After having a look over on the RPF (Replica Prop Forum) I had inspiration to what my next project was going to be and I decided to make an Audrey II from little shop of horrors
This is the original and the picture I have been basing my work from. It had been such a long time since I seen the film and this seemed to be the best picture I could find that showed the detail and was also not the giant man eating variety as I think that would of been a bit big to have in my house and I would worry about Roslin and my cat if I had one of those as they are just snack sized.
Firstly I started off by obtaining the coffee tin. Ebay has been very handy in doing this project and I managed to purchase one from the states, my tin cost about £5 with extra for shipping. Really happy with the tin as I like it is showing its age but there is pristine tins available but you may have to pay more for this.
Next I purchased some Dry floristry foam and filled the tin with it. This would give me something to attach the foliage to and also support the main bud without having to look at using oil based clay (Plastercine) to hold it all in place.
Next I purchased a sheet of Artificial wire moss again another buy from ebay costing a whopping £1.29 and cut this to fit the inside of the tin. This will cover the Florist foam and gave the look that there was mossy soil there not a big block of foam. I decided on wirey moss as this would be able to be teased up at the stock and would not lie in the tin with a smoother texture like foam based moss. As you can see in the picture I think the effect works well.
Next up is the trailing ivy. Again another ebay purchase, I purchased silk ivy leaves which are normally used as cake decoration, these you can get very cheap I got 24 for £o.90.
I twisted these together into a trail with the leaves facing different directions to give it a bit of a wild look, symmetrical pattern would not of been as effective. I made one long trail and two shorter which drape over the side of the tin. These are still needing some work, the stalks are still to be painted red and some of the leaves are to be cut to make them irregular sizes so the plant doesn’t have identical leaves, am hoping this will help make the plant look more realistic.
Now I decided to start on the bud. As a base for the bud I used a high density polystyrene Modelling egg. I wanted the bud to be fairly large like the one I have been working from so I got 100mm eggs to use as the base. This would allow the stalk to be inserted directly into the egg along with the leaves that encase the bottom of the bud. I used pipe cleaners as the stalk but once I got onto the next stage I realised that it was going to be to heavy, after some thought as to what would provide enough support and be thin enough to be hidden within the pipe cleaners I contacted my Dad again who supplied the metal rod that I used for the tail in the flying monkey costume and asked for more. The rod was inserted in the centre of the pipe cleaners and provided support for the head but also would allow her a little movement so she can bob a little if a breeze hits her.
Next up was the tricky bit how to add texture as just now it looks like some kind of see creature, I’m thinking squid! Anyway the options were to carve the egg which would be difficult as the polystyrene would bobble and I was unsure I would get the effect I needed. next was to make it in a soft clay and make a cast and then make a resin bud but this for now is a bit beyond me but it is something that I may try in the future. So I decided to cover it in DAS air drying clay and sculpt the lips moth and veins into it.
As you can see you sculpting worked well for the larger veins, once dry thread dipped in PVA gule will be attached to provide the thinner thread veins. The leaves I had a choice to either sculpt onto her or buy silk rose leaves. I found on ebay again rose leaves that had a hint of pink to them for £1.55. So I snapped them up and when they arrived they were better than I could ever of hoped unlike the picture that follows the base of the leaves were pink turning green at the top. These were arranged around the stalk to the leaves would curl around the bud and would also help hide where the stalk attaches to the bud. Please excuse the clay this will be cleaned off later.
The bud was then left to dry, this was a bit of a pain to do as I didn’t want her touching anything to make sure the veins would remain intact while she dried, bed came up with a great idea and our banana holder was hooked onto the handle of one of our kitchen cupboards which allowed it to be suspended and allowed it to dry. The end of the pipe cleaners were covered in gaffa tape to keep them together so separating the pipe cleaners gave me a hoop which she could hang from.
Next I started to work on the backing leafs. Again another cheap Ebay buy £.50 for several attached to one stalk that I cup off the stalk and glued together so the leaf was double sided. Sticking out of the leaf is amber nodules, to do these I have ordered some amber beads from Ebay again so until they arrive I have used clothes pegs to make the gaps when sticking them together. I used hot glue to stick them and when the pegs were removed gaps were left to attach the beads when they arrive.
Some painting will need to be done to the stems and the veins in the leaf and the beads will need to be guled into place but as you can see it’s coming along now. I made three leafs in total one large for directly behind the bud and two to sit at either side. In the tin they went and they will provide the backing foliage.
So far so good. Next is attaching the spindle veins. Instead of sculpting them directly on I used thread dipped in PVA glue. This would allow me to be precise about where they were placed so I could get the texture and detail I wanted but this out going cross eyed and trying to sculpt them. This is work in progress at the moment got a lot more veins to add before it’s ready for painting but I am happy so far.
Once the veins were completed I moved back onto backing leafs, They needed a little painting adding red stalks and veins.
The Stalk coming from the clay bud made from pipecleaners wasn’t really lookng very plant like so next I wrapped making tape around them and covered it in PVA glue. Once this was dry it was ready to be painted along with the completed bud.
Painting was done with Acrylic paints using an airbrush and some manual painting. I would like to thank Ben for helping me with most of the painting and doing a great job with the lips and vein detailing.
The finished bud then had the leaves glued into place at the rear at the stock, as to hide any join. I used hot glue to fix them in place so to allow the leaves to bend around the shape when being stuck into place.
This was then put in to the tin and an exra layer of the fake moss was added. The painted leaves were then added to the tin also.
The last thing to be done is to make the little nodules for the leaves, not really sure if they are nodules but only way I could think of describing them. Anyway these are made out of Milliput and again painted with Acrylic paints. I made them egg shapes and pinched the badse so that they would be flatter when slotted between the two leaves. I did think about using amber coloured beads to do this but the problem was that they had holes in them and also the size and shape. Using milliput allowed me to make the nodules for the centre leaf bigger as the leaf itself is larger and smaller for the other two leaves.
As you can see when slotted into place they are not making the leave bulge to much. Once painted again using acrylic paints I plan on using hot glue to hold them in place and at the moment the space for slotting them in is larger than the nodule so this will also be hot glued together so there will be no gaps.
The nodules heave been painted with Acrylic and a dry brushing of red. Hot gluing them in place proved to be a bit tricky as the leaves either stuck together instantly with the heat attracting them to each other or crumpled a little again due to the heat but I think it has given a good effect when they have all been put into place.
So with all the nodules in place I am happy to say Audrey II is finally finished.