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New to the forum, very cool! I built a set last year for the first time, this year Im adding to it and want to make it animated. I tried last year but couldnt get it. Guess Im just not mechanically inclined... So, Im looking for suggestions on how to animate it this year!

I built a haunted mansion in the alcove of my home (see pic). I want to get the shutters to kinda slam shut like there is a big storm blowing. Behind the mansion, I have smoke effect and lightning with thunder sound fx and gives a creepy mansion look! So, any suggestions on how to get the shutters slamming cheaply and effectively??
 

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Well first, that is very cool! Second, the words "cheaply" and "effectively" are usually mutually exclusive when it comes to making props. Same with "cheaply" and "quickly". If you really want them to slam then I think you would have to use some kind of selonoid like some people use in their "Monster-in-a-box" (MIB) props. This would require a controller of some kind so there goes your "cheaply". How about tying strings to each shutter and paying a neighborhood kid $7 an hour to yank the strings a couple times a minute?
 

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Funeral Crasher
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Cool facade !! Very neat.
I'm assuming the shutter are already hinged? If not they would need to be.
I try to do all my animations the cheap way too.
I would just mount some kind of an "L" shaped rod or lever to the front of the shutter, bending around 90 degrees sticking into the window (behind the shutter).
The use a motor (whatever RPM you desire) with a crank. Attach another rod to the crank and the other end to the end of the "L" sticking thru the window.
Start the motor and the shutter should open and close. Adjust the length of the rod for proper travel distance. To get proper movement you may also have to use a helper spring on the shutter to help it either close or open (whichever it's having the hardest time doing).
I have another idea, but this is what I'd try first!
 
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