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Lord of the Cemetery
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Seeing as the "Showcase your best prop" thread has proved so popular, I thought I'd ask the question: What was your biggest prop making disaster?

Apart from being somewhat amusing, and allowing my complexion to return to it's normal palid yellowish white from the sickly shade of green it had gone after looking at all those awesome props you guys have made, It may also serve the purpose of preventing others from making the same expensive or disastrous mistakes. After all, didn't Confucious (or somebody who looked a bit like him) say "A wise man learns from his mistakes...A wiser man learns from the mistakes of others"?

Surely I can't be the only one out here with an inborn ability to **** up virtually everything I put papier mache on? Please help to restore my self esteem by admitting to the odd project that didn't go exactly to plan.

To add to the general mirth and micky-taking opportunities, please feel free to post pics if you have any...

So come on guys...fess up and look big...:D
 

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When Great Stuff says not to make direct skin contact, it means it.
Although it was inconvenient having paperthin but tough foam "gloves" for a week while building props last year. I don't think a single splinter made it's way through that coating of foamy goodness.

Other Great Stuff Lessons Learned:
-Yes that rubber alligator will look good with a little stuffing, but after touching water, now he just looks bloated like a pepto bismol commerical.

-A great stuff firepit, sans the witches kettle, just looks like a colorful pile of ****.
 

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OK.....I have tried paper mache more times then i wish to admit to and every single time it is a disaster and i have tried every method known i think. As far as i am concerned its either trickery or magic LOL!
 

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Oh, great stuff lessons!

2 years ago I had this loft goal of making 100 skulls for the yard. (I picked the number 100 out of the blue) figured one a day would do it just fine. Having never really cast anything before, though, it was a big deal for me.

The first bund went GREAT, colored up nice, so I started chugging along.

About 50 skulls in, I started trying to figure how to get them on the poles.



Figured, just fill em with Great stuff, right? Then drill a hole in the skull where the stick goes through.

Well, I bought 1 can to test. (thank GOD I always insist on testing every miniscule thing with small numbers) It expands 200%, so I filled 10 skulls about 1/3 with a big gob of Great stuff in the middle, figuring any excess would just spit out the bottom and I'ld lop it off if needed.

It was brutal.

Not a one survived.

So, anyone trying that, put THIN BEADS OF GREAT STUFF around the inside. Typically a layer of thin beads is enough to hold the skulls up on the bamboo anyway. No need to fill the whole skull.


Next...The Totems.

Totem 1: Found some chicken wire in the shed, made the frame, and mixed wood glue/water 50/50. Painstakingly dipped rolls of paper towel (el cheapo kind with no perforations works great) to cover the frame.



Covered that with a layer of traditional newspaper mache, and let the kids carve out the faces.

Totem 2, however, I wanted to make EASIER......

The IDEA was to put the glue recipe in a garden sprayer. Roll out some towels, soak, roll out more, repeat.

So, I got some sprayer for $1, and we went to town. SEEMED to work, even. Then I went to put the newspaper coat on, and the thing is just unravelling.

I open the sprayer....There was this wee bitty screen on the tube that was filtering out the glue, so we were spraying mostly water.

DOH!

Now screwed, as I didn't have enough time or budget to go get more glue and towels and start over, I figured oh, we'll just put a couple layers of the newspaper on, then monster mud the thing.

Uh Oh!...



Totem 2 on the right there...is leaning. (not to mention it lost it's shape when it unravelled earlier)

This is made worse by the fact if you look REAL close, you can see the chicken wire at the bottom is larger holes, thus weaker. And the top collapsed, making a flat spot...A whole comedy of errors on that hunk of crap...

I've managed to keep it up by finding uneven places in the yard to strategically take advantage of it's leaning.



However, this year, it was raining PRETTY good most of Halloween night, and the thing felt like MUSH as I hauled it away after the last ToT stopped by. (totem 1 held up fine)
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks a million guys, I'm starting to feel better already.:D:D

I'm also imagining the sheer carnage I could create with a can of "Great Stuff" and silently thanking every deity with ears that it isn't available over here.

U.K Members
If it is available here under a different product name, please, for the sake of my health/marriage/cat, do not tell me what it is..I'm much better off not knowing.
 

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Well i was making something out of foam once and it did'nt turn out so great and i was eye balling it and apparently the foam inside the middle was not cured. I stomp on the wad of foam and BOOM!!!! A rip appears and uncured foam blows out on carpet,walls,windows, entertainment center ,me, tv screen...You name it and it was on it. The more i think about my disasters my list might get bigger.
 

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HA HA....OK, I'll bite...What was it about that wad of foam that possessed you to stomp on it?....I liked the foam hands for a week above too...HA!....I can't tell you how much foam I've thrown away trying to learn how to sculpt it with the hot tools.....One thing about it, once you carve it away, you can't just put it back like you can with clay.....I'm getting better but it's still frustrating when you got lot's of time in a piece and one little mistake ruins it....If there's one positive thing you can take away from this thread is that everyone that posts a disaster was WILLING TO TRY SOMETHING NEW!....ZR


Well i was making something out of foam once and it did'nt turn out so great and i was eye balling it and apparently the foam inside the middle was not cured. I stomp on the wad of foam and BOOM!!!! A rip appears and uncured foam blows out on carpet,walls,windows, entertainment center ,me, tv screen...You name it and it was on it. The more i think about my disasters my list might get bigger.
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Discussion Starter #8
can't tell you how much foam I've thrown away trying to learn how to sculpt it with the hot tools.....One thing about it, once you carve it away, you can't just put it back like you can with clay!....ZR
..Just thought I'd mention that this applies to flesh too...:(
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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Oh, great stuff lessons!

