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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
MANTIS BUILD part 2
(Again, this my 1st time doing a build thread so any constructive criticism is welcome.)

Edit: Here's the Link to Part 1

If you want to see better Pictures, I have most the same information on a Flickr "Phlog" Album:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/he1mut/albums/72157660113270843


PAINT

Color tests: I used CorelDraw to render different color combos on a trace of the previous progress photo.


mmb-19.jpg

Cutout shapes were used for masking on most detail work.
To maintain the assembly markings for the parts, the interior edge of the parts was marked.
I just used latex canned spray paint.
Masking on the abdomen

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Stages for the wings; Veins were created by scratching the wet top coats to expose the color of the undercoats :

mmb-21-a.jpg mmb-22.jpg

Everything drying:

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Head V2 – Fire and Ice Lights fit perfect into the head housing. The bottom slot holds the cords so no mounting hardware was required.

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Atomic age eyeballs! :

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TRIAL RUN

All the parts laid out.
Test fit the elbows to the limbs and reestablishes the line markings.

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Assemble from the waist down except the longest bottom sections. Run the electrical from the head through the torso, through the “hips”, and down one leg.
NOTE: I hope to figure a smarter way to run the cord next year. Having to having to feed, tighten and pull out the slack of the cord were the upper and lower body meet added sooo many more degrees of difficulty!

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So far, so good, stand at about 8ft at this point

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This is where the assembly goes South;
I tried assembling everything but the front legs, and then raise it all to attach the legs.

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It was just toooo big and unwieldy – swaying, and crashing came next.
A couple of neighbors helped me get it fully assembled, then it did not want to stand!
It kept swaying and tipping forward. As light as the cladding was, those long arms added a lot of leverage induced stress. Everything sagged and swayed. Then one of the rear leg PVC elbows split into pieces. More ginormous crashing.
(Sorry no pictures of any of this, was too “occupied”)

To reduce swaying in all the joints, I put in more screws in the elbows. I removed the arms at the elbows. In an attempt to get things more upright and balanced, I cut the rear legs down another 6-8 inches.
That seemed to do the trick.
BUT – It was leaning forward a lot farther than in the initial skeleton builds and renders. I knew this would put too much stress on the front legs and on the prop in general. Damn you, physics!
I would figure out a fix after tear down. I left it standing for 48 hours and things held up.

Here’s one of the local youngsters pointing at a flaw!
Good catch, buddy! :
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Another scale shot with the neighborhood oddball:
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I re-marked ALL the meeting points except at the hips where I planned to make adjustments.



ADJUSTMENTS/REFINEMENTS
Some touch up on the paint.
Adjust the angles of the legs at the hip joints to make the prop more upright.
Put some thin plastic water piping over the 9 gauge wire antennae then painted.


FINAL ASSEMBLY.
All the parts waiting to go once again

mmb 32.jpg

This time I pre-assembled everything from the waist down and elevated the upper half to take up the cord slack.

mmb 33.jpg mmb 34.jpg

Other than dealing with that cord, this assembly was pretty easy.
Being more upright, there was so much less stress on everything, AND I got it back to 12 ft tall.

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MONITORING/MAINTENANCE[/SIZE][/B]
I never stopped worrying about something this big failing under one type of stress or another (wind, gravity, etc.) I’d occasionally measure the height to check for sagging, and put a straight edge against the legs to check for warping.


29 DAYS LATER
I had plans to reinforce everything internally and externally if needed, but other than about 8 inches or so of total sagging, and the upper torso turning a bit after wind storms, everything stayed intact!

From the Roof - ready for tear down:
mmb 37.jpg

Storage Prep – Most of the limb cladding fit within the torso. I got some clearance felt cloth to protect the paint. It broke down fairly compact. Went trough my attic hatch with no problems
.

mmb 38.jpg

FINAL NOTES:
As I mentioned earlier, I wish I tried using a heat gun to manipulate the plastic sheet, I might have come up with a more realistic, refined result.
The feet – I didn’t bother talk through these - they’re just zipped on wedges.
The head – I realized all along that it was not a correct mantis head at all. It’s more like an ant head, but heck, mandibles are cool and – it’s a GIANT MUTANT Halloween creature!

Again - Any question or constructive criticism is encouraged
.
 

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I think it turned out great! :D Love the way you achieved the veining effect! I know you mentioned some sagging and the upper torso turning a bit die to wind, but I'm just wondering exactly how much wind it withstood and how did you anchor it? I live on a hill and we get some pretty good gusts here and I could just imagine a giant mantis soaring into the woods. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think it turned out great! :D Love the way you achieved the veining effect! I know you mentioned some sagging and the upper torso turning a bit die to wind, but I'm just wondering exactly how much wind it withstood and how did you anchor it? I live on a hill and we get some pretty good gusts here and I could just imagine a giant mantis soaring into the woods. :D
Thanks, lizzyborden.
I'm glad you asked about the anchoring.
I show it on the flickr "phlog", but somehow I missed describing that on this thread.
I attached 2" long eye-bolts through the "ankles" with nuts for adjusting on the opposite side.

