Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mini Mausoleum Prop Gets A "Done Stamp"

Finished painting the mini mausoleum prop this week. It's all ready to go for Halloween night. Last week it got a coat of primer and this week it got the finish coat. First used flat enamel black on the trim pieces, then went over the trim lightly with a roller using two different shades of gray Behr textured DeckOver paint, darker shade followed by lighter shade to preserve the details in the trim, and then finished off the rest of the prop using the lighter shade of gray. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

PVC Pipe Mannequin Upgrade

One of the problems with PVC pipe mannequins is the empty flat upper body space. Sometimes it's not a big issue but with the one particular mask and costume we're going to be using it was a glaring problem. There are various solutions online (e.g. duct taped foam padding, pipe insulating foam tubes, chicken wire, etc.) but all seemed to require more effort than we were willing expend. So we decided to try a 16" baseball chest protector with shoulder pads that was on sale for $20 (evidently the red ones weren't popular). It worked perfectly!

Monday, September 11, 2017

New Werewolf Prop

Working on a new werewolf prop for this year's haunt. Started using Spider Hill Prop Works "Spider Joints" on our PVC pipe mannequins last year and love them. They allow for much more dynamic looking poses versus standard PVC pipe fittings.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Halloween TV 2017

Always on the lookout for new upcoming Halloween television programming around this time of year. Here's what we've found so far:

Halloween Baking Championship Season 3
Begins September 25th @ 9PM ET on Food Network

Halloween Wars Season 7
Begins October 1 @ 9PM ET on Food Network

Hayride of Horror: Possessed Zoo
Airs October 2nd @ 10PM ET on Food Network

Hayride of Horror: When Pumpkins Fight Back
Airs October 9th @ 10PM ET on Food Network

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mini Mausoleum Lighting

Decided to play around with the LED rope lights inside the prop over the Labor Day weekend. Very happy with how the prop has turned out. The lighting of both the inside of the mausoleum and the belfry tower came out just as envisioned. The rope light is installed with clips and is easy to remove/install so different colors can be used for future Halloween haunts. Still have some work to do regarding our other props for this year's haunt, but with the mausoleum built, the difficult work is out of the way. Now is the time of year when we check out the stores for items not necessarily for this year's haunt but for the future. Already acquired some items for future haunts. When we see Halloween decor and props that fit our aesthetics or theme ideas we tend to buy now and save for later because items come and go from year to year, sometimes to never grace a store's shelf ever again.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mini Mausoleum Construction Completed

With Halloween only 60 days away we're happy to have completed the constructions stage of the Mini Mausoleum yesterday. That gives us about 4 weeks of ambient temperatures to paint the prop in our garage, since October can be a toss up temperature wise. Designed the belfry tower to be removable/optional, so it can also be used more like a traditional mausoleum prop by covering up the "moon roof" with a board. For this Halloween, a hanging bat prop will be used in the belfry tower section and a standing prop in the mausoleum section. Purple LED rope light will be installed inside the eaves and under the roof to uplight and downlight both props. Will also probably install some small cup hooks for stretching some spider webs inside the interior of the prop. The prop breaks down into 9 pieces for easy storage.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Prop Build August Update

Making some progress on the "Mini Mausoleum" prop. It still needs outer paneling, a roof/belfry tier, and decorative trim. Hope to have the building stage completed by the end of August so that it can get painted in September. And still need to build another PVC pipe mannequin frame and base for one of our werewolves! Only 75 days left until Halloween. Since we only set up the yard haunt for Halloween (usually get started the day before), we've still got plenty of time but we can't dillydally. Late last October we drove around some local towns at night to see what kind of Halloween decorating people had done and saw lots of nice lighting, decorations, and haunts. We felt like perhaps we weren't doing enough to promote the spirit of the holiday with just our candy corn lights and fall leaf garland around the front door. So this year we're putting up orange and purple LED C9 bulbs on our Christmas light stringers on the front gutters and matching mini lights for the front door garland at then end of September as the opening act to the big night.