The construction and assembly of the Maratus volans head.
Since the 2018 and 2019 skulls are composed from the same 3d model and resultant print, this page uses photos from both builds to show the construction process.
The “low expansion” spray foam I use cures through the evaporation of solvents. The outside of the foam blobs can be quite dry, and yet the insides still be soft and sticky. Give your skull a day or two to cure fully.
I didn’t take any pictures of the excavation, the process where I removed all the superfluous foam from the interior. It’s a messy process that involves a lot of carving with knives, with other knives, with scissors and fingers and pliers. You’ll want a vacuum cleaner handy to prevent crumbs from traveling too far.
After removing the excess foam, the skull was not as rigid as I wanted it to be. I coated the skull in several layers of papier-mâché to give it back that rigidity, and to cover over the masking tape that held the folded paper template together.
Papier-mâché is a process that takes hours over many days, as you wait for water-laden glue to dry out in front of a fan. I added one or two layers a day over the span of a week.
The fur was cut to shape, and laid over a liberal slathering of wood glue.
Pedipalps are assembled from thin wood strips bolted to the hinges at the back of the skull, wrapped in black fuzz for the first segment. Distal segments are made from cardboard chunks, and joined to each other with bicycle inner-tube segments and rubbery fabric strips, for flexibility. The ends of the pedipalps are covered in fur using the same technique as the skull.
The chelicacerae are cardboard shapes with a thin layer of pleather stretched over them and hot-glued in place. For articulation, a strip of rubbery fabric is affixed to the back of the chelicacera, and then safety-pinned to a fabric face mask.