Monday, October 29, 2007

Telegram for Mr. Smith, Paging Mr. Smith

I just added a link to an online application for creating Western Union telegrams from the 1920's. Just the thing if you're playing Call of Cthulhu and want to add a little something extra to your game.

(Yes, I know "medicine man" isn't the correct term in modern usage, but in the 1920's it was probably the height of enlightenment.)

Update: If you're looking for a blank telegram form you'll find one over here.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Power To Fog Men's Minds

Fog is good, chilled fog is better. Well, at least for most things.

Over the last few years the price of fog machines has plunged to the point where you can pick up a decent machine for just a couple of bills. The cost of heavy-duty, high-end models is still in the triple digits, but for seasonal use an off the shelf unit from your local mega-mart is more than adequate. They produce a fine mist that adds a lot of atmosphere and enhances lighting effects, but they're not very effective at producing the ground hugging fog that helps define the look of classic horror films. Normally that kind of fog requires the use of dry ice, but with a little tinkering you can get a similar effect using your existing fog machine and a fog chiller. T3Hprogrammer at Instructables just posted a great how-to article that shows how to build a basic fog chiller for around $10.

Fog machines are great for Halloween... but fog tends to rise up into the air, spread out, and disappear. If you do not have a very powerful fog machine, this can ruin the whole effect.

The solution to this is to build a fog chiller. The fog chiller cools the hot fog from the machine, causing it to stay low and billow along the ground.

This is a small fog chiller, which works well and is cheap. It takes an hour or two to build.

Get hoppin' and you can have it ready by Halloween.

Fangs For the Memories

Just in time for Halloween, Make has a great weekend project guide on making your own vampire fangs.

The great thing about this project is that you'll learn how to mold three different types of materials! We're going to make a negative mold of your teeth out of alginate, a positive mold out of your teeth out of plastic, and then the fangs are made out of a two part acrylic that you'd use to make fake fingernails!

One of the commenters in the original Make posting mentions making fangs out of Sculpey, which I would say is a very, very bad idea. Sculpey is a wonderful creative medium, but it's definitely not food safe.