Grim Reaper

This is my Grim Reaper costume. The head and bony back are paper mache. (My paper mache technique involves a mixture of plaster, water, and Elmer's glue-all and blue shop paper towels in place of paper. It makes very strong pieces) Watch the video using the Youtube link below.  The head movement is articulated by being strapped to my head like a tall hat. The shoulders move when I move my shoulders, so it's pretty expressive. The jaw moves when I move my jaw. The upper body is built on a frame of PVC pipes, and spray foam, and the arms are puppet arms which attach to my real arms at the wrist. I am able to see surprisingly well out of the black fabric panel on the chest. The whole thing is just over 7 feet tall!

The scythe was also made from scratch. The handle is PVC covered in foam and textured to look like wood. (I bent it into shape by filling the PVC pipe with hot sand) The blade is also EVA foam with an aluminum armature so it won't be floppy.

The costume was all patterned and sewn from scratch by me. The only part I can't take full credit for is the hands. I found the design on Thingieverse. I wish I still had the name of the person who designed them. My son and I downloaded the files, and 3D printed the parts. (a million little gears and things. It took 2 weeks with the printer running almost 24 hours a day.) Then I assembled and painted them. I should tip the hat to Gary Fay because I believe the designer of these fingers was trying to approximate his original design.


For the record, I also made the crow mask in the last picture, and the "teeth-like equipment" my kid is wearing for their costume" (the character is Toga from My Hero Academia)

-Dustin Heald

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