Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mad Scientist Halloween Set Up Walk-Through

You're about to see the lengths to which I will go for badass Halloween setups.  The fun part?  This is only the beginning, it's going to get even better over time as I add things and change them up.  So here's a bit of background on the overall plan.

For the Mad Scientist Lab I combined a few different types of elements.  Old school science labs met with a touch of modern outbreak movie and a dash of classic monster movie with a bit scifi to hold it all together.  Putting that many disparate things into one layout could very easily have looked a mess.  In that respect I'm very lucky that I've spent most of my adult life working in various types of labs.  In academia it isn't uncommon for foundations and universities to expand programs to the point where they need new buildings and sometimes those new buildings are built next to and connected to the old building.  All you need is some obvious partitioning and off you go.

Anyway, welcome one and all to my Mad Scientist Lab!

Once inside you're greeted by the eye-following scientist portraits.  The rest of the lab isn't visible owing to all the partitions.  It was a neat idea but there were two things I hadn't counted on.  1) the cats HATED the partitions but were insanely curious about the hallway (coming up) and 2) all the sheet plastic played cruddy-buggers with my thermostat.  It was fun to have up, and the effect was amazing, but it was also the first to come down.

The rope lights turned out to be a lot more useful than I had expected.  I replaced the ceiling lights with black lights and I always forget that those don't give off a ton of light unless they're in a small area.  Without the rope lights I'm not sure people would have been able to see to get in the door.

Going into the living room you see the 'office' like space where most of the props went.

The lighting went a little squirrely on me but it turned out well in the end.  The original plan was to black light the whole living room.  Well, it wasn't until it was dark out (about 30 minutes before people started showing up) that I found out how little light there was.  Thankfully I have a cupboard full of lights and was able to grab a green bulb that really helped. I also added a liberal dose of LED lights.  They may be tiny but they put off a ton of light.

And now, my favorite part.  The food!  

Here's a rundown on the food.  There are brains (roasted cauliflower), eyes (lychees stuffed with raspberry jam and a blueberry), skin culture media (broccoli mouselline), urine (cocktails with pineapple juice, apricot brandy, and bourbon), liver (heavily modified rum cake), heart cultures (strawberries in a balsamic reduction), and ears (cocktail shrimps).  There were also bones (pretzels) and sheets of skin (meat tray).  They're what's on either side of the meat head.

The eyes and the liver turned out really well, I think.  Amazingly they went over really well too.  For once people actually made a dent in the food!

And let us not forget the crown jewel of the table.  The meathead!  It's a layer of cream cheese spread on a head form and layered with prosciutto.

Now, had you turned the other way at the entrance you would have seen this.  It really is amazing what you can do with a bit of sheet plastic.

Entering the decontamination center (aka, the bathroom).

Complete with safety shower and creepy skull to watch you pee.

Again with the black light everywhere.  I borrowed from last year's bathroom setup and repeated the lights under the vanity.  Those little LEDs are really great for adding themed light into a room.

But, from the decontamination center you can go no further.  That area is restricted access.

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