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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am artistic, but not mechanically inclined. I know nothing of wiring motors, splicing lines or making things work other than what I can fudge together myself using bits and pieces of other stuff. But I am (so my husband says) gifted when it comes to repurposing things and finding creative hacks to work around my lack of mechanical skills.

I wanted a scarousel (scary-go-round?) carousel for this year's theme. But I just learned how to use power tools, and I wasn't sure it was possible.

But then I found references (I think it was a long ago post by Terra) about motorized x-mas tree stands. And I found one for cheap - $20. Turns slow, but it turns and looks pretty good for a carnival ride. So that takes care of the motor part.

I found some toy bouncy ponies and was figuring on creating a pvc frame that would be a basic T shape to suspend the ponies from, and then was crushed when I realized they would be too heavy to work with the suspend-from-the-T setup. So I started trying to figure out how to make a supportive structure to hold the weight of the ponies, and was so worried about the logistics that I even contemplated making it a static non-moving carousel. :(

And then I had a brainwave - packing tape ponies. Lightweight, translucent and ghostly, easy/fun to make, and only requires ONE pony as a model (saving time and money). And you can add in some LED lights and make them look REALLY eerie as they slowly turn on the ghost carousel. PERFECT!!

mark_jenkins_tape_sculptures3.jpg
^Mark Jenkins' original art showing the spooky ponies I intend to make that will allow me to make a really cool (and easy!) moving carousel!!

http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/144086-keep-going-veer-off-better-tangent-prop-dilemma.html
^ Was excited but also mad at myself for not figuring out packing tape sculpting before I spend all the time and money running after those ponies!

So in the next couple of days, I'll be finishing my ghost carousel/scary-go-round! I'm adding a couple of witches on brooms to balance (2 ponies, 2 witches) and I will post process pics as well for anyone else thinking about doing a circus/carnival (carnEVIL) theme and also might not be too mechanically inclined. Figured there were plenty of us out there, and this was too good an idea not to share! :D
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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6,903 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Start of the Scarousel. If I can build this, any one can. :)




The rotating x-mas tree stand (found for $20), and a mailing tube to be used for fleshing out the center pole. I have a ton of those tubes, and am also using them for clown striped fence posts (putting up my fencing still to keep kids from running through the yard).




PVC support pole, haphazardly painted at the top (rest of it won't be visible). NOT glued together; just pushed in good enough so I can break it back down if needed. Horses will be suspended from the cross bars (with packing tape), and the top opening (it's a cross - 4 way connector) will support the canopy (a giant umbrella). Note the duct tape at the bottom to make the pole more stable in the x-mas stand. But the mailing tube will also be supporting the pole so it won't shift and wobble too much (that's the theory anyway).



Mailing tube snugged down over the pole and the base. Will be painted shortly.



Canopy is a 5 foot circumference umbrella picked up for $5 at Home Depot. Cut the foam handle off (was glued on the bottom), and ran the umbrella shaft through the top of the PVC pipe. They had solid black, but I think the black/white looked more "creepy circus" than the solid. ;)



One of my packing tape horses! You can also see part of my clown entrance (the eyes light up and I made them from scratch), behind that, my ticket booth, and at the bottom - my jack in the box (it's a shiatsu grave grabber wearing a $1 wig!). The clown entrance has sides (lovely polka dots all the way down) but isn't shown (I'll have to take pics of that once assembled).




Stack of dollar store foam board cut out to be a decoration to go around the canopy (will be attaching with hot glue and lots of cursing I'm sure). Tech note: you can not use masking or painter's tape on these - just rips off the paper covering the foamcore. I had to freehand all the red/black and use homemade stencils which took twice as long. Sigh. :(


Painted and ready to attach!
 

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Start of the Scarousel. If I can build this, any one can. :)




The rotating x-mas tree stand (found for $20), and a mailing tube to be used for fleshing out the center pole. I have a ton of those tubes, and am also using them for clown striped fence posts (putting up my fencing still to keep kids from running through the yard).




PVC support pole, haphazardly painted at the top (rest of it won't be visible). NOT glued together; just pushed in good enough so I can break it back down if needed. Horses will be suspended from the cross bars (with packing tape), and the top opening (it's a cross - 4 way connector) will support the canopy (a giant umbrella). Note the duct tape at the bottom to make the pole more stable in the x-mas stand. But the mailing tube will also be supporting the pole so it won't shift and wobble too much (that's the theory anyway).



Mailing tube snugged down over the pole and the base. Will be painted shortly.



Canopy is a 5 foot circumference umbrella picked up for $5 at Home Depot. Cut the foam handle off, and ran it through the top of the PVC pipe. They had solid black, but I think the black/white looked more "creepy circus" than the solid. ;)



One of my packing tape horses! You can also see part of my clown entrance (the eyes light up and I made them from scratch), behind that, my ticket booth, and at the bottom - my jack in the box (it's a shiatsu grave grabber wearing a $1 wig!). The clown entrance has sides (lovely polka dots all the way down) but isn't shown (I'll have to take pics of that once assembled).




