Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Glowing Fungi

Following up on last week's post, here's the finished (for now) version of the glowing fungus prop. Each of the stalks is a length of foam pool noodle slashed with a razor knife and then hit with a heat gun to form the twisting, organic skin. They were then bound into a group using zip ties looped through the foam along the bottom. The illumination is provided by a set of battery powered LED light strings strung through the hole in the middle of each noodle. The entire cluster is roughly two feet high by two feet wide.

On the positive side it looks cool and pumps out a lot of light. Given how bright it is I was surprised how long each strand could keep running on 3 AA batteries. I tested it for ten hours straight and didn't see any appreciable dimming. Based on that experience the manufacturer's claim they'll run for 48 hours seems believable. With that kind of run time this would be ideal for any kind of outdoor LARP or display.

That said, I'm not altogether happy with it. What I really wanted was a cluster of glowing mushrooms with caps, but I couldn't find a decent technique for creating the tops. The best results were from clear shower caps filled with polyester fiber fill. They looked relatively realistic and provided a nice diffused light, but their size couldn't be adjusted without a great deal of effort.


theDM'sRevenge said...

I believe Ziploc makes shower cap-like products of different sizes meant to go over the top of bowls that may not have resealable lids. Would those work? They seem like they're similar enough to try.

Anonymous said...

This is really cool.
What kind of heat gun did you use? (What temp is needed to melt the polyethylene noodle?)

I'm going to try this with black pipe insulation and red/yellow lights and hoping for a lava effect.