Every reputable cemetery needs a caretaker. We had a gravedigger for a couple of years but decided to rework him some to make him more realistic. Our existing mask head was too scary and looked more dead than alive. I had found a fantastic example of a lifelike gravedigger on www.davisgraveyard.com and pretty much wanted to replicate the look. Imitation is the sincerest form of flatery, right? I had found the same hands and head from Ghost Ride Productions which they had used. They look very good- just make sure to order early.|
I also wanted to animate the head to move but preferred a simpler approach than the servos. I decided to use a Christmas reindeer motor to simply make the head move left and right. I had to start by retrofitting the motor and pivoting neck into the PVC frame I had previously made. There are photos below of that.
The base framework for him is made from 1-1/2" PVC pipe. I used 1/2" PVC for the neck mount and pivot arms. A flat aluminum bar connects the motor to the PVC. The best way to mount the motor to the PVC is to use a metal hose clamp. My pictures only show zip ties but this was replaced later on and I found the clamp holds very well. I built a cover out of foam and cardboard to keep the motor and arms from contacting the chicken wire or clothing. He stands in the yard by simply slipping the PVC legs over rebar in the ground.
Hopefully he will do a good job watching over the cemetery for many years to come!
Click for a video of the Gravedigger...
Here are photos of the build and completed project...
Lastly, I've added a parts list for the main PVC items...
1-1/2" PVC - 10 feet
If you are making a pivoting neck:
I posed the figure how I wanted and then used small screws (predrilled) into the PVC joints to hold him in place. This way they can be removed and adjusted easier than if glued.