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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got it into my head to do NBC as a theme last year, not really sure why but this thing really wanted to get built so I tried to get out of the way.

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My large pieces were:
Jack
Oogie Boogie
Moon/hill
Crypt seat with peeping eyes

And then I also did:
Zero
Zero's house/stone
Roofline pumpkins with skull rosettes (not really NBC but kinda fit)
Scarecrow Jack
Moon with shadow of Oogie Boogie


Jack
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Jack is nuts, people. His head is a 16" glass globe light fixture, with a PVC T-piece mounted inside with Gorilla Glue so that it can be popped off the body. You know, because he's dead he can take off his...ooh never mind.

The globe is covered with Model Magic, which I then sculpted and painted. Still not 100% sure this was the right thing to do, but it worked. I put many many layers of marine varnish over it but it probably would be bad if it got wet.

The body is a Spider Hill Prop Works build and worth every freaking penny. He's fully jointed and stands on his own. I decided to have him sit down for reasons I'll get into later.
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To work out the proportions, I bought one of the Diamond Select Jack action figures, which seemed to be the closest to the movie proportions. I used that as my working model.

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His suit is made from a black thrift store king-size sheet; it had a stripe pattern woven in so I followed that (mostly) and painted the stripes on with white puffy fabric paint. My poor hands almost died from squeezing that stupid bottle. His pants are really quite long, and being his tailor was somewhat exhausting.

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The lapels are craft foam, because eff it, I wasn't in the mood to do anymore sewing.

The tie is also craft foam, and the center is more model magic.

His hands are weird, I built them out of some plastic skeleton hands from Dollar Tree, but they're mostly model magic and hot glue. I cut the fingers apart and put black beads between the segments and used floral wire to hold it all together. They are mounted on PVC couplers so they can be attached to the arms.

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(only in-progress shot I have!)

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(don't touch the dog's butt, Jack!)


Next: Oogie
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So, about Oogie Boogie. He almost didn't happen because I went down the wrong path and was going to cover him in fabric and then spray-paint it day-glo green*.

Reader, it was a massive, massive fail.

So then I was at Fabric Hell, er, Joann, and I saw this neon green polar fleece (like you could miss it). I pulled out my pocket blacklight (gradiose term for a purple led flashlight, but it does the job) and that fabric fluoresced. Ooooh yeah. I bought eight yards and took it home, where SAD OOGIE was waiting.

Oogie is built on an Ikea valet stand thing that I picked up from As-Is for $3 five years earlier, knowing I'd be able to use it in a prop. I will forever use this as the example of a weird purchase that turned out to be useful...eventually.

I don't have any in-process shots because this thing really didn't come together until the very end. I was pretty sure I'd be making lime green fleece blankets for everyone for Christmas.

The body is made of chicken wire that I zip-tied and crunched and otherwise formed into a reasonably Oogie-Boogie-esque shape. It was covered in the Fabric of Fail already, and I'd been shaping that as I attached it, so really I was just stretching the fleece over it, and stitching the seams roughly with brown yarn. Some parts are also hot-glued and the black parts of the face are glued-in felt. The face is shaped by a combination of floral wire and quilt batting.

I put a couple of black lights near him and he looked pretty good. I brought a speaker out and played his theme song from behind him. I still think he's the weak link in the whole scene but it was nice to have him there.

*I know, he's only green for part of the movie, when he's under black light, but I was worried that having a big, hooded, light-colored figure on my lawn might look kinda Klan-y.

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My other Oogie project was this moon silhouette.

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The back is a metal saucer-style sled, spray painted yellow, and the silhouette is 1/2" foam insulation cut with a hot knife and painted black. I love my hot knife so much, as you'll see from the rest of the projects.

There are a couple strings of LED lights behind the silhouette. The silhouette is attached to the sled with hot glue and I also ran black duct tape around the edge because light was leaking. It looked pretty boss.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is the moon/hill silhouette I made from 1" foam insulation. Let's hear it for the hot knife!

