Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pirates 2011

Here are some pictures from Halloween night! Had a fun night with friends and family and the thirty or so trick or treaters we got! Kinda bummed about the turn out, but we were definitely the hit of the neighborhood! Had a fun time making everything and having the Fiance help with the arts and crafts was a fun treat! Here is to next year! I'll post some more on each of some of the props I got finished this year and I'm already looking forward to doing it again! =) 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Barrel Fountain!

Finally got the innards of my barrel prop working! The pirate is sitting upon a real barrel, but it does have several holes, so I just layered three large garbage bags and stapled them inside, so no water is leaking! I filled it up 1/4 of the way and this prop should run all night! I was thinking of adding food coloring to the water, but I don't want to stain my bucky!

I still need to finish decorating the pepsi bottled I painted over and get rid of the yellow ring! This prop should be out Wednesday! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Drink up me` hearties, Yo Ho..

Almost done with my Halloween display for this year! Just plowed through the last of the East India Trading company burlap sacks (with help from my awesome other half! :P ) that I may use to hand candy out to exceptionally well dressed ghouls and goblins! :) Still need to stain the Gibbet post and get the Drinking Pirate fountain hooked up, and then start the laborious task of setting up everything outside! Captain Jack and the Prisoner Pirate both talk and their eyes light up. Captain Jack's wheel moves too :) Once I get everything setup and fine tuned outside I'll add some video!

Yo ho, Yo ho!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Barrel Pirate!

The last major prop of the year is almost done! The last bucky I have is now affixed to a barrel I scored at OSH! The costume is still being shipped (hoping it gets here SOON) and I still need to attach some metal rod to an arm to holdup a bottle! I think I'm going to paint a plastic soda container and plumb the water pump into that and have it splash down his exposed ribs back into the barrel! This will be accompanied by a Pirate's Life for Me playing in the background, but it's the drinking pirate, so instead of singing or humming the song he is chugging the pirates theme.. :)

I also started on some of my filler props.. I bought some burlap sacks and while I wish the stencil I made was a little bigger, I am happy with the results. First time making a stencil and what a time saver!!

All three of them proudly on display in my living room while I hash out last minute details! :) Need to weather proof everything, enclose the Scary Terry servo boards in something water proof and get ready to set everything up outside! Didn't get as much as I wanted done this year, but that's what next year is for! Next to Halloween my favorite day is November 1st because I have an ENTIRE year to plan and build for the following year! Time sure does find a way of slipping away! 

Made some smaller sacks too! Depending on how many trick or treaters we get I *may* use them to hand out bags of candy, but for now I am using them as filler props. I bought a large amount of fake coins, so I'm going to fill the sacks up with newspaper and maybe glue the coins to make it look like they are spilling out the side! I have 50 smaller sacks in total. Twenty or so completed as of now.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Swingin' on the gallows pole!

Finished my gibbet cage and gallows pole! Still need to paint the cage, and stain the gallows pole! :( Stuff isn't progressing along as much as I'd like, but come Halloween I'm probably going to be the only one that will notice.. Such is life! Been having fun building props, but my budget isn't as carefree as it once was, so I will have to get more creative than normal instead of going down and buying materials it's more of what I have on hand! The gallows pole was one exception because it cost $22 in materials to make! It is a bit too big, but I was building it at my Grandpa's house, so it looked tiny in the driveway!! The pole is 8' tall and the arm is nearly 4' long! I added a base at the bottom that is currently covered by some of the Pirate flags I've collected over the years, but the side braces are a total of 5' long and the front one is 3', so the floor space the pole takes up is massive, but I didn't want a chance of it falling over. After Halloween is over I will probably trim up the prop, so it can *hopefully* take residence along side Captain Sparrow YEAR ROUND! :)

I bought some PVC pipe to make a bunch of candles a la How To Haunt Your House .com and this will keep me tied over for the next few nights.

I also bought some burlap sacks and I'm planning on painting an East India Trading company logo on them for some more maritime flair and filler props. I've yet to paint on burlap, so this should be interesting. I'm leaning towards making a stencil and just using spray paint, but we will see! I'll post whatever method works best for me!

Happy Haunting!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It talks!

Got to play around with my cage today and I got the Scary Terry servo by Cowlacious installed and ready to go! It's not a three axis skull that are all the rage today, but they are still very effective! The audio needs to be redone and touched up in Audacity, but that will be a project for another day! Hopefully I can come up with a routine so my Helmsman and Prisoner can talk to each other! The skeleton drinking on the barrel is just going to loop to the Drinking Pirate from the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.

I have some Drylok that I use to paint the tombstone, but I think the sandy gritty texture applied to the metal cage and then painted black with a faux rust patina the cage will be complete! Now I just have to determine what I want the gallows pole to look like.. decisions.. decisions.. I want it not to be so large that it over takes the living room, but because the prop is close to 60 lbs it needs to be able to support it! Enjoy the short clip! Hopefully the next update he will be stained, cage painted, and the base to hold said cage will also be finished! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gibbet Cage

It's unfortunately been a solid month or two with absolutely no prop building, so today to much delight.. I managed to squeeze in a solid seven hours of unadulterated prop building madness. I have an extra Scary Terry servo and I wanted to make another talking skeleton in addition to my Helmsman, so I've been itching to make a Gibbet Cage ever since seeing Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Mans Chest! The scene where they were hauling a prisoner over a bridge lined with gibbet cages and rotting corpses has been stuck in my head for some time. To further inspire me Dave Lowe has a similar build going on for his Decembers Forgotten Prisoner.

