Here are some toxic waste barrels that I made for my haunt 2007. I was trying to think of a way to make toxic waste look like it was really toxic. I wanted it to look alive, like lava-with lights flickering from inside and steam-fog. Here is what I came up with and it looks great in person. The orange ones looked live lava and was extremely convincing, and the green ones looked toxic.
Step 1: Step 1
I got some empty cardboard 55 gallon drums. I wanted them to look like the black and white steel drums, so we painted them. We spray painted them with black and primer grey, and we used duct tape to section them off where we wanted different colors.
Step 2: Step 2
I made some toxic waste signs on my computer and attached them using 2 sided tape. I attaced string lights by draping them down the outside of the barrel and covering them with foam insulation Great Stuff. I used 2 strands of lights, one flashing and one non flashing. Inside the barrel I put rope party lights because they are brighter and flash brighter, and create a better glow.
Step 3: Step 3
I cut out a square in the bottom and the backside of the barrel to put in a fog machine. In this picture you can see the inside rope lights on and the fog, but I didn't have the lights on in the front ooze running down the front of barrel. In this picture you can see that I painted some of the Great Stuff running down the barrel and it does make it look better when the lights are on, painting them helps add the color.
Step 4: Step 4
In this barrel I wanted to add a person to the inside, so I added a skeleton head. I wanted it to kinda look like something from the movie; "The Return of the Living Dead", at least that is where I got the idea from. I cut out a window with a jigsaw and I used a piece of clear mylar for the window. I cut out a large round cardboard piece and attached it inside the barrel, at the bottom window level. I added string lights, Great Stuff and the skull. After dried... I painted the Great Stuff with orange, yellow & black. After that dried... I drilled holes down thru it so the fog could rise up thru and look like it was cooking/steaming. In regards to safety I would suggest that you drill holes thru the cardboard first and then work around them with the lights and Great Stuff. Allow some extra room due to the expanding Great Stuff. A better and safer option might be to check out Goldie's Bubbling Cauldron and look at how I made that. I put the lights thru wiffle balls and put Great Stuff over top. You could put holes in it first prior to all the work, that would allow fog to rise up thru.
Step 5: Step 5
In this picture you can see it with the lights on and the fog comming out. Unfortunately you can't see the skull in this picture but it looked pretty good in there. In my Toxic Waste scene I had this barrel lifted up higher than the others, so the skull could be seen by all.
Step 6: Step 6
The barrels are done and you can see how they look at night. I made 4 barrels. Two in green and two in orange. The orange ones looked like live molten lava, they looked Hot. (I was afraid to touch it when it was all lit up-it was very convincing) And the green ones looked toxic. The green had an eerie glow and the green flashing lights made it look radio active. Thanks for looking.