Monday, October 22, 2007

The Pirate Ship

So this year, 2007, a former co-worker of mine put me in touch with someone who wanted to meet me. This person puts on an amazing display! His name is Peter Montgomery. He wrote his own software to be able to automate run his show unattended. He also built animtronics that rival what one would see at Disneyland. We got in touch with each other and agreed to help each other out. I would help him build a ship and he would help me build animatronics.

This year, he wanted to build a (life-size) sunken pirate ship on his front lawn. So I drew up some ideas. Here is the initial concept:

Then it was a matter of plotting out the size and placement:

Here is part of the metal framework he welded together:

Then I drew up some plans on how to assemble the hull exterior to and around the frame. We went trhough a few design approaches because we wanted to avoid seeing the metal famework as much as possible. Here are those plans:

Here's a drawing of the ship's wheel:

The original plan was to use cardboard but then he got a deal on huge sheets of half-inch styrofoam so we decided to make it out of that. Here are some work-in-progress pictures:

I took the above image into a paint program and drew on to of it to see how I envision it to be:

Here's a view from the reverse angle:

He also wanted to do a "dock scene" and make his front doot the entrance to a tavern so here are some sketches I drew up for the general layout and tavern signs:

Here's a picture of the finished sign:

Don't ask me how I have time to do all of this! I took a hiatus from work for a few weeks and was able to work on it about 4 hours per day. Peter must have put in 10-12 hour days. In all, it must have taken us 3 weeks from the time the metal frame consruction was built to completion.

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

...of the Glendale News Press section in the L.A. Times!

Here's a link to the article (Sorry, you'll have to cut and past the URL-I can't get the Link function to work):

Here are some pictures of the "close to finished product":

(I carved out and faux painted the signs and stenciled the writing. I also decided to make the arrow out of the skeleton of a dead fish. At the last minute, I came up with adding "DEAD" to Tavern ahead. That's why its written in red "blood" paint.)

(I faux painted the wood texture on the boxes and Peter's friend, John, followed it up by "aging" it with a dark gray wash. Then I painted the lettering.)

First, the entire ship was painted black, then both Peter and I went over it with a wash (using a spray bottle and rag) of two separate colors to create the aged wood appearance. (I carved out the jagged opening with a hot knife.)

Peter and his friends did a fanatsic job rigging up the mast and making the crow's nest. Peter distressed it by cutting-away pieces of the mast and inserting styrofoam to fill the inside of the hollow sonotube. The step-ladder can show you the scale of the thing. I think it's about 15 feet high!

The rocks I formed out of heavy-stock paper that is used for protecting floors during construction. Then I faux painted them using black and brown paint.

The skull I made with wire mesh and plaster wrap and DAS sculpting compound. It was then faux painted by my friend, Ernie. Originally, the jaw was hinged and was going to open and shut with a soundtrack of laughter but alas, time was up!

Here's a short clip of the animation that Peter did for his show. Both he and his writing partner (who voiced the crow) wrote the script. His friend, Dan Bond, did the voice of the skeleton. It's funny banter-you have to see the whole thing!

To see more of Peter's work and his past Halloween shows, please go to his website: