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These are the rules for the 2013 MAD Science Fair Prop Challenge. As time progresses, these rules may be amended to answer any questions or to alleviate any concerns that arise during the course of this contest.

Please read all of these rules carefully and post any questions or concerns you may have to this thread and it will be addressed.

Entries that don't meet the following criteria will not be considered as a valid entry for the contest. Even if you have the slightest concern that your entry may not meet these criteria, or if you have a question you need answered about a ruling, please contact Zombie-F via PM before construction of your project.

The purpose of this challenge is to build a prop for a Mad Science Fair. You must build something that could fit into a mad scientist's laboratory. This can be anything from a scientific device or apparatus, a test subject, a crazy tool, or anything else you can dream up that fits in with a mad science theme.

The budget this time around is $65 USD. You must associate a cost with every item you use in the build. There are some exceptions to this for items that anyone can obtain for free (examples are given below, near bottom).

Prizes have been furnished by the following fine Haunt Suppliers. Be sure to give them a look and buy one of their fine products this Halloween:

The following rules must be adhered to in order to ensure each entry is considered for judging. Please read these rules carefully and feel free to ask any questions about them in this thread.

  • Open to US and Canadian residents only.
  • All entries must be received by the end of the day (Eastern Daylight Time) on September 27th, 2013.
  • All entries must be themed as an item found in a mad scientist's laboratory.
  • One entry per person/per household.
  • Prizes are non-negotiable. Please humbly accept your prize and thank the vendor who made the donation.
  • The site admin, moderators, prize sponsors, and their families are not eligible to win prizes in this challenge. They are still permitted to make an item, but entries from such users is simply for the purpose of "show and tell" only.
  • The winners of the previous prop challenge (2013 $20 Prop Challenge) are not eligible to win prizes in the current challenge. They are still permitted to make an item, but entries from such users is simply for the purpose of "show and tell" only.
  • All entries must be newly built items. No previously built creations will be allowed.
  • All entrants MUST have at least 30 new posts on HauntForum between July 28th, 2013 and September 27th, 2013.
  • Banned members and members banned at any time during the course of this contest are not eligible to enter or win. Entries by such members will be removed from judging.
  • Entrants MUST post a new thread containing photos and details on how the prop entered was built in this forum.
  • The entry must contain a price breakdown of all materials used as well as at least one picture of the finished prop (link to external photos okay). The entry thread will not appear to the public until it has been approved by the site admin. Do not repost your entry unless asked to do so by the site admin.
  • The total cost of all materials must total $65 USD or less (or "close enough" to within $1 over cost). If you live outside the US, you must convert your prop's value from your native currency to USD.
  • On September 28th, 2013 a poll will be created and a 7 day period of voting will take place. The top vote-earner will receive the Grand Prize listed below. Two runners up will also receive prizes.
  • All participants in the contest are disallowed from voting for their own entry. You are required to vote for someone Else's entries as a courtesy. Your votes are checked by the admin, so please respect this rule.
  • All voters will have their ip addresses checked. If a user appears to be registering or logging in with numerous accounts to increase their vote, they will be disqualified and banned from the forums.

These are the standard rules on material costs.
  • All items obtained from scrap will have a value associated with it. This value has been deemed to be 30% of it's original cost. For instance, if you obtain a 4 foot length of 2" x 4" lumber, it's value will be equal to its off-the-shelf value (we'll say $1.50 for this example) multiplied by .3. Therefore, its value would be 1.5 * .3 = $0.45.
  • Recyclable items listed below are the only things considered as free items towards your project total cost.
  • Supply prices must be reasonable. Fair market value will control the cost of used items and items obtained from scrap in this contest. The site admin will have final say on this matter.
  • Entrants who make castings will be required to include the cost of the original item as well as the cost of the casting medium in their price breakdown. Basically, since you had to buy an item and the casting materials in order to reproduce said item, the cost of these things must be included it in your pricing.
  • Expendable items such as paint, glue, and spray foam can be pro-rated (i.e. if you only use half a can of something, only bill half of the cost of the can to the project).
  • Shipping costs to obtain materials shall not be included in your total cost to build. Feel free to obtain stuff from eBay or from online vendors and only count the cost of the item towards the total.

The following are to be considered a standard price for wood, foam, and metals commonly obtained from scrap to be used in building props. If you bought the item new you are to use it's full cost in your price breakdown. These prices are for scrap items only. Please be honest when using these prices.

  • 1"x2" lumber: $0.03 per foot
  • 1"x4" lumber: $0.04 per foot
  • 2"x4" lumber: $0.08 per foot
  • Plywood: $0.20 per square foot
  • 1/8" thick x 1" aluminum angle: $0.90 per foot
  • 1/8" thick x 2" aluminum angle: $1.50 per foot
  • 1/8" thick x 1" aluminum flat stock: $0.81 per foot
  • 1/8" thick x 2" aluminum flat stock: $0.98 per foot
  • 1/4" thick x 1" aluminum flat stock: $0.90 per foot
  • 1/4" thick x 2" aluminum flat stock: $1.10 per foot
  • 3/4" square aluminum tubing: $1.10 per foot
  • 1" square aluminum tubing: $1.15 per foot
  • 1" thick insulation foam: $0.14 per square foot
  • 2" thick insulation foam: $0.29 per squrare foot

The following items can be considered as "free" to add to your project. They are commonly recycled items that a person would never need to pay for as they are usually available in abundance for free. Anything else you add to your project needs a price associated with it! Just because you can get it for free (from an employer, friend, etc.), doesn't mean everyone has access to it for free as well.

  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Soda bottles/cans
  • Coat hangers
  • Paper/plastic bags
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts
  • Bubble wrap
  • Dryer lint

Here are the prizes for each of the three top places in this contest:

Grand Prize:

First Runner-Up:

Second Runner-Up:

Now, start your engines and let the madness begin!

Prize packages are subject to change over the course of the contest.
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