Hi boils & ghouls! I've finally completed my latest revision to my venerable Hell Hole. I'll have to apologize for not having it set up in the yard for the (later) pics. I prefer to set it up the day of, due to having to dig a rather large hole which is stressful enough on the lawn just being there 24 hours or less.
It's gotten more than a few upgrades in the process:
- Leering mech added to the skeleton.
- Hinged the left arm so the body can rotate freely.
- Pinned the left arm in place so it won't sag. Pose & Stay skeleton problems fixed...
- Reinforced the skeleton spine with solid 1/4" steel bar so the spine won't sag over time
- Added the lava flow around the hole itself.
- Used 3 different shades of orange string lights for color/lava temp variations.
- Permanently incorporated the sound (mp3 player/amplified speakers).
- Threw some UV led's into some ping pong balls for the eyes.
- A pair of micro LED up lights to highlight the tombstone itself, & one behind the tombstone to highlight the background. I just used some white 5050's, orange 3 mm, and a flicker amber 5 mm T 1 3/4's I had laying about.
- Weather sealed box on the back side to house a 110v outlet for daisy chaining any other AC powered props in the vicinity.
- Last but not least, I added an expansion chamber channel underneath to pipe in & slow down the fog, vs. the dryer vent I used previously.
It still has:
- FS-2 flicker fire effect. Although I thought it looked better with one, vs. the two it had previously. Better definition to the individual flashes that way.
The first pic doesn't really show off the color differences between the different light strings well. But, an earlier mid build in progress test pic does much better. It doesn't do justice to the real life pics your eyeballs take though.
Updated OP: 11/13 to include Halloween night pic.
Concerning the sound, one speaker is plumbed into the sidewall down in the hole, and the other mounted to face street side to broadcast the sound out, but away from those standing in front of the effect. With the tombstone in place, it sounds as though all of the sound is coming from the hole itself.
I love the idea of 2 flickering effects! Also reinforcing the spine with a steel rod vs PVC - perfect . Some of my pose n stays have been sagging in the heat as well. Hubby has reinforced with wood.
Fantastic display -is it going towards front of your display?
Thanks everyone! I can't wait to get it in ground & fully set up, even though my poor lawn hates it! Lol!
@ MatrixMom - I hear you on the P-n-S problems, mine's joints never did lock in place properly. They'd just slowly fall until I ran a couple of sheetrock screws through the joints to pin them. I think probably the best solution for the spinal column sag, long term, is likely to glue the spine halves in addition to the steel rod I ran up the backside of the spine.
Overall, I'm definitely displeased with the quality/price ratio of the pose & stay's. Especially when the skull is as disproportional as it is... I replaced mine w/ another I had laying around the same day I bought it. Actually, the P-n-S skull found a home on a memento mori style animated ground crypt I'm trying to finish up now. The lack of detail & proportions of the skull being off doesn't matter so much when a stone finish is applied to it! Lol!
I haven't really made a final descision on the placement just yet. On the other hand, I still have far too much to do project wise to think about setup/design right now. The only thing I can say is it'll go where I know no underground utility services are routed, and all of mine are underground.
Looks great! I purchased the half devil skeleton from target this year and was planning on making it look like it was coming out of the ground some how, this layout will work great. Thanks for showing it off.
It's pretty simple actually, DWD. It just an inexpensive, large flower pot with a serious swiss cheesing via a drill to pass the lights through. The foam is applied over them just like I described in the Hot Coals thread.
I didn't apply it in layers intentionally, I just underestimated how much foam I'd need to complete it initially. 6 can's isn't enough, 3 more are needed for the effect at this scale.
Although, with the leering skelly in place, you'll need a fair amount of bracing to keep the bottom of the flower pot from flexing, even with sandwiching the bottom w/ 3/4" plywood & 1/4" ply on the bottom (side flexing of the flower pot was the initial problem). It was fine though, the channel for the fog was slightly redesigned in mid-stream to provide the additional bracing it needed to stabilize it.
Were I to do it again, the bottom plate would be 1/2", and integrated into the fog channel to provide additional stability from moment one.