The moon is 48" and is placed a few feet behind the hill. The spotlight is behind the hill. I completely screwed up the base of the hill which is why I just piled up a bunch of pumpkins in front of it. Um, I mean, the pumpkins symbolize...something...um...yeah no they're just hiding mistakes.

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I love pumpkin pails and I was really eager to use my new hole saw, so I combined them and strung some pails on a piece of PVC and put lights in them. I was pretty happy with how this turned out.

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Discussion Starter #4
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Zero was really fun to make. His head is model magic over styrofoam, and his ears are duct tape over floral wire. I painted everything white and then layered on some white glitter. The nose is the top of a candy dispenser, and inside is an LED on a battery.

The body is several layers of roughly-cut chiffon, over a wire base. There are suspension points on his head and tail, my original plan was to put him on a Flying Crank Ghost motor kind of set-up, but I did not think that through enough; with only two points, he ended up spinning around and getting all tangled up. Bah. He is really lightweight, so he moved a bit just with the breeze.

His stone is more insulation foam. Do I need to shout out to my hot knife again? I used the excellent tutorial at http://diynmbcprops.blogspot.com/2013/05/nightmare-before-christmas-zeros-dog.html as a starting point.

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Discussion Starter #5
Tales From (Making) The Crypt

Remember when I mentioned that Jack's head is Model Magic? I decided that this may not have been the best choice of material, as there was a chance of rain around Halloween. The most logical thing (ha ha ha like logic is still involved in this) was to set up a canopy to cover my scene.

But Jack is over 6 feet tall, and he looked weird under the canopy. But what if...he sat down?

Ok! So Jack is going to sit down. On what? A sawhorse. That was the perfect height. But there are no sawhorses in Halloween Town.

What to do what to do.

Well, if you're me, you remember that there is a stack of foam sheets out in the garage and you decide to build a low crypt over the sawhorse.

The crypt is a very simple square-with-lid and it's held together with Liquid Nails, except for one panel which was held in place with T-pins, for access to the electronics. That worked semi-well in practice, by the end of the night I'd jammed some bricks up against the panel to hold it in place. It's ok, I put pumpkins on top of them. People wonder why I always buy small fake pumpkins when I see them. This is why, people. You can cover up plenty of mistakes with enough pumpkins.

The oval side carving is an unfinished wood shape from Michaels, glued on with Liquid Nails before I painted the whole thing with joint compound/paint.

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I deliberately put Jack in a Manspreading pose because I didn't want to leave enough space for someone to try to sit down.

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The eye video is by AtmosFX. It's running on a loop on a large monitor connected to an old laptop. It looked pretty good in person.

Pumpkin King

This is really the best pic I got of my Pumpkin King scarecrow, who had issues staying upright. His body is a bamboo curtain, suspended on a pole held up by an umbrella stand. Sign is foam insulation. It was not the most ambitious item in the display.

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The canopy turned out to be a good idea, even though it didn't rain. I put up sheer curtains on a piece of conduit, then zip-tied the conduit to the canopy to block off access to the area with the extension cords and fog machine. There were net lights behind the curtains to provide extra light, plus spotlights on the ground and overhead. I knew people would want to take pics with Jack so I positioned him in a way that left enough space for someone to stand.

We lived in a very popular Halloween neighborhood so plenty of people came by and took pics with Jack.

(the lawn looks better now, btw - that was its Drought Look)
 

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Awesome talent and skill! Torgo, everything looks amazing but my favorite is your Oogie; great find on the fleece. Can't wait till you make Sally.
 

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Oh yea! By the way, I love the piled up pumpkins. You pulled a real Bob Ross there - no mistakes, just happy accidents...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I forgot to add one more prop that was attached to the house, my Monster Wreath. I made it a few years ago (pic is from first year it was alive), and then it sat out for one Halloween but I brought it back so it could be with its friends.

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It was really as easy as getting a big wreath at a garage sale and adding more lights and coroplast teeth and eyes made from a yellow plastic ball and electrical tape. The arms are cheap garland from Michael's that had seen better days and was demoted from Christmas to Halloween.

Thank you for the kind words!
 
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