Friday, March 19, 2010

Building A Low Budget Alien Queen

What do you do when you want to have a big monster for your live-action game, but you have a limited budget? You get creative.

For something cobbled together out of PVC pipe and upholstery foam, this Alien Queen from Mandala Studios is pretty damn impressive. From the pictures posted to their gallery it looks like the fully articulated puppet-slash-costume stood close to twelve feet high at full extension and was close to twenty feet long. Follow the link for a detailed look at the buildup.

I almost wish they hadn't posted pictures of the queen in full daylight, since they serve as a good example of why darkness is the best friend of anyone working on a low budget. That's not to take anything away from the builders. It's still a bang up bit of work, but it goes from looking good to looking great once the sun goes down.

One of the lessons I learned from working on Halloween haunted houses is that everything is scarier, and looks better, in the dark. Props that might look ridiculous in full daylight can be terrifying once you turn down the illumination, add a little colored lighting, and give the scene some mist from a fog machine.


London Boat Game Guy said...

I know several people from The Dark Door who attended this event. The Alien Queen, attended by about 30 Aliens (or so their memory recounts), was stumbled into in some dark woods. Those I have spoken to, won't stop talking about it and are making the rest of us very jealous. Seems Mandala fully understood the use of darkness to add atmosphere and remove prop accuracy concerns. Proff of this is that no one took coherent pictures of it in that setting. They were all running.

On a lighter note - So far I'm making it, Fantastic Non-airsoft LRP Games UK 2 - USA 0 :)

ME said...

HI, as the post above said, it was only used in the dark, but at that time we were too buzy scaring people to take pictures of it, so we took it out in the afternoon so that we could get some pic that you could actualy see what we had do, forourselves as much as anything, we make too mcuh stuff that we never get to see again after it leaves the workshop door. glad you like Lizzie thow

wookie (Mandala)