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For Halloween, I build huge props (steam train, pirate ship, etc) in my yard.  In 2010 it's a steampunk drilling machine from the center of the earth.
For Halloween, I build huge props (steam train, pirate ship, etc) in my yard. In 2010 it's a steampunk drilling machine from the center of the earth.
87 backers pledged $2,530 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Missing avatar

      Keith T Allshouse on

      Congratulations on a job well done Peter! What's the latest on the pledge rewards? There doesn't seem to be any recent information. Is all okay?
      Best regards,

    2. Dahlton Loyd-Perry on

      Hey, congrats on getting this done! I'm looking forward to seeing pictures and such, as well as getting a piece of the skin!

      When do you think everything will be up and available?


    3. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      Yes, photos and video are still coming. I have had a ridiculous string of bad luck getting the video shoot together. It's not just me with a camcorder. I'm trying to get a Hi-Def video that will really stand as a record of the finished product. As in the past, I was going to shoot tonight, but one of the people helping me couldn't make it, so we're bumped to tomorrow. Numerous people have gotten sick which has forced me to postpone, and I have tried 2 different cameras that didn't deliver sufficient quality for what I want to get.

      So, hang in just a bit more...

    4. Michael Manchester on

      Are additional photo and video updates still planned?

    5. Missing avatar

      Jake on

      The project looks great Dave! I only wish i could have been there to see it in all its glory on Halloween night! Unfortunately I was here in Shreveport working that night. Ah, the life of the Air Force. I hope everyone was impressed as much as I was by your creation!

    6. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      It seems that more and more people have been putting up decorations in the last week around here. Kenneth Road seems a bit underdecorated from what it usually is. Of course, given the huge volume of kids, I think simply having your porch light on would constitute sufficient decorating. If you can't make it on Halloween, the display will be up for about a week afterwards

      Regarding the rain, it has been causing me no end of problems trying to get this display built.

    7. Missing avatar

      Dave on

      Thanks Peter. wow - man, I hope it doesn't rain on Halloween. Its drizzling today and pretty gloomy. Btw - my wife and I are going to do our best to break away from our trick or treaters and come checkout your setup. I too love and live for Halloween. you know - I always thought that the 60' cemetary gate + (6) 5' mini pillars + (2) 7' driveway pillars that I made 4 years ago was the best thing around. Well my friend, that is until I found your site, and I must say you are definitely the KING of Halloween decor! Your past Halloween clips blew me away. Especially the Train. So keep up the good work!

      *Also - is it me or are there hardly any Halloween decorations up around town? It makes me sad driving down Kenneth or Pacific during October and seeing less and less decor as the years go by. Whats up with people? I'm 35, and I can remember my dad taking me up to... yep, thats right - Kenneth Road for trick or treating when I was a kid. And it seems there were ALOT more decorations out n about. I wish others would just get into the spirit and keep this Holiday tradition alive.. this is just my 2 cents... take care. Dave

    8. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      No, it's no joke. I started working after the funding hit 100%. This means I purchased steel on Monday the 11th, spent the last few days cutting and prepping the steel, and then began welding today. The image of the drill in the video and on my website is an artist's rendering of what the drill will look like when it is built. It's not built yet. It will take pretty much all the remaining time between now and Halloween to get it built. Fear not. So far all the construction has been behind my gate, but it will move out front soon enough. Patience....

    9. Missing avatar

      Dave on

      is this a joke? Not saying it is, but I live on Merriman Drive off of Kenneth (3 minutes) from Highland, and my brother in law and I decided to drive up Highland on our way to D'Bell golf course. We drove all the way up to Cumberland. and we searched both sides carefully. And we saw nothing. Help me out here Peter. The house close to the corner of Cumberland and Highland looked identical to those in your preview pics. But there was absolutely no signs of any project in the front yard.. thx...

    10. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      Send an email to me through my SoCalHalloween website:

      Just click the "Comments or Questions" link on the site. I don't want to put the email address in this message or else it'll get caught by the spammers and flooded with spam. I'd be glad to talk to you about your battle droid.

    11. Steve Babbitt on

      Well done Peter, I can't wait to see the new display. I was hoping to have my 5/6 scale battle droid fully functional for Halloween but the proper servos & linear actuators are quite expensive as you must know. I know you're probably too busy now but I could use your advise when you get a chance.. by the way, I'm your neighbor on Ard Eevin.

    12. Peter Montgomery Creator on

      Extremely exciting! Jake, a tip of the hat to you for pushing my project to the 100% funded stage. I have made a post (which should be going out as an email as well) to everyone, expressing my appreciation at all the generosity. I am now officially out of the planning stage and commencing construction. The timetable is short, but do-able. Here we go.......

    13. MLCinc's : The House at Haunted Hill on

      Congratulations on reaching your goal!!

