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This illusion is also known as the headless person illusion. I only knew the concept of this but didn't find any plans so I winged it. I have not completed it yet but I have it all built except for the table top. I would like some input on this prop please. I am thinking about leaving quite a big hole in the top so that I can have a person standing in it from waste up instead of just a head. I think it would look cool if the person were to jump up a bit to scare the person but then again that may mess up the illusion. I am also thinking that I could drape a heavy black curtain over the top so that it is all bunched up and covers the person well around the torso. I am not sure what I will put on top of the table yet. Remember I am trying to make this collapsible. I am thinking very thin plywood with small pieces of wood that fits snuggly in the corners under the table so that it just sits on top without moving.

Here is what I have done. I purchased 5 2x4 premium studs ($1.79 ea), 5 3" 5/16" carriage bolts, nuts, and 1/4" washers. I cut 5 legs at 30 1/2", and 4 at 40 1/2" for the square top. I cut grooves down the 4 2x4' legs where the mirrors would go but running them down my table saw once each direction to make sure the grooves were centered. I then put together the top with 2 3" wood screws in each corner to hold the top together with each 2x4 covering the end of the next 2x4. I then put the legs on the outside of the square top (not the inside) and then drilled 5 1/16" holes for the bolts in each leg. I then bolted on the legs and stood up the table. Next is the mirrors. I decided against using real mirrors (not sure how well this will work yet) but thought safety first, plus I didn't want to have to take my huge bathroom mirror to get it cut to fit. I just went and purchased 2 30"x36" pieces of plexiglass ($15 ea) and then put on the mirror film I had left over from another project. I still haven't finished the mirror film on the second piece of plexiglass so I don't have a final picture yet but this is what I have so far.




There are more pics on my website.
 

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If you want a torso effect, get a slightly oversized button front shirt and tatter it around the middle. You can hot glue the tattered part around the opening in the table top. That way, your actor can slip up through the hole and put his or her arms into the sleeves, button up the shirt and they are set. A little (or a lot) of fake blood and maybe a bit of intestine peeking out would complete the effect. The intestine can easily be made with a few lines of Great Stuff Foam, painted deep red and black.

Having the actor jump will ruin the effect, but they can wobble around. Be sure to provide a pillow to cushoin their knees.

The prop looks very good so far. Do you have any photos showing the mirror effect? Also, what did you use for mirrors?

Eric
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Discussion Starter #3
If you want a torso effect, get a slightly oversized button front shirt and tatter it around the middle. You can hot glue the tattered part around the opening in the table top. That way, your actor can slip up through the hole and put his or her arms into the sleeves, button up the shirt and they are set. A little (or a lot) of fake blood and maybe a bit of intestine peeking out would complete the effect. The intestine can easily be made with a few lines of Great Stuff Foam, painted deep red and black.

Having the actor jump will ruin the effect, but they can wobble around. Be sure to provide a pillow to cushoin their knees.

The prop looks very good so far. Do you have any photos showing the mirror effect? Also, what did you use for mirrors?

Eric
I mentioned that I used plexiglass for the mirrors. I believe it is .220" thick. Here is a picture of the plexiglass before I put on the mirror film.



I like the idea of the intestines and blood.

Thanks for the feedback, especially on the jumping up. I thought the same but others mentioned it to me.
 

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Oops, I missed the plexiglass and window film part. Great idea!

I can't wait to see the finished product. You are off to a great start!

Eric
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