Since the weather won’t cooperate very well, and I don’t like gardening in the rain, I decided to make a baby rhino. I haven’t made a four-legged critter for a long time.
The pattern I’ll be using, (possibly with some changes as we go along), is shown above. If you want to make a baby rhino with me, I’ll be using the same techniques to transfer the pattern onto cardboard that I used when I made the snowy owl.
So far, I’ve drawn the pattern, above, and I’ve drawn a grid with 3″ squares on a large piece of cardboard. I estimate that the finished baby rhino will be about 2 feet tall. It will be a challenge getting the crazy rhino feet to look realistic, and it will take some work to get all the nice skin folds in the right places.
Baby rhinos don’t have horns, which is a bit disappointing. Maybe I’ll make a momma rhino someday to go with the baby, but I have to wait for good weather for something that big. I don’t think I could get a full-sized adult rhinoceros through my door, and she would take up half my living room.
There will be two major differences between this project and the baby elephant. First, I’ll use a cardboard pattern instead of the particle board that I used for Elsie to reduce the weight. To strengthen the armature, I’ll use some heavy wire on the legs. A full-sized adult rhino would probably need rebar to make it strong enough, but this little guy should be fine with the wire I have on hand.
The other big difference is that I’ll use paper mache clay instead of the many layers of paper and paste that I used on the elephant. I may still use one final layer of paper towels for the skin because it gives such realistic bumps. Or maybe not — we’ll figure that out when we get to it.
And one final difference (that makes three, doesn’t it?) I think I’ll order some of that Powertex textile hardener so the baby rhino can go outside. It’s been recommended by a number of people and I want to see how it works. Since the clear formula isn’t weatherproof, I’ll need to choose between bronze, ivory, terra cotta or lead. Lead would probably match the real critter the best, but I haven’t really decided yet – another thing to worry about later.
OK – now I need to go transfer that pattern onto my cardboard. As soon as the armature is standing up and ready for some crumpled paper, I’ll let you see how he’s coming along. If you start a rhino, be sure to let us see your progress photos, too. And remember to keep those Practical Paper Mache ideas coming.