Okay everyone, the Posey Project is coming down to the final designs before mass production. For those that haven’t been following my Halloween Project here is a group shot of all my design iterations. Each version introduced new design options that will be evaluated and a decision made on whether it will make it to the final design for the 2015 Haunted Trail. The four on the left have already been discussed in detail on the Blog
In case you missed those, here is a quick index of their posts – note, Posey V1.0 had already been put away with the rest of the trail decorations so it isn’t pictured above.
Posey V1.0 – Not Shown (link here)
Posey V2.0 (link here)
Posey V3.1 (link here)
Posey V4.0 (link here)
Posey V5.0 (link here)
Today’s post features the option on the far right which I appropriately refer to as V6.0 of Posey which is modeled off of the previous V5.0 twist coupler design. As you would expect (and likely see), this one had its share of new design features as well.
Hit the jump to read all about this latest version of Posey
All of the posts pretty much build upon themselves, so following that model, I’m just going to focus on the new features with this version to save myself some typing. I should point out that Posey V7.0 is Under Development and likely going to represent the final design …. although that is always subject to change depending on what I stumble upon during my next Menards trip hehehe.
The first new design feature I wanted to cover is the neck. I went with a hybrid this time combining the neck structure of V5 with the joint used in V2.0. The V5.0 chain fence coupler worked perfectly to give articulation to the head, but the length of the neck ended up being extended thanks to the extra length of the two fence ends. In an effort to shrink that size I went back to the eye hook on the shoulder to hold the head. This took at least an inch off the size and added greater stability to the joint over V3.0 thanks to having the flat fence end to lock the eye bolt onto (if you recall the double eye bolts were a little cumbersome to put together).
Here is a shot with the V5.0 head design to show how much shorter the neck is now (there is key reason for this concern coming up later in the post) Note, The chest design below is incorrect – I put the connectors in backwards accidentally for the picture so ignore that.
Again, ignore how the CPVC couplers are laid out below – I should have had the elbows reversed. I kept this shot in just because it did show the PVC to CPVC reducer I mentioned back in V5.0 but didn’t have a shot for – they are the white couplers that go into the 1″ cross that are then able to receive the CPVC reducer.
The next feature change was the hip twist couplers. If you recall, I went with 3/4″ twist couplers in V5.0 and experienced some slippage in the heavier load bearing poses. To solve that I upgraded to the full 1″ twist coupler – a little more expensive, but worth the added stability – it successfully stayed in every pose I put it in.
The next change was in the lower leg coupler. In the V5.0 writeup I mentioned that I just used a dry straight coupler at the bottom in order to adjust the orientation of the ankle. At the time the joint held really tight without any glue, but after a number of dis-assembly and re-assembly cycles it did get a little loose. To solve that I went with an idea gleamed from Pinterest (will try to go back and figure out where I found it so I can give credit where credit is due) Basically I just put the straight coupler on the chop saw and dropped the blade partway through. Slap a screw through the slot and into the PVC and all you need to do is loosen it, twist the coupler and re-screw it back it to keep the desired orientation tight.
I also upgraded the feet. The new new model for V5.0 provided major stability for the figure, but was kind of wide if I wanted to put shoes on (to complete the costume). To reduce the foot size, I changed to a 3/4″ three pronged connector instead of the previous 1″ version. That allowed me to maintain the 3/4″ dimension through the rest of the foot structure.
Now for the major feature addition – a new head (as you should have guessed from the post title). The previous PVC heads were all modeled for specific masks I had bought for them. These would required tweaking depending on what mask happened to come with the costume. It also took a little bit of work to get the mask to “fill” out enough to look like a full face. It was pretty obvious what the upgrade would be in this area… the wig head!
I wasn’t actually confident they still made these things being that I had not really seen one since my childhood days when my mom had one. I brought this up to Linda and she immediately confirmed they were still around and recommended I try Jo Anne Fabrics to see if they had them. Yes, that would be the SAME Jo Anne Fabrics where the Grim Reaper incident happened (link here) so I demanded she go with me to get it. Sure enough they had them for about $5. The annoying thing is this particular model had a tilt in the head – later found some male heads on Amazon that did not have this annoying pose.
the first thing was to do a little neck shaving .. Texas Chainsaw shaving hehehehe. Admittedly, I did feel a little queasy doing this – good to know I would be a crappy serial killer – on a side note, it did result in a new idea for the Haunted Trail!
You will notice that the neck had a pre-formed hole in the center which I used to my advantage. It was slightly smaller than the 3/4″ PVC pipe. Slapped a fence post on a 1″ to 3/4″ reducer coupler and then attached it to a small piece of 3/4″ straight pipe. Shove it up the neck hole and presto, a new head option for Posey – if you are thinking like I am, a bunch of these hanging upside down in the forest trees would give quite the scare…add some fake blood maybe insert some glass eyes oh yea..
