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Discussion Starter #1
We're going with a Mario Bros Bowser theme this year. I'm toying with the idea of making a giant horizontal warp pipe that you walk through to get to our doorway through which you get to Bowser Castle (our house). But, how!?! I've been working on lots of paper mache decor (mostly using flour & water, it makes it that much more affordable). I'm using bristol board or balloons to make large scale things, did paper mache over big garbage bins to make smaller warp pipes, piranha flowers etc. for inside house. I could of course buy chicken wire if necessary. But, it is cold with plenty of rain here in October, and this thing would have to be outside. I could take it in and out of the garage, but if it rains day of our activities, I will have spent all that time prepping something we wouldn't even use. Ideally it would be out there for 9 days. I could toss it thereafter of course, but judging by feedback, the warp pipe would likely be a soggy and moldy mess well before we'd be done with it.

Wood I suppose would be an option, but I'm not sure I could work with wood on that scale. Another option would be making a giant Bowser skull you have to "walk through the mouth opening", but I'm thinking again that may be hard to do and my immediate go-to is paper mache.... Maybe I'll just end up doing a draw bridge instead, sounds more manageable (and reusable?).

I just have to say though that I drool and am filled with envy when I see all these amazing creations in large scale format you crazy talented people are able to put together! I have grand visions but not nearly enough talent or experience (nor much of a budget to play with) to pull something like that off. But it would look so amazing, I can't help but dream!

Anyone have some immediate ideas on how one could do it without too big of a production or too much expense?
 

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Off the cuff brain storm......

Luan with 1by1 bracing

Chicken wire tubes with bracing where needed cover with mache and/or monster mud.

PVC pipes heated to circles using appropriate connectors to add stregth and stabitlity.

Could use Green dyed cloth or canvas draped and tie down. Or even the cheapy green plastic ones you find here and there.

maybe corragated plastic

Pink foam

Combonation of all of it.
 

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While not necessarily a version of the Warp Pipe concept per se, is it possible that you might get the same sort of 'immersion' sense for guests by walking through a gauntlet of traditional Mario Bros. foes/characters?

It might prove equivalently effective in terms of setting/ambiance, but offer a bit more in logistical ease.

For example, this past year we had Mario Bros. Piranha Plant inspired pumpkin creatures on the porch leading directly to the front door. We used pumpkins as they were appropriate to our theme for the year, but they could just as easily been modeled exactly after Mario Piranha Plants. The construction is relatively straightforward (PVC, Great Stuff, and paint), and not terribly expensive, and provides a life-size interaction item:

20151022_133421.jpg

Assuming that this approach might work, it seems that the theme could include several other large-scale elements that would likely be fairly simple to construct, and could be done without a great deal of expense.

Just brainstorming here:

  • Thowmp: Lightweight foam over the door (guests having to enter the door directly under the threat of a Thowmping)
  • Bob-ombs: Start with Dollar Store playground balls sprayed black, and several could be spread about a walkway, porch, or other path.
  • Boo: Starched cheesecloth forms for a light/ethereal version, playground balls, or even helium balloons with a little logistical consideration
  • Chain-Chomps Large scale plastic chain is cheap, the sphere head not too difficult, and foam block for the chainbase
  • Brick Blocks: Foam blocks (free ones available from Tractor Supply, Lowe's, etc) around the door, or path
Italian Dressing.JPG


To add to the scene, the Warp Pipes probably then don't need to be life-size per se, but perhaps more like Sonotube sized? Alternatively, or additionally, inexpensive large planters painted green would continue to add depth and dimension. Of course, not large enough to walk into but still quite significant in scale and theme development. Having a few of those around, and maybe one with a Piranha Plant inside would definitely give depth to the setting.

From there, the sky is the limit....a great deal of ambiance could be set with the
Super Mario Bros. 3 Castle Music or Warp Pipe sound effects when entering the door, maybe?

Regardless of how you decide to go, it sounds like fun, and I hope you post updates!
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Awesome suggestions, thank you Defenestrator! I'll really take your suggestions into consideration! You clearly know your Mario stuff and great minds think alike :)

I have already made a few 6 feet tall piranha plants from paper mache, made a chain chomp with plastic chain, Thwomps, Bullet bill (small and mega Banzai Bill), working on a few warp pipes, and my intention is to use white balloons for Boos (I'm thinking about 400 throughout the place, though this will have to be done in the week(s) leading up as I'll draw with a sharpie on each = time consuming but anticipate having costumes made and everything else ready.) Thinking of flag poles with Bowser's black flag with the yellow ball on top. Maybe signpost outside to "Luigi's mansion", "Boo's Castle", the different Koopaling stages and of course Bowser's Castle? I've been making Bowser skulls that will be throughout the place (already have stone castle backdrop for our interior from last year so reusing that), and am now working on 2 big Bowser skulls, one for our fire place, one for outside. Also hoping to make dry bones skulls as props to put here and there. Honestly paper mache is far more time consuming then I thought though, and while I already started working on these things in November, I would have thought I had more done by now... But it's something I can do along the way here and there so it's working out.

Having a good time with it all (need to have a stomp the goombas game, but who knew brown latex balloons are so hard to come by? Makes sense I guess!), but really hoping to that huge WOW factor upon pulling up to our house.... You are right though, can also be accomplished with smaller things if needed. Btw I absolutely LOVE your pumpking plants and how they've been fastened with the chain! Gorgeous! Slightly rethinking my "red" piranha flowers, lol, they look far less scary!
 

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Discussion Starter #7

[*]Thowmp: Lightweight foam over the door (guests having to enter the door directly under the threat of a Thowmping)
[*]
[*]Bob-ombs: Start with Dollar Store playground balls sprayed black, and several could be spread about a walkway, porch, or other path.
[*]
:)
BTW, thank you, I will do both of these things. Was thinking of thwomps inside, but may make bigger for above door outside. And yes, bob-ombs, is really a great idea!
 

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How about a box with a light inside of it making a shadow the shape that you want upon the doorway?
Simple, cheap, easy to store won't break your back handling it.
 

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Wow I know nothing about Super Mario but I do know a little about paper mache and I must say you've done an excellent job on the skull.l. .
Can't wait to see it completed.
And you must have an understanding spouse to get away with that in the kitchen!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Inspired to add a few more pics! Banzai Bill (Bigger than bullet bill, hence his mouth and no arms) and of course, Chain Chomp (I have a box to attach chain to, just not painted brown yet). Chain Chomp was made over a huge dollar store balloon (larger than exercise ball), but it's still too small for my liking... I want to make a really big one, but not sure what to use for that without buying something and spending $ that doesn't need to be spent. Even thinking maybe I'll make 1/2 a chain chomp that looks like it's coming out of a wall, that way the really large size wouldn't be as hard to store until Halloween or get in/out of doorways. Still then I have to create half a dome shape, hmmm, what to use....
 

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