Honey I Shrunk The Kids SHRINK RAY

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RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Update time!

First, I wanted to mention how great my experience with the Bower's exhibit was, and how nice the staff there is in general. I couldn't have asked for a better experience! Every guest and employee was super respectful about masks, maintaining distance, and being helpful and friendly in general. It's still a risk to go anywhere right now, but this was perhaps the one thing that could have drawn me out of the house. Let's hope I don't get sick and die because of it! :D

Long story short, for our purposes, I took many close-ups - as close as I dared - of the Machine, specifically without touching it or broaching the stanchions (for the machine is roped off, and rightly so). Ergo some of the pictures look pretty blurry as I had to rely on dodgy camera technology to "zoom and enhance", but I was satisfied with the results.

I have prepared a document, attached, that outlines my interpretation of how the machine's raise/lower and tilt functions may have once worked, based on my many pictures, observations from the films, logical inference, and painstaking research conducted over the course of many years. It's just V1, and will one day soon be clearer and contain more information. I plan to include, among other things, a breakdown of the prop's components (i.e. a better version of the information I posted in this thread 7 years ago), and a detailed history of the prop's life, as it is rather interesting.

That said, your feedback would be tremendously helpful in case anything within is unclear or needs a better explanation.

I hope this obsession of mine benefits you all. It at least makes great bathroom reading.
 

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protonpack

New Member
YES! This PDF is one of the most exciting prop related things I've seen recently! That tilt motor revelation is still FANTASTIC to see!
 

MrColtanPresley

New Member
I'm not sure if this helps answer any questions about the rear of the machine but, I found some blurry footage from the old backlot tour from 1989 where you could actually see the shrink machine and some of the other props from the movie. I will add the link to the video where you can see the footage. I LOVE what you guys have been doing to research this prop and I look forward to seeing what is to come!

Go to 9:12
 

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RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Protonpack found the same video and sent it my way - notice that the rear box has been completely removed, and the machine in the scene only rotates!

Both protonpack and I surmise that the original rear box with its ~6 wire sockets was potentially involved in controlling the axes of movement somehow, as the spiral wire that plugs into the box connected directly to what look like long "rod potentiometers" - the one Wayne uses to both adjust the machine's position and bludgeon the prop later in the movie:

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You can see here the yellow, red, and black "curly cables" going into the original rear box:
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Some aspect of the original rear box was angled and had metal pieces attached to at least one side, as one can observe in both of the following pictures:

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The box itself was pretty reflective, which is one of the reasons its shape is so hard to discern:
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Also, the original "lid" for this box seems to have stuck out beyond the edges of the sides, which you can plainly see here when a little photo manipulation is applied:
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By the second movie, which was made after the machine's original tenure at the Backlot tour, the box had been replaced with what looks like a much different, dull (non-reflective) square gray box with one cable protruding from it. With the aforementioned video evidence showing the lack of rear box, this is likely a new piece:

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(The above 2 pictures stink, but if you watch that part, the rear box, outlined in red, moves in a manner that makes its shape easier to see)

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...the rear box #2 is clearly visible: it lacks the both the angled aspect and the abundance of cabling that protruded from the top of the original.

If both rear boxes were simply cosmetic, why remove it for the sake of the theme park attraction? Why bother putting it back on? There could be a host of reasons actually but they're all speculative and at the end of the day, inconsequential; for me as a prop builder, it'd be amazing to source/recreate as closely as possible that original rear component / box / whatever it was - as I'm sure the original creator intended it to at least represent some kind of function (a battery, a power supply, etc - if it was indeed ornamental and non-functional)
 

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RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Also, notice that the original rear box was much taller than its replacement - nearly as tall as the U-shaped Video Mounting Bracket, which came up and over the center stablizer bar.
 

TristanArtSD

New Member
So I just binge-read this whole thread and I'm definitely watching now! I was 6 when that film came out and I absolutely loved it (I was also already a big space nerd and so I was really excited about shrinking items for launch and thought someone should pursue such a device lol). Can't wait to see where this goes!
 

