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Animatronic grim reaper...with an oscillating fan.

6399 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Beepem
ok so here it is. You all know halloweenqueen's plans for fitting bluckies with PVC. i figure I'll do that but then how do I attach the fan? on where the T for the neck is?

err read this first

I want to take a blucky, put a fan(cage,blade,axel gone.) on its shoulders and put the skull onto where the blade used to be on the fan. you turn the fan on, he looks back and forth. oh and hes wearing a grim reaper cloak. to cover the fan and stuff.

how can I make this thing work becuase even a 12" fan has a weight and I'd really like to use a blucky(which would require 1/2" PVC..maybe 3/4) I could use my bag of bones bag from OTC but they are rotted color and grim has white bones...

and now im rambling.

so, ideas?
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The blucky could be seperated under the cloack body free standing and the skull attatched to the fan head.

Or build the blucky and pvc on a T stand and bolt the fan to a t at the shoulders and just use the fan head

Kinda veige hope it helps
Screw the bluckie. Get a skull reaper style mask. Latex skull on the front, fabric on the back. Stick the mask on the fan. You need to be careful where you cut off the axel, you don't want the mask getting caught in the part that spins. Glue a cap off of a bottle over the axel. This will insure that no rubbing takes place. Then build a pvc frame. You won't see it as it will be under the costume. Then use some hands from your bag of bones or make some using ideas elswhere on this board. Walla, instant animatronic halloween prop! And you can use your bluckie elsewhere.
Or... try one of those small desk fans that are about 6 or 8 inches in diameter at most. Mount the base at shoulder level and put Blucky's skull around the stripped fan head. Let the fan's "pedestal" be his neck and use a rotted neckerchief or bandana to cover the neck.
I did this once to make a zombie figure's arm swing a sword up and down... mounted this small fan motor sideways, attached to a platform at his shoulder. Worked great.

my problem isnt making it "work" my problem is making it stand up with the weight of the fan and have the fan stay put. 1/2" pvc isnt very strong..

slimy, the blucky was mostly for the legs and arms, they will be showing a lot.
Here's how I mounted a wighead to an oscillating fan...If you can mount a skull to the end of a PVC pipe, this will work for you, and you don't have to worry about the motor overheating. The page has no text yet, but that's a hose clamp holding a PVC tee to the fan motor housing.Maybe you can slit the blucky torso to wrap around the fan motor with the pipe sticking up for the neck.
Think Rebar a 4 foot peice should provide enough stability once the base of the fan is removed
for a not dirt area make a 4 way base from pvc or 2x4's
Dr. Morbius, I have to ask...
How well did that hose clamp keep the pvc upright?? If I were to do anything animatronic, it would be with a fan, and just based on my experience, it seems it would roll forward or backward. In other words, two round things even clamped together would not stay upright. It's also very windy here (and rainy). I like the fact yours would turn from the waist, rather than just the head (which would be a lot simpler), and I would rather do it your way than just having a head turning.
Did you use screws in the pvc, also? Any other suggestions for an animatronic-challenged person? Thanks in advance.
doctor, i like what i see. im gonna get a tall fan and follow your plan, can you maybe put the measurments of the PVC in an image? like label each piece with length? thaanks

edit: mich, if you look at the pictures closely, in the last one you can see that the PVC body part is connected down below the motor.

and doctor is that an audio...thing? the black circle? also you just hit 2000 posts
I like the idea of the turning upper torso, as long as it doesn't burn the fan out quicker with the extra load.
Beepem, what I'm looking at is the top part, where the upper pvc pipe connects to the rounded fan housing with the tee joint. This is where I can see a problem, at least for me. I'm wondering if perhaps splitting that upper pvc in half and using a connector to sturdy it up to the rest of the frame would help.

I've had fun experiences with setups like that blowing over last year, just due to the nature of the wind catching the "costume" and using it like a sail. Of course, this would be the one prop I'd put out by the house, since my display is 200 feet from my house, at the roadside. I wouldn't trust something like that on my extension cord setup (even though it's all heavy duty contractor grade), not to mention the risk of fire since it's outdoors for a month.
Ok , some clarification....there were two conections to the fan, one that oscillates the neck, and the other is a shoulder assembly that builds up shoulders to match the wighead height. The PVC TEE is clamped directly on the fan motor housing for the neck, and since my fan motor housing plastic is kinda soft, it squished flat against the TEE which helps hold it on. If your Fan motor housing is a very hard plastic, then a SMALL screw in the tee to the housing would be fine, as long as it doesn't touch the motor.(ZZZZT! puff of smoke..) Both TEE's, the shoulder and the neck have seperate hose clamps. These clamps are VERY strong but are not a permanant solution for mounting to a fan, but should hold up very well for a couple days before they need re-tightening. I have used it, it works, trust me. I wouldn't post an assembly that doesn't work. Of course, you don't want to mount anything too heavy to a fan motor, no matter what. My rig was very lightweight. The PVC pipe can be really any length you want. Perfessor Evil at Hauntproject.com used my idea for a masked wighead to peer over a fence. The black cricle thingy is a speaker I used for making my wighead talk.
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how about a floor lamp stand as a base .....may have too add more weigth to to keep it standing but the pipe tube is strong enuff to hold the fan motor
Thanks, DrM. I see now. Or rather, I couldn't see in the photos that the fan casing was softer. And yeah, mine is a harder plastic, so the very tiny screw might be the way to go. Oh, and there was no intent to imply that you posted a prop that woldn't work. I was just trying to get the information on how it stayed upright.
well, i have punched some numbers and my allowance wont allow me to build an animatronic reaper, static for this year....i will build this during the winter months though! or maybe right after summer i could spare some cash, fans go on sale....we'll see!

thanks guys and yeah the screw in the T would help a lot. i could use a dougie hack on this too after christmas when i get a douglas fir tree...
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