Equus Project

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New Edgecliff Theatre contacted the Hive to see if we could help in an upcoming play called Equus. In this play there will be costumes that have horse heads. The director wanted the horse heads eyes to glow orange red. This is where the Hive comes in. This projects tasks is fairly simple. Make several horse heads (around 6) have glowing orange red eyes that can be controlled by the actors via a switch in the back of the mask.

Project Manager



  • TP - I can help out on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons
  • Paul - Worked on the soldering, mounting and trouble shooting
  • Steve - Helped with the mounting and soldering
  • Xio2 - Helped with the soldering
  • DaveM - Helped with the soldering

Project Status

We received on 3D paper machete horse head and have successfully add some nice glowing lights. These were accomplished with a 9v Battery, switch, some JB Weld epoxy and 4 red LEDs. We used vending machine bubbles with a sheet of packaging film to diffuse the lights. The mask will get another coat of cloth machete and a paint job as well as the lights actually placed in eye sockets. Gallery below:

Next we are waiting on receiving 5 2D horse masks...

Project Needs

The eyes need to be visible to the entire audience. The auditorium for this play is not very large so this shouldn't be a particular challenge.

  • Decide on the battery pack
  • Decide on the LEDs
  • Decide on the switch
  • Decide on the diffuser method

Project Updates

September 26, 2009

Dead Switch

Today we got 3 more heads and we also got the big head back because it was not working. I worked on the big head while Dave M. and Xio2 worked on the wiring for two of the heads. The troubleshooting of the large head was hampered by the fact that we decided to secure the wiring as if it was Fort Knox with all the joints either covered with heatshrink tubing or JB Weld. After about an hour of poking around with a multimeter I was able to determine with the help of Craig that the power switch was not working. After I worked it loose from the mask Craig noticed that the contact pads had been pulled away from the switch. Our current hypothesis is that as the JB Weld dries it expands. Since the outside hardens first, it holds onto the wires, then the inside hardens and expands, pushing out on the outside which causes the wires to be pulled away.

After figuring out what was wrong with the switch I helped Xio2 work on soldering up the wires for one of the masks. DaveM and Xio2 left around 10:00 pm, I stuck around until about 10:30 pm finishing the soldering I was working on.

- Paul

September 27, 2009

The large horse head lit up

I arrived at the Hive around 2:30 pm and started to work on soldering up a few more wires for the masks and attached a new switch onto the large horse head mask. I am currently waiting for Craig to show up.

Paul and myself (Craig) started working on the 2D masks and making circuits to put in the mask when Steve rolled up on his bike to help. We ran out of coin batter holders so we improvised some using a vinyl paperclip and a screw ;) We also cut up a $4 air filter I got from Kroger to make the diffusers for the eyes. By 11 we had completed all the heads but the spare one (we ran out of switches for that one)

I'll have to stop by on Monday to finish the last of them.


Soliciting ideas via the mailing list. Some suggestions so far:

  • Jawa Mask Design --Guy Dillion
  • "I have used LEDs in two theatrical applications for Cincinnati Music

Theatre: A magic mirror used in "Beauty and the Beast" and a stripper costume used in "Gypsy." LED lights are very mono-chromatic and will not change colors by putting gel (colored plastic that changes the color of incandescent lights) in front of it. If you put red next to yellow, from 10 feet, you'll never see it." ... "for both applications I used 12v LEDs with built-in resistors." --Eric Bardes

Sketch ups of possible head designs (from technical director)