Thursday, 22 December 2016

Foam bird skull poof poof poof

It's been awhile! Well, it's always like this, me coming here and trying to be active and then get distracted and ended up not updating for a long time. Rinse and repeat. XD Well, I'm back now, so. I'm gonna share a tutorial on how to make bird skull (?) !!! But before that, let me talk a little about my Comic Fiesta 2016. Very briefly, I promise.

I'm feeling rather high and cheerful recently, maybe because I've had an awesome CF to end the year with! The day before CF, I did a group pool party photoshoot with my D2MC family. I LOVE THEM TO BITS! I will update on this later on when I have more photos from the stay tuned to my Faccebook page: Catnipx 喵喵草 for the photos!

Then on the first day of CF, I cosplayed as Meepo! Along with Sharon, Hui Min, Desi and Grace, we were the first ever Meepo girls group in Malaysia~ I don't wanna brag but I think we were super cute together lololol~ (Once again, photos will be posted to my Facebook page so please like and follow me there!) We did the Bone Ruins set. This set features a bird skull strapped onto the right shoulder of Meepo, like this:

And this post will be a tutorial on the various techniques involved to make this bird skull. I'll be sharing techniques which is applicable for different projects, not just making a bird skull, so you can also use parts of this guide as a reference for other props where applicable.

I'm a Meepo girl owo

Step 1: Materials
Ideally, you would need a foam ball of the right size - I used an 8cm diameter styrofoam ball. For the beaks, cut out EVA foam pieces as seen in the picture. The length I went with was 12cm (on the slightly longer side), where the width of each piece (at the widest point) is 5cm.

 *You can see pieces of tape over the middle of the styrofoam ball in my picture because I'm recycling 2 pieces of old foam domes. This is another option that you can go with if you can't find a full sphere. For Malaysians, you can find styrofoam balls and domes at Art Friend in MidValley.

Step 2: Assembly
I wish I took more pictures in between, argh! Anyway...
Mark your foam ball in the center, draw a line across. Think of where you want to position your eyes, mark them on the ball. Mark a line for where the beak should sit.
Glue the 2 pieces of EVA foam together at the longer side, forming a V shape. Glue the non-pointy part to the styrofoam ball, according to where you initially intended the beak to sit.

pinoy lighter putang ina mo bobo? :3

Step 3: Hollowing out the eyes, skull contouring (wut?)
As seen in the picture above, the eye sockets are hollowed out. To do this, simply burn the styrofoam with a lighter where the eye sockets are supposed to be. *You may want to be careful and not breath in the fumes because its hazardous! Be careful as it should burn pretty quickly. Try to minimize mistakes as more mistakes will lead to you having to do more work patching up later.
Since skulls are not supposed to be round and full, you would need to reduce the roundness at the bottom too. Below each eye/under each side of the beak, use the lighter to lightly reduce the roundness (BURN AWAY THOSE FATS LOL). Try to make it even for both sides.

Step 4: Patching up
This step is especially important if you used 2 domes instead of a complete sphere like me. There are bound to be gaps in between the 2 domes, patch them up with putty.
tub of putty

Fill the gaps and holes in between the parts, then smoothen it out. Personal advice: use your fingers instead of the spread thingy for tricky parts! This is also the time to patch up those extra holes that you have accidentally burnt (if you did).

Step 5: Adding more details
Lightly sketch where the nostrils should be. Cut a super thin strip of EVA foam, stick it securely around where the nostrils are supposed to be. Do the same for the eye sockets.

Add more putty if you wish, where you deem appropriate.

Step 6: Drying it out
Let the putty on your bird skull dry and harden completely under the sun.
Once it's dried, you would need to coat the whole thing with layers of diluted PVA glue/wood glue. Different concentration of glue can be used but I typically go with 1:1.5; wood glue:water. If it's more diluted, coat more layers. *Wait for each layer to dry before coating the next!

Sunbathing birb

Step 7: Spray painting, shading/weathering
Once your entire bird skull is covered properly with layers of glue and dried, spray the whole skull white. *Make sure it's properly covered with glue! Otherwise the acrylic spray paint will very likely burn into your styrofoam!

Paint the eye sockets and nostrils black. Shade/weather the sides with grey or very diluted black paint. Try to make it look as natural and convincing as possible (don't be too neat!)

And done~ Hope the guide for detailed and clear enough! Feel free to leave a comment or PM me on my Facebook page if you are unclear about anything.