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A pumpkin so great that even Cave Johnson would be envious ... Behold! The Aperture Science Automated Pumpkin Turret!
In this instructable I will show you how to make this awesome Turret for under 15 bucks!
Check out the action shots below
If you liked this Check out the Wheatley Pumpkin Instructable!(link coming soon)
Step 1: Materials & Tools
A pumpkin of course! I used a white pumpkin for obvious reasons, which can be found at those specialty pumpkin stands that spring up around this time of year, but there's no reason why you can't go with traditional orange. Also I had to use two Pumpkins for this project one large on for the turret body and a smaller one for extra parts(knee caps and gun barrel holder).
8 feet of 3/4 or 1/2 inch PVC pipe - I picked up a 10 foot long piece from Home Depot for less than $2. you will only need 8 feet(the other two feet were used for the Wheatley pumpkin)
3 x "L" shaped PVC connectors (see pictures for reference)
1 x three way PVC connector (see pictures for reference)
1x four-way PVC connector (see pictures for reference)
1 x PVC cap (see pictures for reference)
Black spray paint
LED tap light
Saw or dremel
Pumpkin carving tools
Step 2: Cut and Bend the Tubing
Now that you have all the materials it's time to start cutting.
Heres the measurements i used, however depending on how big(or small) your pumpkin is will effect what size you want to use. My pumpkin was about 10" tall when put on its side.
Six 10" long pieces for the legs(two for each of the three legs)
Two 7" pieces for the turret arms,( this will need to be shorter for smaller pumpkins)
and a 4" and 5" piece for the torso( it will be about 10" after its connected with the four-way connector. I made it just long enough so that it stuck into the fat of the pumpkin at the top to add some stability. (This will vary greatly on the size pumpkin you use.)
Also cut four 3" long pieces for the gun barrels. ( i sanded down the edges to add a nice bevel, picture 2)
I found it easiest to connect the legs together to aid in bending, so connect the 2 10" pieces together with the "L" connector. Now using the heat gun heat the area you want to bend.
#Obviously this is very hot so don't hurt your self!
#Constantly move gun to avoid burning the PVC, it will start to turn yellow and eventually burn if you hold in one spot too long.
#Heat both sides of tube.
#Bend slowly and do small areas at a time to avoid kinking the tube.
#It shouldn't require much force at all to bend it, if heated to the right point it should become very pliable and stay pliable for a minute or two. In fact it took so long to re-harden that i found it easiest to dowse it under cold water and it instantly hardened and held the shape extremely well.
Look at picture number 3 to see how a leg should look.
Idealy a "Y" shaped connector (does this exist?) would be better than the three-way connector, so I had to bend the back leg at a pretty extreme angle and had some slight kinking but it is still very strong.(picture 4)
The final bending I did was for the end of 7" arms. I cut a "V" shaped chunk out of the end to make some points and a slit down the center. I then heated these and bend them into a fork-like shape using pliers. This will be used for impaling the pumpkins turret walls. (picture 6 and 7)
I had to improvise and epoxy a PVC cap onto the top of the Three-way connector and reinforced it with a screw. (Picture8)
This will allow me to attached the body to the legs.
I then glued all the legs together and then into the three-way connector.
I left the body unglued for reasons i will explain later.
I added nails sticking out of the three "knee caps" and next to the "arm forks" so that i could impail more pumpkin chunks.(i.e. Turret gun barrels, and knee caps)
Careful not to stab yourself like i did
Once that is all done I painted the entire turret armature with black spray paint ( the Krylon stuff made for adhering to plastic)
Step 3: Operational End of the Device.
This Turned out to be a fantastic way of doing the eye. (Of course Ideally a desktop laser cutter*cough* would yield a much better product.)
All i did was print out 5 of these eyes onto a single piece of inkjet transparency paper. (used back in the day for overhead projectors)
I included in this instructable the original image as well as a .doc with the images all laid out and ready to print. I reversed the images in the .doc file so that the shinny, nicer looking side of the transparency paper would show it the right way.
The reason why you want to print out multiple copies is that a single layer of ink was not dark enough. You could easily see through the black and the red looked like a light pink. I found that right around 5 layers was enough.(picture 2)
After you have them printed out cut them out and try to line them up one at a time as best you can. Super glue worked surprisingly well, it didn't disturb the ink or discolor the plastic like you might think it would.(picture 3)
Then I trimmed off the excess plastic, but i left enough to be able to attach to the pumpkin with toothpicks.(picture 5)
Step 4: Carve the Pumpkin
This step is pretty self explainatory.
Draw out the design and cut it out. Look at my pumpkin down below or a real turret for reference. take into account the size of your printed eye for the size of the whole.
Figure out where you want the PVC pipe of the base to come up through the bottom and where it will rest in the top.
The second pumpkin was only used for the knee caps and gun barrel holder. The pumpkin shape was the perfect contour for the knees (picture 3)
I carved a center line that would later be painted in to add depth. (optional)
I also used Vaseline to all exposed areas to help it last longer and not dry out and shrivel up so fast.
Step 5: Assembling Turret
Now that your armature is cut, bent, glued, nailed and painted; and your pumpkin parts cut out and ready. Its time to assemble your turret.
#First only have the bottom part of the "body" PVC pipe connected.
#Slide the pumpkin on top
#Then add the four-way connector, top section, and arms to the armature.
#Next attach the knee-caps and turret guns onto the nails.
#Add the LED tap light and line it up behind the eye socket. I attached mine onto the four-way connector.
#And finally install the eye with toothpicks behind the eye hole.
And that's it, you should now have your very own Aperture Science Automated Pumpkin Turret!
Third Prize in the
Halloween Decorations Challenge