My great discovery in searching for the best anchors:
The Flexible Flyer" ground anchor kit - I thought they were a bargain @ $20 on Amazon for a set of 4, but other places sell them for $10!

k2-_285709b2-1287-4334-8df7-ed580e96d489.v1.jpg


I needed some leverage to drill them down far enough.
I drill them just enough to be able to latch the eye-bolt.
Then I adjust back the eye bolt to bring tension on the leg against the ground.


mmb 35-a.jpg


The past few years m Michigan we have had punishing Octobers - winds gusting to 40+ MPH on several occasions.
I do have the tall bushes on one side to help a bit against prevailing winds from the West
BUT - we also have been getting fallout from the hurricanes in late October: rainy powerful winds from the East .
The upper body twisting was by design (rather than stressing the whole structure) . It is only held on with gravity, so I would just twist it back.


I was so pleasantly surprised this thing did not need more bracing!
Those spindly legs are over 7 foot long

The real wind challenge for me was the Bat:
18 feet of wings suspended over the roof on a boom - what could go wrong!?:rolleyes:
 

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Look very similar to the dog tie-out stakes except without the swivel on them. :) We get very strong west winds here too and will definitely keep your anchoring idea in mind. :)

A bat with an 18 foot wingspan! Awesome! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, THL!
4 mil plastic sheeting (like used for signage) for the shapes and 10" street lamp covers for the eyes.
Did you see part 1? I list all the materials at the beginning of that thread. Link here:
http://www.halloweenforum.com/hallo...ation-giant-mutant-mantis-build-part-1-a.html
Also all the pictures and decription here:https://www.flickr.com/photos/he1mut/albums/72157660113270843
Very nice job! I might have missed it and apologize if you if included this, but what material did you use for for your body shapes and the bowls for the eye coverings?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mantis slide show video

Okay, so I'm trying this new-fangled video gizmo thing: "YouTube" , ever hear of it!?:rolleyes:
New to me in terms of making/loading/posting stuff.
Just learned about that "Dead with Dave" competition so I scrambled to slap this together.



Created a modular synthesizer patch (another hobby) for the soundtrack but couldn't get rid of a particular glitch on any of the takes so apologies for that.
 

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I love the look of all your yard props but guess I have an affinity towards the Praying Mantis the most, probably because of the Mantis horror movie from when I was a kid. Besides they are such cool creatures. Thank you so much for sharing your tutorial. You do amazing work.

BTW is there a Part 1 or was that the Snake?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks, Ghost of Spookie! Glad you asked about part 1.
I just added a link in the top of this thread's 1st post.
I'll put it here as well: Mantis Build Part 1
Beats me why I just didn't make two post in one thread like I did with the snake.
Still learning!



I love the look of all your yard props but guess I have an affinity towards the Praying Mantis the most, probably because of the Mantis horror movie from when I was a kid. Besides they are such cool creatures. Thank you so much for sharing your tutorial. You do amazing work.

BTW is there a Part 1 or was that the Snake?
 

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OK Attic Hatch, here's what you've inspired. I don't know what ultimately will come of this, but since I Loved your mantis so much, I was inspired with a potential theme which would require the making of my own version of your Mantis. I ordered and just received a The Deadly Mantis poster off ebay with intentions of using it for a "driveway/garage door" drive-in theme. Here's the poster which will be featured near the sidewalk:



The double-garage door area will be the drive-in screen, the single-garage door will be the concession area. We have two cars so they will be used in the drive way in front of the double-garage with various drive-in patrons seated inside. I have a Walmart-bought baseball concession skeleton guy that will be one of the car hops. Just recently picked up a costume on clearance (apron outfit) for the guy who can be working the concession counter. My thought was the patrons will be watching the movie and off to the side of the big screen (maybe a projection?) will be a giant mantis emerging from the side yard and approaching the cars and unsuspecting patrons.

The more I think about it the more I like the theme for this year. Have to see if this is what I settle on. I have the hardest time committing to a theme early in the year...so many great ideas out there...but your haunt last year definitely captured my attention!



Might make the drive-in a double header and make use of my Creature from the Black Lagoon costume pieces too. Could have just the head coming up from the "yard lake" surrounded by some low lying fog. Wish my hubby would dress up as him, but don't think so so I'll settle for the lake idea. This could be a lot of fun. Someone did a wonderful drive-in theme last year or the year before and it turned out really well. A giant Mantis however coming after the patrons would take it to another level.


(sorry some of the photos are kind of large, they were stored in my album that way so just used them from there).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That would be SO COOL, Ghost of Spookie! You would have a good odds on improving on my design.
I wish I could go back and re-do a lot of things on it, but that how it goes, right?
The whole drive-in-comes-alive is a really neat twist.

I can't imagine doing a new theme every year or even every couple of years, man that's real work!
Let me know if you have questions/revelations.

P.S. Cool Poster!
 
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