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Discussion Starter #1
You've heard that saying about no plan surviving first contact with the enemy? My ghost train imaginings are struggling to survive first contact with reality. So far I have crossing signals, a crossing gate and track rails. I also have some samples of train sounds. Now I'm working on creating a sense of motion for the invisible train. I'd imagined a staggered row of small trees in my yard, each holding strings of miniature Halloween lights. I thought I could use a timed series of cheap leaf blowers to blast each tree in sequence, dramatically swishing the lights and making it seem like the train was rushing past. Well...if you watch the video...reality has been uncooperative. Soooo, I'm looking for inspiration of other ways to create the illusion of a train rushing by (in addition to the sound of a passing train). I've tried out a few ideas--as shown in the video--and have a few more, but am very open to suggestions. I have the ability to synchronize everything with Light-o-Rama controllers. I'll save another challenge, involving the train's headlight, for a future post. Apologizes in advance for my monotone narration in the video. Thanks. Jay

 

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I don't think I'd bother with fan/blower driven props becasue what if it's windy outside? They'll just be blowing whichever which way. :)
Using your wind chime prop as an idea, how about a row of halloween lanterns? As the train goes by each lantern would sway left then back to centre (or right, whichever way your train is going) Picture below is just an example I googled. You could either have hanging ones or staked ones. I'm thinking staked might be better as they wont blow around in the wind. You could still have one or two windchimes for extra effect?

731699
 

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You've heard that saying about no plan surviving first contact with the enemy? My ghost train imaginings are struggling to survive first contact with reality. So far I have crossing signals, a crossing gate and track rails. I also have some samples of train sounds. Now I'm working on creating a sense of motion for the invisible train. I'd imagined a staggered row of small trees in my yard, each holding strings of miniature Halloween lights. I thought I could use a timed series of cheap leaf blowers to blast each tree in sequence, dramatically swishing the lights and making it seem like the train was rushing past. Well...if you watch the video...reality has been uncooperative. Soooo, I'm looking for inspiration of other ways to create the illusion of a train rushing by (in addition to the sound of a passing train). I've tried out a few ideas--as shown in the video--and have a few more, but am very open to suggestions. I have the ability to synchronize everything with Light-o-Rama controllers. I'll save another challenge, involving the train's headlight, for a future post. Apologizes in advance for my monotone narration in the video. Thanks. Jay

I don't think I'd bother with fan/blower driven props becasue what if it's windy outside? They'll just be blowing whichever which way. :)
Using your wind chime prop as an idea, how about a row of halloween lanterns? As the train goes by each lantern would sway left then back to centre (or right, whichever way your train is going) Picture below is just an example I googled. You could either have hanging ones or staked ones. I'm thinking staked might be better as they wont blow around in the wind. You could still have one or two windchimes for extra effect?

View attachment 731699
What about flags or pendants on both sides of the track with timer controlled fans?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You could use rubber hoses like an ankle tickler and conceal it with your string lights. I did it years ago with vines but a little bit cosmetic altering could get your effect.
That might work on a couple trees, although it might involve more equipment than I have or want to purchase. Going to experiment. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't think I'd bother with fan/blower driven props becasue what if it's windy outside? They'll just be blowing whichever which way. :)
Using your wind chime prop as an idea, how about a row of halloween lanterns? As the train goes by each lantern would sway left then back to centre (or right, whichever way your train is going) Picture below is just an example I googled. You could either have hanging ones or staked ones. I'm thinking staked might be better as they wont blow around in the wind. You could still have one or two windchimes for extra effect?
Thanks. Definitely looking for ideas about things to look like they're being blown by a passing train.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Now I'm thinking that fur trim or white feather boas could be hung from branches and made to blow about with relatively little wind power. Stay tuned.
 

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Two comments:
1) I think your idea is cool but will be far more complex than you are thinking
2) I think you are going to have a tough time “selling” the train without some kind of visual representation. Even with the sounds and the gate you made I think most people are not going to visualize a train simply by seeing things move. You need to show them some semblance of a train. What about projecting a short video of a train passing onto fog? The fog dissipates and the train is gone....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Two comments:
1) I think your idea is cool but will be far more complex than you are thinking
2) I think you are going to have a tough time “selling” the train without some kind of visual representation. Even with the sounds and the gate you made I think most people are not going to visualize a train simply by seeing things move. You need to show them some semblance of a train. What about projecting a short video of a train passing onto fog? The fog dissipates and the train is gone....
Hi, JW. Ahhhh...believe me...I'm well aware of the challenge, especially after starting to build. sigh I'm working on a video of passing lights from a train's windows that might help the illusion. I'll post a preview of that in a day or two. I'm also trying to figure out how to have the train's headlight flash briefly, along with a very loud horn, right next to the treaters--as one would find in a dark ride. That's going to be difficult because my yard is open space. I will have a fallen train station pavilion, as well as some dilapidated signage indicating its an abandoned train line. If it doesn't work, I'm okay with that. That's all assuming we have trick-or-treat, which I'm doubting at this point.
 
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