Corpsing Techniques and Cheap Skeleton Suppliers in the UK

Sarah CalaveraSarah Calavera Durham UK
The first question I have about the skeleton in part 2 of the fake bodies class is...what had he already done to the skeleton to make it look aged, rotted and kinda mossy? Even that effect was pretty great before starting to use the Barge and latex technique. Do any of you out there in the community have any cool aging techniques, tips or resources to share about working with store-bought skeletons, bones and skulls? Second question, can anyone recommend where to get a reasonably priced skeleton in the UK? Gary uses a Bucky skeleton which is pretty easy to find in the US and not too expensive.  We don't have them in the UK but medical ones full-size cost100s of £s. Any pointers, links or advice on that, please. Cheers! Much appreciated!

Comments

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    edited December 2019
    Hi Grimcrafter,

    The skeleton he was starting with was from an older project and was covered with liquid latex and acrylic paint.

    I've used all kinds of techniques for corpsing in the past.. plastic sheeting and a heat gun, liquid latex, melted synthetic batting, etc. and all kinds of other techniques for specific details.

    Here's some skulls I've done in the past. If you have any questions about any of them feel free to ask!

    Just finished this "Shipwrecked Pirate Skull"  in October






    This one was a rod puppet zombie torso post-grenade blast for a short film



    As far as sourcing parts in the UK I can't help too much.  You may want to look for companies that distribute medical model skulls/skeletons and ask them about "second quality" or "third quality" castings.  They tend to hang onto bad castings that have issues with warping, bad seams, discoloration, bubbles, etc. which are not good for their main customers but can be sold to artists or people that work in the Halloween/Haunted Attraction industry.

    /Chris
  • WoW! Thanks so much, Chris this is super helpful LOVE how these skulls you've done have turned out. Will have to have a creep on your Instagram now I reckon LOL. I will have a look into some medical distribution companies, that could be a fab idea. There are lots of listings on places like eBay and Amazon that claim you get a full-sized skeleton...when in reality it's this teeny little thing that's badly formed and you get ripped off! It's very annoying. This kind of thing is still relatively niche in the UK sadly, but I aim to change that and get all the Brits Grimcrafting! Let's see how I get on, I learned heaps after this lesson with Gary!
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Thanks!

    Yeah, it can be very difficult to get properly scaled skulls and skeletons online.  I ordered a "life size" skull from a manufacturer in China because it had amazing detail and was a hard plastic rather than the softer PVC a lot of these skulls are cast in.  When it arrived I was shocked at how small it was.  Could only be considered "life size" if you were referencing a baby, and even then the anatomy would be all wrong.  Some manufactures provide scale reference or measurements, and it really helps to have something to compare them to, as many will be ever-so-slightly undersized so they can save on materials.

    I found some great skulls on Amazon for relatively low price. (prices do change so I'll include them here for reference)

    My favorite is this one which is currently $36.95
    https://www.amazon.com/Maad-Scientific-Medical-Anatomical-Skull/dp/B071D9BSW8

    My second favorite is this one which is currently $28.99
    https://www.amazon.com/Vision-Scientific-VAL207-Human-Skull/dp/B019ZYI6F2

    The cheaper one has a couple added benefits. No exterior hardware is used to keep the top of the skull in place, so it's easier to patch up and paint. 

    Both skulls are great because they don't have visible hardware or springs for the jaw either.  The springs are on the inside of the jaw so you can either leave them on, or easily remove them without having exterior holes to patch.

    Both skulls also have the teeth cast independently, so they can be easily pulled out and replaced with higher quality acrylic denture teeth for added realism. On other model skulls I would have to use a rotary tool to grind away the teeth, then hollow out sockets for the acrylic denture teeth.  On these I just need to carve out a couple sockets for added molars.

    The seam lines on both are not that bad either.  Quick pass with a rotary tool and they are gone. 

    /Chris
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