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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just visited Phantasmechanics website for the first time in a while, with the intention to grab a FCG kit. I've been planning since the middle of last year to work on it this spring. Just my luck, the timing is such that I've waiting too long... they've stopped selling kits. Since I don't have the desire to build it from scratch, this likely means I won't have a flying crank ghost this year. DOH!

I'm really sorry to see that they just can't do business that way anymore. :(
 

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Almost hate to suggest this, since it was PART of the reason Phantasmechanics isn't selling anymore, but FCG set-ups pop up on Ebay pretty regularly now at a fairly decent price. Doug never patented the idea, and alot of other builder's started manufacturing them for less than he could. Try cruising "Halloween Props" on Ebay and maybe there could still be one coming to you this year!
 

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Trust me when I say this, the amount of effort to actually build one of your own is pretty minimal. I bought a kit from a non-phantasmechanic vendor a few years ago, and while it worked, the animation was a little different and the platform itself was rather large and unwieldy compared to the phantasmechanics one. The next year, I took the motor from said kit and downloaded the instructions from phantasmechanic's site to build my own, and a day later I had a nice new FCG platform that was both compact and gave the exact effect I was going for.

The amount of effort is minimal... it looks far more complicated than it is. I quick trip to a hardware store will get you all the parts you need (minus the motor) to finish one off.
 

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last year i made one- like Z says i looked at the instructions and looked around on what i had, use 1"x1' wood for the frame and bolted it together-grabed the rotieserie motor off the grill and BAM had my ghost, that was my first prop and it came out ok. YOU CAN DO IT
 

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I agree that a FCG is very easy to make yourself. Here's a good how-to from deathlord.net for the platform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK, it's good to know they're not difficult to build. I may yet look into it. But even if I don't get to it, I have plenty of other things to work on this year, including some corpsing and some foamboard work for gravestones. :)

It looks like the ghost kits at xtremecreators.com are basically the same thing.

I'm a total FCG and animatronic noob. Anything that saves me time is a good thing. :)
 

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I know where you're coming from. Consider if you build your own, or even if you get a buddy to help ya, you save A LOT of money. I'm not talking about saving a little moola, but a bunch. And by saving that bunch, you have that much more to spend on other props, ya know?

Think about it this way. If you make an error, just take it apart and try again. No harm done, and in the process you get an education and help others who have problems along the way because you know where they are coming from. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, everyone has some good points. But here's where I'm coming from-- Something under $200 is not bad as "this year's main new toy", and knowing how my time tends to go, I'm usually short on time more so than the cash, at least at this scale.

Otaku-- Great suggestion! That's more of what I wanted, I think. The XtremeCreators one is a little too complete, since they include the entire ghost. I'm interested more in getting the working parts so I don't have to spend time with that, and focus my effort on the ghost itself (and my other projects).

How does the motor hold up? Nice and reliable?
 

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I got mine 4 years ago, and I run it for 4-5 hours each night starting 2 weeks before Halloween. No problems so far. The only issue I have with the design is that the arm spread is not adjustable. I plan to add some short extensions this year to allow the arms to be positioned a bit further apart. I didn't look closely at the pic of the system, but I think it shows that pulleys are used. The design was changed just before I got mine and now uses simple metal loops to guide the cords. I use parrafin to lube the strings so they slide easily. Bottom line: very reliable, solid construction, definitely a good investment.
 

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Pyro, is there a good "how to" on using the rotisserie motor to animate the ghost? I will only be using it on 10/31 so I don't have to worry about it lasting for weeks. I am sure you have to keep the structure light weight.

I have a Rotisserie motor that I bought a couple years ago, and I have a ghost so maybe I could add it this year without having to spend a bunch on the motor. I am too poor this year to spend a bunch of money.

I am like you NecroBones, I am a newb to all of it but I did learn this weekend that I can easily drill through pipe. So now I have the confidence to at least try to build the FCG. Good luck.
 

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Thanks Brad.

I was researching using the term "rotisserie" but that one didn't come up. I saw a couple that didn't have the necessary explanations for me to figure anything out. That link you gave me has the information I am looking for. I didn't know how to make the crank to fit the motor. I'll give it a whirl!
 

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I'll never forget seeing one of those for the first time about 4 years ago at a haunted house here on Long Island. The prop guy tending the animated props took my wife and I behind the scene to look at it. Truly an amazing prop. He gave me a link to download build instructions, and in less than 24 hours after seeing it, we built one using aluminum angle iron and flat stock. I had a new Dayton 4 RPM motor laying around and used it. While I was building, my wife designed the ghost. To this day, it's one of our most impressive props when they are well lit up with florescent black lights. Achieving fluid motion is the key factor with them, which is easy. Even if you have to purchase one for several hundred dollars, it'll be money well spent.
 

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Just found this and thought I'd pass it along. Monsterguts also has a FCG (minus the ghost) kit. I have no idea what the difference is between it, Xtremecreators and IronKingdom's kits. The aluminum looks wider but that could just be camera angle.
http://www.monsterguts.com/monster-kits/fcg-rig/prod_122.html

I have no first hand knowledge of any of these kits and am still in the throes of whether to buy/build myself. The ghost I can make, the rest I am still not sure about.
 
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