2 years ago I had this loft goal of making 100 skulls for the yard. (I picked the number 100 out of the blue) figured one a day would do it just fine. Having never really cast anything before, though, it was a big deal for me.
You made all those skulls?? Cool...how did you cast them?

Bummer about the totem turning to mush..it was amazing how the weather was perfect right up to Halloween Eve
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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Not my disaster...one of the kids. She was in Jr High and wanted to paint a 1/4" wood pumpkin with red spray paint...so she laid it on the driveway and started spraying away....

I came out and caught her and told her not to spray on the driveway unless she put newspaper down....and I went back inside.

She didn't bother to get any newspaper, instead she hung it on the fence and painted it....now when I look out my kitchen window, I have a red pumpkin outlined on my fence.
 

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Yeah, I was bummed when it started raining. Then it was rushing around trying to cover the sound equipment while dealing with the (STILL, IN THE RAIN!) 500 ToT's.


Anyway, skull casting:
"Glove" Mold Making 101 - Halloween Forum

I've found 6 molds is about perfect for my method. As soon as you're done putting in a coat on mold 6, mold 1 is ready for coat 2. Each batch takes me an hour. So, an hour a week, and the skulls piled up in a hurry.

About 18 fit perfectly in the rubbermaid totes we have for easy transport to storage.

We have well over 200 now. And my son wants MORE. I think he considered killing me when I mentioned I was thinking about going in a different direction either this year or next.

Being a local, do you know about FX Supply and Delvies Plastics in Salt Lake?

FX Supply is great for casting materials OR information. Delvies has some cheap latex. I have links on my website (sig)
 

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Yeah, I was bummed when it started raining. Then it was rushing around trying to cover the sound equipment while dealing with the (STILL, IN THE RAIN!) 500 ToT's.


Anyway, skull casting:
"Glove" Mold Making 101 - Halloween Forum

I've found 6 molds is about perfect for my method. As soon as you're done putting in a coat on mold 6, mold 1 is ready for coat 2. Each batch takes me an hour. So, an hour a week, and the skulls piled up in a hurry.

About 18 fit perfectly in the rubbermaid totes we have for easy transport to storage.

We have well over 200 now. And my son wants MORE. I think he considered killing me when I mentioned I was thinking about going in a different direction either this year or next.

Being a local, do you know about FX Supply and Delvies Plastics in Salt Lake?

FX Supply is great for casting materials OR information. Delvies has some cheap latex. I have links on my website (sig)
Don't know either of those companies...then again, I've never tried to make a mold of anything.

500 ToTs that's great...not even close to that here...I live in a great location for many things, but getting ToTs to the door is not one of them
 

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Well i was making something out of foam once and it did'nt turn out so great and i was eye balling it and apparently the foam inside the middle was not cured. I stomp on the wad of foam and BOOM!!!! A rip appears and uncured foam blows out on carpet,walls,windows, entertainment center ,me, tv screen...You name it and it was on it. The more i think about my disasters my list might get bigger.
LMAO

OMG THAT IS FUNNY! I belly laughed at this one. (Good thing nobody else is in the office right now.)

Sorry to laugh at your pain, but it sounds EXACTLY like something that would happen at our house. :D
 

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For almost 3 weeks I worked on a big base of roots for my pumpkinrot scarecrow . It was wire wrapped with newspaper and duct tape. 2 coats of newspaper mache and one coat of paper towel mache to get the bark texture. One coat of spray paint, 2 thick coats of spar varnish and a final coat of spray paint to take away the shine from the varnish. After a couple of days in the light rain it was mushy. I kept it, but it really does look awful, alot of cracks in it that exposed the insides.

Dang! That was alot of work for one night. Oh well.
 

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Don't know either of those companies...then again, I've never tried to make a mold of anything.

500 ToTs that's great...not even close to that here...I live in a great location for many things, but getting ToTs to the door is not one of them

Oh, you need to look at FX Supply, at least. They have EVERYTHING to make your own WHATEVER. And a list of places to get classes, books, or video instructions on anything as well.

And if they don't have it, they'll find it.
 

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These are not disasters there life lesons.. Well I tought how hard is it to make a cast of my arm get some skin safe silicone and smear it on my arm let it dry peal it off and wala a mold NOPE theres a step missing please use a release of some sort on your arm. O boy did that hurt ripped my dame hair out of my arm it took 2 hours getting my mold off my arm. Well long story short my first pull with resin in this mold had all my hair on it . Wow that looks real all the detail and the hair looks great . Anyways dont get me started on great stuff stories.:eek:
 

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Was making burnt ashes and glowing embers for under my witches Calderon with great stuff knew to would expand and was proud that I guess the right amount looked great lights buried just right all is good,well I thought first thing didn't think out how I was going to attach the Calderon the foam was about an inch or two higher than the 2x4's I was going to mount the calderon on so I trimmed the foam down no biggie,then I started painting using latex paint was looking great then I went and touched it up with a little black paint walmart didn't have black latex so I bought paint for plastic plastic foam should be alright NOPE the black melted the foam :( what a waste of time ! So had to start over never did look as good as the first time.
 
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