Ooops, better bring you back on topic. Here is the finished product attached to the Posey frame. You can easily see the unwanted tilt in the head now.
Now, putting it all together with the new head…
This head enhancement really works out nice for all masks – giving a nice full shape to the mask. I’ll cut in some glass eyes I saw in another tutorial to up the creepy factor.
Might as well put the entire costume on. It was evident pretty quick that I’ll need to paint the foam neck black to let it blend it with the darkness on the trail.
One last design feature was to add a bit of thickness to the arms and legs. I just used some 1″ pipe insulation. My brother gave me the idea of possibly using skin (rubber of course) so I’m studying up on professional prop making to see how easy it would be to do this.
The downside of this design is in the hips area – depending on which couplers you use, the width of the hips can get a little big. The pants on my costume still went around it okay, but I need to do something about that – truth be told I already figured out a new design for it and that is the main new feature in V7.0 that is still under development. I almost just made the update V6.1 but it is significant enough that it warranted its own version – plus hoping to add a couple more features that are swimming around in my head.
Here’s the “clone army” as it stands today. Did I mention that Linda now refers to Project Posey as an addiction!?!
As with the previous posts, here is the material list for V6.0
- Drill Press (technically optional, but highly recommended) if not, can uses a standard drill)
- 1/8″ Drill Bit or whatever size fits the screws you are going to use to affix the chain link cap to the PVC
- Pilot hole drill bit – smaller the better
- Screwdriver – manual or electric to put the caps in
- (1) 3/8″ by 1/4″ x 1″ (or longer) Eye Bolts with nut ($0.45 ea)
- (1) 1/4″ Locking Nut ($1.89)
- (1) 1/4″ Split Washer ($4.06 – 40)
- (23) Chain link fence cross bar caps w/ 3/8″ hole ($0.88)
- (12) 3/8″ Large Washers ($3.78 – 100)
- (12) 3/8″ x 1″ Bolts ($4.21)
- (12) 3/8″ Nuts ($2.28)
- (12) 3/8″ Split Washers ($2.00)
- (56) 1″ cabinet, drywall or round head screws (use whatever you laying around that is in the 1″ long range)
- Two Socket Sets
- PVC Cement (now required if you want to lock the pipes into the sockets holding the twist couplers – could go with screws instead)
- Duct tape – preferably white
- Hand PVC Cutter (optional, but highly recommended)
Next the materials list (foam head option – look at V5 for previous head configuration):
- (1) 1″ PVC Cross ($2.15)
- (2) 1″ PVC T’s ($0.59)
- (2) 1″ PVC Couplers ($0.41)
- (3) 1″ to 3/4″ Reducers ($0.77)
- (6) 1″ Twist Coupler – Union ($4.79)
- (2) 3/4″ Twist Coupler – Union ($3.38)
- (4) 3/4″ PVC 45 degree Couplers ($0.90)
- (4) 3/4″ PVC Cap ($0.19)
- (2) 3/4″ 3 Port Connectors ($2.00)
- (2) 1″ PVC to 3/4 CPVC Coupler ($1.54)
- (2) 3/4″ to 1/2″ CPVC Reducer ($0.36)
- (2) 1/2″ 90 Degree CPVC Elbow ($.0.29)
- (1) 12″ of 1/2 Clear Tubing ($1.00)
- (1) 10′ x 1″ PVC Pipe (depends on size but by two, if you are like me you’ll be making a lot of them) ($2.48)
- (1) 3′ 3/4″ PVC Pipe (basically just enough to build the head and arms ) ($1.50)
- (1) 2″ 1/2″ CPVC Pipe (basically just enough to connect the elbows to the reducers) ($0.50)
- (1) Foam head ($5.00)
- (2) 1″ x 6′ Pipe insulation tubes ($1.95)
Total Cost Estimate at: $99.55 (essentially the same cost of V5.0 even with the new couplers) $84.62 with Menards 15% bag sale (which ended last week) and you could probably get other sales to bring that down to around $75.00
Total Time Estimate at: 3 hrs
- Complete flexibility for any joint angle
- Easy disassemble, reassembly and storage
- Joints are really easy to stay aligned due to the perfect 3/8″ holes in the fence caps
- You can bend and rotate the spine now
- New lifelike head that is can still bend up and down and side to side with a little extra effort
- Smaller yet still very stable foot design
- Can hold all of the poses quite well (the larger hip twist couplers are much stronger)
- New chest structure
- Hip and shoulder joints back in line with frame
- Added a little beef to the bones
- Still in the upper echelon of costs thanks to the Twist Couplers
- Extra time required to lock in the Twist Couplers
- Did I mention it was expensive
- Still need to shrink the overall hip and shoulder width (actually already have this solved – will reveal it in V7.0)
Almost ready to start in on the animatronics phases – this year’s Haunted Trail should be one for the “epic” books.