A random, geeky blog

Halloween! Pt. 3

It is finally time for part 3 of my series on Halloween. This part will focus on the finishing touches of the display, namely the victim, the fog machines, and the pumpkins.

I’ll start with the victim. You may remember the web-wrapping body thing I showed earlier. There have been a few changes to it since then, namely completely ditching the idea of having the legs move with the body, and major changes to how the web is attached. We went to loop the web around the body and have it remain stationary, but it quickly caught on the body, and gave an amazing result. The body would spin about 1.5 times with the web stretching to match, then the tension became to great for the motor and it changed direction. I immediately decided to leave it that way because it looked so awesome, but I was halfway expecting the motor to break down after a few hours. Luckily, it didn’t and the display worked perfectly all week.

Here,‘s a video I took.


This video was actually picked up by hackaday.com, makezine.com, and probably many more. My photobucket account has generated at least 46,000 views in the last two days. Awesome.

Next up is the pumpkins. I decided to try to do the axe scene in The Shining this year, since I had plenty of time (or so I thought). I put in the blu ray of the movie, found the scene, then took a screenshot of it. Next, I opened the image in photoshop, converted it to greyscale, then maxxed out the contrast to produce a true black-and-white picture. I printed it out and taped it to the pumpkin, then started etching in a thin outline with my dremel. This took about two hours. When I finally finished, I went to get the carving tools, but they were nowhere to be found. I asked my father for his, and he couldn’t find them either. So I had to use whatever I could find. Armed with a screwdriver, a wood chisel, and a razorblade, I set at it. At about 5:00, I realized I was out of time, so rushed it to a stopping point. In hindsight, I should’ve taken a bit more time because I ended up punching all the way through in several places, which produced way too much light and made it much harder to recognize.

Here’s a photo of the result.

After that pumpkin, I had to do the fog chiller. I cut two holes in a 5 gallon bucket, then put a piece of PVC pipe running vertical from the bottom to the top, and another one at the bottom to let the fog out. I filled it up with ice, positioned the for machine correctly, and it was good to go. When I turned the machine on, it made a really awesome layer of ground fog, about 6 inches thick. By then, it was time for trick or treating to start, so I got out the candy bucket and starting handing it out. The house was a huge hit, with some people coming in cars just to trick or treat at our house. I did feel sorry for the neighbors though, because people became so distracted by my house that they skipped other houses. The whole night, I didn’t see one trick or treater go to the house next door, even though they were giving candy out.

At about 6:45, there was a large break, so I grabbed another pumpkin and made this.

That’s it for this year. I’ve got some pretty awesome plans for next year though, mainly building a motion-activated silly string gun to shoot the kids who get too close,and possibly a rebuild of the spider so it can stand up. I’m also considering building a civil war soldier with a cannon to shoot at the spider, though cost would be a big limitation for this. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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