Area 521/2 sign
We wanted to make it clear that this was a UFO crash site and pull an "Area 51" secret government facility sort of thing.  So why "52 and a half"?  Because there are two and a half of us now!


Here's the sign already lit early Halloween evening even though the sun hasn't yet set.  I had just gotten the fog machine up and running.

A wider shot with Prymat serving as parental unit to Stan.

You can see the canned spotlight at the bottom of the Area 52.5 sign.  The combination of the red like in that and the blue rope light around the saucer combined to make the house look purple, which is actually something I was going for last year and never could find a purple bulb.

Note Prymaat and child on the porch handing out candy.


This is sort version 0.1 of the Area 52.5 sign.  Actually, it's a section of trash fencing where I'd already pulled off several of the boards then realized how it might make for a great "No Trespassing" sign or some such.  I just made a mental note (and took this picture; it was May at the time) for future brainstorming.

Here's the first real attempt at the sign.  However, I felt like the legs were too flimsy, and they also were so rotten that didn't hold the screws very well, so I decided to swap them out for the 2x4s at right.

Of course, the 2x4s were brand new, so I had to "age" them with some stone paint (last used on the gravestones about four Halloweens ago) and then a light dusting with some red spray paint to get them a little more brown.

The white was house paint that was single-coat dry-brushed on.  In other words, I barely wet the brush so that there was too little paint to even get into the grain.  The result is that it looked like it has experienced years of weathering.

Next came the stencils for the "fine print."

I also added a little red spray to the edges to create some contrast between the white sign and our white house.

Note that I removed a couple boards from the bottom because I didn't want to keep adding text to the point it would become a novel.

As a result, you can see the bracing I added between the supports.

I like the irony of announcing that it's "Top Secret," even though that has the paradoxical effect of announcing the content of the secret itself.

I had wanted to include other words/phrases like "Biohazard" and "Testing Facility" and "Radioactive," but those didn't fit into the scene.  Maybe next year.


Here's the saucer viewed from the edge of the porch through the struts of the sign.  This is the only picture I really have of the back of it at all.

It isn't completely clear at this distance and resolution, but the sign isn't in the ground at all.  I just put rebar rods in the ground and used
U-bolts to tie them to the legs.  I later added another leg at an angle (which you can see in the third picture from the top) after the sign came down one windy day.  That fixed things.

Postscript
I had even bigger plans for the yard, believe it or not.  I went so far as to buy enough material to put an 8' high fence around the front yard to make it look like a real military installation.  Unfortunately, we were desperately short on time this year, what with building a giant UFO and the costumes and all.

Here are the 4x4s I picked up on Craiglist to use for fence posts.  In the back yard I also had a two-man auger that I borrowed from my friend Rowdy.

The BBQ grill was picked up on the curb a couple streets over from our place as material for the saucer.  As plans evolved, we no longer found a way to incorporate any part of it and thus sold it as scrap metal.




Copyright 2010 Alexplorer.
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