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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to the forum. I've been building Halloween props for the past 3 years. This is my 2016 prop build. It is essentially a Cauldron Creep. I've liked these props since I saw my first one. Though it's not a particularly original build, I really wanted to make my own. My 10 year old son had the awesome idea to make him a Grim Reaper stirring the cauldron with his scythe. I thought that was something I could run with. I wanted it to have expanding wings, so I veered from the classic build design with the pvc frame to accommodate the extra weight and movement caused by the wings.

I'm pretty satisfied with the outcome, except for the cables showing on the wings. I wish I had done that part differently.

Here is a video of the prop.

I have many, but not all, photos of the build progress if anyone would like to see the particulars.

Thanks for viewing. I'll be posting some of my other builds as well.

 

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Awesome job! I made a Cauldron Reaper a couple years ago also. I do have one suggestion though, I think it would look even better if you slow down the stir and the head up/down. Really great work!
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Really awesome! LOVE the eye movements! Stir does seem way too fast though. I'm also not a fan of eyes that light up, but that's just me, lots of people love them. Could you create some way to hide those wing cables you spoke of? They probably won't be noticeable in low light anyways, but maybe some black freaky fabric or a cloth "webbing membrane that would still allow the cable to slide through? Maybe put a small tube over the cables so you could glue material over it without interfering with it?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am using a 12v power supply. It's also powering the led light strip inside the cauldron, which requires 12v. I do have a spare 5v regulated power supply. Had planned to buy a DC motor speed controller from Monsterguts but perhaps I'll try the reduced power supply first. Thanks for the advice.
 

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This is inspirational!! i love it!! I had a huge smile on my face because it was pure awesome that the eyes and head was moving but when his head popped up and started talking my jaw dropped. bravo!!

 

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In my cauldron I switched from a vent motor to a wiper motor and had the same problem. Tried the DC motor speed controller, but it caused the motor to make a loud whining sound. Someone on here suggested a 5v power supply which worked perfectly. Provided it with the perfect speed. Your creep is pretty awesome. Would love to know what all went into it.
 

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I learned a little trick with hiding wires and cables, and learned it from watching the making of The Exorcist. Wires and cables that are a solid color show up too easily, however if you just paint the wire or cable to be more like a dotted line, or something to just break up the continuous solid color, then the cables all but disappear into the background. That how they did the scene where Reagan was floating above her bed. The cables kept showing up in the film, so they went back and painted them with dashes, and they were no longer noticeable. I always though that was such a simple but very cool little trick.
 

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Awesome. He stirs. No that's not enough. His head moves and eyes light up..not enough...he starts talking...not enough...his wings fly out..lol. .my talent and patience is my creep justs stirs.

I think I wired my wiper motor to either the 5 or 3.5v setting off my pc power supply for that creepy speed. Great work

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
 

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I am using a 12v power supply. It's also powering the led light strip inside the cauldron, which requires 12v. I do have a spare 5v regulated power supply. Had planned to buy a DC motor speed controller from Monsterguts but perhaps I'll try the reduced power supply first. Thanks for the advice.
If you do go with the speed controller, get this one on ebay. Same one MG sells but a whole lot cheaper.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-40V-10A-Pulse-Width-Modulation-PWM-DC-Motor-Speed-Control-Switch-13KHz-OR-/111690942232?hash=item1a014c8718:g:3WQAAOSwm8VUyvq-
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The frame of the body consists of 2 different parts. The lower portion is wood frame made out of 2x4's. The upper portion, which starts just below the shoulders, is PVC. The upper portion is the standard PVC build for a cauldron creep that many have posted online. I went with a wood frame for the base to support the added weight of the wings and to stabilize the movement caused by the wings opening and closing.
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The wings attach to the top of the wood frame. I made a small compound angled frame that juts out on the backside of the base at the top to attach the wings. I made it this way to allow room for a linear actuator that would control the up and down head movement.
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Discussion Starter #15
Wings

The wings are made from PVC and pleather. The wing design I did not create. I tend to get overly involved in some aspects of builds and I knew if I designed the wings, I'd end up making several different versions until I was happy and I just didn't want this build to get bogged down with the wings. I found a video on youtube for how to build dragon wings for cosplay. I followed the instructions pretty much to the letter, except their wings were in 3 sections and I made mine in 2 and I used aluminum strips to reinforce the joint where the 2 sections meet.

The frame of the wings consist of 2 pieces of PVC pipe. The lower portion is a larger diameter and is fixed (does not move). I believe I used 1" PVC. The upper potation is a smaller diameter and pivots inside the lower section. The upper section is 1/2" PVC. The larger diameter pipe was notched on the end where it connects to the smaller pipe. I notched it out with the Dremel with a plastic cutting wheel.

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The depth of the notch on the top side of the larger diameter pipe determines how far the smaller diameter pipe raises or how far your wings open up. The depth of the notch on the lower side of the larger diameter pipe determines how low the wings drop or close when at rest.

I was going more for membrane covered wings than feathered. I chose to cover the wings with a black stretchable pleather material I found at Jo-Ann Fabric. The material was attached with hot glue.

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The base of the wing slides into an 1" 45 degree PVC elbow that was fastened to the back of the wooden frame with 3" sheetrock screws. There is a cable attached to the top of the smaller diameter pipe and it runs through eye hooks screwed into the top side of the wing base.

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Discussion Starter #16
Mechanical

The wing and head movement is provided by 2 separate linear actuators.

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Head movement test:

Wing movement test:

The side to side movement of the head is provided by a 5rpm deer motor. Most of these props I see use one of these motors for up and down head movement. I just used one instead to turn his head side to side. The side to side head movement was really an afterthought. I hadn't planned on adding that feature but it seemed such a relatively simple task that I added it at the end prior to clothing him. I didn't really get a good photo of the deer motor assembly. Here is a photo that I found that shows it...it's just hard to see. The deer motor is white. It has a metal linkage coming off of it. There is a second shorter metal linkage that is connected to the longer linkage and to the bottom of the rod mounting the skull.

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I totally cheated on the skull. It's a Frightprops talking skull. No mechanical wizardry on my part there. It's crazy overpriced but I love that thing. So easy to use and a very nice looking prop.

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