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is my version of the hangman prop, and here is my how to.
Interesting how after I first published it, the next season about
6 other hangman props should up out there with how to's.
I made this last year (00) and it needed to be upgraded.
A new body, heavier weights, looser joints, a wigform head, more body padding and
different clothing. In other words, last years version was weak.
The premise is this, if you take an
armature and add a heavy weight to the end, you get a way off kilter jerking motion. This
is how bumbleballs work. So I built a motor case with a weighted armature inside of it. In
this case, approx. 1.5 lbs. of cast lead.
The motor frame showing armature with lead counterweight
You can see the chains connecting the hips in this picture. The frame is purposely a
couple inches deep to prevent the counterweight from catching clothing. This was moot
though since I was covering the frame with styro to deaden noise and flesh out the body.
Now this is hanging perpendicular to
the ground so the weight as it orbits causes the body to bounce around.
FYI I used a 20 rpm motor for this.
I wanted to make sure the legs dangled
and jerked, so I created narrow connection between the motor box and the hips with some
light chain. This adds a more chaotic motion to the legs. The stiffer the junction the
less action, so chains really help in the effect.
The overall figure assembled as a bare frame
Starting to flesh the frame out with hard pick styro sheeting
Basic hands made from armature wire, latex gloves and great stuff.
NOTE: The wire poking out the end for
The hands will be modified after they
cure, by using surform rasps to give them more realistic dimensions. I made a wire
substrate for the hands so they can be flexed to chosen position afterwards.
NOTE: The the finished hands.
The figure was padded out with bubblewrap in the arms and legs before adding the clothes.
Additionally the mass of the figure
will reduce the jerking motion of the weight as well, so at some point you will have a
negative return of armature weight to motor rotation ratio. To help counteract this,
particularly once he is clothed, I have added a spring to the head hook assembly. This
spring will provide extra recoil, when he is fully clothed and affixed with noose.
Now the noose would limit the jerking
Ah.... there is a solution to that as well. By affixing the spring with a cable
thimble to the rope, you can leave slack. Enough slack to be imperceptible, yet yield
sufficient motion to seem realistic.
This guy had a gagging and choking
loop tape hidden from view, and a strobe mounted from above, Activated with a remote PIR
unit that is x10 controlled.
The whole gag has about a 15 second détente so folks will approach him.
The strobe starts a few seconds prior
to the jerking, followed by the gagging and choking, then stops about 45 seconds later.
Scared one guy so bad he peed himself, while knocking over his friends trying to
For '02 I intend to again revamp the
jerk. I went through 4 motors in 1 day, due to the offset weight connected directly to the
motor shaft. To deal with this, I will instead use a cam on the shaft, hooked to a
transfer bar, which will in turn spin a offset weighted flywheel or
direct cable connections to the legs and chin. It is possible I
will replace the 120V motor with a 12V wiper type motor, but who
I am considering using some goldenrod
attached to armatures to add more motion to the legs and arms as well. I will add more on
that as the year progresses.