Happy Hallowikd from ZOID.US 2007 update 2012!
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I don't care too much for cold weather, but Halloween has always been a holiday that is held on high in my house. In past years I have set up "Haunted Yards", and really do go all out for the children. Part of Halloween is pumpkin carving, and it is big production around the house. I enjoy carving very ornate and detailed Jack-O-Lanterns. This year I thought I would do something special.
Thinking about my past carvings which included but are not limited to: my dogs, my daughter (This is the seconds first Halloween), wicked clowns, and various characters from Rob Zombie movies like "House of 1,000" corpses and "The Devils Rejects" I found myself in front of my display cases. I thought to myself: "Wouldn't it be awesome to carve a Zoids Themed pumpkin"?
Next it was onto picking the victims. For this year I picked the standard Shield Liger and The King. I took some photographs, and made some patterns. When making patterns it is key to make use of negative space. I used two different styles. In one pattern the white space is carved out, while the other pattern the black space is what gets the axe.
Below are the steps, as well as the patterns to make your own Zoids pumpkins! Happy Hallowikd from Zoid.US!
I like to get my pumpkins early. I look for one good semi flat side to work on, as well as a good "sitting pumpkin". How the pumpkin rests on its bottom is just as important as the carving canvas. With good sitting the pumpkin will display as well as photograph well. Below are a couple of this year's pumpkins, as well as the finished patterns.
The next step is to affix the pattern to the pumpkin. Cut the pattern out leaving a good sized border on each side. Make several cuts into the border approx. 2" apart. This allows the pattern to lay semi flat on the pumpkin. I use packing tape and tape the pattern to the pumpkin. Pick up a "Pumpkin Masters" at your local store. (These kits will provide you with the basic tools to get the job done. I go through several of these kits per years as the saws are generally only sharp enough to do a couple of pumpkins max. My carving arsenal also includes a couple of dental picks, and some of my preferred Zoid building tools like the tweezers and scissors.)
With your patterns set its time to use the "poker tool" included with your Pumpkin Masters kit. Take the tool and puncture a series of several tiny holes along the pattern. This step is a must and allows for easy cutting as well as maximum detail. Below the patterns punched. This step often takes just as long as the actual carving, so take your time.
Below: Removing the Liger Pattern. If you look closely you can see the holes.
Below: The King Gojulas pattern removed.
Now, its time to start carving your pumpkin. Take the time to look at each pattern and locate the potentially weak spots. Start with these first so the integrity of the pumpkin is not compromised and the wall does not cave in ruining the design. Pictured Below: Starting to carve the Liger Pumpkin.
After a couple of hours the craving is complete.
I then moved onto the King, and finished him. Pictured below: Both pumpkins complete.
You have a couple of choices to light your finished piece. The traditional candle, a variety of different colored glow sticks, and electric safety pumpkin lights. I prefer the good ol' candle light. With the Jack O Lanterns ready, its time to light 'em up.
Now for the King Gojulas.
Below a "Zoid's Halloween".
So what are you waiting for? Download one, or both of the patterns and get to work! Both patterns are in .jpg format. As stated on the Liger you will poke out the white areas, and on the King you will poke out the black areas. You may have to play with the size to get these correct for the pumpkin you choose. Any simple graphics editor will do this with ease. It may also help for you to set your printer to print on "landscape".
Happy Halloween from www.ZOID.US!
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