Saturday, August 27, 2005

Operation Gargoyle

He sure looks sad right now. But by Halloween the Gargoyle will be as good as new. Last year I noticed that the gargoyle was really listing to one side. When we took him down we noticed his right arm was essentially broken. After several seasons, this was to be expected. The problem was of my own making I had reinforced his wings with "Great Stuff" expandable foam. You can see the gargoyle's shoulder got the same treatment. Good idea for the shoulder. Bad idea for the wings. They because way too heavy. Add in the wet weight of a few October rains and the monster mud around the elbow gave way. I stripped the monster mud "skin" off the gargoyle's arm and you can now see the skeleton. Simple chicken wire shaped like a garyole's arm. You can see the real problem here. I didn't "fuse" the gargoyle's elbow with great stuff. So, when the weight of the wings got to be too much, the wire didn't hold. I'll fix that simply by spraying in a little foam and letting it dry before I re-mud the arm.

Not everyone fuses joints like I do with the foam. But I think the key to a long-lasting prop is giving it a good foundation. The foam is the strongest and innermost layer of support for the prop. And it helps ensure the prop is durable.

Where to put the fog...

I have a wild hair that I can make fog come out of the gargoyle's mouth. Much easier if I made him that way in the first place. Or if I hadn't filled him with expanding foam as you see here. Still, I think I can get it done. But I am wondering how to get the tube into the head. Also a little concerned about how small of diameter of tubing a normal fog machine can push fog though. So, this may or may not happen. At the very least, you have a good view of more of the skeleton of the creature.

Give the monster a hand

Here's close-up the gargoyle's current hands. They're "sculpted" expandable foam. You can imagine that I have never been happy with them. Of couse, at night from 20 feet away they are just fine. But in the picture above you'll see some new hands that I am considering utlizing as I rebuild the prop. I bought them a few years ago and haven't ever really used them. They're gloves actually. But a little foam, monster mud and paint and they could be much more refined.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

New Prop

Thanks to a big assist from Brent at Devious Concoctions, SFH has a "monster" new prop to deploy! Brent is shipping me the guts for a drop panel column...this should be a very exciting prop to watch in action this season.