Thursday, September 29, 2011

32 days 'til Halloween: Rooftop U.F.O - A Team Build

I meant to post this on Monday, but it's turned out to be one busy week.

As I mentioned the U.F.O has been something I wanted to make for years. As a matter of fact it's the one idea I've had for Halloween that my mom has often mentioned hoping to see become a reality. And just recently my brother's girlfriend Leia also voiced her enthusiasm for it and offered her help if it moved the project up on the list.

So I thought about it and realized there was no good reason not give it a shot this year. I took Leia up on her offer. She and my seasoned Halloween helper niece Devin stopped by the the grim garage Sunday making the U.F.O. a real team build.


I decided to just have fun creating it by cobbling together stuff in the stash and not stress trying to make a perfect saucer shape or other elements. If this one turns out pretty good, there's always next year to improve on it.

Ideally it would be great to make it 10' wide, but I figured being a first time rooftop prop, better to play it safe and keep fairly small and lightweight so it's easily secured from sliding or blowing off. Besides, the phrase is "little green men from Mars" isn't it?

The main saucer body is a 36" plywood round with an edge cut off to give the illusion it's slammed into the roof. I made a simple frame to stand it at an angle which will be beefed up more later when screwed into a separate larger base dressed to look like an impact hole of splintered wood and ripped up shingles. Since the main saucer body is small, making other ship components exposed like the main engine (made from plastic bowls) instantly adds a larger scale to it.


The cockpit is an overturned large plastic planter/pot with the bottom cut off. Here Leia is detailing and disguising the edges by gluing on tubing all the way around.


As in my sketch, I'm planning to have the cockpit dome open. So the interior will be seen and needs all sorts of cool control boards, alien tech and futuristic gizmo's.

I put niece Devin to work making them. No restrictions. I just gave her a bunch of odd junk, a hot glue gun and a loose description of what was wanted.


She created some pretty cool and fun things.


The initial test fitting and placement looked great. Devin noted it needed a chair for the alien to sit in and suggested a radar like in a submarine to watch out for meteors. Really good ideas and now on the to-do list.


Okay, before anyone even asks, the reason there are hundreds of little plastic compasses on everything is just because I had them. Why I do and where they came from is a long story, but it's just one reason the fiancee keeps an application for the show Hoarders at the ready. Once the saucer shell is painted they'll look like giant rivets and bolts. I'll leave a few unpainted on Devin's gizmos as they actually seem to have function.

Day one of the U.F.O build went terrific with a great team. We have loose plans to get together again this Sunday and finish the ship. In the meantime I'll get back to other projects in progress.

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