Star Wars Pumpkin



Star Wars Pumpkin  Halloween Pumpkin: Star Wars pumpkin

The Death Star, from the movie Star Wars, can be considered a hybrid "pumpkin carve/pumpkin sculpt". Pumpkin carving involves using the pumpkin almost as a surface for an image that is carved into the pumpkin. This is pretty much a 2D image. A pumpkin sculpt uses the pumpkin itself as a 3D object. Because the pumpkin itself is the object and not a pattern on a pumpkin, we can probably call it a sculpture. But unlike most sculptures, the way you carve it is exactly how you might do a pattern. So lets get started.

  • Before it starts make sure you know the basics about pumpkin carving.
  • Printer
  • Nail
  • Small nail or pumpkin poker
  • Serrated knife or pumpkin saw
  • Bowl 
  • Sewing tape measure
  • Marker
  • Tape
  • News Paper
  • Pumpkin
  • Candle
  • speedball set
  • clay loop tools 

Setting the Middle

  • The first, most important step in carving the Death Star is creating a realistic looking "middle" line that goes across the entire pumpkin front. 
  • To do this, lie the pumpkin down on its backside, and use the sewing measuring tape to figure out the place that looks "right".

Create the Horizontal Lines

  • Here's where the tape measure is dynamite. To make the Death Star "work" you need to have proportional horizontal lines going across the entire Death Star. Because the pumpkin isn't always even, this case pose a problem. The solution? Make specific measurements up and down from the center grove along the veins.
  • Here's how you do this: For a 77 pound pumpkin (shown above), you first do a 2 1/2 inch mark above and below the groove, followed by 2 inches after that.
  • For a 120 pound pumpkin, you make the first measurement 3 inches above and below the edge of the groove, and then 2 inches, and then 3 inches, and then 2 inches for every line after that.

Its important to do these marks along the pumpkin veins, as the veins will help you work around the uneven aspects of your pumpkin. So make these measurements in all the veins above and below the middle groove.

Ideally, you will want 5 lines above and below the center line. If your pumpkin is either larger or smaller, adjust accordingly. 

Positioning the Laser Circle

  • Now you need to find a space between the veins on the upper part of the pumpkin that is most suitable for your laser hole. Ideally you want something around 5" wide.
  • But again, the rule of thumb is basically to take up the bulk of the space between one area of the veins - this seems to work. Adjust this if your pumpkin is smaller or larger.

Get a sense of about where you want to put your circle. It should be at least an inch above your horizontal line, but not too much higher.

Carving Out the Circle

  • Find some round object (small bowl) that seems to be about the size of the circle you are envisioning. Trace out the circle and then carve the outline with your speedball set.

Find the Center of Your Circle

  • Then put a hole in the center of the circle. Ultimately, this is where your laser hole will be. You can start carving out the laser area now, but tend to want to draw the horizontal lines before going further.

Carving the Horizontal Lines

  • Here's where your Death Star starts to take shape. Following the dots you made along the veins, carve our horizontal lines with a medium sized speedball V line cutter.

Again, because your pumpkin will not really be round, do your best to make the lines work as you go between the veins. This becomes especially important as you go closer to the top and bottom of the pumpkin. 

Don't Cut Into the Laser Circle!!!
Make sure you don't cut into the laser circle. You'll want that to be a clean circle without lines going into it.

Smooth the Center Groove

  • Now is a good time to go back and smooth out the center grove with a flat clay loop tool.
  • As much as possible, you want it deep and smooth. The walls should be as straight down as you can make them.

Important Tip: As you begin to cut out the detailed skinned areas, its a really good practice to smooth the areas out as you go along. If you wait till the end, you might find yourself missing a bunch of these, or worse, not caring as much because you already spent so much time on it. Do it as you go, and you'll end up with a far better pumpkin at the end.

Increase the Width of the Fourth Lines

  • Again, assuming you have a large pumpkin, you'll want to increase the size of the fourth horizontal lines above and below the middle groove.
  • This is assuming you have 5 lines above and below the middle groove. Depending on your pumpkin, you may only have 4 lines either above or below (or 6). Generally you want the larger line to be at the apex of the curve on the top and bottom of the pumpkin - hopefully with at least one more line past it.
  • While most lines on your pumpkin are one "V" line wide, make the larger ones 3 or 4 "V" lines wide, depending on the size of your pumpkin.

Carving Out the First Row of Boxes

  • Now the fun part comes in. Starting with the area above and below the center groove, make verticle cuts between the lines approximately every 2 inches. Do this all the way around the pumpkin till you get to the end.

Customizing Your Death Star

  • Now the fun begins! Start customizing your Death Star by working with each of your block areas (or rectangle areas, if you left a couple of them really long). There are numerous ways to do this. The only rule of thumbs are those posted earlier - use straight lines, and smooth out all skinned areas. 

  • You can cut out small squares from your block areas, or even shave off the sides of some, leaving thin rectangles.

Finalizing the Circle

  • Depending on whether you completely cleaned out the inside area or left a big chunk underneath the circle, you will sculpt your circle differently.

Leave a good chunk of meat around the laser, which allowed them to cut deep into the Death Star. This is a FAR more believable laser circle.

The Finishing Touches

  • Finish Your Inside Scraping: As an obvious aside, if you haven't stuck a light or candle in it by this point to check your inside scrape job, now's the time (obviously you want to do this in a darkened area to see the problems).
  • The goal is to get an even color shining throughout the pumpkin.
  • Use 3 candles in the Death Star while displaying it - one large and two smaller candle pods (all pumpkin spice, of course!).
  • Lite Brites Now you can stick in your lite brights. 
  • Cut a Hole in the Back Because there are virtually no cut-throughs, you need to cut a hole in the back to give the pumpkin enough air.
  • From there, take your pumpkin out and display it somewhere relatively high up (not on the ground, in other words). And thats it folks! Your good to go!





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Tuesday, October 23, 2012
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