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Old 08-19-2011, 11:34 PM   #1
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Default Ideas for Halloween display?

Well, it's about 6 weeks until my Halloween display will begin going up, and I'm looking for new ideas. The crazier, the better. The theme is a giant spider attack, but it doesn't necessarily have to do with that. I'm mainly looking for DIY stuff, because it allows me to have more control and, well, it usually comes out better. For reference, here are some pics of last year's display.



















Here is a link to a very bad quality video of it.

So far, the only great idea I've had is for a motion detector that shoots web (silly string) at people when they get too close to the spider. I've also been thinking of redoing the spider completely so it'd have proper looking legs instead of sausages.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ideas for Halloween display?

I threw some ideas at you last year and its crazy that it's time to start thinking about this again. I def think updating/redoing the spider to look more life like would be cool.

This reminds me of the movie/book "It" by Stephen King (LINK) so maybe including some crazy clown guy would be awesome.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ideas for Halloween display?

Haha, if I do a clown, it's going to end up wrapped in web and hanging in a tree. That would look pretty cool though, I'll have to see if I can find the perfect mask to use.


I cannot find a solenoid nearly powerful enough for the silly string can, so I'm going to use a geared drill motor. I'll upload scans of the plan later tonight once I finish it.


EDIT: Any ideas to include the old cars/boat into the display?

ANOTHER EDIT: I thought about it for a few minutes, and here's what I came up with:



Quick explanation in case anyone cannot figure it out: The motion detector activates a DPDT relay. When the relay is active, the motor moves a nut on a threaded rod forward until it presses the plunger on the silly string, as well as SW1 (normally closed) which will break the circuit. When the relay is no longer active, it will drive the motor backwards until it hits SW2 (nc) which breaks the circuit.

I'll probably try making a prototype tomorrow to see if it works.


Yet another edit: I just blew an 18 amp PSU on this motor... I guess it's time to dig out some old NiCads.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ideas for Halloween display?

That's pretty sweet. I'd never be able to come up with that.

As far as the cars, you could create a scene of a car crash where the car crashed into the tree and the spider is attacking it and eating the occupants of the car.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ideas for Halloween display?

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Originally Posted by jmacavali View Post
That's pretty sweet. I'd never be able to come up with that.

As far as the cars, you could create a scene of a car crash where the car crashed into the tree and the spider is attacking it and eating the occupants of the car.
That would be really awesome, but having a car in the lawn for that long would kill the grass, which takes years to grow back because it's under a very large oak tree. IDK, maybe I'll just completely wrap them in web and put some pirates on the boat or something. I just feel like it messes the display up having rusting away cars in the driveway.


As far as the spider, I'm thinking inflatable body with PVC legs would probably be the best way to go about it. This way, I could make the legs move with Tim when he's being wrapped. It'll be kinda difficult to get the legs properly shaped without making them excessively heavy/difficult to store though. Or I might just replace the front two legs and hang the rest so they hold a proper position. IMO, the biggest problem with realism is that the legs just kinda flop down instead of holding that M shape that people are used to seeing.

IDK, I'm just bouncing around ideas right now. I probably won't start messing with the spider for at least 2 weeks.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ideas for Halloween display?

One thing I did for a few years was setup a Mr Pumpkinhead. Took a carved pumpkin and put it on top of a dummy body set in a chair on the porch. Put a speaker in the chest and hung a mic nearby. I sat at a window where I could see what was happening. When a kid approached I would engage in a conversation with them. For younger kids, I would be gentle but for older kids I would be mean and scary. Also had 2 different colored lights in the pumpkin that I could switch between. White light to be "normal" but red to be "angry". It was great fun.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ideas for Halloween display?

I think you could get a plane in there as well :P
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ideas for Halloween display?

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One thing I did for a few years was setup a Mr Pumpkinhead. Took a carved pumpkin and put it on top of a dummy body set in a chair on the porch. Put a speaker in the chest and hung a mic nearby. I sat at a window where I could see what was happening. When a kid approached I would engage in a conversation with them. For younger kids, I would be gentle but for older kids I would be mean and scary. Also had 2 different colored lights in the pumpkin that I could switch between. White light to be "normal" but red to be "angry". It was great fun.
Haha, that's awesome. What was the best reaction you got?

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I think you could get a plane in there as well :P
????


EDIT: Here's what I have so far on the web shooter thing: I took apart an old electric screwdriver that had a failed battery and removed the motor/planetary gears. It had a hexagonal tube where the screwdriver tips would fit, so I just left that as is and found the largest bolt I could fit into it. Then I JB welded the nut onto the end of the tube. I have some NiCad batteries charging right now, so I should be able to get it working by tomorrow.





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Old 08-23-2011, 10:10 PM   #9
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Haha, that's awesome. What was the best reaction you got?
A few kids would act tough and be smart*sses. It was great when I could get them scared enough to run away.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ideas for Halloween display?

That's awesome. Did you videotape any of it?

Here's where I am now.



The first popsicle stick will be used to keep the bolt from rotating, and it will push the switches. The other two are just wedged in there to keep it in place until the glue dries.
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