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The Aging Gamer: Halloween Pumpkins


Halloween is one of the best holidays, second only to Christmas. I get to dress up in costumes that are completely geek related. This year I even got to make the costumes which made it that much better. But another thing that kicks ass is pumpkin carving. I have done some cool stuff in the past, but this year I wanted to try a new technique.

Mr Dremel to the rescue! Last year I used clay carving tools to carve out and do different depths in the pumpkin hide. While it wasn't too bad, I wanted to try my trusty old dremel with the small router attachment.

Here is what I did last year...

I free handed the whole thing, he looks a little fat, but came out pretty good.

This year I was sticking within the theme of our costumes for the first pumpkin. I also wanted to do another how to, so I took pictures all along the way. So enjoy, and try to see what you can come up with:

Mega Man
Step 1: Source Material/Tools
First thing you need is all the materials and tools. Pumpkin, spoon, knife, marker and Dremel w/ router bit and attachment are obvious, but other things that I used were an Exacto Knife, Modeling Pin Tool, and Clay Loop tools of various sizes.

So I went on the net and found an image of Mega Man that I liked, and could easily cut out the head in photoshop. Turned black and white, then printed.

Step 2: Trace Template
Tape the print off to the pumpkin in a spot where it would look good. The paper is going to have to form around the round surface a little, just try to keep the lines smooth when you crease the paper.

I think took the modeling pin tool (you could use any pin or probably even a toothpick) and poked holes around all the lines on the template. I left space for line thickness too. The reason I did this over freehanding it, is because I am lazy, and not that good at freehanding on a pumpkin.

Step 3: Trace the pin wholes
Trace the pin holes with a marker, I used a sharpie, since I was going to get rid of the lines that I drew.

If you are going to freehand I would use a ball point pen that has a watery ink in it (don't know how to better explain it). It draws really easy on the pumpkin, and wipes off easy too. That way you can sketch on the pumpkin, then use a sharpie once you have what you want, then clean up the pen marks with a wet paper towel.

Step 4: Cut the lines out
This is a step you could probably skip with using the Dremel, but I did it anyways. I cut out all the lines with an Exacto Knife. I do this becasue the skin is the hardest part to break through, and also can give you the worst looking lines, so I like to take something really sharp to get a nice clean edge on everything. I used to do this because using the clay loop tools the get a smooth line is next to impossible. The reason that I still did it with using a dremel is I wanted to know where to stop, and it gave me a little bit of a buffer. The downfall is it offers less resistance when getting close to the edge causing possible mistakes... so, its up to you.

(forgot to take picture until I had already dremeled the helmet)

Step 5: Dremel
With the router accessory and bit attached, you can set your depth to give the image different lighting. If you free hand the dremel and are adventurous/good you could add shading to your work.

The deeper you go the more light that will shine through. I am not sure which is better... I think starting shallow, then slowly working deeper into the hide is the best. The most important thing to do is to check your depth. Make a test mark, then shine a flash light down the hole, it should give you an idea of how much is left. Also, you can always use the clay tools to carve out some of the hide from the inside (did this with the other pumpkin).
(See above image)

Step for dumbass: Oops...
So, I was a dumbass, and didn't check my depth, and the eye fell out. I was devistated... There was just not enought pumpkin there to hold it.

I walked away for a bit, then came back to try and fix it. You can usually fix these types of mistakes with toothpicks stuck into a more solid piece. So here you can see the two toothpicks sticking into the part with more meat, and then into the eye.

Final Product
After my repairs, and finishing of the dremeling, this is what I ended up with. I am very pleased with the results, even with the dumbass mistake.

Here are the other two pumpkins that we did this year.

Me and my son have been playing a lot of Kirby together.

Mickey Mouse
This one me and my son did together... his choice on the subject.
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About craineumone of us since 8:42 AM on 05.28.2008

Name: Kevin
Age: 41
Location: New Hampshire
Kids: 2 (boys)
Wife: 1

I do things with costumes

While I have some favorite games:
Dragon Warrior
The Legend of Zelda
Final Fantasy
Kid Icarus
Warcraft II
Soul Caliber
Animal Crossing
Mario Kart

My passion is more table top now:
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
Glass Road

Xbox LIVE:craineak
Mii code:craineum


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