# Balloons with confetti

#### PropsPupMikel

##### Member
ok here is a fun one......

our designer for the upcoming fall play wants one or more balloons that are capable of dropping confetti for the final scene. He would like them to be large and free-floating (mini-blimps) however he also wants a large payload of confetti on them.

Problems:
1-can't find any really large balloons that are the right colors/designs/ ect.
2-how do we rigt the ballons to drop the confetti
3- and how do we control the flight of the balloons?

got any ideas?

oh and the play is set 1830ish

#### Chaos is Born

##### Active Member
1. call any balloon supply store, i'm sure they would know or could help you out
2/3. Use a Metal wire to connect the balloons and control where they fly, when you need them to pop, just shoot 120v through the wire. (might want to try that before you use it in the show...)

#### PropsPupMikel

##### Member
1. call any balloon supply store, i'm sure they would know or could help you out
2/3. Use a Metal wire to connect the balloons and control where they fly, when you need them to pop, just shoot 120v through the wire. (might want to try that before you use it in the show...)

have talked to balloon suppliers, and looked on-line, thing is they need to look like miniture hat-air balloons

and exploding the balloons is not an option, he wants them to drop/release form like the basket, so maybe a remote-controled unit?

#### Chaos is Born

##### Active Member
Ok, i still sugjest the fly by wire for control. Could you use a Solonoid to drop the bottom of the basket and drop the confetti?

#### avkid

##### Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
Like an R/C hot air balloon model?

#### Van

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Ok let's get the particulars. From what I understand;
You need several Large "hot air ballon looking" ballons.: How big? How Many?
You need each of the big ballons to have a basket suspended from them.: Again How Big?
Each ballon needs to drop on cue: At the same time or seperately?
Each basket needs to open on the bottom and drop confetti: Yes?

Yet to be determined;
How many shows and how long of a run?
How much prep time do you have?
Proscenium?

This a level 5 project: Simply accomplished, but possibly expensive and requiring a higher level tecnical expertise, and slightly complicated.
could probably get it done in a week with money and resources, and a couple of hands. I'll be happy to post what I'm thinking of but I need those particulars filled in ......

#### PropsPupMikel

##### Member
Ok let's get the particulars. From what I understand;
You need several Large "hot air ballon looking" ballons.: How big? How Many?
You need each of the big ballons to have a basket suspended from them.: Again How Big?
Each ballon needs to drop on cue: At the same time or seperately?
Each basket needs to open on the bottom and drop confetti: Yes?
Yet to be determined;
How many shows and how long of a run?
How much prep time do you have?
Proscenium?
This a level 5 project: Simply accomplished, but possibly expensive and requiring a higher level tecnical expertise, and slightly complicated.
could probably get it done in a week with money and resources, and a couple of hands. I'll be happy to post what I'm thinking of but I need those particulars filled in ......

how big:- 60-72 inches across
basket size:- haven't seen designs, but quessing 6-8 inches square
time: all at the same time I believe
bottom opening: yes that would be best
run: 1 week -7 runs I believe
prep time: till late october
proscenium: yes 25H x 40W I believe, or right about there
Budget: I don't know, I am not the head of my department, I am just the one that figures out a lot of the weirder things.

#### Van

##### CBMod
CB Mods
OK I've got a pretty good Idea < I think> I don't have much time to post today, but I'll throw something up here tonight after my wife drags me to the Broadway tour of Chicago < Yech!!>

#### koncept

##### Active Member
i think i would use like 5 or 6 (same number of hot air balloons) $20 rc cars and take them apart. add a fan to the back of them and use one of the servos to change left/right direction. the height will be fixed by the amount of helium/weight combinations. use the second servo from the car to drop the confetti. as for getting them to drop at the same time that might be a bit harder since i would want them to all have different frequencies so that they can be flown individually....so a sheet of ply w/ controllers mounted all over. then rip the controllers apart and set a second push button that activates that second servo... yes i know i just destroyed$120 in rc cars but just think you can always take it apart and build something else....

edit: for spelling and clarification on the number of cars being used, i was thinking multiple baloons

Last edited:

#### PropsPupMikel

##### Member
Can you clarify here what type of control you need over these balloons? Are they u.s. or d.s. of the proscenium, are you flying them in (rigging) or are you flying them in (like superman), or do they stay in one spot the entire time?

They are u.s. of the procenium and they need to be able to float all over the stage, or at least give the illusion of being free floating.

I am thinking guide wires hooked to battens to attach them to so they don't just wander off into the wings.

#### jwl868

##### Active Member
Technical issues aside: You may need to do a little sketching yourself. If it’s a hot-air balloon (spherical) rather than a dirigible shape, then you have a balloon about 5 feet in diameter plus a distance to the bottom of the basket of about 4 feet. (That’s a guess, but consider the proportions.) The proscenium height is 25 feet less say 3 feet for a teaser. Then maybe another foot below that, just to keep the balloon away from the lights. So 25-5-4-3-1 = 12 feet between the bottom of the basket and the stage floor for the confetti to drop and 6 to 7 feet above the actors’ heads. Will that give you the “look” that you want?