Stack of dollar store foam board cut out to be a decoration to go around the canopy (will be attaching with hot glue and lots of cursing I'm sure). Tech note: you can not use masking or painter's tape on these - just rips off the paper covering the foamcore. I had to freehand all the red/black and use homemade stencils which took twice as long. Sigh. :(


Painted and ready to attach!
Everything looks amazing! Can't wait to see the final product. I know you said you used a bouncy pony and packing tape. Is it just covered with it?
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Everything looks amazing! Can't wait to see the final product. I know you said you used a bouncy pony and packing tape. Is it just covered with it?
It is recommended to use some plastic cling wrap (I bought some dollar store stuff since it was for this project didn't care how "clingy" it was). Cover the whole surface of whatever you're casting with the plastic wrap, then start wrapping the whole thing with packing tape. I ended up cutting lengths of tape so I could better control where I was taping, and that seemed to work well for getting details. I used my hand to feel for gaps and missed spots (was using Scotch tape's heavy packing tape and it felt quite different than the cling wrap), and tried to get 2-3 layers of tape on the main areas. Then I used a combo of scissors and an exacto knife to cut the tape mold off of the horse body. I cut the head off separately and split the rest down the middle, and cut a slit down each leg so I could remove the actual horse leg from the tape. Then just reassembled, and taped back together. Added the tape pole - used some thick PVC pipe as a model/base, wrapped it with wrap and then tape, and then just split it, taped back together and taped into place on the horse.

You can also try to pull out some of the plastic wrap if you want and it doesn't look too taped in - it's only there to make sure the tape doesn't stick to the surface of your model, but it does provide a cloudy effect so I just left it in there.
First horse took me about 2.5 hours because I had never done it before (and I was watching tv too so a bit distracted). Second horse took me just over an hour. :)
 

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Frankie's Girl: This is awesome! I have never seen the Ghost Carousel Horses before (new to the site) and everyday I am amazed at the creativity here! Can't wait to see the whole CarnEvil Show!!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Discussion Starter #13
how do yo reinforce them without stuffing them?
They hold their shape from the tape itself. That's why you want at least 3 layers of tape not counting the plastic wrap. They won't stand up to being rough handled and could get squished if you try to put too much weight on them, but they are surprisingly sturdy otherwise.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
progressing on the canopy

Finished up some touch up painting on the canopy decorations, and got them attached to the umbrella.



Got some thick thread and a needle to attach. I needed the attachment to be a bit more flexible than using hot glue, and sewing them on seemed to be a better idea. Made a basic stitch into the umbrella near the seams, then into the foamcore, and tied off.




After aligning two of the decoration sides, I used black duct tape (cut the length into half so it was thinner) and joined the two pieces together. Did this all the way around, so the combo of stitching to the umbrella and the duct taping together made the decorations stable and pretty strongly attached, with it all being even all the way around.





Decorations completely attached all the way around. Starting to look less like an umbrella and more like a carousel top now! :D



.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Discussion Starter #17
What are you having on the point of the umbrella (ella, ella ella.....)
Haven't decided yet. I thought it's between a jack o lantern (lit up of course), a red ball with a subtle JOL face, or possibly a skull... but it'll come to me eventually! I am open to suggestions, however. :D
 

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It is recommended to use some plastic cling wrap (I bought some dollar store stuff since it was for this project didn't care how "clingy" it was). Cover the whole surface of whatever you're casting with the plastic wrap, then start wrapping the whole thing with packing tape. I ended up cutting lengths of tape so I could better control where I was taping, and that seemed to work well for getting details. I used my hand to feel for gaps and missed spots (was using Scotch tape's heavy packing tape and it felt quite different than the cling wrap), and tried to get 2-3 layers of tape on the main areas. Then I used a combo of scissors and an exacto knife to cut the tape mold off of the horse body. I cut the head off separately and split the rest down the middle, and cut a slit down each leg so I could remove the actual horse leg from the tape. Then just reassembled, and taped back together. Added the tape pole - used some thick PVC pipe and then just split it, taped back together and taped into place on the horse.

You can also try to pull out some of the plastic wrap if you want and it doesn't look too taped in - it's only there to make sure the tape doesn't stick to the surface of your model, but it does provide a cloudy effect so I just left it in there.
First horse took me about 2.5 hours because I had never done it before (and I was watching tv too so a bit distracted). Second horse took me just over an hour. :)
Thank you so much! That is Awesome!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Discussion Starter #19
Base work

Keep having errands and other stuff get in the way of prop building... and we're sending out our invites tomorrow so once that happens, we're doomed! :rolleyes:

So today, got a few hours in working on the base. I'm using an old plastic picnic table top for the base, but wanted it raised off the ground slightly... and as I'm the queen of using stupid things for prop building, we're going with three paint cans. :D

But they're stable, easy to move back and forth and tall enough to fit a fogger under the base.


Using more dollar store foam board to make the decorations to hide the base. This is trying to figure out a good spacing around the table. The table is really old, but works perfectly size wise. It has a center hole insert that is removable, so I'll be using that to run some rope to tie down the x-mas tree stand to make it stable. It was windy today, and kept threatening to tip over the umbrella!



Base decoration panels cut and traced the simple design (it's really light) and painting begun.



Painting finished. I have 4 white panels and 2 black. Will be using black tape to connect them together like the canopy decorations, but will be free standing and just encircle the base.

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