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Discussion Starter #1
OK, so I'll likely not be able to set this up for this year so I'm throwing the idea out there, but it's definitely on my props to do for 2010! Also, if anyone's already done anything along this lines, please feel free to show it here (ie. photos and or video?)!

This thread from a year ago gave me the idea:
http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/68472-ebay-score-now-what-do.html

Supplies:

Tombstone (homemade or bought)
Railroad Conductor-style lantern
F/X box or light organ
Any LCD projector
Fog machine

Setup:
- Make/build tombstone of one's preferred design, perhaps with 'railroad-like' design elements.
- Either afix the lantern to the top of the tombstone or position it on grave in front of stone.
- Place incadescent or led spot bulb & fixture in lantern and plug into the F/X Box.
- Create or obtain flash or video of lighted verticle bars moving horizontally at regular quick intervals representing 'train windows' going by (kinda like at the beginning to 'The Polar Express', and yes I have kids! lol) Dub audio file of train going by on tracks slowly fading in, then constant as 'window lights start going by', then fading out again.
- F/X Box / lighted lantern hooked up to DVD projector with sound file... as train sounds get 'closer', conductor's lantern gets brighter with each 'click' of the train wheels
- Have DVD projector & fog machine behind tombstone. Have projector facing projecting 'windows' to rear onto the fog which is dispersed upward at 90 degrees.

Sequence:
- Initially grave is silent and dark.
- Slight glow begins to eminate from the lantern. Glow slowly gets brighter and brighter just as the faint sound of train approaching can be heard also getting louder and louder.
- As train sound seems to be at it loudest and 'closest', the flickering light of passing train windows can be seen imediately behind the gravestone of the conductor.
- "Window lights" end and train sounds now getting fainter as lantern slowly dims

Whew! Wordy I know but I had to get it out onto something! LOL! I highly doubt I'll be able to do this for 2009, but I'm thinking definitely for 2010!
 

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The Hobo Spider Assassin
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Now that's sounds exciting Mr. G! Like to see you flesh this idea out for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Now the really neat thing about this one is you can start off with a scaled down version and add to it over the years. Just the tombstone, lantern, light & F/X Box hooked up to an mp3 player and the train audio track will still make and awsome effect I think.

LOL... I should market this! HAHAHA.... like I have time to do that... :OP
 

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Funeral Crasher
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Oh boy!! Look what you started with your "Lighted Footsteps" idea and now this! LOL :)
Sounds like a neat idea, Mr. Grimsley. Sounds like a lot of work too! I hope you can see it to fruition!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hehe... thanks... Yeah my problem is that I come up with some of these ideas, but I'm not necessarily in a position to pull them all off this year! :O( Just lack of time really.

I do intend to get my "Dead Ringer" prop finished. That's my priority prop for this year, but this one may have to wait a year... sigh!

:OP
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Reserrection of the Conductor's Tombstone... but I need you help & ideas!

Hello all... Mr. Grimsley is still around! Unfortunately I haven't been able to do much in the way of new effects or props over the last several years due to the usual; money, time, storage, time... oh and money! :p Having said that, I have been toying with the idea of trying this prop/effect this year (only took me 8 years to get to it!).

Thanks to the advancement of inexpensive LED projector technology over recent years, I believe I now have the ability to finally carry out my idea to it's fullest potential!

So I have the effect part of this pretty much worked out. What I'm somewhat stumped on is the style of the tombstone itself. I'm planning to make the lantern and I'm using this as a guide:

Can anyone suggest a style or type of tombstone?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To add to my semi-conciouse post from the wee hours, I was thinking of a traditional style slab tombstone with a rounded top. In addition there'd be a platform rising part way up the front to hold the lantern and a skeleton style hand protruding from the upper front portion holding the wire handle. Both the lantern and the skeleton hand would be attached and painted the same as the stone to make it look like they are carved from the stone itself.

Perhaps something along this lines:

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Conductor's Tombestone - CAD Rendered Prototype #1 (slab style)

For me this render was more to visualize how the lantern and bottom cow catcher detail would look. So far I'm quite happy with this but the slab portion of the stone is too plain for my taste. I'm envisioning some sort of slightly raised steam engine silhouette portruding from the slab or something along that lines. Anyway, I'm totally excited to be moving forward with this!

And the epitaph is pretty much a done deal. I'm quite happy with how it looks and sounds.

ROBERT TRESSEL
1889 - 1936

KNOWN TO FRIENDS AS
"RAILROAD BOB"

LOST HIS LIFE
WHILE ON THE JOB

A couple of caveats for the railroad buffs on the forum:

1) Yes, "Tresle" is spelled incorreclty - It's actually on purpose as I like the look of "Tressel" better as a surname and I know countless people who think it's spelled that way anyhow! :p

2) The lantern will be scratch built. I have it completely designed including actual transparent fresnel style clear and red lenses and I just have to get the materials. It is, however, NOT the typical lantern used by brakemen or signalmen... apparently. Mine will be based on a Dressel Crossing Gate Lantern as shown in the accompanying image. I just like the look of it and I think its closer to what most think of as a railroad lantern. Besides, although I initially called this the "Conductor's Tombstone", I never actually indicated on the stone just what his job was! ;)

TinkerCadRender01.jpg

TinkerCadRender02.jpg

TinkerCadRender03.jpg

cc6616075b81735f2aa48cd1bcb14467.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Or maybe this...

Image00001.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So... here's the plan!

I have this projector... low res but it's only projecting bars of single colour light... video file will start with faint sound of train approaching from one side using a split channel mp3 through Audacity.
https://www.*************.com/full-hd-mini-vga-640x480-lcd-image-system-multimedia-led-projector-with-av-vga-sd-usb-hdmi-slots-h80_p1997496.html
vgfwxb1411417788428.jpg

The projector's audio output will then feed this Vellemen Low Voltage Single Channel Light Organ:
https://www.vellemanusa.com/products/view/?country=us&lang=enu&id=350689
mk114.jpg

As the sound of the approaching steam train gets louder and louder the light organ will power this Dimmable 12v LED Lamp in the lantern in time with the train noise.
https://lightsandparts.com/product/g4-light-cob-led-12v-ww-200lm/
G4-Light-COB-led-12V-WW-200LM.jpg

When the sound of the train is at it's height, the train's whistle will start sounding as a string of ghostly train passenger car windows will be projected out the back of the tombstone into the fog in my cemetery. Then just as suddenly as the the whistle & train window lights started, they'll end as the sound of the train will fade off in the other direction. The light in the lantern will slowly fade with the train eventually into nothingness.

The whole ordeal will only last a couple minutes and I plan to have a 10 minute (or so) spacer in between trains. ;) Hopefully my next update will be a video of a test of the electronics set up!

Cheers!
 
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