Le Cadavre de Vodoun


The next completed prop to shamble out of the garage is my new, voodoo-inspired piece, Le Cadavre de Vodoun. The Voodoo Corpse has been prepped to meet with Baron Samedi, voodoo ruler of the graveyard, and be escorted to the underworld beyond the living...





The first piece that I started with was the coffin that would contain the corpse. I went straight from ScareFX's great tutorial on their $25 Full-Size Toe Pincher Coffin. I constructed the entire thing in a weekend and the detailed how-to was easy to follow. I ended up making a few minor edits to the measurements, as the cedar fence panels that I used may have been slightly thinner than the ones that were used for the tutorial. Also, the materials were slightly more than $25 at the local Home Depot. I decided that I liked the look of the wood as it was, so I didn't do any aging of any kind once it was built. I will be placing the finished piece in a dimly lit room, so the brightness of the bare wood would pop more in the low light...







Once the coffin was complete, it was time to turn to its inhabitant. I used a Costco skeleton and started corpsing it using a great how-to from Allen Hopps at Stiltbeast Studios. I used a .7 mil drop cloth wrapped loosely around the body, limbs and skull, and then went over it all with a heat gun. The heat worked great, as it caused the plastic to melt and seal itself onto the skeleton form. A few layers of plastic and it looked like a semi-transparent flesh. This technique is really fast and really easy...









Once the plastic corpsing was done, I simply coated everything with some wood stain, making sure to wipe off the raised areas with a rag. If you're going to try this technique, please wear rubber gloves as you probably don't want to stain your fingers Deep Walnut or any other dark wood color.

The stain took about 48 hours to dry completely, and once it dried, I went about adding the voodoo elements. I started with a quick necklace made of small skulls. The skulls came from Pat Catan's and cost about $5 for two small bags. I then added a skeleton key necklace (the corpse will use the key to unlock the gate to the underworld), using an old skeleton key that I had found in my grandfather's garage earlier this summer. The final touch was to add a faded skull face paint to the corpse's actual face. I added a red cross on the forehead and he was ready to be entombed. I placed him into the coffin and added some cobwebbing...










I'm REALLY happy with the way the dried flesh turned out. It's semi-transparent so that you can see some of the bones, yet still looks like it has been dried out over the years. Once the entire prop was together, the only thing left to do was get it into the correct lighting along with a few more accent pieces for some night shots. The complete piece below will be taking center stage of my voodoo crypt room on Halloween night. I can't wait!












3 comments:

Mantan Calaveras said...

Looks great, I really love the face paint!

Thinking about how to make it a bit more authentically voodoo-y, how about chalking some veve onto the coffin?

Baron Samedi:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Samedi#mediaviewer/File:VeveBaronSamedi.svg

Papa Legba (the crossroads devil)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papa_Legba#mediaviewer/File:VeveLegba.svg

HalloweeNut said...

Amazing work, man!

highbury said...

Mantan, I had thought about doing just that. And with the links right there, now it's a no-brainer!! Thanks!

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