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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Thanks for all the comments. The prop(s) I'm building require a lot more detail. What I'm thinking about is more like Grimwood Hollows Imp pumpkins:

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These are solid foam cast's from a clay sculpture. I don't have the equipment to do molds and casts so I'm thinking that I can create something similar using spray foam and mache clay. These are small about 10-12", I need something about twice this size. I'm experimenting with a modified version of Stiltbeast's beach ball method, however my process involves a lot more sculpting and refinement.
 

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I think Stiltbeast Studios 2 methods of making them are the way to go. I have done with great stuff foam (though I know you don't want this method) But you can make some pretty huge ones, and dont have to make so many or buy more because these big props will take up most of the space.
I've also used the Stiltbeast method. Unfortunately you stated you did NOT want to make them from scratch.
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I've also used the Stiltbeast method. Unfortunately you stated you did NOT want to make them from scratch.
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I would prefer not making them from scratch but I can't seem to find a reliable supplier for the sizes I need. I'm going to try this method, with a lot of refinement, but if I can't the detail I want then I will just try sculpting it from mache clay.
 

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I don't have this figured out and I have no idea how it will turn out but ... this may be a solution. They aren't massive, I think 16" diameter is reasonable, to get thicker you would need more layers. 1 can of Loctite does 1 layer. An extra layer would probably be 2 additional cans (now we are up to $18 in Loctite). But maybe there is something you can leverage here.

 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I don't have this figured out and I have no idea how it will turn out but ... this may be a solution. They aren't massive, I think 16" diameter is reasonable, to get thicker you would need more layers. 1 can of Loctite does 1 layer. An extra layer would probably be 2 additional cans (now we are up to $18 in Loctite). But maybe there is something you can leverage here.

I'm using a 14" diameter beach ball to produce a pumpkin around 16" in diameter. I think I came up with a method that will allow more detail and use less spray foam.
 

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That’s a great how to, I hadn’t seen that one. I’ve also watched tons of Stiltbeast’s videos, the man is one fantastic idea after another.
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how the Great Stuff/Loctite pumpkins hold up over time? I used Great Stuff for the tops of my Portal to the Underworld caves (bottomless pits but a cave) but it only goes out on Halloween so no real data on weather/longevity.
 

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I would prefer not making them from scratch but I can't seem to find a reliable supplier for the sizes I need. I'm going to try this method, with a lot of refinement, but if I can't the detail I want then I will just try sculpting it from mache clay.
I used Rope, not tape to get the pumpkin sectioning. I ended up pulling the interior fabric and beachball out of mine when carving it. The outside fabric is reusable. this is the time of year to find cheap beach balls.
 

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That’s a great how to, I hadn’t seen that one. I’ve also watched tons of Stiltbeast’s videos, the man is one fantastic idea after another.
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how the Great Stuff/Loctite pumpkins hold up over time? I used Great Stuff for the tops of my Portal to the Underworld caves (bottomless pits but a cave) but it only goes out on Halloween so no real data on weather/longevity.
Mine is now 4 years old and holding up pretty well. It is on top of a 10' outdoor prop, has fallen over several times. It spends the entire month of October outside. The foam may break on the thiner detail carvings (teeth) from impact, but easy to glue back together. Be sure to paint the foam well. Spray (polyurethane) foam does NOT do well in UV (sunlight) and will become brittle. A good exterior paint base coat, and then detail over it will prevent most UV degradation. I've repaired it with more spray foam or Gorilla Glue.
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2020:
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Of course now that all my supplies have arrived to make my own foam pumpkins the hobby stores finally have their pumpkins on sale:
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I really like the large one but not for $175. I did purchase several of the white one's, oh do I have plans for you...
 

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Ridiculous price from a big piece of foam!
 

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I’m in the process of building a jack o lantern that was supposed to be knee high but got completely out of hand and is up to my hip without a stem currently. It took an entire sheet of 2” thick foam plus some and is still way cheaper than that. My largest Funkin wasn’t even that much!