NathanM

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I haven't watched it yet but there is an episode of the Prop show on Disney + that is all about Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
 

RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
So I just binge-read this whole thread and I'm definitely watching now! I was 6 when that film came out and I absolutely loved it (I was also already a big space nerd and so I was really excited about shrinking items for launch and thought someone should pursue such a device lol). Can't wait to see where this goes!

Same!! I came out of HISK wanting to be a scientist...but it wasn't until we went to MGM studios in ~1989-90 ish that I saw what was then called the "backstage studio tour" - which featured HISK as seen in the videos posted previously - and came out of it wanting to go to Hollywood and make movies. I also asked my dad if we could build a prop shrinking machine like in the movie, which was met with bemusement at the time.

Needless to say, when I sent my dad my PDF he went from shaking his head in confusion to nodding his head, probably still in confusion.
 

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RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Thought it might be fun to share actual prop-progress!

Below is a picture of what I've affectionately come to refer to as my "rough sketch", or "stink machine", as it is not so much a prop replica as it is a conglomeration of test pieces and spare parts I've had for years and been meaning to do something with. Instead of junking the hilariously inaccurate "flanges" I made 2 years ago, why not attempt some kind of facsimile as a starting point?

My reasons for doing this are mostly Covid-19 related. Without some kind of progress it doesn't make sense to take unnecessary risks, so getting together with my friend to build my final statement piece on this project can't begin yet.

Ergo, while I work on an new, more accurate 3D model of the real McCoy, please enjoy this assortment of piping and other debris, coagulated by yours truly into a vague representation of our favorite laser-based size reduction device:
0.jpeg

The dry fit being completed and satisfying, the next steps would be to (1) seal the foam parts, (2) glue/screw everything together, (3) haphazardly apply random metallic spray paints, (4) festoon the whole thing with greeblies and lights, and (5) adorn the living room wall with it until my SO comes home from work and makes me throw it out. (edit: jk about that last bit...I think)

Also, please excuse the fact that my workspace looks a bit like a tomb.
 

RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Yeah, Disney + show showcased some of the restoration work of it.

Yeah! And it is in that current state one can observe the machine up close. Which reminds me, I wanted to redact a statement I made previously - having seen the new motor drive sprocket in person, I think the odd shape in Prop Culture was a trick of the light or something. It's a higher ratio than the original, but it's a legit sprocket and quite circular.
 

RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Update time!

With no further ado, here's "Dry Fit #2" of the "Stink Machine" / "Rough Sketch" project, which is one of the only things keeping me sane at this point:
20200729_140444.jpg

Notes:
- The Barrel radius is about an inch too big relative to the real McCoy
- The pink foam is representative of the "heat sink" piece I'll be making later
- There will be Stabilizer Pips on the machine which will be 3D printed soon.
- See also: Nozzle re: 3D printing
- Nothing above, save the "armature" itself, is physically attached yet. So while the flanges are crooked in this picture, it will be corrected when putting it together 'for real'.
- The foam box thing will be wrapped with thin styrene, because I have no other efficient way to ensure the foam doesn't look pilfered from a stereo receiver box (which it was)
- The plan is to hang this thing from the ceiling somehow, with redundancies of course.
- The plan is to also festoon the thing with wires, nurnies, greeblies, and if necessary, hoses.
- The plan is to then add lots of blinky LEDs!
 

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RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Update time!

Sorry for being away for (literally) a hot minute...since I live in California, work on my "rough sketch" has been sporadic, owing to my work schedule and the fact that it's approximately 8 billion degrees outside.

Glacial as my pace may be, I've managed to make a bit of progress that I'm keen on sharing!

First off, I've more or less finished the piece I'm calling the "power core", which sounded cooler than "toilet part". (I'm only guessing here, of course...as a millenial, I have no hope of ever owning a dwelling larger than a moderately-sized refrigerator carton, so the true function of 2" ABS tubing is knowledge beyond my reckoning. You know what isn't? How to build awful props!)

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One day, blinky LEDs will inhabit the 'power core' above, to give visitors to my home the sense that I am a rational person who definitely has their priorities straight. Haha, who am I kidding? Visiting friends doesn't exist as a concept anymore!


