How to Age a Cheap Plastic Skeleton


Cheap plastic skeleton
Assorted colors of acrylic paint
Fine point paint brushes
Soft cloth or gauze
Fine point permanent black marker


A friend of mine sent me two cheap plastic skeletons for Halloween. They aren't the most realistic looking skeletons. As a matter of fact they look kind of silly and wouldn't scare a two year old. So I started looking around on the net for a way to make them look better. The first site I found involved corpsing with latex and pantyhose, but that seemed a bit extreme so I continued to search. Then I ran across Ray A. Rottin's site. He had instructions for painting plastic skeletons to make them look better. His instructions called for outlining the crevices with black acrylic paint and then 'washing' the skeleton with brown and gray acrylic paints.

I didn't have any problems outlining the crevices of the skeleton with black paint but I did have a problem with the 'washing' part. So I called in reinforcements. My friend Izumi was visiting so I asked for her help. She seemed to have the 'gift' for 'washing'. What she did was mix the color that she wanted and then thinned it out with a lot of water. Next she used gauze to rub it on the skeleton until she got the effect she was looking for. She also discovered that it was much easier too outline the crevices with a fine point permanent black marker. That's Izumi in the pictures 'washing' the skeleton. First she used brown and then later she went back over it with gray to highlight the areas outlined in black. As you can tell from the top picture, her efforts really made a difference in how the skeleton looked. We used the skeleton in a scrim box in our tunnel. When people walked by, a light came on and he welcomed them.

MsMeeple ©