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Keep going or veer off on a (better) tangent? Prop dilemma

2279 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  ice456789
So I'm about $100 into a prop build for my carnival theme. And it's going to take quite a bit more time and money and tinkering to make it work, and I'm not an expert in mechanical props, so I was looking at a very frustrating bunch of days ahead.

The problem is that I just thought of something perfectly simple that is going to work probably even better, only require about $20 more investment and be pretty simple to produce. But it means I wasted about $70 on parts that are non returnable.

So here's the details:

Making a scareosel. Found and purchased three toy bouncy horses and it involved driving all over the city to collect them one day. They are going to need painting with special paint that sticks to plastic, and while they are light, they are not going to work with the motor and armature arrangement I have since they are too heavy to hang suspended, so I'll have to try to rig up a wheeled support structure on the bottom of each horse so they can spin properly (I'm using an x-mas tree motorized stand, and a support pole with branches about 4 foot up the pole, and the horses bend the pole right now when hung on there to test their weight).

The brain wave I just had: packing tape horses. They would be super light, able to throw some small lights inside for an eerie glow, and look ghostly - AWESOME for a scareosel. The thing is, what on earth do I do with the horses I have now? I can find a use for one of them (using it as the model for the packing tape) but I feel dumb for not thinking of this before and saving myself from driving all over town and the money and gas and just could have picked up ONE horse to use.

SO part of me thinks I should suck it up and go on with the horses I have and deal with the issues, but a bigger part of me thinks screw that noise, packing tape horses will be easier and look better!! But the money and time already invested!! :confused:

So I need some ideas of what to do with the other horses to incorporate them into the theme (scary carnival/circus) and also some "there-there" pats on the head that I'm not an idiot for not thinking of this alternative sooner and commiseration about spending money unnecessarily on props that don't work out like you planned.
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Packing tape horses sound cool (I am sure I have some on Pinterest). You obviously had a vision for what you wanted and ran with it, and had they not been so heavy would have not even thought of an alternative. Do you have a picture of them?

Ideas -

Can you not either ebay/craigslist the horses to get some/all your cash back?

Paint them up and use them as static props - Sugar Skull horses would be cool.

Give away as prizes?


Paint them and then sell them?
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I have to agree with lawrie. We all get these ideas in our head on what we want a project to come together. We start building then all of the sudden something doesn鈥檛 work and we have to start from scratch.

I did that very thing two weeks ago. Spent an hour picking out all the pieces and parts for the project I envisioned. Got it all together and the physics siphons said "NOPE" broke the project down started over. Using the original pieces modified them with a heat gun and presto it worked. Would have saved me two hours and about 40 bucks had I done that in the first place. Learned, moved on, and stored the pieces.

As for the horses you might be able to make them look like they broke off the ride.
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I agree with Lawrie too. Go with the packing tape horses and figure out what to do with the others later. And as DeadEd says we all go through this at one time or another. And at least you have an alternative idea to be able to finish the prop!

Good luck
As for the horses you might be able to make them look like they broke off the ride.
Arrange them around the carousel as if dead, but carrying on as ghost horses...
I'm not sure exactly how you're envisioning the ride, but would it be possible/worthwhile to use the existing horses to help establish the ride area?

Perhaps set them facing each other to act as gates, or marking the entry? They could potentially be free standing on PVC posts to emulate the ride poles?

If all elements end up using a similar paint scheme it might help 'define' the space, and help sell the illusion of a ride.

Alternatively, paint them in such a way as to make them creepy as stand alone elements next to, or around, the actual ride. The version that 'ihauntu' did several years ago always stuck with me:

I would imagine they are not large enough to support a Pose-N-Stay, or similar, but if somehow they are, could that be another way to use them?
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Love the ideas!

I am actually leaning towards painting them up to be skeletal show ponies with feathered harnesses like these:

Horse Mane Stallion Shetland pony Herd

With one pony jumping through a hoop held by a skeleton trainer, and maybe another one with a skeleton dog balanced on his back.

One of the pony toys had removable legs, so I'm debating taking its back legs off and making it a tail so it can be a hippocampus (merhorse) for the freak show. While cool, it would add a significant amount of work to do, but I think I might be able to fit it in (if not, there's always next year!)
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I think this is a no brainier. The packing tape idea is brilliant....go with it. It will save you time and that is priceless in this hectic month we all try to cram and finish projects. Don't look at it as "wasted time and money". I'm sure you will come up wiith another brilliant way to utilize the props you already bought. I like the idea of making them static and looking like they broke off the ride or escaped and now they are terrorizing someone. If you just piled them up together somewhere near the ride they could look like they are extras or something? Maybe you could make them look like they were victims of an untimely death by putting a noose around their necks or something? I don't think it's worth the hassle of trying to make it work. Your time is worth something, so if you continue to try and use them instead of the packing tape, you are actually spending more money in the form of your time. Let me try to use an analogy. I have always wondered why people take off work a day early to save money on an airline ticket? If they would not have taken off work, the money they would have made could have paid the extra $50 for a flight the next day after work. Plus they would actually have more money to spend on vacation because they worked the extra day. It just has never made sense to me. Does that make sense? Or I'm I just an idiot?
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Glad to hear I'm not the only one this happens to. I usually go with the new better idea because it's all I'll be able to think about if I stick with the original one. Bad enough kicking yourself once, no need to do it all the way through.
I have a minor in economics. The time, money, and effort you put into acquiring those horses is a sunken cost; that is a cost that is non-recoverable no matter what decision you make so it should not impact your current decision. Looking forward, which option would cost less time, money, and effort and give you a better result? Plastic paint is very expensive so the time, money, and effort may be equivalent or even greater if you continue working on your current horses.

But I went to FSU so I have an un-declared major in partying. Which would be more fun? It sounds like you really want to try your hand at packing tape horses.

I have now given you two collegiate level reasons to make some packing tape horses. What are you waiting for?
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