Steven K. Smith (42), a professional prop maker and content creator from St. Louis, Missouri, has created the ultimate DnD Halloween pumpkin. There are plenty of horrifying creatures to choose from in the world of D&D, but Smith (also known as SKS Props) has chosen to recreate one of the most iconic of all – the mimic. Smith also shared a full YouTube tutorial for the mimic pumpkin on October 6.
Starting with a carvable foam pumpkin, Smith mostly built the mimic’s features out of HD-Foam foam and Foam Clay – materials which come from his own line of cosplay products. Add a fresh lick of paint, and you’ve got one ravenous, slobbering mimic waiting to surprise unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.
“I’m a big DnD fan, and mimics are definitely one of the most iconic monsters in the game”, Smith tells Wargamer, “so it just made sense to have a pumpkin turn into one”. “The other thing that’s great about crafting a mimic is I don’t have to match something exactly”, he adds. “I just need a bunch of teeth, crazy eyes, and a wicked tongue.”
“Every year I sculpt a pumpkin as a closeout to the holiday season, but on my YouTube channel, my main goal is to show my processes and teach others how to do what I do”, Smith says. You can check out his full tutorial below:
“The biggest downside with carving a real pumpkin is that they can be messy, time-consuming, and they have to be thrown away before they rot and stink up the shop”, Smith tells Wargamer. “A couple of years back I carved a foam pumpkin, and this year I decided to up my game and see how far I could push that process”, he adds. “The great thing about a foam pumpkin is that I can use it year after year, and honestly, I think this is going to be my go-to for pumpkin sculpting from now on.”
While Smith’s tutorial is pretty comprehensive, he tells Wargamer that creating the mimic pumpkin was actually easier than he’d expected. “I have worked with foam for over a decade making props and costumes for videogame companies, and I was able to transfer those skills into the sculpting process”.
Smith says his favourite part of the prop is the mimic’s tongue. “I used some 14 gauge wire and various thicknesses of foam so that I could pose it before being glued into place”, he explains. “I was then able to sculpt some veins onto the sides and bottom of the tongue with Foam Clay before pressing the tip of a pen into the surface to add taste buds to the top.”
“Little details like that just add to the overall effect and can help bring the creation to life”, he adds. “Once all of the sculpting and painting was complete, I added some five-minute epoxy to the mouth with a chip brush to give it a wet glossy look.”
This isn’t the first time Smith has taken on a tabletop project; his YouTube channel also has plenty of builds for fans of Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy. “On my channel, I have done lots of pop culture builds, and I am always looking for inspiration – whether that be from videogames, board games, movies, or anime”, Smith tells Wargamer. “That’s my favourite part about being a content creator with a channel that teaches in a ‘how to’ style. I get to make what I want and people can watch my videos, download the Free templates, and build right along with me.”
For more crafty tabletop titbits, check out our guide to DnD miniatures – as well as the best paints for miniatures guide that’ll help you bring them to life. Or, if you prefer a different kind of creativity, here’s everything you need to know about creating a DnD homebrew.