A pair of evil witches flying around
"Glenda the good witch" tied to a stake - and on fire
This prop involved several related items. First was the pole on which Glenda was
tied - and which the witches circled. Secondly, I needed a means of making
Glenda look like she was "on fire". The "fire pots" I found commercially were
too small; and anything I picked needed to stand up to rain and other inclement
weather. What I decided on was a Chauvet flame projector (which is NOT
weatherproof) - so I also ended up building a miniature "mausoleum" to house the
projector, a fog machine, and some other effects.
Construction of this prop involved a
8' 4x4 post mounted upright (I used two 8' 2x4s mounted in a Tee to the bottom
of the 4x4 to keep it upright) with a 4" pulley wheel mounted on top. Attached
to the pulley was an 8' aluminum U-channel (from Home Depot - for showers). To
attach the U-channel, I drilled two holes in the pulley wheel, with 2" machine
bolts mounted from below (and locked in place with lock washers). I then placed
about 1" high plastic spacers over the exposed bolt (to hold the U-channel high
enough above the head of the lag screw that it didn't rub). The U-channel was
then bolted onto the screws, giving me a 8' wide propeller-like assembly on top
of the post.
I ran a 2 1/2" lag screw down
through the pulley wheel into the 4x4 (you'll have to do this BEFORE you attach
the U-channel on top). I then mounted two 4" angle irons to the top back side of
the 4x4 - which I used to mount my electric motor.
I mounted a small pulley wheel
mounted onto the motor shaft (size of the pulley wheel will depend on the speed
of your motor, and how fast you want your witches to fly around). My motor is a
13 RPM high-torque motor. An automotive belt from the local hardware store links
the two pulleys. Once you get the motor lined up, drill holes in the angle irons
to attach the motor.
One extra step I took, I bought 2'
long threaded rods from the hardware store and mounted one to each end of the
U-channel, bolted with a lock washer and lock-nut so the rod is flush with one
side of the U-channel, and the rod extends perpendicular to the U-channel and
away from the direction of rotation of the assembly. These extensions served as
guides; the witches "bodies" were hung directly from the ends of the U-channel.
To keep them flying straight (and keep them from spinning in circles as they
moved) the tail end of each witches' broom was wired to the extended end of the
threaded rod. This kept them "flying straight" as they circled Glenda.
The mausoleum isn't much more than a
2'x3' box I built from scrap lumber. I mounted doors to the front with hinges
(one screwed shut, the other openable). The back side was left open and placed
so that it had a clear patch to project the "animated flames" on Glenda - the
tied up witch.
I attached sheets of Styrofoam
to the top and front (above the door) to give it a more stone-like texture, then
spray painted the assembly grey on the outside, and black inside. A small
gargoyle and a raven (with blinking red eyes) on top and a foam chain across the
front completed the effect. Placed inside on the ground is a fog machine on a
timer - aimed out the open door. Also a red light on a ground stake sits inside
providing some "eery" light from within.
The "Blaze" light projector I
mounted to the roof of the mausoleum via a bolt screwed through the top (under
the gargoyle) and through the mounting arm that comes with the Blaze unit. The
effect was excellent, the animated flames lit up Glenda as the two evil witches
circled her all night!
See the witches in motion!
witches video #1
witches video #2