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Hey guys, I wanted to share my first prop build here on Halloween forum. It was for a contest from Haunt Nation Magazine called “Hack a Christmas Prop”. I had read about people hacking Christmas props for Halloween props and was intrigued since I knew nothing about motors or animatronics at the time I started this project.

I had been researching a lot of prop building tutorials and lurking Halloween forum to work up the nerve to try something like this and decided to bite the bullet when I saw the contest announcement.

I picked up the Reindeer at St. Vinney's for $6.50 and discovered it had a lot of defects that needed to be fixed. Once it was stable and fixed I built and sculpted the body from pink foam. I sealed and paper mached it with Drylok and then painted it using a brown base coat of exterior latex paint which I lightened and darkened with white & black exterior latex paint. The LED eyes were recycled from an old costume which had fading, glowing red eyes and it has an internal, battery powered speaker and mini MP3 player for the snarling sound effects (which needs to be replaced with a more powerful speaker). The teeth and claws are made from Sculpty modeling clay and the fur was from Jo-Ann Fabrics. The tail and fingers were made from those green yard stakes people use with garden/deer netting and PVC pipe.

This project has gotten me excited about trying some more larger prop builds for this Halloween and I have been working out some ideas and sketches of other things I want to build for my Cemetery this year. :D

 

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Rated this thread excellent! Nice job!! A number of us have made a reindeer/wolf prop, including myself, and I have to say I'm Really loving your creation! In fact I just bought the last 3 reindeers from my BIG LOTS on 12/20 when they had drastically marked Xmas stuff down and I got them for $10 each. The style you used looks very much like one of the two 48-inch ones that BL carries. They only had the raised-headed ones at the end of the season's clearance and now I am regretting that I wasn't able to also pick up at least one grazing deer. Your take on the grazing one is by far the best I've seen. Nice and menacing. Looking again at the photos all I can say is Wow. I really love the foot/claws you made. Thanks for the tutorial video and pics. We had one member who did something with cut wood, but using layers of foamboard makes for a much lighter prop and one that is, I assume, much easier to contour. I may be trying to bend a few necks on my next build! LOL.

Hey and warmest welcome to the Forum. Thanks for sharing and inspiring. ...and how did you make out in the contest?
 

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Hey guys, sorry I never responded!! I have been super busy at work and home for the past few weeks.

Thanks so much for all the great feedback!

Ghost of Spookie – Nice! Sounds like a great deal, I got this thing used and it had a bunch of problems. The only benefit was that it did not match the picture on the box (The ones with the head up) and turned out to be the one with the head down, which worked out really great in the end! Glad people like the look I was on the fence about a few design choices, I rolled this idea around in my head a bunch before I got started to try and imagine how to make him look the scariest. I’m really glad people have mentioned the feet, I think I OCD’d out on them more than I should have but the fact that people noticed them makes it worth it. I found out I won the contest and they featured the prop in the January issue of Haunt Nation Magazine, I was really excited. Thanks for the feedback!

Thanks for the link Mr. Chicken, totally digging that guys style. He’s got some really cool projects! Added that to my favorites.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I feel like some of the things I over-thought on this prop were worth it in the end as people seem to really like them. I’ll post some more of my props down the road. Glad to be here and see all the incredible stuff people build!
 
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