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anyone have any experience with putting something like this together?
I've been asked by a local organization to design something for the local Christmas parade. This is for a rural small town parade, will have a budget of approx. $500 and be built on top of a trailer by myself and maybe one or two other helpers.
I'd like to do something a little less obvious, than the usual gingerbread house or sleigh type float, something a little more abstract...
I'm drawing a blank, because I have this stuck in my head...
mdler worked on a rose bowl parade float a few years ago
but i'm guessing their budge was just a little bit more than $500
How much chicken wire and paper can you buy for $500?
That is terrifying.
thanks now I also have that stuck in my head.
I've worked on 6 floats in the past, and I can guarantee that doing something 'less obvious' is going to cost you more than $500.
Can you sculpt foam? You can get a billet (4'x4'x8') or two of light density EPS for that money, which is a whole lot of foam to go around. But you'd want it hardcoated (with truck bed liner, Line-X) if it's going to be exposed to the elements and if people will be sitting/standing on it. Also, the more wacky your shapes, the more likely you'll need a metal skeleton to hold it up - now you also need a bunch of steel and a welder. To give you some context, I doubt that Eddie Murphy float has less than $500 of paint on it.
Chickenwire over a wood frame is actually a solid tight-budget way to get large massing, but it won't support much load. You could look into using fiberglass instead of paper to cover up the mesh - it's more durable and can be affordable, but it's also going to off gas really nasty chemicals (as will styrofoam, actually), so you'll need proper PPE and a well-ventilated work space - more $$$.A wood model of Tatlin's Monument to the Third International was included in a parade once. If that doesn't give you any inspiration to create something other than a gingerbread house, I don't know what will.