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397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have to admit, we've been slacking the past few Halloweens. Couple years underemplyed, starting a new job, blah blah blah will do it to you I guess.

Time to get back into the swing of things.. So here is this year's 1 month build. (Since I'm starting first week in September.

I've gathered my reference material, took my measurements and drew up somewhat of a plan to scale for general placement.

I'm not a crazy Disney fan and I will admit that I have not watched Sleeping Beauty at all but my wife loves the original Maleficent and that's what she wanted to be this Halloween. That made choosing a theme fairly easy. Instead of the usual undead walking graveyard scene we're going to try to pull off the entrance to Maleficent's Castle along with her throne.

My wife will make or rent a costume and sit in the chair to hand out plastic apples with candy inside.

Maybe I'll dress up as one of her castle guards.. who knows.

Follow this post for the usual step by step updates.

397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's the initial sketch. I did it in Illustrator instead of graph paper to do it to scale based on measurements of the 2 car garage.

The roof slopes towards the driveway so the facade will extend just above the roof line so when you're standing in front of it the roof should mostly be hidden from view. It helps that our driveway slopes down to the street as well.

Next step is to figure out how to best modularize the setup so I can build pieces at a time that fit together for ease of setup, takedown and storage. Although, I'll probably just sell it after halloween and do something different next year.

Line art Arch Black-and-white Line Architecture

Strongly considering doing the entire facade with this color palette to simulate lighting and give it all a cartoon feel but being careful not to detract from the realism too much.

Green Leaf Terrestrial plant Botany Book cover

Image from this sitewhere someone did a 3d model of the entire Throne Room.

397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all.
For construction I'm thinking 3/8 plywood with 2x4 bracing done in sections overlayed with 1/2" - 1" insulation foam.

For the hands and heads I will probably laminate rigid foam in layers to create a big block and carve the pieces out of that.

Will likely coat with latex primer and then hit it all with some thick coats of fiberglass resin to give it all a hard outer skin.

Giant chains made with pool noodles over top of some heavy gauge wire (like chain link fence tension wire) to hold the elongated link shape.

Have to hit some dollar stores to find the end of season pool noodles on clearance.

Here's the ToT giveaways we're going to order.. .probably about 100 of them.
Been trying to find them at a better price wholesale.. 50-75 cents each but just about 1.15 is best i could find.
The more they cost, the less candy for the kiddies. :(
If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Illustration Food Fruit Plant Superfood

Maybe we only do 50-100 apples for really good costumes and the rest get something like this..

Red Orange Anthurium Plant Flower

At least that's the plan right now. :)

397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Haven't quite started my build yet. Just got back from trying to enjoy the last bit of Summer here in Ohio before diving into the build.

Working on planning and measuring for materials. Going to start with the throne. I figure if time runs out, I can always throw up some flat plywood in the background and paint a scene in a couple of days as a last resort but the Evil Queen will need something awesome to sit in.

Trying to figure out the internal structure of the throne. The plan for construction is...
  • 2x3 studs for structure (personally i'd like to use 2x2 to cut down on weight but 2x3 are cheap)
  • skinning with 7/16 OSB
  • contact cementing on 1/2" pink foam for carving details
  • spray entire throne with latex primer/sealer
  • POSSIBLY brush on a few coats of polyester fiberglass resin for a hard shell
  • paint to taste

Threw this together in Blender (3d program) which I have almost entirely forgotten how to use.
I'll likely wing construction as I go.. like I normally do... but this will give me a mental head start.

3d modeling Furniture Architecture Animation Arch

397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So.. time for an update.

Been pretty busy planning and building and glue foam blocks together and vacuum forming.. yes.. vacuum forming.

I have more process pics and a video to post but for right now, here's what I have. Enjoy the story and use your imagination.

A friend of mine has a 2'x2' vaccum form table he built so I figured I could try to vacuum form the chain links.
Having never done anything like this I had to figure out the best approach.

I built half a chain link (sliced like a hamburger bun) figuring I would thermoform 2 halves and stick them together. Not thinking how I'd actually link the links.. but thats another story.

So I built the master model (called a buck in thermoforming apparently) and took it over to my friend's place who had some left over material. (.030 high impact styrene). Unfortunately the buck was an inch too big for the table.. so now what?

I ended up cutting it 1/3 and 2/3 and using the larger side as the buck for forming.

After about 5 pulls I got the process figured out well enough to not overheat the material, break the piece on demolding or burning myself on the hot aluminum frame.

1st day we pulled about 16 pieces... which now, being half of a half a chain link was only FOUR links...

My measurements say that 5 links = 10 feet.
I need at least 15 feet of chain per side of the garage... preferably 20... do the math... EIGHTY pulls, loads, rough trims, final trims.. assembly, painting...

What have I gotten myself into.

So the next day I got 10 4x8 sheets in exchange for some design work ($150 value) but I went a little thicker on the material.. only by about .010-.020" but it definitely made a difference.

Wife and I got started about 5pm and within 30 minutes we had it down to a rhytmic science of heating plastic, forming the piece, removing the buck, reloading the heating frame and rough trimming the piece.

By 11pm we managed to pull close to, if not, a total of 80 pieces! WHEW!
Production jobs are NOT for the faint of heart.

SO here's what we ended up with...
This pic shows half of a link unassembled and rough trimmed with an assembled half link trimmed and assembled along with a Coke can for scale.

yes, these are HUGE... and I love 'em.

This weekend is going to be a full on mega build. More updates to follow.


Architecture Plaster


397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh, we also ordered 100 of these to put candy in...

Oyster pail Food storage containers Box Party favor

They were cheap at $16 for 100 but i HAD to pay nearly same amount in shipping because ULINE only ships UPS 2 day it seems.
Still cheap though.

The only problem is...

Maleficent didnt do the poison apple thing.. that was the Evil Queen. Oh well.
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