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Jungle Idols

If you read the title, you already know where this one is going, but let's take a moment to talk about where it came from. First, I think the most obvious, imposing things in this pic are the cheap plastic tiki glasses. You can get them at party stores and dollar stores in the summer. My dollar store only had one variant, but several colors. The key aspects of the glass we are using for this project are: big, hollow, transparent, cheap.

But the glasses have a strong supporting cast: Scotch tape, pipe cleaner, paints, foilage, and battery powered flickering candles (which go on sale the day after Christmas because no one could ever have a use for them other than Christmas).

We start with a simple piece. Caps. I cut two cardboard circles - one bigger than the outside diameter of the cup, one smaller than the inside - and glued them together. That way it will sit on top of the tiki, but not slide around. These get decorated with regular terrain type foilage. I used a vibrant color here, but I will spray paint them green. This will let bit of the other color show through from under, giving a nice exotic effect.

The main event starts with our cool trick for this one. I have covered the eyes and the mouth hole with Scotch tape. This way I can paint the piece, then peel it off at the end and still have see through parts. At first, I tried to do this like other masking efforts, cutting off small pieces of tape and buliding it up. That lasted for one eye as it was too time consuming. So then I decided to just tape the whole area up and cut out the masked part. That worked very well, since there is already a groove in the material. Just plop your Exacto knife in the groove and follow it around.

Next we have both main pieces, the tiki and the cap after a base coat of spray painting. I went ahead and painted the inside of the cups with black, just to make them a little more "solid". Be careful not to paint over the eye and mouth holes from the inside when doing this.

Painting the tikis up after the base coat also has a neat little trick. Remember the pipe cleaners from the first pic? Well, I shaved them and put them in the brown paint for the out coat. I used up and down strokes to make the fibers align like wood grain. It's a fairly decent effect. I covered the pieces with two washes, black and dark brown (the fibers help this pop by creating additional texture) and gave them a light dry brushing with light brown.

All that is left now is just to peel the tape back and set 'em up. The diorama (?) here shows one with the transparent side showing and another one with plain wood showing (You don't have to do all that masking and stuff to have a nice looking regular piece. At a buck a pop, you can probably afford a decent number of them.) And we end up with a very nice accent piece for a jungle temple. Nice look. Decent size for hiding and climbing on.

Who has angered the volcano god?


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