Pat Kilbane

Archive - August 2012

A Good Skull for the Screen

Completed Human Skull Model

The human skull is an iconic symbol of horror and can be used to great effect if you’re building a macabre world. I made this distressed cranium on the cheap from a $35 plastic model kit. After assembling it, I filled the seams with Magic-Sculpt and sanded them, then stippled the skull’s surface with MMD Green Putty to give it a crusty texture. Finally, I painted it an orange-brown to simulate the protective coating used by archaeologists to preserve bone.

I like this particular kit (which is hard to find nowadays but appears to be available here) because the teeth are cast individually. There are a couple of human skull kits available from Lindberg that you can get at any local hobby store, but their teeth are lumped together in pieces like a dental bridge and don’t look as real.

I’m pretty happy with the final product; it’s a little small at eight inches in length, but it has a nice, lived-in look that movie props often lack.

The Genius of Robert Shields

As a boy I was amazed by the work of Robert Shields.  I remember his short-lived television series and think of him as a small, but important, influence on me as a physical comedian.  The man’s body control is incredible, and his movement when playing a robot is as preternatural as I have ever seen.

Mimes take quite a beating in the comedy community, but as Shields says in his video, not all mimes suck.  Take a look at this limber, athletic comedy genius at work in his physical prime (FF to 1:06 for the strongest stuff).