Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dilophosaurus (frilled lizard)

Why do I do these things?


Clearly it's a masochistic urge.

Ever since I decided on a Jurassic park theme, I've wanted to make this project.  But it's not essential, and it would take a fair amount of time.  Time that could be spent on other projects.  But as with most projects, I decided to go for it anyway and attempt a frilled lizard, Dilophosaurus.  It was one of the scariest dinos from Jurassic park--and one that was the bringer of such justice to the terrible Dennis Nedry.  *sigh* You can't get quite any better than a face full of acid and being eaten soon after.

My initial thought was to just do a head/bust of the dino, frills out and put it in the corner of the patio--so that when trick-or-treaters leave/turn around, POW!  Final scare!  But I also realized that if the revamping of the Audrey II into a t-rex skull doesn't work--it'll make a nice plan B for the other corner.

First up--finding materials.  From the Luna Lovegood hat I have a firm understanding of what's out there in terms of foam blocks and their cost.  It's prohibitive for me, at least the good stuff.  So, as then, I went with an alternative method, which is to make my own block by filling up a box with great stuff insulation and letting it puff up and set.  Took about 2 cans, and I used a medium sized box from Home Depot along with a pam sprayed drop cloth.  I also put in a few boxes and such to guide the form a little bit.  The dilophosaurus head is roughly small and sleek compared to the size of the frills.

The next step (after several days of leaving it to set up) was to pierce the pocket o goo that inevitably comes with this method.  Not sure what it is, but it collects at the bottom. It's fine as long as it's exposed to air and then allowed to puff up and set again.  This is not the ideal stuff for sculpting--it's especially hard and unyielding, and best taken off if possible.

Today I went ahead and started carving up the head.  I drew some initial lines to get a basic form, but mostly it's just attempting to eyeball it.  I'll add a few cardboard pieces to the head before paper macheing much of the whole head.  Ideally, I'd like to use some wire and air dry clay to make some teeth that can be inserted into the foam mouth.

Here's a (very tiny) time lapse video of sculpting...before the camera fell down.

Next step--add some frills.  I used cardboard with some pieces of wire duct taped to the sides.  I put them in at an angle, trying to mirror the pictures I've got of a dilophosaurus.

The last cardboard accessory was to make some frills.  Proportionally speaking, they're nearly twice the size of the head.  I didn't want this guy to be totally gigantic, so I opted for slightly smaller frills, but I may end up shaving the head down a bit more.  I also cut out some edges to mirror the ragged edges of the frills.
Today I went ahead and got a jump on the Dilophosaurus guy (who for some reason I'm calling "Bert" in my head).  The first main thing was to secure the cardboard pieces onto the head and sides.  I did this by rewrapping the wire in duct tape, then doing several layers on either side of the cardboard.  While I tried to make the cardboard frills fit as closely as possible, there was still a bit of a gap, so I did the best I could with doing layers of duct tape to adhere it to the form.  Fun fact--duct tape does not like to go on the insulated foam stuff...awesome.  
After this struggle was finally over, I hauled him out to the garage and set about paper macheing.  2nd fun fact--paper mache does not like insulated foam stuff either...super awesome.  So it was a lot of layers upon layers and using the paper mache more like a cast that doesn't always stick to the skin, but supports itself.  We'll see how it actually works out once the first layer dries up.  The only concern I have at this point is the enormity of the frills.  They're going to have a bit of weight and be a little cumbersome, so I might have to rig up some kind of support in the back before the next layer--maybe wire or something that connects the frills from the back and provides support?  

Posing with "Bert"

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