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Here we have the fully assembled armature, plus flanges, which constitutes quite possibly the first fan-created prop replica of these pieces. Not to brag or anything, but not everyone has one of these babies in their 1-car garage, in plain view of all of the neighbors, who hopefully haven't assumed I'm trying to build a Howitzer or something. Which is why I shout "This is a Shrinking Machine! From Honey I Shrunk the Kids!! NOT A HOWITZER!!" at passerby, while grinning in a completely sane and nonthreatening manner, coated in various adhesives and shrinking-machine-related debris.

The comical loop of metal jutting out from the top will one day help suspend the prop from the ceiling, where it will have the most potential to cause serious damage to my home. What's life without a little chaos, anyway?
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Speaking of chaos, I am totally and definitely not shimming the power core with old dremel buffing bits. That would be stupid and wrong!


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The freshly repainted 1/2" PVC tubing re-inserted into the back half of the "Stink Machine", as the epoxy begins to ooze onto basically every semi-valuable object nearby, as well as my hands, clothes, and my SO's new costco magazine.


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The "Stink Machine" in its condition as of 2pm this past afternoon. There's a 45% chance it's since melted from the heat.

Thanks for reading! More updates to come.
 

RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Another hot minute has elapsed since my last update, but there was a good reason for my delay!

Long story short, I realized that my plan to create a wall-mounted overhang and dangle this object like a worm on a hook was unnecessarily precarious. Being that I'm naturally disaster-prone as it is, I was shown the brilliance of an alternative plan brought up by my SO: use the same pieces to create a sort of "shelf" to achieve more or less the same thing in a much safer way, and as a bonus explore more of the machine's original form rather than an abstraction.

I'm relearning a great many things in the course of this project; one of them is that even the most putrid of stink machines takes a monumental amount of work to be at all presentable; for this reason, I spent a great deal of time re-thinking my strategy, because above all else:
(1) I still insisted the whole thing be capable of rotating freely, and
(2) I wanted to use all available stock before risking going out in the pandemic to buy more small objects from home depot

and so I've had nothing to show for my efforts for quite some time...until now!

So with no further ado, I present "Yet Another Half-Dry Fit Now With More Stuff And a Shelf - a Photographic Journey"

First, I insist on making a cool control panel for everything, which will also help dress up the "shelf". I have these square star-wars 12v LED buttons I've been dying to use which would look neat.

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Next, I trussed up the "shelf" with the remnants of a derelict record player, some furniture pads, excess wood, a hardware turntable for rotating, and some other weird odds and ends. In order to make life simple, I glued "for sale" styrene signs to the "shelf", and then bondo'd the edges to hide the seams (not pictured. also, I hate bondo)

What I was left with was this. If you look carefully you can observe the piece I'm talking about in and amongst the other random debris:
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I won't go into detail, but it was a puzzle to get that turntable thing mounted to the table from the record player, and then to the ABS tubes which I planned to hold the machine in place. Since I'm from the east coast originally, this was achieved through a lot of cursing, sputtering, and dropping small absolutely critical pieces of hardware on the floor (as is tradition).

I also won't explain the paint process or why one of my nice flip flops is now partially gunmetal silver.

And so, through highways and byways, and after many years of planning and scheming, I am now the proud owner of this vague WIP monstrosity:
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More updates to come. I'm sorry if any of you were expecting anything akin to screen accuracy! As a matter of fact, the folgers can I'm using as a "coolant tank" of sorts gave me the idea to potentially engineer a mechanism that dispenses coffee...
(edit to make pictures smaller)
 
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RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Another quick update after a flurry of post-turkey day activity!!

I'm not sure how sold I am on blue for the rear tank, but it makes the "large capacitors" pop...
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the intention is to one day mount said cylinders in a ring around the "barrel".

I'm also happy to announce the resurrection of "Robut" the 3D printer; once the new filament comes in, the 'stink machine' shall no longer be nose-less...!
 

RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Another quick update: nurnie dry fit #3,675. The tubing will hopefully one day spit fog, hopefully not to the detriment of our nasal cavities.

The foam box from previous posts is now in approximately 4 million pieces because I stepped on it in the dark while rotating the laundry. So I took measurements and built a similar piece out of sheet styrene, which is actually complete thanks to a nifty quick drying glue compound I have.
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The gray boxes and wires are the guts of an old projection TV I gleefully destroyed (yes, I discharged all capacitors first!)
 

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