height for the room (see above) and attached them with bolts.
Next, Bucky needed to be fastened to his perch. U-bolts were the perfect solution - judiciously covered by the clothing. A small board extends up his back and is attached mid-rib cage with another u-bolt.
Then clothing was obtained. I purchased what seemed to me to be piratey colors from a thrift store and proceeded to beat and shred them mercilessly with the aid of a rough handsaw, a box knife and a wire brush. Following that, ground them into a box of ash that came from my fireplace a bit. I didn't make them quite as dirty as the prisoner's clothes. Bucky wasn't a prisoner, after all.
Then I had to tied them on to the old boy using strategically placed wires so that they would hang properly. Now Bucky was dressed, seated and ready for his makeup preparation.
I decided to use painter's tape to protect the skeleton from what was to come. I wanted to be able to reuse him in the future after all. so I tightly taped areas that would be covered in liquid latex and paint in such a way that I supposed flesh still hanging around (heh) would do. I loosely covered some other sensitive areas like his feet, joints and so forth so that the drippings would get on the skeleton.
Finally, after all that work, Bucky was ready to be turned into the undead. It is amazing how much work has to go into prepping something like this. I still wonder how much paint wound up on the skeleton. With any luck, I'll be able to peel it off - if liquid latex has one good point, it's that it can be peeled off certain things (note that clothing is definitely one of them, however.)
Here you see several views of the drunken pirate Bucky in process.
You can still see a lot of the blue tape in these pics. I expected this to be the case - applying liquid latex an toilet paper is not an exact science. It is made particularly challenging because it sticks to everything. I long ago learned that gloves were a good idea.
However, when it coats your gloves, it starts sticking particularly well to itself. Then the fingers of your supposedly protective start to stick together. Naturally, they then start sticking to the prop and... well, you probably have the idea by now.
Some parts are also still covered in preparation for the inevitable next coat.
At left is a close-up of what the first coat looked like.
Note that it matches the head fairly well, but that it also looks rather flat. The rib cage and backbone are fairly well defined, thanks to same cautious tape application. There are some gaps, however (they look white or blue). So I knew a second coat was going to be called for.
Note that you can also see quite a bit of the protective blue tape inside the rib cage. This is primarily because the back side of the front ribs weren't completely taped and I wanted to avoid getting paint on them. I knew the lighting would hide this in the haunt.
At right we have Bucky the drunken pirate after the final coat. Notice how much darker the chest paint is here. I did this to add depth.
I also added a bit of the darker paint to the head, as you might notice. Some of that darkness is due to the blood effects that were applied to the original Shaw Blade prop, of course, but I did decide to add a bit more color to the face to help it match what I wound up doing with the body. I didn't want to go too far with the dark colors on the face.
Shaw was a venerable part of the HEDZ line and he deserved a certain amount of respect for that. Still, it had been so long since he'd been out of the box that I didn't mind a daub of paint or two.
Overall, I liked the way the effect worked on the final product. In these photos you can see the whole prop as he appeared in the workshop that my garage had become. He's holding his bottle in these shots (a wine bottle with the label removed by repeated and extended soaking in soapy water) .
I was originally going to leave the right knee bones exposed, but I liked the effect so well that I wrapped the whole knee and painted it fully.
You'll also note that the upper leg on the left is painted. If you really look hard, you may also see his pelvic bone poking through the cloth of the left hip. I taped it up and painted it even though I suspect most people will fail to notice the little touch.
Still, I like to add small touches like that. Even if most people don't really notice them, I do.