43 Days!

Time for an update!

The Time is nearing, October is probably one of my favorite months. We have the fair and thanksgiving and of course HALLOWE’EN! We have pretty much checked off everything on our list with the exception of finishing the candy supply.  We have come up with a few additions from the last post. I’ll mention them below.  Candy donations from Family members have been trickling in and piling up in the dinning room with close to 500 kids last year, donations are greatly appreciated.  If you’re reading this Thank you!

One of our bigger props this year and thanks to Amanda for this for a VERY early birthday present. She showed up to meet me for lunch one day and opened the trunk to her car with orange and black balloons inside, she had went and purchased the 6ft 6inch Werewolf from Home Depot. I had been eyeing this prop over the last few visits there. My youngest son helped me put it together that day when we got home. I was amazed with the quality of the product. It was all steel framed and very sturdy and actually took a power adapter rather than running on batteries.

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He is motion activated and moves back and forth, the jaw moves and eyes light up and snarls and howls at the end of his cycle. It’s very cool, he stands in my dining room at the moment next to my computer desk. I often look up at it and think what an awesome prop it is and I can’t wait for all the kids to see it.

LED lighting is underway. I think it’s complete other than the final wiring.  I had originally thought I would make close to 25 spotlights, but after some more thought about it I’ve cut the number down to 12.  Not everything needs to be illuminated. Specific props will be highlighted.   Here is a picture of the final spotlight project

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It’s a PVC 1/2″ T the LED is soldered inside to some network cable, that comes out of a hole on the side. Which will run to the two power supplies on each side of the yard.  The idea is with the bottom and back piece I can just insert them into the ground and they will be aimed at the props.

I was sitting on the couch a few weekends back showing the girlfriend some projection videos and what could be done with a 3DFX prop.  Debating on ordering the form from the states, and in fear that if Amanda went to pick up another package and had to pay custom fees again, I’d be in serious trouble or the package would just remain at the post office. We decided to use a mannequin that we had picked up last year, Didn’t really know what to do with it last year other than just dress it up.  So, we placed it on the yard and draped a sheet over it and aimed the projector at it and created an animated ghost on the front lawn, we had wanted to test it out to make sure the massive spot lights I have didn’t flood the effect out.  There is a still from the video below.

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Video link to come

There are a few images that will be projected on to the form, I have to still build a box that will look like a tombstone to hide the projector from plain sight. (I’d also like to note if it rains on Halloween, I’ll be PISSED!)

Should have all the tombstone carved out this weekend, and each kid has made their own, so we’ll place them all in the backyard and get them painted and into the basement for deployment in a few weeks.   We usually start setting up after Thanksgiving.  I’m sure they’ll be more updates and pictures as things progress.  There’s also a new Hauntcast episode coming out at the end of the month, So I’m pretty excited for that.

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62 DAYS!

Crunch time is here, So much to build so little time, I may be spending a few evenings in my workshop with the last few projects on the wraps.  Sorry in advanced Arn Arns!  I lucked out this past weekend when grabbing some more 2″ Foam board they ended up putting an extra piece in the back of the Truck…. Ever see that Ikea commercial… START THE CAR!!!! So I’ll be adding another 6 new tombstones on top of the 3 I’ve already made.  The kids have been wanting to make their own, so 1 of 5 have come up with an idea so far. Yesterday I’ve received my LED lights from Lighthouse LEDs.  I ordered about 40 leds and a few power supplies.  The idea is to aim these at the tombstones to make them pop. I use a few massive blue flood lights and they wash everything out.  So this should look really cool. Atmosphere is everything!  Last year for a few props I had used a dollar store flashlight zip-tied to a tent peg.  It did the trick but ready for the next level.  The idea is to solder the LEDs to some network cable I have kicking around the house since they’re such low voltage. I’ll be gluing them into a 1/2″ PVC T pipe one end for the LEDs one end for the wire and the bottom piece to stake into the ground. I’ll be posting pictures as it comes along.   Yay Haunt Season!

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Coffin lids

I wanted to use to some scrap plywood I had kicking around and decided to make a new coffin lid for my graveyard scene. I found a really cool weathering technique online and wanted to share it.

