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Discussion Starter #1
:confused: Hi this years halloween theme is pirates and and having already made boat, cannons and many other props. I decided that I wanted to get my pirate skeleton that is in a hammock to look like it is asleep, but I am not having much look to get the breathing action. Does anyone have any tried and tested answers to this, or maybe a suggestion I could try. The other is for my pirate to have liquid running through it, I have tried various ways with pump and tubes but not quite getting there...again any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks Sharon:confused:
 

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There's probably a way to utilize a baffle, maybe like those ones they sell to pump up your air mattress. Connect an air tube to an air bladder in the chest of the skeleton. But I think it would be hard to even notice he's breathing unless you're really close up and it's not too dark. I think it would be better to "suggest" that he's breathing. Just using a recording of breathing effects would be super simple and you could light him with a strobe light to look like he's moving. Check out

www.freesoundeffects.com/cat/breathing-141/
 

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If you go to LTDCommodities website, they carry a small snoring skelly that has an up and down chest movement and coordinating audio track that replicates that breathing movement you are after. Think it's about $17. Since I'm not into electronics and such, for me, I would just take the LTD guy apart and use those parts on your skeleton.

Their skeleton is pretty small, much smaller than I suspect the Lazy Bones hammocked skeleton is (being sold at Big Lots and elsewhere), but if you can put the device from the LTD guy laying on your guy's chest and just cover it with a lightweight cloth you could end up with a larger prop with that action I would think.

I bought two of these LTD guys, but since I wasn't doing pirates that year never got around to more than opening the box and making sure it works. I thought it was pretty clever although would have liked a bigger and higher quality skeleton. Other members on here have also posted about buying him too so maybe they'll see and comment as well.

Here's a link to the LTD Commodities skelly which was also sold by sister company ABC Distributing previously (companies folded into each other under LTD's name):
http://www.ltdcommodities.com/Garden/Outdoor-Decor/Interactive-Skeleton-In-Hammock//prod410499.jmp?fm=search&categoryId=
 

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I would use a motor with an offset cam (basically a circle of wood or similar material with the hole to attach it to the motor shaft, drilled off center) to get the breathing effect. As it turns, it will push up on something (cardboard square ) in the chest/diaphragm area creating the look of breathing. A slow motor would be needed.

I'm not quite seeing what your trying to get with the liquid one.
 

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I used this same one and took apart the the cheap little skelly they have in it and customized it to one of my other skelly's... now he is a drunk sleeping pirate and his mouth opens and closes instead of his chest going up and down. Works well. Dont have any video, but if you want one, I can record and show ya.
 

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dirtTroll even if the OP doesn't i'd love to see what you did with your snoring guy. I bought mine for a pirate theme and figured I'd dress them up and place them among other hammocked sleeping pirate skellies and just their action up front near the TOT walkway would be enough to suggest the others were snoring as well.

My reuse plan for them would be in my jungle theme, kind of Gilligan's Island set up. They could also be a couple of campers, or sans hammock, sleeping guests in a haunted hotel. If Victorian style themed, maybe with sleeping gowns and caps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi

Thanks for the message. Your idea sounds great, as I live in the UK and usually on Halloween the weather is rubbish which limits what I can put outside. So most of my props will be indoors, I was going to put the sleeping pirate in food area so would be noticeable, i will give it a go, thanks Sharon
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi thanks for the message. I had seen the skeleton you are talking about but as I live in the UK I am having trouble getting it delivered here as most US companies won't deliver. It is available on the UK ebay but again delivery charges are huge then there import charges which makes it really expensive. That's why I was looking at an alternative way of doing it.

I will keep trying though.

Sharon
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi thanks for the message. The problem is I live in UK and I haven't found a US company that will deliver that skeleton in the hammock to the UK, even Amazon wont, which is why I was looking for alternative way. It's a great idea just wish i could get hold of one them! I would love a week in USA prior to Halloween just to prop shop!!!!!

Thanks Sharon
 

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Here is a short clip of mine... a loud noise sets it off, of course it didnt want to behave at first ;)
Love it dirtTroll! Any chance you did or could do a tutorial on how you rigged it? I recognized the snoring though LOL.

Sharon I wish i could offer some other suggestion. Keep checking back, lots of talented people on here...
 

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Well maybe I do have another suggestion that would be fairly easy to set up if you have a little bit of space behind the skeleton to work with in your setup.

Since skeletons are hollow pretty much, what if you had a small oscillating fan placed behind the skeleton. The fan would be placed with the face of it at a right angle to the skelly's body. This angle would need to be adjusted as you figured out placement. I'm picturing the skeleton sitting up as I'm describing this set up.

The skeleton would need to have a flap attached to it's chest. Anchor just the two top corners to the rib cage or shoulder blades (twist ties would probably work. The flap doesn't need to be very large, just covering the lung area.

A rod (dowel rod, stiff coat hanger wire, etc) gets attached firmly to one side of the fan face closest to body. The rod would extend horizontally from the fan and in thru the skeleton to his chest and the flap.

The skeleton gets some clothes to cover the flap. The fan is turned on and the oscillating position gets adjusted so that it swings just slightly towards the skeleton and then away. Each time the rods extends into the flap, the flap should move outward a bit making him look like he is breathing out and then when the fan moves away from the skeleton he appears to breathe in based on his chest movement.

Idea needs refinement but hope you can understand how I envisioned it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi
Thanks for the video. What a great prop and boat! :) It's the usual case they never perform when you want them to, and you feeling stupid clapping with no response! It's amazing what you can make out of bits and bobs. I don't claim to be the worlds best prop maker, but each year I am getting better, this year I have made a boat, cannons, skeleton pirates and various other props mainly out of cardboard and lots of paint. Just at the stage of getting pirates to move/speak in various ways. Trouble with the UK is although I plan outdoor stuff, by October weather is usually terrible, so I end up taking up the whole house! Thanks again Sharon
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi

Thanks for the message again! I get your idea and I think it's great and worth a try. I had already used a fan to make one of my skeletons turn so I think this would work really well for breathing as well. I am guessing you are like myself, my Husband is getting constantly bombarded with ideas, of how this will work and that will work then household appliances disappear and have either been pulled apart or used for something else! You have some great ideas, I'm sure your place looks great at Halloween! :D Thanks again Sharon
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi

With the liquid one, I want to try and make the skeleton pirate look like it is drinking from a bottle and the liquid continues down through its mouth and into ribcage. I saw this on a prop in a haunted house once and looked really good, so figured i could use pump with tube coming up to make water flow into mouth but it is then controlling the water through the ribcage that is the problem:confused: Sharon
 

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Here's mine. Pump in bottom of the bucket is hooked to PVC pipes that not only bring the water to the cup, they also hold his arm in place. There is no set "plan" to doing this as not all skeletons are the same. The pump I'm using is a 12volt dc powered 500 gallon per hour pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi Icepick

Thanks for the video, it looks really good. I am just waiting for some tubing to be delivered and I am going to give it another go at the weekend.
 

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