View Full Version : Darkness Photos Uploaded

12-22-2006, 12:49 AM
If you've never been to the Hauntworld Photo Gallery go and check it out...I took some pics of our cave/waterfall we're building. I also uploaded some photos of our IAAPA booth, which has the same facade inside the cave room. This will give you an idea of what the facade will look like after we're done with it.

The cave on the other hand will have TWO massive 20 foot high waterfalls, a rope bridge, four multi motion gorillas, other animations, buda statue, actors running around in the water, and much more. Its really awesome!

You have to walk through a skull facade to get into the room...its really neat!!!


Thats the links!


12-22-2006, 06:37 AM
Looks really good.

12-22-2006, 08:09 AM
Insanely awesome Larry!

Raycliff Manor
12-22-2006, 08:16 AM
OMG :!: Those are freaking AWESOME! :shock:


12-22-2006, 12:39 PM
Great work guys! Jeff is very talented too Larry!


Greg Chrise
12-22-2006, 02:11 PM
Do you know what the product is that will hard coat the caves? and what kind of adhesive glued all the chunks together?

Raycliff Manor
12-22-2006, 02:15 PM
Hey Greg, I've been doing research into this very topic. Here are a couple of websites for ya...



Hope that helps. If you find a great foam supplier, let me know! :wink:


Greg Chrise
12-22-2006, 02:22 PM
I know there is one somewhere down here, I have seen 4 foot by 4 foot by 10 foot blocks of styrene. I think it is a boat thing. This sculpting and glueing looks a whole lot less expensive than calling the spray foam truck. Certainly cleaner and lighter.

Thanks for the links Kel.

Jim Warfield
12-22-2006, 02:25 PM
Nice looking stuff, Larry!
The big skull has sort of a reptillian look to it by my point of veiw, maybe makes it more scary?
Two waterfalls, no waiting!?
"Water?" Or "Blood?"
Two bloody waterfalls, anybody ever seen or done this before?
USDA approved "blood" of course!
Just awhile ago as I was working in my basement standing on a step ladder, holding up a big beam, trying to push the steel pin through the hinge-hole, something wasn't quite lining up right, even "Mr. Hammer" couldn't persuade it to slide together!
Then I thought I might have it ready to try again, both hands were busy holding and adjusting the beam (a couple of planks screwed together, not "Jim Beam") I thought maybe if I was lucky my chin could push it in at the right moment, I tried chin, it worked!!!??
So here I am wearing my newest tool on my face! (Maybe I won't lose it so easilly?)

Greg Chrise
12-22-2006, 03:11 PM
I'm seeing an amber color in the joints of the styrofoam. We use exterior carpenters glue put if there is something better? It takes a full day to set up.

12-22-2006, 03:12 PM
Lar, or whomever, have firemarshals ever said anything about having carved styrofoam? I am thinking about doing it this year....

12-22-2006, 03:35 PM
A work of scary art as always.

Raycliff Manor
12-22-2006, 03:51 PM
I forgot about Creative Visions "Creative Coating" at http://www.hauntvisions.com/DIYCreativeCoating.html


12-22-2006, 05:26 PM
Its plane old styrofoam and yes its very flamable... New York Fire Shield sells something specifically for coating it. We will have to apply several coats of this chemical to ensure it will not be flamable.

The hard coating will addition protect the styrofoam from an open flame, every inch will be coated. But again it will be coated in a flameproof chemical sold specifically for this type of material.


12-22-2006, 07:21 PM
greg the best glue i found so far for styrofoam is expandable foam.i baught a foam gun,screw a can to it and do the project.great for styrofoam to wood or styrofoam to styrofoam.

Greg Chrise
12-22-2006, 07:27 PM
That sounds like the best thing so far. Especially for things that don't quite fit or lay flat. Where did you get a gun?

12-22-2006, 07:45 PM
We bought a hard coating gun system from a company at IAAPA.

I can look them up if you're interested. The gun itself wasn't very expensive but the materials you use to hard coat is...we didn't buy a big major system because we don't do much hard coating. A major system costs around $25,000.00.

The one we bought does the same thing but shoots lower amounts at a time, but it only cost around $700.00

Again another reason why Haunters should go to IAAPA in addition to Transworld.


Greg Chrise
12-22-2006, 09:01 PM

2 hours of going through the Thomas Register and this is the best I can come up with. Even for your area kel, it seems most listings are fabricators of special packaging for other products and not the raw material supplier like these guys.

When I saw Larry's pictures I wondered if it floated? I'm weird that way. Well, it looks like you could float a car on it if the Darkness ever got flooded. It will support 60 pounds per cubic foot.

Sizes are 34" x 48" x 8 foot or 16 foot up to 30 foot. Of course it can be slabbed to any thickness less than that. There are old style pages and links to all kinds of applications.

The next closest place seems to be in Maryland with everyone else just being a distribution point. Are you farther than 350 miles from Fortworth Texas? It could be like how at the old shop when we need Pizza we have to drive down over the hill and wait for the pizza man at the end of his radius? Now we are closer to town.

Time for DINNER!

