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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Homemade Zombie (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Harry Murphy
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Inner circle
Maryland
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Bill Abbott also gives his workshop notes on "THE THING" away at no cost.

https://billabbottmagic.com/collections/......otes-pdf
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
FrankFindley
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608 Posts

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Quote:
On Apr 28, 2006, Marvello wrote:
Doees anyone have any ideas where to get a suitable zombie ball for not much $?


Search for a 4 to 6 inch Northlight Shatterproof Christmas Ball Ornament. Matte ones can be used directly. Glitter ones need to have a spray of clear coat so they don't shed glitter.

http://www.amazon.com/Northlight-Splendo......1M3XVN0S
http://www.amazon.com/Northlight-Hologra......6Y6Q61JC
http://www.amazon.com/Northlight-Turquoi......1M4QM0TU

Image

Image

Image



Another very cheap option is to do the floating candle. Simply take a cardboard tube, put a tea candle in end, and wrap it in wax paper. Start by lighting it, float it lit with silk in front, blow it out, and have it float under silk. You can make a double just out of candle and wax paper and vanish it ala wand shell. Great for Halloween, Harry Potter, and other themed shows.
countrymaven
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Hi Marvello, I admire your spunk and diy spirit. I misunderstood you, kind of, when you said you were looking for making a toilet float. Then I realized you were just looking to use the float. But what if you made a toilet float?You would be the only magician in the world. Plus with a pretty girl on it. It could be something that could start a Vegas Act. hehe.

But I want to encourage you because that idea of making something, for magic, often can be a somewhat tiring road, but ..... THE REWARDS CAN BE GREAT!!! KEEP IT UP!!!!
ringmaster
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Memphis, Down in Dixie
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Make a two finger control, it gives much more control and doesn't strain your hand as much.
One of the last living 10-in-one performers. I wanted to be in show business the worst way, and that was it.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22981 Posts

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I ran across toilet bowl floats that are copper color foam.

Just visit some stores to find them, they are very cheap as well.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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A good source for plastic balls is Dollar Tree. When they start stocking Christmas stuff, grab a few. You can't beat the price.

Regarding the toilet float, it is my understanding, based on stories told by older magicians, whether true or not, that Joe Karson invented the Zombie by playing around with a toilet float and a bath towel. I heard that it started as a joke when he came out of a bathroom and did it to fool other magicians who were there.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Russo
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So.California / Centl.Florida / retired Florida
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Did they have Toilets then ? Not an outhouse??
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Karson patented the Zombie in 1940. Side valve flush toilets have been around for more than 100 years.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
MattyMediocrity
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70 Posts

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Quote:
On Apr 29, 2006, Marvello wrote:
I agree that $22.50 is cheap, but so far I only have $1.75 invested in the working gimmick, and if I can get a foam ball/ornament and paint for a few bucks I would rather take that remaining $15 and buy something I can't make easily, or put it toward soem cloth for a foulard.

I really like the idea of building as many props as I can myself.

Thanks for the ideas - I will look at Michael's


I understand. Sometimes I'll spend MORE making my own prop than it would cost to purchase it.

I'm super intrigued by your first idea of making it out of a Styrofoam ball. This probably isn't the most practical way to do it, but it certainly is a fun problem to solve!

I've been picturing a glassy black onyx like ball since I read your post yesterday.

I think the first thing that needs done is to fill all of the little creases, dimples and divots then sanding it smooth. A light and airy wood putty might work for this?

After that, it's just a coat of paint and some sort of shiny lacquer finish.

