Projects: Spider Victim

I had done up a spider victim as one of my first props by in 2005 but was never really happy with how it look and retired it. I had used a cheap blow-mold Blucky skeleton and although I had given it a coat of paint and stain it was never very realistic. For my new spider victim I realized that most of the body would be hidden by webs and it was only the skull and arms/hands that would be discernible.

With this in mind I set about replacing the unrealistic Blucky parts with better, more lifelike items. I used Bucky hands just attaching them with zip ties and a better foam skull. The foam skull I altered by cutting off the lower jaw carving out the inside of the jaw and palette, thinning the teeth and in the case of the upper teeth making new ones from hot glue. I got the idea from The Monster Closet's great video "Make Your Own Scratch Built Corpse". He also introduced the idea of using Liquid Nails constriction adhesive for corpsing. Once the skull was altered I glued the jaw back in place in an open position for a screaming look and then started to smear on the Liquid Nails and spread it around with a disposable brush. This is important as you will totally destroy your brush in the process so you don't want to use an expensive one. When spreading the adhesive try and get lots of stringy bits as it will really give a look of taunt, decayed sinew stretched over the bones. I used hot glue to position the limbs and posed the hands in a clutching pose secured with more hot glue. Adhesive was liberally applied to both hands and arms along with parts of the upper torso. The Liquid Nails has a tawny brown colour which looks good by itself over the whiter bones so I didn't paint it further other than dry-brushing an off-white over everything to highlight the texture and details. In order to hang the spider victim I used a white shoestring I had on hand and attached one end to the neck using a zip tie with a loop tied at the other end.

For the cocoon I first wrapped the skeleton in clear plastic wrap and cotton batting. I didn't wrap all over but mostly the legs and lower torso. The plastic wrap holde the body in the shape you want and gives bulk to the webbing. An airbrush was used to paint the batting and add shadow detail. Then spray adhesive was used to fix stretched spider webbing in place. With the fake webbing commonly available it is vitally important to strech it before use. I'll either tie one end to something if I'm alone or ask for help. You can really stretch it to up to twice its length sometimes and this works wonders in giving the webbing a thin realistic appearance. A finally application of dry-brushing brought out the details, some spiders and he was ready for hanging.

UPDATE! I was able to aquire through a fellow haunter a really great full sized mummified corpse prop. It is a latex foam filled prop made I think by Distortions Unlimited and was showing some wear do to age but was easily fixed. It was also begining to warp and bend due to its weight so I carved out the foam on the back to form a groove to fit a 1" x 2" piece of wood and attached it using Gorilla Glue. I then screwed in a metal eye hook to the top of the 1" x 2" to hang the prop from.

Once the restoration was complete I took to attching lots of webbing with spray adhesive as I did in my first spider victim. This made him look more and more like a spider cocoon and less like an Egyptian mummy. A plethora of fake spiders of all sizes completed the look.