First I cut out the shape and then cut it into strips then nailing it to a few support boards.

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Obvious this looks to new!  The method I used was balsamic vinegar and steel wool in a jar with a tight lid (mason jar) . Let it sit over night (I hate waiting, I’m anything but patient) and then brush on a few coats. Doesn’t look like its doing much but after a few hours looks like this.

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Props Props Props!

Well Building season is well upon us.  Planning underway (Although I don’t think it ever really stops) The stores are starting to roll out their Halloween stuff although the majority of them won’t release their stuff until back to school is over. I’ve been to Michael’s this year and their stuff disappoints, not only wasn’t there anything really cool there, but the prices seem to have really gone up, yes, they have their 50% off coupons but even then, it seemed like a little much.

I was at Costco and they had a few things out, seems it varies on location as I’ve seen a few people posting on the CHA homepage and Halloween forum different things.  I took home a 4.5 Ft Taking Tombstone (Barley fit in my trunk) made my day, I was so excited to get home and show the kids.  I’ve Finished some work one a few tombstones I had started on and put together two more fence panels for the front lawn. I’ve got the itch now and want to keep going. 

Yesterday I placed an order for beef netting from Trent Mills in Tennessee, I’ve always go compliments on the spider webs and the work I’ve put into them, this year they will look very different from everyone else’s I can’t wait to see how it works with everything.

 

Competition

The past few weeks I’ve either been out walking down towards the end of the street, and biking by, there this one house on my street near the end that was just recently purchased I’ve noticed there are these two Costco Skeletons in their front flower bed all year round, Around Christmas they had Santa hats on them.  I’m wondering if I’ll have some competition this year!

I’ve been thinking a lot about what can be added / rebuilt moved around this year.  A few things have been purchased, but we are in the planning phases at the moment, one prop is in the works but I’m not 100% sure if I’m satisfied with it yet. I was listening to a new episode of hauntcast last week and it made me want to start building things.

Stay tuned for pictures!  Only 112 days to go!

Friday the 13th

Last night’s movie was the original Friday the 13th.  Yesterday May the 9th marked the 37th anniversary of the movie being release!  It’s always been a go to in my collection.  I love older horror movies with Synths and pianos in it. Don’t get me wrong I love a good thought out soundtrack to a movie too, but nothing sets the atmosphere like a synth or piano.

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**SPOILER ALERT** – Although Jason’s mom does most of the killing, I love the quick glimpse of Jason at the end.

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Materials!

Is it too early to start hoarding materials for this year’s haunt… Only being almost 4 months into the year? 🙂

Last weekend I went out and picked up a big piece of foam, hoping to make some new tombstones. Yes I know it may be early to some, but I it relaxing to put on a pod cast and chip away and paint on one of them.

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I also picked up some top pieces for the cemetery fences, I had re done these last year, there’s a post on here about it, and made them a bit stronger and changed the style. Knowing the spring stuff was already at the Dollar store, I thought I’d head over on my lunch and pick up a few pieces.

22220170327_191922Pretty excited that these are black this year! I don’t have to use any spray paint on them. Two more panels to be made. Should bring it up to a total of 7 panels.

 

 

I’m still here!

My apologies for the long gap between posts. With only 225 days till Hallowe’en. I’m beginning to get the prop building itch.  I think I’ll start working on something soon! The other night I had a conversation at the dinner table with one of the kids about what I had planned for this upcoming Hallowe’en. This is one of them that I didn’t think really liked the holiday because they scare so easily, but I could hear the passion in her voice to the attention to detail about how the tombstones should be painted and aged.

One of the things mentioned was to make a some sort of cave dog house for Cerberus, not this will hide the exposed back and fog machine (Which also needs to be replaced since it burnt out last year) and more tombstones in the works.   It was pretty awesome to wake up today and see the podcast app on my phone alerting me there was a new Hauntcast episode available. I was listening to it on my way to work and over the lunch hour. Transworld kicks off this week too, I’ve never been able to make it down there for one, hopefully one year.

Stay tuned for new prop builds coming soon! and remember….. Just be scary!