I don’t remember how much the sheet was because if I pretend like I don’t know, it’s harder to keep track of what this hobby costs!
 

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I’m in the process of building a jack o lantern that was supposed to be knee high but got completely out of hand and is up to my hip without a stem currently. It took an entire sheet of 2” thick foam plus some and is still way cheaper than that. My largest Funkin wasn’t even that much!

I don’t remember how much the sheet was because if I pretend like I don’t know, it’s harder to keep track of what this hobby costs!
Did you buy it this year or 2 years ago? That's the difference between $5 or $50, LOL. I would love to see build pics of this pumpkin, though. It sounds awesome and I am wondering how you put it together. Massive prop construction is always inspiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
It is probably solid white styrofoam, not even the nice and dense funkin type foam. $175 is nuts!
Yea I had my suspicions so I predrilled a hole; sure enough it was a thin resin shell over about 1” thick stryofoam with a compressed wood pulp core – really strange. I purchased it from Hobby Lobby which previously sold Funkins before switching to their own Ashland brand a few years back. I don’t know what they did this year as the pumpkins look almost identical to the hollow foam pumpkins they use to sell. I’ll try Michaels when they get their stock in. I should have known better than to switch from my steadfast and reliable Michael’s pumpkins. If it was good enough for Pumpkinrot it should be good enough for me.
 

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Engineerchic, I bought the foam sheet about a month or so ago. It was not cheap. It also wouldn’t fit in our SUV so my husband and I used the cart corral like a table and cut it down in the parking lot. No one paid any attention to us so apparently we weren’t the first to set up an impromptu shop there ha ha.
I started with a large rectangular styrofoam cooler and started attaching panels all around it then started shaping it. I kept adding more panels so it didn’t look like a big box. The back (with the cooler lid) is removable. It will have a fan in the bottom inside a base, that I still have to start, for the fire effect. It’s super rough and there is still tons to do with the broken glass LED eyes, stem, face sculpting buildup, removable “fire insert”, base, blah blah blah but here is where it is currently.

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Engineerchic, I bought the foam sheet about a month or so ago. It was not cheap. It also wouldn’t fit in our SUV so my husband and I used the cart corral like a table and cut it down in the parking lot. No one paid any attention to us so apparently we weren’t the first to set up an impromptu shop there ha ha.
I started with a large rectangular styrofoam cooler and started attaching panels all around it then started shaping it. I kept adding more panels so it didn’t look like a big box. The back (with the cooler lid) is removable. It will have a fan in the bottom inside a base, that I still have to start, for the fire effect. It’s super rough and there is still tons to do with the broken glass LED eyes, stem, face sculpting buildup, removable “fire insert”, base, blah blah blah but here is where it is currently.
Using a cooler as a base is brilliant! We bought several foam sheets once and trailering them home was not fun, they weigh so little the trailer bounced around like it was empty. It is like a freaking SAIL so we had it lashed down pretty hard.

We have been toying with how to build a fake fire with our neighbor, if you find a fan that works well please post about it. I am half tempted to hack a plug in leaf blower and pipe the air in, lol.
 

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This is what I’m doing to create the fire. The fan came from Target and can be rotated and locked shooting straight up. I made a prototype to validate the effect would work and while I haven’t tried it in the pumpkin, the prototype was killer. The satin will be attached to a frame that hooks to the fan and goes inside and the pumpkin will only be a container, I don’t trust the foam to support any weight. I have a couple of LEDs (red and orange) that I got ages ago from Minions Web that are incredibly vibrant. Thinking I could make a spotlight like Stiltbeast, I ordered a bunch of orange LEDs and put them together to try to create one and it did not hold a candle to the one I already had. Sadly, I don’t know why anyone doesn’t sell lights that are that bright. It was years ago when I bought them. But I digress.

Trust me, I have tried a multitude of options to create a fire effect and the one in that link is the only one that was convincing or looked cool. All credit goes to the originators on the fire, I only came up with the idea to shrink it and stick it in a pumpkin ha ha!
 
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