View Full Version : Do you use vacuform panels?
06-08-2007, 09:09 AM
Just wondering how many people buy vacformed plastic scenery panels. I've seen them range in price from about 50 to 150 bucks for a 4X8 sheet so I can see that it can be a bit of an investment to lay down, but the detail and authenticity of it can add so much... Do only the big high-end haunts use them? I can see where buying one and cutting it up and using bits here and there would add a lot to the production design even if someone didn't want to pay to totally clad the walls with it...
There seems to be only a few vendors selling them... if a new vendor came on the scene offering this product would you be interested? Assuming good quality forms, how much would you be willing to pay for a 4X8 panel? Would you pay extra for pre-painted or buy them blank and paint them yourself?
06-08-2007, 04:16 PM
I buy them and they're AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!
You can't got wrong with them, just make sure the ones you buy are flame resistant otherwise you're in big trouble. Some of the cheaper vac form will totally burn like you wouldn't believe.
Do you need sources?
A lot of the coolest stuff in the darkness is vac form walls.
There is a technique however when attaching them to your walls. We install pink foam boards on the wall first so it lends support to the vac form.
06-09-2007, 09:11 AM
It is a little expensive.... We buy enough every year for a scene or two, by now we have quite a collection. If you properly treat it, and back it with support, it can be a huge part of your show. I like the portability from year to year, and how it lasts. When we have carved stuff, all but the most expensive hard coats have resulted in damage and flaking if they were placed near the customer path. Vac is a great tool for sure, and should be in any haunters arsenal.
06-09-2007, 12:51 PM
I was at Netherworld back in November and noticed all the vacuform panels. What company or companies would you recommend using for the panels.
06-09-2007, 08:36 PM
There are lots of good ones, Provost Displays, Scenic Service Specialists and Nethercraft among them.
You need to buy a bunch from one place because the shipping on one is the same for one panel as many.
Make sure you ask about FR qualities and flame treat it properly (of course the same can be said for foam, wood and fabrics as well) . Also Vac needs a lot of proper mounting, trimming and painting to use, but the results can be great!
06-09-2007, 08:53 PM
Thanks for the info.
06-10-2007, 10:08 AM
so what are the proper ways to put up vacuform panels (from start to finish)?
06-10-2007, 12:05 PM
Trim them as needed, put down a base coat of FR paint, maybe totally paint them on the ground.
You might make frames to fill voids if they have deep detail. You can back with blocks of wood, spray foam, and other material. The idea is to make it so that when guests hit it, it doesn't collapse inward. Just mount them with screws and washers to your existing wall panels. In many cases you might want to cover the edges with a board, or just use a lot of screws if it is bending up. Then when all is in place you want to finish painting so that it all flows together.
They come in different mil thicknesses. The thin ones are cheaper but very flimsy. The thick ones cost more, but sometimes lose detail.
Ultimately you also need to light them well also, or all the texture they have will be lost in the darkness.
Often they are like parts of a big model kit. You need to build the background and use the vacuform to add detail.
Some times small amounts can go a long way....
Skinny Dead Dude
06-11-2007, 09:01 PM
Hi, Larry @ Abracadaver here, Long time no post, but I'm glad to hear intrest in vacuum form panels. We've started developing some for this season, along with some windows and Larry I've taken your advice and making a three foot Watcher.
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