Raycliff Manor
12-22-2006, 09:16 PM
Thanks Greg! I mapquested here to Fort Worth and it's 422 miles. I'll go ahead and contact them and see if they can help us out. If not, I'm hoping they can direct me to a nearby distributor. Thanks again!!!


12-22-2006, 10:32 PM
Those foam sets are amazing, they look like something out of tomb raider. What will be going on in that blank white circle area? I am guessing a projection of sorts, something cool with CGI , am I getting close?
Great Work,

Duke of Darkness
12-22-2006, 10:55 PM
Larry, please do post the info on the gun. At that price there are so many things that could be done!


12-22-2006, 11:14 PM
There are holes in the cave for our Rainforest Cafe Gorillas, and some saveges that Unit 70 made for me. One will be for an actor as well.

There will be TWO massive RUNNING water falls, the WHOLE ENTIRE area will be in TWO or THREE feet of water...we're building a cyinder block holding tank for the water.

In the middle of the room there will be an island with more cave formations with a massive buda statue with lasers in his eyes.

There will be an actor in a wet suit running around in the water jumping up grabing at peoples feet. All through the thing will feature a ricketing bridge...its a massive project.

Its the biggest set we've ever built.

As for the foam gun, ya I can get you the info!


12-23-2006, 06:34 AM
For the $700 hard coating gun, you must be talking about the one sold through Smooth-On, right?

Now you need a CNC routing maching Larry!


Jim Warfield
12-23-2006, 07:18 AM
20 years ago I was offered a brand new fiberglass chop gun with resin barrel and strands for $1,200.oo, I didn't have the money, but if I would have bought it I would probably have been dead for 18 years as I would have stupidly sucked up the fumes using it as a complete novice.
A local business couldn't tone it down enough to do small jobs for them, it was built to do boat hulls 100's of feet long!
Everyone should seek to educate themselves as much as humanly possible before beginning a new process of constructing things using materials new to you.

Greg Chrise
12-23-2006, 04:21 PM
I can see spending that much, I have two texture rigs that cost $800 each, but they get used all day long once or twice a week maybe 3/4 of the year and have for 15 years. Of course this is MY way of hard coating with acrylic cement.

As far as the foam gun Wipp suggested, it would be used to take Great Stuff foam and assemble the blocks of styrofoam, adhering it to the metal or wood structure and in between any joints in the styrofoam. It is just a pro gun for Great Stuff Foam instead of just the little straw that comes with the can. I mean it says "PRO" so it has to be good!

I don't know today's cost but the last time I got into a project I spent like $100 in $4 cans of Great Stuff and several of the cans got ruined because of setting up at the applicator over a few hours between doing something. This thing claims to keep cans alive for 30 days and can be cleaned up. Of course with their special can of cleaner but....

If pieces are kind of irregular the foam is expanding a little bit to fill in voids and it does pretty much stick to everything except teflon coated surfaces. I could see portable caves being a reality with this.

A brand new one is $39 and there are ones on ebay for half that. That's only a half a day of pool scraping!

Come on Dad can we get one of those?
Can we?
Can we?

12-23-2006, 10:45 PM
Be careful with Great Stuff. Even if it doesn't burn, when heated up it will release a toxic cyanide gas.

12-24-2006, 07:11 AM
Its plane old styrofoam and yes its very flamable... New York Fire Shield sells something specifically for coating it. We will have to apply several coats of this chemical to ensure it will not be flamable.

The hard coating will addition protect the styrofoam from an open flame, every inch will be coated. But again it will be coated in a flameproof chemical sold specifically for this type of material.


larry, how much is this project costing you? i've always wondered how much something like this cost.

Greg Chrise
12-24-2006, 03:05 PM
My experiments with most hardcoats is that what ever the substrate, it gets heated and smolders behind a shield in a certain time frame when exposed to open flame.

so we are talking styrofoam, Great Stuff, seasoned haunt panels and other goodies. Pretty much we are talking mobile home fire or all the nasty chemicals in a Greenburg Turkey!

Even in the wood there is glue, cured nitroglycerine, formaldahyde, aersnic. Then of course the wonderful bromide family to stop bugs and mold.

Of course I will be outside at the ticket booth but, I have seen this kind of construction in quite a few places. It would seem to me even calling the foam tuck would release a far higher percentage of Nasty gas as this would just be used as a joint adhesive?

Mine gets used off season to train fire fighters to search and rescue victims in house fires, they crawl on the floor to be out of any smoke and fumes, with pressured up hoses and tools of destruction in full gear pushing obstacles out of the way blindfolded trying to keep in physical contact and communicating with each other and find and drag the proposed victim out. It takes too long at least with out there being real fire to motivate them.

I have thought of setting up 1000 SF outside and then after the season torch it, ultimately retiring that portion of the haunt and sending it back to God. The event would scare the crap out of any firefighter, how quickly they would really have to work.

If I do this it won't be this year, maybe next year. I will have a video team and a spokes model.

12-27-2006, 05:33 PM
Here is the gun we bought...