    14. Missing avatar

      Paul on

      WoooHooo! You made it! Pete, I'm so happy for you. You make the displays that I only dream of. Now go out there and do yourself proud! Congrats!

    15. Missing avatar

      Jake on

      Goal reached! Congratulations to you Peter!

    16. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      10 years of making a 6 room haunt shows a lot of dedication. I understand the desire to take it easy and just give out candy like normal people. I took last year off for similar reasons. However, I started thinking more and more about doing it again, which is why I started this Kickstarter project. You never know if your "retirement" will be permanent or temporary.

      I hope you get excited again and restart your haunt in the future. In the meantime, I really appreciate the donation and hope I can provide some Halloween excitement with my display.

    17. Missing avatar

      Deb Geambazi on

      I have created a haunted yard and 6 room haunted house for 10 years. I am retiring the haunted house this year...just can not do the hundreds upon hundreds of hours in getting it all together. YOU are a Halloween Hero to me. I am so inspired by your creativity and skills. Wish I could learn a 10th of the gift you have. Have a great Halloween season! Can not wait to see the product of your imagination!

    18. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      Thanks so much for both the kind words and the donation. You know, there is a ton of information out there on the web on how to make props. The really cool thing about a lot of Halloween props is that they are supposed to look "bad." In other words, Halloween props should be old and weathered, chipped and broken. If you're not confident in your skills, this gives you the freedom to plunge in anyway because it's hard to say that something is "wrong" when it's supposed to look decrepit!

      If you're interested, start with something small, like some tombstones. The shapes are simple, the techniques for carving the lettering is well documented, and it gives you a chance to practice basic paint techniques for aging, texturing, and weathering.

      Here are 2 very good links with "how to" info on making tombstones:

      Go for it!

    19. Kathy Clarkson on

      Hi Peter,

      Great stuff! Happy to contribute to a fellow Halloween lover with greater skills and motivation than I possess! I love to decorate and I think I do a pretty good job, but it's all store bought stuff. Haven't taken that next step into construction yet. Maybe now that I've discovered this site it will help light a fire under my behind. Good luck from the East Coast!

    20. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      I created my entire animatronic system (both software and hardware) from scratch. I have been through a few generations of the system to get to what I am running today. When I started, there really was nothing you could buy off the shelf, except for systems aimed at (and priced for) professionals. I wanted to do professional level work, but needed to build the system myself to do it.

      Check out this page...

      ...on my site for more details, including a 12 page section on the building of the Talking Raven.

    21. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      Thanks for the donation!

      If you read click the "My Halloween Maina" link on my SoCalHalloween site... can read story that will sound very familiar to you. I have been along the same path of starting small, building bigger, and ultimately getting into "themed" shows. It seems like a lot of kids grow up wanting Halloween to be as cool as they hoped for as a kid. As you know, it just takes a lot of drive (and begging friends) to make it happen.

      I checked out the Wompedy site, and it looks like you did some really cool Halloween displays. Hopefully you'll decide to do it again some day.

    22. Stephen on

      This looks incredibly cool. What kind of control software do you use to control the animation, lighting, audio?

    23. Daniel S Dunnam on

      Your set pieces look super great. I'm reminded of stuff my friends and I used to do in Dallas. Much like you, I did it for years on a smaller scale dreaming of something bigger and inching my way there until finally in the late 90's "Extreme Halloween" was born. For several years the confluence of factors came together and my longterm vision was realized. Each year a theme, Alien Landing/Hillbilly Death Swamp/1940s Mental Hospital for the Criminal Insane/etc., then an elaborate front yard setup. There's a write up about it, and some videos on this site. Sadly not as many as I'd have liked. Digital cameras and stuff weren't what they are now back in 1997 or whatever. Anyway, good luck! and

    24. Peter Montgomery Creator on


      Thanks for the help. It all counts toward getting this drilling machine made.

      Regarding reference materials, there aren't specific things I have to recommend. So much of what I have learned has either come from just trying things, or from working with people who do. However, why don't you contact me by sending me an email using the "Questions or Comments" section of my website...

      ...and let me know in more detail what you're trying to accomplish. I might be able to provide some more helpful information that way.

    25. Michael Manchester on

      Hi Peter, I wanted to show my support with a modest donation. I'm interested in these kinds of displays. No doubt you've picked up a lot of skills over the years. Any reference materials you can recommend for someone who wants to learn more about these techniques. There's a diorama that I want to build and I have a few books but they're pretty dated. Thanks again and best of luck. Michael Manchester

    26. Peter Montgomery Creator on

      James and CB,

      I really appreciate the help! CB, Here's hoping your blog post will drive some donors.

    27. Missing avatar

      CB** on

      I created a post on my blog about your project. Hopefully more donation will follow.

    28. Missing avatar

      James M on

      I have been a fan ever since I came across your talking raven. I am glad I can help your efforts to bring my favorite holiday alive. Keep up the great work. I hope to see the display in person some year.