This year, we came up with a last minute animated prop, that turned out to get a lot of scare action. Inexpensive, as big props go, and easy enough to get going in a day. We had bought one of the big inflatable Frankenstein's Monster "balloons" at Costco, for about $35. The rest of the material I already had, but none of it was particularly expensive. I posted a note about it on the Methodz of Madness list, and received a requests for pictures and step-by-step how-to... OK, I've got pictures. Since I already posted an ASCII how-to drawing, I'm gonna be lazy for now, and copy it here. The basic "monster" was a 7 1/2 foot tall, lighted (green face and hands), cartoonish Frankenstein's Monster. It's made of RipStop nylon, and comes assembled with a fan/blower on a four-legged, foldup base. It has long feet sticking out forward, and big mitts out to the side. When it is pushed forward by the air piston, and slams to a stop at the end of the travel, it rocks forward and the arms swing forward, like it's grabbing for you... Side views: ---- / \ | | VERY simplified side view of inflated "monster" | | | | __| | / Big | \__feet_/ /===\ Fan-and-support legs assembly, integral part of / \ the off-the-shelf effect. ========= 23" wide, 24" long, 3/8" plywood "shuttle" =================== 30" long aluminum channels, open edges facing =================== 30" long aluminum channels, used as spacers ====================================================== 72" long, ______________________________________________________ 24"wide, | 2x4 rails, laid flat (1.5" high) | 3/8" ply ------------------------------------------------------ Top view of deck: Channel and spacer mounted on top of deck / Pop-up sprinkler riser "piston" ===================-----------/----------------------- | / | | / | | ========= __ | | ()======| |-----(__)-- | | \ ========= \ | | \ \ Air | (from | \ \ Valve | dish ===================---\------------------------------ washer) Bolt to attach to edge of shuttle board End view, assembled: / | \ Fan base, legs. (Four: front, back, sides) / | \ <==================> 'C' channels, with shuttle between H H Spacers ==================== Plywood deck |___| |___| 2x4 rails (72" long) 'C' Channel detail: ____ Drill 3/8" holes in top edge. | | ---- Drill 1/8" holes in bottom edge, and countersink. ____ | | Drill 1/8" holes in top of spacer piece. | | Run 1.5" drywall screws through both pieces and 3/8" deck, into 2x4 rails. My piston was made from a 9" pop-up sprinkler riser. The model I have has 1/2" pipe threads on both the bottom (water inlet) and end of the pop-up (for attaching the spray head.) I capped the top, after drilling a hole in the cap for the attaching bolt. The inlet is adapted out to a short vinyl hose, leading from a dishwasher solenoid valve. Air supply for my haunt is through standard 5/8" garden hoses, plenty strong enough for 70-80 psi. Since the dishwasher valve has that useless second inlet fitting, it needed to be capped-off to prevent too much air from blowing out. Or so I thought. At 70 psi, there was still more than enough to slam the shuttle out to the end of its travel, with the second valve inlet left open. Soooo, I added a few feet of hose on the extra inlet, and directed it out to the "guest end" of the whole works. The added noise really improved the effect! The pop-up has a return spring in it, but it was way too weak to drag the shuttle board back, so we added a couple of long, weak bungee cords for return assist. The shuttle was a sliding fit in the aluminum 'C' channel stock, so we hit the edges with a belt sander to trim them down a bit, and smooth them, then liberally applied oil in the channel and on the wood. It's been working for over a week, and made it through many, many firings at Saturday night's pre- Halloween party. Great fun!
Created on ... October 31, 2002