The Mummy

Like many of the classic monsters (Frankenstein, The Wolfman, Dracula), I’ve been very much interested in the mummy.

The Boris Karloff version was the one I first came to know.  The 1999 version of ‘The Mummy’ didn’t have as much bandages, but it was still good.

My take on the mummy is cross between the classic (bandages) and new (horrific, angry face)

The Mummy 1932The Mummy 1999The Mummy 2012

For this project I used;
  • A busted inflatable mannequin for the body shape

  • Cheap foam skull

  • Duck tape

  • Newspaper (or anything I could crumple) stuffing

  • 2 x 2 wood for legs, spine & shoulders

  • 16 gauge wire to allow the arms to be flexible

  • 1.5 meters of of cheap white fabric

  • White Glue (mostly red, brown, yellow & black)

  • Various paints

  • Clay & Model Magic

Part 1 - Basic Shape

The foam skull was altered.  I cut the jaw off and reattached to allow the mouth to be somewhat open.  I used model magic clay to elongate the teeth and create eye balls.

The mannequin body was cut open with one slit in the back to allow me to put in a upside down  "Y' shaped 2x2 wood frame (spine & 2 legs), this another 2x2 attached 5 inches from top of the neck (shoulders)

The foam head was glued to the 2x2 spine

The body was stuffed with old crumpled newspapers and any other 'junk' I could find.

I wanted exposed ribs (which caused me much more work).  There are many options to do this including rolled newspaper, garden hose etc.

I thought I could use 1/2" thick soft foam cut into strips and glued to the body (a method I would later regret)

The arms were left untouched for now.

The grey body and duck tape belt reminds me of 1960's Batman for some reason

Part 2 - Refined with paint and latex

Some touch up paint was used to colour the face, teeth and rib gaps.

I don't think I paid enough attention to basic anatomy.  The ribs are not the shape I like, but I marched forward.

It really pays to have a few anatomical reference pictures nearby.  It helps keep the project n track.  I know that whenever I work on something, and the results just don't look right, I probably messed up the basic anatomy or proportions.

Frankly at this point I'm not sure what this looks like.  If all else fails I could just put clothes on him and make another zombie.


Part 3 - Wrapping it up

I attached 16 gauge wire to the shoulders and ran it the length of the arm & wrist.  More crumpled newspaper was used to stuff the arms.  Duck tape was applied to close all the openings.

I had constructed feet for another prop, but the mummy got them instead.

I then took 1 to 1.5 inch strips of white cloth (just cut a small notch to start and then tear the remainder of the cloth, this gives a nice rough edge)

I started bandaging from the top down.  I took the strips, dipped in a water & white glue mix.  A touch of brown paint to the water/glue provided an aged look to the cloth.  It's a bit of a messy, drippy process.  Some glue was required to bond the bandage to the body.

I was not overwhelmed by the finished product.  I thought the face disappeared into the bandage colour and the ribs didn't look right.  Also the mummy needed hands.  As was pointed out to me the chest was disproportionate.  This was due to the foam ribs, it needed some work.


Part 4- Lending a hand

The hands are a new method for me. I used a high density foam (left over packing foam).
The foam was about 1.5 inch thick. I cut lengths equal to the tip of one finger to wrist. Each finger was wrapped tightly with tape to take the squareness away. The fingers were then taped together at the palm area. I added some latex & paper towel.

It only took 30 minutes for both hands.

On previous props I used coat hanger, wrapped with newspaper and then paper mached. It was a long process (2+ hours to make and then drying time)

The downside is that they are not very posable, where the coat hanger method allowed for the hand to grip things.

I think they look ok.  They kind of look like sausages up close.





Part 5- Reworking some areas

There was a bit of a facelift here as well.  I changed the wide open mouth to more of a snarl (at least I hope it looks like a snarl). Deepened the darkness of the eye sockets, yellowed the teeth.

I went with a blood red eye colour, with no pupils.  The lack of pupils, to me, gives a soulless appearance.  I toyed with no eyes, washed out yellow and red pupils  Glass doll eyes would have been interesting, but I don't have any.


The ribs still needed work.  I had to remove some bandage from the chest and reshape the ribs to give a better curve and rounded edges. They are still too white in this picture.

Part 6- Finishing up

I adjusted the skin tone and the rib contours to get a look I was more pleased with.   The ribs were aged to have a similar tone as the face, hands and feet.  This was done with dry brushing brown & black latex paint.

Here he is, the ultimate zombie, a rotting mummy.


 2012 Update

It seemed that the Mummy face was odd to me.  I think the teeth didn't work in retrospect.The head was detached and rescuplted, reshaped and repainted

 The head was reattached and the removed bangages were reapplied. 

 2015 Update

New face, new lookMummy1
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