After scouring Halloween Forum for a decent tutorial or dimensions I decided to just wing it because most of the cages are built for a standing blucky. I love the look, but making a gallows pole to hang a 6' skeleton would have to be ridiculously big and take up a more space than I have, so I decided to make the skeleton sitting down. I did come across a tutorial where they were using PVC molding to make the strips, but the buckys are pretty heavy, so that was out of the question. I then found a tutorial I had buried away on my computer save for the images, so I was lucky enough to find a working PDF version that can be found HERE! Brian Lorsung originally designed the tutorial for I believe the anatomical chart company and their 33" bargain bucky using chain link tension strips for the metal. I found 6' lengths at my local home depot and I made my cage using the tension bars and some nuts and bolts! The tutorial is worth a read even if you don't stick to the dimensions. Hopefully once I make the crane/gallows pole it will be able to be displayed year round next to my Helmsman!

I still need to paint/age the cage and bucky. I may have him holding a lantern for some much needed ambient lighting. If I can afford some cheap pirate costumes I'll go that route, or maybe I'll buy some striped pirate socks and cut up some rags for rotted clothing. It will be fun scouring through thrift stores for anything that resembles maritime attire.

I still have a ton of work to do for a decent display, but I feel like this is what I needed to get me kick started! I also picked up a full size whiskey barrel and a water pump too! I have one more bucky left and I'm going to make a rum drinking pirate sitting on top of a barrel. If I have enough time I have an extra wiper motor and maybe I can rig up one of his legs to move up and down.. But the majority of both projects should be completed by next week!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New surroundings!

Sadly, there has been a horrible lack of updates and progress to anything remotely related to prop building or Halloween and that's because I've been in the middle of moving! Now that the monumental task of me hauling out all my belongings (borderline hoarder) I have a place of my own to call home. The misses even let me have my Jack Sparrow Helmsman be the focal point of our living room (whoo hoo!) :) The line was drawn at hanging my Ouija boards affixed to any wall, but they are still allowed to be displayed in the bedroom! Between moving and work, I haven't had time to work on a single project and I'm getting anxious. I'm still getting settled down into my new abode, but I am itching at working on stuff I had planned to already have finished.

Halloween this year won't be that grand, but I plan on sticking the Helmsman on the porch with a pirate flag and other assorted Pirate props and it will be a start :) Already been scoping out the neighborhood and it looks like there are plenty of kids out and about, so hopefully I will eventually become a staple on Halloween night. My room always has a Halloween feel to it, so it's won't be a huge deal not going absolutely crazy this year! Around November the Christmas decorations come out and my house becomes an homage to The Nightmare Before Christmas, so I still get to keep all my Halloween props out, but I just add a little of that Tim Burton Nightmare flare to it and it ties it all together!

I even have a small storage shed I am hoping to convert into a *SMALL* work shop. It should be awesome to finally be able to decorate an entire house instead of just my room! The living room is going to be devoted to all things Pirates and the Dining room is going to have an Alice in Wonderland vibe, so I have my work cut out for me!

Until the next update here are some pictures of my new place,

My Book/DVD/Pirate/Mansion shelf of wonders. Awesome
Haunted Mansion elevator painting done by a close friend of

The first Ouija board I made with directions from www.howtohauntyourhouse.com

Bed/Dresser/ Comfy red Chair and my Nightmare Storage Box!

Second Ouija board and my nightlight a Steampunk inspired lamp!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Treasure Chest and Pirate Swag!

I had some left over wood from a recent project, so I turned this chest out in an afternoon! It is made from plywood and stained with a dark mahogany. The lid is curved and from the outside it looks decent, but the gaps on the inside are shoddy at best, but no one but me is going to notice!

This is bare bones and I wish I would have spent some more time aging the outside or adding strips to mimic metal edging and pop rivets, but I can always set this aside to be "detailed" later :) It's missing some pearls and more rubies, but I'm sure I can pick some up at a garage sale for fairly cheap to give it more depth. It has a false bottom, so it looks fuller than it really is.

The barrel off to the left is one of the first props I've purchased from a fellow haunter instead of making it myself and I'm glad I did! The detail on the barrel is AMAZING! Painting alone must have been a pain in the *ss! The detail on the sea corpsed barrel is mind boggling! Check out Bobzilla's page here!

The barnacle sheet can be used to cut up and add details to objects and I'm really wishing I purchased some more at the moment! Bobzilla also has seaweed which is next on the buy list! I haven't stepped into the realm of molding yet and although I would like to be making these detail filler props myself I can't pass up helping a fellow haunter and the craftsmanship that went into making said props is fantastic.

