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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Making a Zombie Gimmick (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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davbut50
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I am looking for ideas on making my own zombie gimmick. I've ruined a few trying to adapt them to what I want. Any information regarding materials or improvements will be appreciated.
Spellbinder
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The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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Wire coathanger, common wine bottle cork.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

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Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
MuleePete
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Car antena. I picked up a fistfull for $1.00 each at the local wrecked car lot. PM me if you would like photos.

Mulee
davbut50
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Thanks for the productive replies. I am actually trying a coat hanger. It is amazing at the difference of stiffness. I have not thought of an antenna. That is a good idea, especially the one piece ones; however, I could think of some ideas behind a telescoping antenna, if it is rigid enough.
donrodrigo
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U.S.A. and Europe
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Spellbinder is on.
coat hanger and black hollow shoe laces.

good bottle cork, magic felt marker to paint cork. If you need more details?
gimpy2
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You can buy steel rod the same size as a coat hanger but it is a lot stiffer.
thegreatnippulini
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of Hell because I've made
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Car antenna is a good idea for both stiffness and durability. Car antenna do not rust!
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Servante
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I've been playing around with magnets rather than corks. Seems like the bits don't fit nearly as well as they used to on my dear old Zombie (about forty years old now). I've found some large, lightweight plastic Christmas ornaments that are large and look for all the world like Zombies. Just now trying to figure out how to smoothly eliminate the ornament top thingy.
Never thought about the antenna idea. Good tip. Smile

-Philip
davbut50
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It's funny you should mention Christmas ornaments. I was thinking of those yesterday while watching my wife and niece decorate the tree. I plan on snatching a few of the really large ones and trying to use my dremel tool to get rid of the top and make a place for the gimmick. It would have to be a permanent gimmick since there would not be a "tunnel" to hold the cork steady.
MuleePete
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I have been playing with 1" PVC fittings and tube for the "tunnel" in a syrafoam skull. Gorilla glued it in place. Works very well. Also changed the finger loop for a wood handle, gives better grip and control. Found that a long gental curve of the antenna yeilds some interesting angles for the illusion.

Mulee
Cyberqat
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If you use coat-hangers, then a brom handle makes a great "form" to twist the finger part around.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
davbut50
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Mulee, The pvc for the "tunnel" makes sense. I have not thought of that. Would you be willing to give me ideas on your wood handle? It sounds interesting to try.

Cyberqat, The broom handle is a good idea; however, my fingers are fairly small so I have been looking for smaller "molds". I have actually been trying anything that will not be ruined by scratching trying to find the right fit.

I've found that the wood/wire hangers that come with dress suits are much stiffer (the wire). I am waiting for finding the time to deal with this type of material and finding the best way to bend it. I would also like to use a rubber cork for better adhesion to the zombie ball, yet I am having a hard time finding rubber corks without ordering special items from specialty distributors (ie - scientific supplies). The art of finding specialty items without the cost of specialty items, or ordering in bulk, is not one of my fortes.
MuleePete
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Davbut50, I suggest you look in the hardware store(Ace,HD,Lowes) in the specialty hardware drawers for rubber corks. They have the rubber stoppers like we used in the sicence labs to seal bottles. You don't have to buy a grunch.

Stiff wire worked around a round surface a bit at a time will give you the bend you want. I put a 1" bow in my antenna this way.

Find a dowel diameter that fits your hand comfortably. I used 1", but you can find multipul sizes at the hardware store. Drill a hole to match the diameter of the wire used, close to edge. Cut a groove for the wire to fit into from the hole to the oppisite edge. Bend wire end 90 degrees and glue into hole in dowel, running it in groove and out to whatever length you want. After determining the wire length, bend 90 degrees and cut to length to glue in to rubber stopper. CAREFULLY drill hole in rubber stopper, and glue wire end in place. Cut dowel down to fit in your hand. Paint whatever needs it flat black.

Give that a try, or design the next great zombie gimmick. I'll look forward to your results.

Mulee
Cyberqat
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I use the broom handle and then adjust with a pair of needle nose pliers.

YMMV
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
IDOTRIX
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Darien,il
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I solder two cooper fittings together that fit my middle and ring finger. than I attach the bar to the fittings. very comfortable and a lot of stress off forearm
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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I've found welding rod and brazing rods make good gimmicks for the zombie, cheap and available from any welding supply place.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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For years, I had made my gimmicks the coil end way, but a year ago I made a big floating eyeball, and quickly discovered that the coil gimmick was going to break my finger. I made a new one using a short length of metal tubing soldered to the arm, and it was 1000% more comfortable. The 2 fingered gimmicks described by IDOTRIX are great, too. I just prefer more free fingers.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
scottds80
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Victoria, Australia
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Do many of you scrap the idea of the coil, and use just a ball-type item to fit inside your closed fist? Is this effective?


I have tried time and time again but never gelled with the coil!
"Great Scott the Magician", Gippsland
MuleePete
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For me it depends on feel of the weight at the end of the rod. The foam formed skull I use is easier to use with a "handle", but much lighter zombie balls seem to work better with the finger coil.

Make a couple and see what works best for your performance. that's the nice thing about making some of your own devices, they can be customized.

Mulee
Mike Maturen
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Michigan's Beautiful Sunrise Side
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The coil I use hurts after a very short while...looking for alternatives.
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen
989-335-1661
mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
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