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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Feathered Fiend

EDIT 6/24/2018: The raven is now available as a DIY Kit: www.chickenprops.com/p/raven.html

I just realized I never posted last year's biggest Halloween project here!

A client wanted a custom built, fully functional copy of the animatronic raven seen in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.  Here's how she turned out:

Here's a taste of the build process.

I sculpted the head and body of the birdie first.

Then molded it.  This is just the first layer of silicone going on the sculpture, but it looks so cool like that, right?

Lots of servos and hardware arrived.  Thank you online shopping.

And I started to puzzle out the animatronic mechanisms within a vacuum formed copy of the body.  There was a lot of trial and error involved to get it working the way I wanted.

Remember the Haunted Mansion wooden skull trim details?  Here's the reason I made those in the first place.  The raven would sit on a shelf that used these as brackets.

I saved the head from the water clay sculpture, and let it dry out.  I thought it was kind of cool in its own way, so I mounted it to a plaque with the scientific name for a raven on it.

In her new home...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

New Wacky Zombies??

One of the first props I ever made for another haunt was a copy of one of my wacky zombie groundbreakers, about eight or nine years ago.

I've just completed three new weirdos, using the same techniques in my How To video, available for you!  Head over to Mr. Chicken's Prop Shop to grab one before they're gone!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Spooks Arrive for the Midnight Spree

I recently acquired another weird Haunted Mansion casting.  This time of the face of one of the ghosts that rise out of the organ pipes in the ballroom.

Here's how they appear in the ride, materializing by Pepper's Ghost effect:

Thanks to behind the scenes photos like this, I knew what they were supposed to look like in person, so I set to work.

I originally wanted to do this in one go, without molding or casting.  I thought I would bulk out the back of the head with aluminum foil and sculpt the missing surface detail with Apoxie Sculpt, but as I considered it, I realized that would result in a heavy, less stable piece, so I went at it with traditional clay.

Head on a spike, with WED clay in back.  I have a writeup here on different types of clays that may be of interest.

The beginnings of a Smooth On Rebound 25 silicone mold.

Cast in resin and primed grey.

A little paint, a little cheesecloth.  Not too shabby, eh?

Shadows and Things (New Projection Effect!)

It's here, it's here!

I finally today put the finishing touches on the latest projection effect available at www.ChickenProps.com

This is a back to basics illusion, requiring almost no setup, and only the cheapest of projectors.  Check it out, and let me know what you think!