THE SMA FORUM ARCHIVE
Posted by belloq (Guest), on 2001-03-17 12:20:32
Nightmare Before Christmas hill set?
NOTE: the following messages have been transferred from the original SMA.com Message Board
User ID: 0478154 Aug 13th 6:16 PM
I am trying to fabricate a Nightmare Before Christmas curly hill/pumpkin patch/cemetery for a halloween window display. Last year, I tried to construct a similar with a cardboard backdrop, and spraypainted styrofoam cutouts, but it looked too two dimensional and was never displayed. I am rethinking the project this year, and I want a more three dimensional appearance, but I am stuck on how to make the curly hill. I imagine the original set had a wood and metal understructure covered with sculpted styrofoam and/or plaster. I need mine to be portable enough to be moved into position on a table after fabrication, but substantial enough to look like the film set. I will also be making a better quality backdrop. Any ideas on materials and techniques for fabrication of this Nightmare set would be very much appreciated. Any lighting ideas are also welcome.
User ID: 9161143 Aug 14th 7:02 PM
What you could do is get some chicken wire for the ground, then some papier-mache and cover the chicken wire. You can get chicken wire at most hardware stores, or farming stores like a TSC.
User ID: 0701364 Aug 15th 5:59 PM
Chicken wire is good. You could start by cutting the profile of the curly hill out of chipboard or ply, fixed to a flat base, with a couple of profiles at right angles, and staple the chicken wire to that. You could also use expanded aluminum mesh instead of chicken wire. I use plaster bandage or fibreglass matting dipped in plaster to cover the wire, then a coating of plaster over that to smooth it. Polyester resin and fibreglass is lighter and more durable, but chicken wire tends to have lumps and you'll need to fill the hollows to get it smooth, and plaster is much cheaper for that.
User ID: 2951094 Aug 19th 1:11 PM
Thanks for the helpful suggestions. I think I will build a wood base and cutout shapes and then build it up and detail it with a variety of materials. Thanks again.
User ID: 2951094 Aug 19th 3:28 PM
I forgot to ask- what kind or brands of plaster is used in set construction? Plaster from the local hardware store or the plaster found in art stores or some other? Thanks.
User ID: 0701364 Aug 20th 6:46 PM
"Art" materials are usually overpriced. You don't need the high density Hydrocal or Ultracal type plasters for set making, I use casting plaster that costs AUS $7 (US $4.00) per 25 kg bag, direct from a plasterer's supply or a bit more from a hardware shop. Actually I use it for mould making too, with a couple of coats of the good stuff first to get a hard surface, then casting plaster and glassfibre matt to build up thickness, it works fine and doesn't crack.
User ID: 8861793 Jan 5th 4:43 AM
I once made an about 7m long dragon out of chicken wire and covered this wire with PVC foam , when I was 5 years old . This foam is , of course not very sculptable , but you may cut it into the right shape and carve out the details , or you cover it with lightweight materials like Paper-machée or two-component resins , that are hard enough to sculpt . Or you do the thing with propoxy or expoxy putty .