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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heya guys, the wife is going to let me start building the first of August, and this year I'm doing my first moving props. I'm going to start with the simplest prop first: I want a "body" to sit up out of a tomb that has fog rolling out of the top of it. I'm not going to try to learn about pneumatics this year, so everything needs to be motors, bungies, and springs. :)

What I'm thinking is just having a torso in weathered clothing from the thrift store (plan on spraying pool acid from a spray bottle, and burying the clothes for a week or so), so what I need is an idea of what sort of framework to build. I *know* someone's done something like this before, so that's why I'm asking. Don't want to reinvent the wheel!

:D
 

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Hey Torgen,

Keith over at Lawnscare sells a mechanism that might give you some ideas. It is an pneumatic mechanism but it uses a spring to make the prop rise. The air cylinder is used to reset the prop. If you manually reset it and use a latch and string to fire it, you could met your objectives. Check out the Lawnscare mechanism at:

http://www.lawnscare.com/SCARESQUARES.html#CORPSERAISER
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

Those frames give me lots of hints on how to carry out some of my ideas!
 

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Sit up Prop

A few years back I was in the same situation I wanted to make something pop out but did not have the time or cash to get into Pneumatics. I was looking around on the internet and came across http://www.shallowvalley.com/
If you go under props and look for "Jumper" under the 2003 props This is the exact prop I made. I made mine out of pvc, a Hinge, a few Misc Bolts, Surgical tubing, locking gate latch and fishing string. The prop needed to be reset everytime I triggered it by pulling the fishing line but it scared the crap out of people and I didnt mind the reset for that year. I still have the prop which I used as a static fill in prop last year when I get to it Ill take some detailed pictures of it if you are interested. Later all :jol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How about this as an idea?

Use a screen door closer to raise the torso, and when it hits the end of its travel, it engages a switch that turns on an electric motor to "rewind" it. When the torso is back down and "latched" it hits another switch that turns it off.

The screen door closer would not only be lifting the torso (which I'm hoping to make as light as possible) but also unwinding the cable/cord/rope/whatever from the spindle that's attached to the motor.
 

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I dont think the Screen door Closer is going to give the fast in your face lift that the Surgical tubing supplies. The Tension I had on the tubeing was so great people didnt have a chance to not be scared one minute it was static and then it was in their face. If your going to go through the trouble of things hitting buttons to turn things on and off you might as well get into basic Pneumatics with the Screen Door closer. Later all :jol:

Torgen said:
How about this as an idea?

Use a screen door closer to raise the torso, and when it hits the end of its travel, it engages a switch that turns on an electric motor to "rewind" it. When the torso is back down and "latched" it hits another switch that turns it off.

The screen door closer would not only be lifting the torso (which I'm hoping to make as light as possible) but also unwinding the cable/cord/rope/whatever from the spindle that's attached to the motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I kinda want it to "rise" out of the fog, not "slam" up.
 

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if you were to get into pnuematics, you would be able to controll the air pressure going to the prop, there by controling the speed that it rises.
I wouldn't know how to do it otherwise.
 

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If you want a slow rising skeleton etc I would just go for a motor driven prop then. saves alot of time and money. Later all :jol:
 

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Torgen said:
How about this as an idea?

Use a screen door closer to raise the torso, and when it hits the end of its travel, it engages a switch that turns on an electric motor to "rewind" it. When the torso is back down and "latched" it hits another switch that turns it off.

The screen door closer would not only be lifting the torso (which I'm hoping to make as light as possible) but also unwinding the cable/cord/rope/whatever from the spindle that's attached to the motor.
I like the idea of using a motor to winch the prop back down... I've been thinking about a highly geared motor (6-10rpms) with an electric clutch on it. That way, you use the motor to winch the prop down and then either use the latch to hold it or use the friction of the motor/gears+clutch to hold it in place. Then when you are ready, you turn the clutch off and release the latch or if you are just using the motor, you just release the clutch and the prop springs up. Either way, with the clutch, you don't have the motor/gears causing any slowdown/friction in the prop moving and can minimize the force needed to just the weight/speed of the prop.
 

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I use PVC to build frames for all my "creatures". It's not expensive and you can build several frames in a day and then all you need to do is clothe them. I don't build mine with "feet" but rather make a square of PVC to support the structure. Don't forget to leave a piece of PVC at the neck on which to attach a head. For this, you can use a wig form (styrofoam) that you carve and latex or just stuff a mask. Easy and effective!
 

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I use pvc frames as well. I stick a piece of rebar in the ground and slip the pvc over it. Very sturdy! And I can make them lean by driving the rebar in at a slight angle.
I've carved and painted the wig forms, I put most of my masks over 2qt juice bottles and milk jugs. A gallon jug is the same size as most human heads. Plus you can cut a hole in the them and stick battery pumpkin lights or glowsticks in there and the eyes will light and/or flicker.
After Halloween I just throw out the bottles and jugs, lots less to store than a head.
 
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