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View Full Version : Packing Tape 'Bodies' (Allen Hopps Method!)



Michael Inks
06-08-2012, 01:18 PM
Hey gang. Quick question. In order to fulfill our demand for piles of bodies, we are employing Allen Hopps method of wrapping bodies in packing tape. Works fantastically and perfect for what we are doing. (Highly recommend!)

Here's my question for those who have used this method in the past: Has anyone used this method for an outdoor application, and if so, do you know if newspaper or ​will work as a 'stuffing,' or will inclement weather end up destroying them? Thinking the packing tape will provide a good enough seal to last a month, but just wondering if we could benefit from someone else's experience.

Thanks!

Greg Chrise
06-08-2012, 01:31 PM
News paper is bad because it just becomes a rat house. It is better to use something like packaging peanuts and fill the forms. Also not as heavy to move around and position. The rat house thing happens on location and in storage as well. Yeah, the smell of rat pee in newspaper. It gets old really fast.

Most of the things I have seen Allen do, he has several layers so it is stiff enough to not need any filler. Or he has turned them into forms for beasts that have an outer coating of sometime, like caulk that becomes a thicker outer shell.

Wellinton
06-08-2012, 08:16 PM
I would like to make a few dressed in costume, hitchhiking around town, but don't know how to make them stand -up sturdy for outside.
I made several so far, for inside, but they are sitting or crawling. How to you make them stand up ?

jaybo
06-09-2012, 12:11 PM
PVC pipe frame inside of the tape body. Stuff body form with plastic drop cloth or plastic grocery bags. Drive rebar into the ground and place the PVC over the rebar.

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2

Greg Chrise
06-09-2012, 04:30 PM
I'll second the PVC and rebar. Back in the day it was duct tape instead of clear packaging tape and I have filled ones with frames full of great stuff. Best to only sort of coat the inside rather than fill as too think and the foam never cures out or grows when you don't expect it to or where later.

The PVC can be smaller sizes like 1/2 inch and lower junk laying around and banded together with anything, bailing wire, wire ties, more duct tape. No reason to have fittings and such just put a big x through the whole character. You can heat gun it and make shapes/bends in the pvc too.

Michael Inks
06-09-2012, 05:36 PM
Good call on the newspaper, thanks. Even though the particular location of these bodies would make rats a fantastic addition, picking up newspaper daily out of the swamp, would be... less fantastic. Will keep experimenting.

Greg Chrise
06-09-2012, 06:29 PM
In the early days when we had props from a one night party stored, I would walk by one table and there were 4 big rats that were like the worms in men in black standing there having coffee and smoking cigarettes. They would just look at me and have a conversation, like hey dude thanks for the news paper, it's pretty good, you have any real food? If someone else came they would scamper off into the metal building folds and make lots of noise doing that and scare the crap out of people in the off season. I kind of liked them until the smells accumulated and all the skulls we had made were trashed.

They were getting to be the size of cats and probably lived in the farm fields behind us. It seems the bump in metal building siding is supposed to go verticle, not horizontal or you have a rat subway tube the whole length of the building.

freak 'n' stein
06-09-2012, 10:42 PM
Not to hijack the thread but I must say I'm addicted to the duct tape bodies at my haunt this season. In the past we've never had static figures and we're not quite up to the budget to grab ghost ride/creepy collection props so I've made a duct tape body army and I've got one in nearly every room!! We stuffed our bodies with essentially whatever we had lying around but anything from "egg crate" foam, rolls of contractor paper from Lowe's, newspaper and even stuffing from the craft aisle. Different stuffing yields different results in terms of the pliability of the figures. I've also learned to reinforce the duct tape because we made a few hanging bodies for our conveyor room and I've found them on the floor because the duct tape separated due to the heat!! A simple pvc frame and hot glue seams fixed the issue with the hanging bodies though.

Dalloween
06-14-2012, 12:52 AM
At Haunt 2013 & The House of Boo, we've been making them and filling them with a foam gun, which mixes two chemicals with heat to produce a rapidly rising and curing hard foam. The result is a solid form that's great for creating a static figure.

I wonder if doing Allen's mix of Gorilla glue and water to create foam would be a good, cost effective, solution. I believe he talks about the technique in one of his YouTube videos.

Greg Chrise
06-14-2012, 11:54 AM
I wonder if doing Allen's mix of Gorilla glue and water to create foam would be a good, cost effective, solution. I believe he talks about the technique in one of his YouTube videos.


He calls that Ghetto Foam and it comes out like a soft foam and it it awesome but very labor intensive. Very cheap. You would have to have openings large enough to get into and work the inside surfaces.

Greg Chrise
06-14-2012, 01:22 PM
We wouldn't want Allen to actually chime in here.

freak 'n' stein
06-15-2012, 01:12 PM
At Haunt 2013 & The House of Boo, we've been making them and filling them with a foam gun, which mixes two chemicals with heat to produce a rapidly rising and curing hard foam. The result is a solid form that's great for creating a static figure.

I wonder if doing Allen's mix of Gorilla glue and water to create foam would be a good, cost effective, solution. I believe he talks about the technique in one of his YouTube videos.

I've wanted a faster, more "flexible" option to filling the tape bodies while actually having them rigid enough to build whatever so I THOUGHT about great stuff actually. What type of foam/gun do you use Jim? Is it fairly cost effective in the long run?

Allen H
06-15-2012, 03:16 PM
O'shawn-
Once you go packing tape you will never go back to duct tape. It is far superior to duct tape for body forms.
The foam gun we use is an insta pac foam gun - it is very cost effective but does need 220 service and the up front cost is a bit high. I will never have a shop without one again. here is a video of it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gCX1-vDyMs

As far as giving them more external strength then you cut up plastic containers into pieces about 2" x 6" and keep adding them into the tape layers, then you have a harder plastic shell built into the tape layers.

To rat proof and seal the form I recommend stuffing them with spare plastic wrap or plastic tarps even. It is very inexpensive and will fill quite a lot when you ball them up.
to completely seal the forms spray them with rustoleum leak seal. You can get leak seal from home depot. it is an aerosol can of rubber coating just like leak seal that you saw commercials for on television- I love the stuff.
does that cover most of the questions?

Evernight
06-15-2012, 04:30 PM
That foam gun is just awesome....I see a future purchase, so many ideas for something like that!!

freak 'n' stein
06-18-2012, 01:14 PM
Well I'm DEFINITELY gonna give the packing tape a try then Allen H ! Thanks again as always !

Pennywise
07-01-2012, 09:40 AM
I am an avid follower of YouTube Wednesday, waking up every Thursday morning excited to sip my morning coffee over the latest episode. I have not seen the Gorilla glue/water ghetto foam technique, but sounds pretty interesting. Where can I find this tutorial?