I'm juggling a bunch of projects right now, but I think this would be quick. Let me know if you'd like for me to test it out. I've already got all of the materials except for the Styrofoam ball.
Creator of Molly Mayhem's 25 Cent Tacos <ultra visual coin bend> Smile

I try to treat others as if this were a small community where we're likely to be face to face one day Smile
countrymaven
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JUst an idea. ad a neo, strong magnet to the gimmick.
have a few steel pieces inside the ball or whatever you want to float.
now you can have an examinable ball, etc... that floats... plus the gimmick can be ditched on a steel holdout inside your coat, or behind the table.... just saying
David Todd
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Quote:
On Oct 14, 2021, countrymaven wrote:
JUst an idea. add a neo, strong magnet to the gimmick.
have a few steel pieces inside the ball or whatever you want to float.
now you can have an examinable ball, etc... that floats... plus the gimmick can be ditched on a steel holdout inside your coat, or behind the table.... just saying



This tends to work better by having a suction cup attached to the end of the gimmick. The neo-mag is epoxied in to the center of the suction cup. You don't use the suction cup to attach to the ball , it just serves to cushion the attachment from the gimmick to the ball , so you don't get an audible "click" . The interior of the suction cup (and the neo-mag in the middle) is covered with flocking to further deaden any talking.

Gene Poinc first suggested using a suction cup on the end of the gimmick. His idea was to float a real Christmas tree ornament. Because most real glass ornaments are very lightweight he used a strip of double-sided Scotch tape on the suction cup , which allowed for easily attaching and detaching.

Poinc: "Attach a small suction cup to the end of the ornament, or any concave shape. (You don't need the actual suction, by the way -- as it might come loose. Rather, place a strip of double-sided Scotch tape to the suction cup, leaving a quarter of an inch protruding. Stick a piece of paper on both sides forming a tab. This will provide a gripping surface to facilitate rapid removal of the ornament from the gimmick, and assure that the tape does not remain on the ornament."

I believe that idea by Poinc first appeared in Genii magazine , then later republished on The Learned Pig Project website.

Although I do like the idea of using a mag for easily attaching and detaching , and also the ditch of the gimmick you suggest.
MattyMediocrity
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Hey, so I've been playing around trying to get a Styrofoam ball to look like a heavy solid a few minutes a day between projects. I'm having some good results with different methods... but honestly haven't come up with anything that's time efficient in comparison to results.

BUT...I just accidentally stumbled across this while researching something entirely different.

It looks like a game changer and thought some of you might be interested.

Styrofoam primer! This stuff looks terrific! https://youtu.be/CAXt1ib0huU

Another tip. If you try to get Styrofoam balls off of Amazon, you'll be paying as much as ten bucks for an 8" ball.

If you can make it to a dollar tree during Christmas season, they currently have all sorts of Styrofoam ornaments you can get for a buck and just scratch off the cheesy decorations. They also have 8 packs of smaller balls for a buck. This isn't something they carry any other time of the year.

Have fun!
Creator of Molly Mayhem's 25 Cent Tacos <ultra visual coin bend> Smile

I try to treat others as if this were a small community where we're likely to be face to face one day Smile
Dan Ford
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Illinois
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Matty, they also carry oversized ball ornaments in different mirrored finishes. Some 6 - 7 inches in diameter.
David Todd
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Quote:
On Nov 22, 2021, MattyMediocrity wrote:

It looks like a game changer and thought some of you might be interested.

Styrofoam primer! This stuff looks terrific! https://youtu.be/CAXt1ib0huU


There are also foam balls that have a smooth surface which will take paint (although I'd recommend a coat of spray primer for those , too)

The brand is SmoothFoam .

https://www.smoothfoam.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Smoothfoam-Craft-......3VWKQFS/

Click here to view attached image.
MattyMediocrity
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Quote:
On Nov 22, 2021, Dan Ford wrote:
Matty, they also carry oversized ball ornaments in different mirrored finishes. Some 6 - 7 inches in diameter.


Ha! Well, there goes the fun of a build but what a quick and easy solution to the original post!

I'll look for them next time I'm there.

That's quickly becoming my favorite store.

I'm currently making a set of billiard balls with materials solely from that store to compare with the ones I just finished where I spent a bunch of money on expensive craft resins, paint etc.

I've got a feeling they're going to be almost as good... but we'll see.
Creator of Molly Mayhem's 25 Cent Tacos <ultra visual coin bend> Smile

I try to treat others as if this were a small community where we're likely to be face to face one day Smile
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