Creature From The Black Lagoon

Bruzilla

New Member
Greetings to all from the real home of the Creature From The Black Lagoon, north Florida! I'm an avid monster movie fan, and enjoy making fullsize figures of them, mainly for Halloween displays. These pictures are of the Creature that I made for this past Halloween. Standing behind him is the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers... another native of Florida. :)







 

Bruzilla

New Member
That is so wonderful! What is it made of?
He's made from a 6'5" mannequin. The feet are copies of the original feet from the land creature costume. I cut a panel into the bottom of each foot so I could install a Doberman motion alarm into each foot, which emits a 100 db alarm if anyone tries to move him. :) Keeps thieves away but scared the heck out of the lawn care guys.

The hands are the costume gloves that are currently sold on ebay and other sites. I made a palm out of a piece of 2x4, then made wire fingers out of coathangers and spread them apart to support the glove. I cut the original short black rubber claws off and replaced them with longer ones I had made from Sculpy clay.

The skin is made in two layers. The bottom layer is 1/8" thick neoprene rubber, and the top layer is this awesome vinyl faux leather that's intended for car interiors called Boa. It's made by a company called Nuvtex and it has thick scales and several different shades of green in it that give it a wet look. I would trace the pattern for each piece of skin onto the Nuvtex, cut it out, glue it to a sheet of neoprene, then cut out the finished piece. There are 102 individual sections of skin on him.

The arm, leg, and back fins were made from 40 packages of Sculpy clay (luckilly Michael's had a buy one/get one special that week). The front abdomen plate was also made from about 30 or so package of Scuply. The fins that come off the bottom of the back fin and run down the buttocks were made with God's gift to monster makers, epoxy clay. I had to use that because it turns hard as a rock without baking so I could form fit them on the Creature and let them harden. We used epoxy paste to form a fake seam down the sides just like the original costume had. The only detail we left out were the zippers running down the insides of the arms since they're about impossible to see anyway.

The head is a vinyl replica of the mask Ricou Browning wore in the underwater scenes in the movie. Unlike Chapman's land creature mask, this mask never had any molded in eyes, so I used show quality Walleye glass taxidermy eyes with reflective irises, which are cool as you can see yourself reflected in them when you get close and look him in the eyes.

I'm doing an upgrade on him at the moment. I made his arms adjustable, but I'm making a new set of bent arms so I can place him in a more aggressive pose, and I'm replacing the Browning head with a Chapman head since he's stands 6'7", which is too tall for Browning. Once he's all updated, we're taking him out to the state park at Wakulla Springs and get his picture taken with the springs behind him, so the Creature can go back to his original Black Lagoon. :)
 

MrGzilla

Well-Known Member
this is so awesome!! i sculpted my own creature bust a few months ago and its my dream to make the full thing!
 

Bruzilla

New Member
this is so awesome!! i sculpted my own creature bust a few months ago and its my dream to make the full thing!
Hi! I saw your post about the sculpt, which is how I found this forum. I think you also have the matching vinyl head to the one I have on my creature as I remember the guy I bought it from selling two of them at the time.

I've been wanting a full-size Creature since the 1960s, but the only ones I could find were the fiberglass ones that run $5,000 to $10,000, and if I'm going to buy something for that much I better be able to drive it home or live in it. :) Taking away the money I wasted on bad ideas, I would say I put about $700 into the project, which isn't bad given the results.

My problem was always with the body. I kept looking for ways to sculpt all the patterns and scales at a body level, and kept running into roadblocks. I was thinking of using some sort of clay and having my sister-in-law do the sculpting, but we were worried the clay might breakaway once it dried. I posted a question about this to the guys on Halloween.com, and a guy there informed me of something I had never noticed before, that being the body suit isn't one solid piece, but rather just multiple pieces of foam layered atop one another, each having roughly the same shape. I immediately looked at some pictures, and he was right. I had been too focused on making a whole body, when all I really needed to do is come up with one general shape and keep repeating it over and over again as I moved up the body, making allowances for additional width as I went up.

Without that key bit of information, I would have never been able to make this figure; but with it I was able to make it in about two weeks of working in my spare time. Even better, I was able to make it the same way the original was made instead of building what amounted to a huge model kit.

The only other major challenge was the skin, which I was looking at making a huge skin mold with the scales, then making swaths and swaths of skin using self-vulcanizing rubber, but I couldn't get any good advice on which rubber to use and didn't want to waste money experimenting. That was when I thought about asking my sister, who's a polymer scientist who used to work on auto interiors, what to use and when I thought of her I remembered seeing some neat vinyl alligator skin in a car at a car show and wondered if that might work for the outer skin of the Creature. I found out the alligator scales weren't the right size/shape, but the boa skin was perfect.

I got real lucky when I found the set of original feet for sale as I was going to use the costume feet like I did the gloves, and I don't know how well they would have turned out.

I think if you really want a Creature, by all means you should make one. He's a lot easier than you think. I'll be glad to give you any info you might need.
 

MrGzilla

Well-Known Member
Hi! I saw your post about the sculpt, which is how I found this forum. I think you also have the matching vinyl head to the one I have on my creature as I remember the guy I bought it from selling two of them at the time.

I've been wanting a full-size Creature since the 1960s, but the only ones I could find were the fiberglass ones that run $5,000 to $10,000, and if I'm going to buy something for that much I better be able to drive it home or live in it. :) Taking away the money I wasted on bad ideas, I would say I put about $700 into the project, which isn't bad given the results.