Now I have a monumental task of finishing some tombstones for the graveyard AND hopefully starting on working on my CANNONS! I'm thinking of using my Grandpa's lathe to my advantage and making the cannon out of wood as well as the base. I want these babies to last almost as long as the real things! Still reading up on how to incorporate fog, lights, and sound, so until I'm comfortable with knowing how all of these work together this will be another project I probably only day dream about making!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Laureates Corner

I've decided I need to get into gear and make some tombstones for my Halloween display, but I don't want the same pun tombstones everyone else has, so I'm going to try something possibly a little different and use some people that were a hell of a lot more imaginative, creative and possibly crazier than I for inspiration. I was staring at my Edgar Allan Poe collection I bought at Barnes and Nobles (Yes it looks cool on my shelf with its golden pages and fancy shmancy possibly f aux leather binding, but it does come in useful other than looking awesome on my halloween bookshelf, )  and I started to remember all the cool slightly off kilter, dark and morbid stories I had fond memories of as a child when I use to read anything I could get my hands on, and I started to brainstorms of all the cool ideas I could come up for tombstones.

I started scouring my shelf for literary geniuses and I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to mimic Dave Lowe's zombie a month, but instead make a tombstone a month based off a poem, story, novel, or fairy tale.
With names like Poe, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Coleridge, Lovecraft, and Shakespeare, I'm definitely not short on said inspiration!

I'm not sure how I'm going to arrange this if I'll make a main head stone for each author and a couple smaller stones to represent literary works, or if I can just go full tilt on a large stone for each author focusing on one of their more popular pieces.. who knows!

I've been toying around this idea for awhile, but I haven't gotten a lot of shop time lately, and hopefully this gives me a kick in the arse to start getting busy on making anything!! I have three 4x8x2 sheets of pink foam sitting in the shed right now just waiting to be carved up! :)

I'm going to start my Laureates Corner off with Edgar Allan Poe, partly because I had this stone 85.97% completed for the longest time and it JUST happens to fit into the theme I have in mind :)  Here it is finally FINISHED!

I definitely want to elaborate on some more Poe stones.. Maybe a tell tale heart stone that has a prop beating heart, or mimicking a heart using a red bulb that beats in sync with music.. I also have a bunch of Poe's stories narrated by the one and only Vincent Price, so that may be cool to work in somehow too! 

I have a lot of ideas brewing in my head which doesn't happen too much, so I'm excited about seeing what I can come up with :) I think next I may try and do something Pirate related with Samuel Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner as a basis :) I've already said too much! ARRRR! 

I was hoping to find a cool date in Poe's life to correlate with his tombstone being made for the month of July, but alas I haven't had any luck, so I may not even go in  the correct order of months :) It would be kind of neat to list a couple of interesting facts about the authors and why I chose them, so hopefully the reasons get deeper than oh I've been wanting to finish that stone for months! :) 

Be that word our sign of parting!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Nightmare Before Graduation!

Here is an awesome project I finished as a graduation present for someone who likes The Nightmare Before Christmas as much as me! :) This is for a friends daughter and it started out when my Girlfriend bought her a bunch of Nightmare Before Christmas bows for her hair. All the bows needed a container, so the wheels started turning and I decided to make a toe pincher coffin jewelery box and further elaborated on the Nightmare theme with a hand painted  box to hold everything in. The box turned out to be almost a small trunk, lol! Needless to say her eyes lit up when I carried the box into the house and it was awesome seeing her reaction, and I know this will be a cherished gift that can't be purchased anywhere! :)

The size and cost of the jewlery box wasn't that much, so I'm thinking about making several more of them and seeing if I can sell them to my girfriend's friends who also have insane hair bow collections, although some of them may need full size coffins for all their bows, but I can do that too :)

The box and coffin were both made out of plywood and painted with acrylic craft paint. I used a paint marker to draw the swirls and it's a ton easier than trying to use a paint brush to draw the lines in my opinion! :) The skulls were also cut out of plywood. I made a Nightmare box likes this for my girlfriend last year for Christmas, and I am really digging them as a storage box. I think I'm going to make a set using different "wrapping paper" designs. Who says function can't look good :) 

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Slaughtered Lamb

Here is a project I have been wanting to make for some time. It is for the coolest guy I know as a thanks for introducing me to the things I enjoy most. From Star Wars to the Night of the Living dead and everything in between, I was lucky enough to have someone passionate about film, music and art introduce me to a lot of stuff I had been previously sheltered from. From my first copy of the Star Wars Trilogy (on a VHS tape), seeing George Lucas interviewed in person, meeting Ralph Mc Quarrie in PERSON (awesome), first viewing of Night of the Living Dead, and a slew of other Horror movies that I love, John Scoleri was there sharing his passion for film with me and boy did it rub off! 

Mr. Scoleri appropriately runs a theater out of his house called the Slaughtered Lamb Cinema. The name is taken from a Pub from An American Werewolf in London, and I thought it would make a neat project and a one of a kind gift for someone that would appreciate one of my hobbies :) The box resembles an antique silverware container that housed a silver serving set, but the "cool" goodies are hidden underneath the false bottom. On the inside it contains a werewolf killing kit of sorts. A gun, a silver bullet mold, bullets, and some vials to hold liquid mercury or silver.