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dinsdag 28 oktober 2014

Radioactive barrels

No nuclear meltdown scene is complete without barrels full of radioactive goo! Here's how I made mine.

  • Cardboard drums
  • Paint (yellow and black)
  • Green blacklight paint
  • Masking tape
  • Polyurethane foam
Finding the right barrels
First, I needed some empty barrels. Metal or plastic barrels are easy to find, but had some serious drawbacks. Metal barrels are usually too big and too heavy. I have had back problems lifting stuff in the past so I try to avoid this as much as possible. Plastic barrels are dirt cheap, light, strong and come in all sorts of sizes, but have one huge drawback: they are made of polyethylene, wich is impossible to paint.
I spent days searching the internet for ways to paint it anyway. There were some people who claimed it can be done by heating it with a blowtorch first, others claimed special primers for polyethylene exist, but most said I shouldn't even bother trying. Even if I managed to find a way to paint it, the paint would most likely peel off in no time.
But then I asked around at work a bit. I work at a chemical plant, and many chemicals arrive in cardboard drums (with a plastic bag inside). Turned out they were discarded after use, and it was no problem taking a few home with me! That day, I drove home with three 120 liter cardboard drums in my car.

Well, this is pretty straightforward. I first painted them yellow using a paint roller, and then I painted a radiation warning sign on them using black paint and masking tape. Not much more can be said about it.

Radioactive goo
Making radioactive goo coming out of the barrels is also pretty simple. I just sprayed some polyurethane foam on them. A while ago, the local Aldi supermarket had a promotion on PU foam, so I bought a few cans. This stuff isn't cheap at the hardware store, I wish I bought a few more cans.
Beware, this stuff is messy! It sticks to everything, so I made sure the floor was covered with plastic. I sprayed it around the top of the barrels, and then some dripping lines down the length.
Finally, I painted the goo green using blacklight paint. Our haunt will have lots of blacklights, so it will look creepy as hell! At first I wanted to use masking tape so I wouldn't get any paint on the barrels, only on the foam, but after a few strips of tape I thought, screw this, and just sprayed on the foam using a piece of cardboard as a mask. It turned out great.

Here's one of the barrels at our zoo haunt. Yep, this was last weekend, so I'm trying to catch up with my blog posts. 

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