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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Introducing - The Gravity Grabber.



Here it is mounted to the ceiling:



And here it is in operation:

Props :: MVI_0583.flv video by Spooky_Sam - [email protected]@[email protected]@http://vid193.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid193.photobucket.com/albums/z305/Spooky_Sam/Props/[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@z305/Spooky_Sam/Props/MVI_0583

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Used wiper motor off craigslist $10.00
Used PC power supply at garage sale $3.00
Diode $0.17
Leftover thermostat wire $1.44
Wire nuts $0.39
2.5 square feet of plywood $0.50
2 feet of 2x4 $0.16
Screws $0.15
2 feet of 1/2" gray conduit $0.22
Bolt, nut, and washers $0.13
1/10 can of black spray paint $0.10
1/10 can of white spray paint to cover black - changed my mind. $0.10
Drop down mechanism total $16.35

Foam skull from clearance last year $1.00
Wire hangers from cleaners Free
Packing peanuts Free
Part of a roll of duct tape (not much) $0.35
Plastic grocery bags Free
White kitchen trash bag $0.08
¼ can of brown spray paint $1.12
Corpse total $2.55

Grand total $18.90

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There are essentially two main components to this prop.

The first is the motor & lever mechanism that houses the simple mechanics that cock and release the prop. The housing was built using plywood and 2x4 pieces. Conduit is used as a lever that the wiper motor acts against to raise and drop the prop. I used the parking switch function on the motor to allow the use of a momentary switch to trigger the prop. 3-conductor thermostat wire was run between the power supply/activation switch and the lever box. A diode prevents the parking switch from shorting the power supply. I painted this portion of the prop white with spray paint to blend to the ceiling.

The skeleton was created using mostly wire clothes hangers and a cheap-o foam skull. I used some packing peanuts and duct tape over wire to create the hand form. The rest of the body was shaped using only wire hangers with a bit of duct tape. For the arm, I also utilized one of the cardboard tubes off of a wire hanger for pants to create a radius and ulna. Once the rough form was in place, I began tying on plastic bags to "flesh out" the corpse. Using a heat gun, I melted down the bags to give a rotten appearance and used the trash bag to skin the torso using the same principles. I used a spray-on/wipe-off technique to paint the corpse.

I'll post some "build in progress" shots for you later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
that is some most genius work!I love it.did you think of melting it yourself?
Yes - I had originally done it a little bit to make my Zombie Grave Escape look a little bit rotten. I figured it was a cheaper way to "skin" my prop with the materials I had on hand. Originally I was concerned with their durability, but the bags on the Escaper have held up very well so far. Plus if you layer it enough, you end up with a pretty tough outside shell that can also flex quite a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nope, no respirator, just good ventilation. Plus I'm not really melting down the the plastic. I use the heat gun to weld the plastic to itself and shrink it down. There were some fumes, but not a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Joker -

No, the wiper motor is the only thing holding the corpse up. That is one of the reasons I made it so light weight. The whole idea of this thing started when I was trying to think of a way to make a simple non-pneumatic pop up that would reset itself. I'm pretty sure I can invert the prop and use a spring to force it up instead of gravity to pull it down. The thing is, gravity is a lot cheaper than a spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Sickie -

The bags should hold up fine outside as long as you use multiple layers and your prop doesn't have a huge surface area to catch the wind. Whatever you make can be very light weight using this method depending on the sub-structure, so you'll want to make sure it can't blow away.

I didn't have any trouble with the plastic bags tearing...just don't apply too much elbow grease. I used spray paint and lightly wiped off the paint in some areas .
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
CB,

I built the ribcage by bending wire hangers to create the ribs and wrapping them with plastic bags. I heated these to shrink them down a little bit and then "skinned" them with more plastic bags. It isn't the best description in the world, but hopefully it gives you some idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
The "skinning" was me just using a plastic trash bag over the ribcage to shrink down and tear holes in. Looks like the remnants of skin stretched over the skeleton.
 
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