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6). This gave them the ability to not
just answer questions regarding the
assembly of their product, but to
actually show how to do it!
FrightProps stocks a complete
selection of build components and
also has an extensive tutorial section
on their website that is positively
worth checking out (see Resources).
With pneumatics providing the
lifting power for many props utilized
in the industry, the vendors that
supply them were well represented.
Haunting FX (see Resources) had a
varied assortment of mechanisms on
display and allowed you to put them
in motion (Figure 7). As I mentioned,
having the opportunity to examine
how a variety of builders design their
products is one of the most significant
advantages of attending a show such
Some of the finest mechanisms
were found at Evilusions, where Brian
Warner’s creations were on display
(Resources). These products are
meant to last, with shoulder bolts and
bearings providing the promise of
smooth operation and long life. Brian
also did a very informative
presentation on using pneumatics in
props. Attending his seminar was
certainly time well spent (Figure 8).
An ingenious and easy-to-use
construction method is available
through AllScare (see Resources).
They offer the BodyFrame System for
quick assembly and adjustment of
pneumatic mechanisms (Figure 9).
Best of all — for
those that do not
weld — it’s
and can be
simple hand tools.
The ability to
adjust or completely
change your design
gives a tremendous
amount of flexibility
that a permanently
welded design does
not provide. They also offer a
complete selection of pneumatic
Now, let’s take a look at some of
the controllers that were showcased.
After all, you can have the finest
character ever built but if you are
unable to direct its movements, it is
simply a static prop. The many
approaches to accomplish this were
readily apparent as I examined all the
choices. There was something to
satisfy anyone, no matter your
technical skill or experience.
Upon entering the doors to the
floor, one of the first booths
displaying electronic prop controllers
was HauntBots (Resources). They
have been around for 10 years and
offer a complete line of controllers
that are housed in sturdy aluminum
extruded enclosures. The features of
their controllers include real time,
graphical programming, expandability,
as well as the capability to upgrade
the software (Figure 10).
Whenever a discussion occurs
regarding controllers, one name that
always comes up is EFX-TEK (see
Resources). Their extensive experience
in the field is reflected in the
exceptional line of products they carry
(Figure 11). My first experience in
using a prop controller came when I
purchased a Prop-1. I had no idea
what I was doing, but they walked me
through the entire setup process, and
had me up and running in no time.
Their customer service is second to
Figure 9. Toys, toys, and more toys.
Figure 10. Time to make things move.
Figure 8. Time to learn some new
Figure 11. If you need help, we are