Joe

#### Van

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Technical issues aside: You may need to do a little sketching yourself. If it’s a hot-air balloon (spherical) rather than a dirigible shape, then you have a balloon about 5 feet in diameter plus a distance to the bottom of the basket of about 4 feet. (That’s a guess, but consider the proportions.) The proscenium height is 25 feet less say 3 feet for a teaser. Then maybe another foot below that, just to keep the balloon away from the lights. So 25-5-4-3-1 = 12 feet between the bottom of the basket and the stage floor for the confetti to drop and 6 to 7 feet above the actors’ heads. Will that give you the “look” that you want?

Joe

Good Call! I started looking at the idea I was working on and ran across the same issue, lot's of balloon very little "stage Picture".

Costs. I started doing some research and found a couple of places where you can get 5 foot diameter Balloons, they run about $100 - 150.00 each you want 5 or 6 that's$800.00 before you get into the rc parts. Servos and motors are cheap. controlers are not. I'll work on a couple more Ideas today and get them up here ASAP

#### gafftaper

Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
How about 36 inch latex balloons? Here for $3.95 What about chicken wire, paper mache, and fishing line for the balloon and forget about the actual flying around part. Last edited: #### drawstuf99 ##### Active Member How about 36 inch latex balloons? Here for$3.95
What about chicken wire, paper mache, and fishing line for the balloon and forget about the actual flying around part.

A little off topic, but the lady in the picture on that page looks like she's having the best time with that $3.95 balloon. Good for her. Anyway, yes! That stage picture looks to be jam-packed with people, set, lights and balloons and little "breathing-room." If you can get those sized down a little, perhaps it'll clean it up a bit, not to mention make it cheaper for you. Plus, is it just me or does that just sound a little odd? The scale, I mean, in relation to the distance a balloon would be and near people..etc. I don't know. Another possiblity that *may* work if you reconsider several things, is doing a series of video projections. You can even layer together scrims and a cyc or two in order to get the different "levels" of balloons flying around, and dropping confetti. You could mix the 'video confetti' with real confetti dropping from over the stage. I dont really know your set...etc. but it may be possible if you're still in an early enough stage. If not, maybe the idea could work for something else. It certainly could be cheaper and more reliable than having tons of RC things flying around and screwing up. #### stantonsound ##### Active Member Ok, I don't think that anyone has mentioned this yet. They sell remote control blimps. The cheaper ones are pretty much mylar balloons with a small control box under it which has fans that pan and tilt. They are about$80 each. I know that you want a balloon, not a blimp, but that would take care of the problem of the control.

If you could get away with decorating a blimp to fit the period, I would suggest renting a decent one and having real control with a professional controller. They even have a dump and crop mechanism built in.

Here are balloons that more than likely have the look that you are going for as well as some other fun stuff.
http://www.budgetinflatables.com.au/giant_helium.html

#### avkid

##### Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
A little off topic, but the lady in the picture on that page looks like she's having the best time with that \$3.95 balloon.
No, it looks like she got her prescriptions confused and took way too much Vicodin.(or a horse tranquilizer)

#### SHARYNF

##### Well-Known Member
I think you are asking for no end of problems trying to do it with real balloons or blimps with rc in a stage environment with hot lights etc. You might get a spectacular effect but it probably will not be the one you want.

So I would look at making a lower section of a blimp with the basket, and the confetti fill and have the release be remote controlled. I would use a guy wire and have the blimps look like they are flying around but probably use two going in opposite directions etc.

You could use projection but I think getting the effect you want high up would be difficult, so creating the illusion of a series of full blimps might work best.

Sharyn

#### Van

##### CBMod
CB Mods
I think you are asking for no end of problems trying to do it with real balloons or blimps with rc in a stage environment with hot lights etc. You might get a spectacular effect but it probably will not be the one you want.

So I would look at making a lower section of a blimp with the basket, and the confetti fill and have the release be remote controlled. I would use a guy wire and have the blimps look like they are flying around but probably use two going in opposite directions etc.

You could use projection but I think getting the effect you want high up would be difficult, so creating the illusion of a series of full blimps might work best.

Sharyn

I beleive Sharyn is Right!. You're asking for a ton of trouble with a free floating R/C setup. I was at a Blazers game not too long ago, the guy controlling their blimp is highly skilled relatively well paid R/C pilot and ocasionally he still has problems.

I'd get some netting from either a fishing supply or a packaging company
Cut and trim to fit a 36" Ballon, filled with air, not helium. Build or buy yourself the little ballon basket. Hit Grainger for some 12-24 volt solenoids. use a 14-18ga zip cord to hang the ballon from a batten. use the same zip as a conductor for the solenoids. fly the battens in and out for a floating effect. then hit the button on a remote for the release of the confettii.

#### PropsPupMikel

##### Member
ok, well looks like guide wires and solenoids then, sounds good to me, cus that puts a lot of the suffering on the electronics department, not me, I just have to get the balloons and build the baskets then, nice

Well to everybody that has helped or come-up with ideas for me thank you soooooo much, This one really had me stumped.

So Thank you