Duke of Darkness
12-27-2006, 05:44 PM
Thanks for the link Larry. Is the material that you sprayed the same material that they sell for bedliners, or did you buy the spray material elsewhere?


Greg Chrise
12-27-2006, 06:10 PM
These materials have been used for chemical resistant flooring on boats, ships, marine docks, industrial flooring and even as pool liners. It is slowly being accepted as respectable architectual finish.

In our day job case I could see using it as a textural finish in a fountain where people might go out into the spray but inside a pool bothers me as patching or removal would be a tough job. I imagined them putting over a not so dry surface and ending up with big monster bubbles of ground water.

If you are on the cheap, some body shop supplies offer a $20 gun that you mix the two parts and screw it onto the gun to spray a pick up bed, already colored. It can also be mixed up and blown through an acoustic or drywall texture hopper but clean up is a mess. It pretty much trashes a good hopper. We have hoppers that are simply on all the time sparying as you pour any thing into them.

It could prove to be a good textural finish on any ramps or steps.

It might be such a thing that working with the cheap gun and small batches (heavily marked up) would require so much time, mess and waste that the larger gun for a larger project was the way to go.

Jim Warfield
12-27-2006, 06:48 PM
Yesterday I used a very large sized can of Great Stuff Super-Expanding foam to fill three mask heads.
The Super-Expanding foam did not expand at all! Now that I know this I could better control the expansion when it begins to overflow. What happened to make it not expand at all? 30 degree air temperature I guess? I couldn't find anything on the can label to this effect, but it sure did not expand, unless the ingrediants in the can were faulty?
I shook it up real good first too, just like it said to do.
On another forum a guy told how a can of Great Stuff exploded the first time he pushed down on the nozzle and he was just very lucky not have had it hit him in the eyes!

12-27-2006, 06:50 PM

We're not shooting that liner stuff through the gun...we're shooting normal hard coating materials through the gun. They went to the IAAPA show showcasing how it works with normal hard coating chemicals. We're using 100% hard coating materials just like you'd use at Universal.

Thats just the gun we're using!


Greg Chrise
12-27-2006, 07:05 PM
I would think temperature would effect Great Stuff, the goo once exposed to the outside atmosphere catalizes and to react needs the chemical reaction to be 115 degrees. Intended to cure at some point. So it is something that should not be attempted below perhaps 53 degrees temperature.

The stuff will begin to react though days from now if it isn't curing or if brought into a warm room (with vapors killing everyone) it will commence to expand. It is also a good thing to only put in layers of a few inches, let it expand and cure then add more rather than just fill something up. Other wise the outside cures to a hard shell and there is still uncured foam that is liquid waiting to expand inside this shell that blows out when you least expect it. Or at some point the mask will begin to expand uncontrolably to some disfigured balloon head with spurts of foam leeching out here and there and sometimes toxic fume farts.

Dump it out or scoop it to be hollow while you can!

Greg Chrise
12-27-2006, 07:14 PM

Could you please send me a blob of the over spray from the hard coat so I can mind meld with it? Every thing I have seen is cement like and doesn't need a mixing gun. I don't get out much.

12-27-2006, 08:03 PM

Do you have a product name and approximate cost for the hard coat?

12-28-2006, 12:30 AM
Larry, Great photos!!!!

I'd love to hear more about how you are coating your foam so that it can stand up to your guests. We have used several methods over the years and we still have a few high traffic areas that didn't do all that well last year. You know that.... "It was a great scare.... just that wall and doorway on the other side didn't survive the experience." thing....... :?

12-28-2006, 06:35 AM
You know that.... "It was a great scare.... just that wall and doorway on the other side didn't survive the experience." thing....... :?

Ditto! What have you tried that didn't work? I have used a polyurethane coating that does achieve the 'wet' look on old stone walls, etc. and gives the foam a rubbery coating, does make it somewhat more durable. However, areas across from a scare, near the floor along a wall, etc. still get pretty torn up.

01-01-2007, 10:01 AM
^^^^ Bump ^^^^


Do you have a product name and approximate cost for the hard coat?

01-03-2007, 07:22 AM
Talk about detail, awesome

01-09-2007, 07:00 PM
Hey Larry it's Scott. I stopped by today and Jim showed me all the areas that need my special "touch" I think you guys have topped yourselves this year! For those of you that are curious, Larry and Jim have made a ton of changes in The Darkness for 2007. I can't wait to spend most of my free time there the next month or so......

01-10-2007, 12:12 AM
The company will have an ad in the latest magazine. Additionally now they're buying a booth at TW. So all the info will be in the magazine coming soon!

Our cave would be done right now if it where not for the fact that some hard coating was damaged in shipping. Once the hard coating shows up we'll spray the rest of the set and we'll paint it.

Once its painted we'll start getting it detailed. I'm going down to the Darkness today to take some new pics of all the new stuff. Many new things have been done.

We're also building a mirror maze, Ben Armstrong helped us with that. Thanks Ben!!!


Glad to hear you came down today. Yeah I thought you'd like that cave!!! LOL Wait until you see everything I have planned for it. Maybe I'll see you down there later today!