My problem was always with the body. I kept looking for ways to sculpt all the patterns and scales at a body level, and kept running into roadblocks. I was thinking of using some sort of clay and having my sister-in-law do the sculpting, but we were worried the clay might breakaway once it dried. I posted a question about this to the guys on Halloween.com, and a guy there informed me of something I had never noticed before, that being the body suit isn't one solid piece, but rather just multiple pieces of foam layered atop one another, each having roughly the same shape. I immediately looked at some pictures, and he was right. I had been too focused on making a whole body, when all I really needed to do is come up with one general shape and keep repeating it over and over again as I moved up the body, making allowances for additional width as I went up.

Without that key bit of information, I would have never been able to make this figure; but with it I was able to make it in about two weeks of working in my spare time. Even better, I was able to make it the same way the original was made instead of building what amounted to a huge model kit.

The only other major challenge was the skin, which I was looking at making a huge skin mold with the scales, then making swaths and swaths of skin using self-vulcanizing rubber, but I couldn't get any good advice on which rubber to use and didn't want to waste money experimenting. That was when I thought about asking my sister, who's a polymer scientist who used to work on auto interiors, what to use and when I thought of her I remembered seeing some neat vinyl alligator skin in a car at a car show and wondered if that might work for the outer skin of the Creature. I found out the alligator scales weren't the right size/shape, but the boa skin was perfect.

I got real lucky when I found the set of original feet for sale as I was going to use the costume feet like I did the gloves, and I don't know how well they would have turned out.

I think if you really want a Creature, by all means you should make one. He's a lot easier than you think. I'll be glad to give you any info you might need.

That's awesome man! Thanks for the info! I've got tons of begin the scenes pics of the making of the suit and how the suit was seperated in the sculpt I've been saving in preparation for me to make my own, so if you want any of those I'd be happy to share! I've also got my own plan on how to seperate the suit into a much easier to sculpt way.
And I think your right about the vinyl head, I recognized it right when I saw it! I'm in the process of trying to get my hands on a Ben chapman land he's right now, its just a matter of saving up the money...
 

Bruzilla

New Member
There's a guy selling land creature busts on ebay right now, and they are the most accurate busts I've seen, even better than the Sideshow ones, and a lot cheaper. He was selling them last year, and then quit for a while, so I don't know how long they'll be available.

I made my figure to where he could be separated at the waist to make it easier to transport him via a car, but then my son bought an F-150 truck, so we can truck him when we go to Wakulla this summer. I've also got a request in to the PR folks at Marineland in St. Augustine, where Revenge of the Creature was filmed, to get permission to take some pictures of my Creature down there as well. We'll probably also take him to the site of the Florida Times Union building in Jacksonville where the old Lobster House restaurant from Revenge was before it burned down, so he'll be a well-traveled monster.
 

MrGzilla

Well-Known Member
There's a guy selling land creature busts on ebay right now, and they are the most accurate busts I've seen, even better than the Sideshow ones, and a lot cheaper. He was selling them last year, and then quit for a while, so I don't know how long they'll be available.

I made my figure to where he could be separated at the waist to make it easier to transport him via a car, but then my son bought an F-150 truck, so we can truck him when we go to Wakulla this summer. I've also got a request in to the PR folks at Marineland in St. Augustine, where Revenge of the Creature was filmed, to get permission to take some pictures of my Creature down there as well. We'll probably also take him to the site of the Florida Times Union building in Jacksonville where the old Lobster House restaurant from Revenge was before it burned down, so he'll be a well-traveled monster.
Yeah, I've been messaging the guy selling it on eBay right now, he Apperently has the original universal mold that was restored a few years back, so it's definitely the best you can get. Hes only offering them a few at a time though and I'm going to try to get the one that's for sale now if I can get the money for it by the time it ends.

And that's pretty cool, id love to see some pics of him at the different sites! I use to visit silver springs in Florida when I was younger every year and always loved going through the same waters that they filmed it in. It's kinda a creepy feeling like he could just jump out and grab you haha
 

Bruzilla

New Member
Yeah, I've been messaging the guy selling it on eBay right now, he Apperently has the original universal mold that was restored a few years back, so it's definitely the best you can get. Hes only offering them a few at a time though and I'm going to try to get the one that's for sale now if I can get the money for it by the time it ends.

And that's pretty cool, id love to see some pics of him at the different sites! I use to visit silver springs in Florida when I was younger every year and always loved going through the same waters that they filmed it in. It's kinda a creepy feeling like he could just jump out and grab you haha
My in-laws have a house on a big lake south of Jacksonville, and every 4th of July all the folks on the lake have a huge boat parade that goes around the lake and there's a contest to see who has the best decorated dock and boat. This year we're taking the Creature down and we'll have him holding the flag at the end of their dock. :) It's going to be fun to see the reactions on peoples' faces when they see that.
 

Bruzilla

New Member
Wow! Very nice build and display...especially like how you used the fish eyes.
Thanks. I've found that eyes make all the difference. My first lifesize creature was a Gremlin from Gremlins, and I was going to paint the eyes but I took the head and some photos from the movie to a taxidermist and he showed me a get of show grade red fox eyes that looked awesome. They had the correct color, iris shape, veins, and they really made that Gremlin look like he was alive.

I also used glass eyes in my Creeper head, and people who come to our house say the most frightening thing about him is when you look at his eyes you swear he's actually looking back at you.
 

Riceball

Master Member
Very nice, reminds of someone elses wearable creature costume here. I'm kind of surprised that he didn't chime in on this thread since he's probably the only here that's built or building a wearable creature costume and not just a statue.

Anyhow, should be interesting to hear how the creature does at the boat parade. It would be really funny to see how people react if you put some motors in the statue and made it so that it could move some. Now that would really freak people out, especially if it only moved intermittently so people would freak out seeing the statue and as they start to recover, freak out again when they see it move its head or an arm or something.
 
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