Kids/Youth Designs

Superhero Base

Steven Hall from in Norman, OK brings us this superhero base for their 2013 VBX (Vacation Bible Experience).

This year the theme was Superheros. So for their scenic and lighting design they tried to turn their campus into a super hero training facility. Their craziest challenge was that the event started with Monday AM rehearsals. The majority of this set was put up overnight on Monday by their team.

In their lobby, they covered their windows with a cityscape. They traced a projection of the cityscape onto black Coroplast with white paint pens.

They also built a huge entryway into the Superhero training facility (Auditorium).

They built a 12″ truss structure to support the walls of their entry way. They used 6 hinge plates to get the angles they needed with the truss. The walls were made from 7/16 osb and 2″x4″s that were painted grey. They tried to keep everything no larger than 4′ x 8′ so that it simplified transportation from their shop to the church. To liven up the entryway they used a bunch of things to accent the entry way. They used painted gutter splashes, conduit, hazard signs, paint stripes, strips of Coroplast, and two painted logos. Steven’s favorite part though was the bio hazard tubes. They cut 6″ PVC pipe and caps in half and painted them bright green. Then with a stencil, painted on the yellow Biohazard sign.

Inside the auditorium they did a lot to make the room look like a Superhero training base too. Their concept was to make the stage look like the command center and the seating area to look like the training grounds.

One of their simplest, easiest to build, most effective, and most reusable set pieces was what Steven likes to call the “Cheese Grater” panels. They are 3’6″ wide x 8′ tall 2×4 frames with a piece of steel lath attached to the back. They cut 45 deg. angles on the boards and used 3″ screws to fasten them together. They attached the steel lath to the 2″x4″s with a hammer stapler. They are simple but they lit up very well and they have them to use as a stand alone piece in the future. They used them on the wings and horizontally from the truss uprights

To add some vertical dimension they put up some 20′ truss towers. They also acted as supports for the horizontal Steel lath and a few police beacons as eye candy.

They also attached a few 90 deg. sections of circle truss that they own to the uprights. They jutted onto the stage and gave a nice dimension.

Above the students, they hung yellow steel grates in the ceiling.

Another one of the cool elements they used were 8- 55 gallon drums they painted and added graphics to. With a few hours of work and some nice printing they made Biohazard and explosive barrels for under $40. (drums were donated)

They also built a training facility control panel as the stage center piece. They built an angled console out of 2″x4″s that held 2 large LCDs on an angle that played back futuristic HUD display graphics. They also placed 2 LCDs behind the control center on stands. The content ran from an old IMAC and an Apple TV setup. They faced the 2″x4″ frame with masonite that they painted grey. They added a line of Icove LEDs at the bottom of the TVs, some vents, reflective metal tape, and some cheap LEDs to light the control center to make it look finished.

To round out the set in the main room they added 12 Mac 101s, 4 Mac 700s, 6 Martin Atomic 3000 strobes, and a Glaciator. It worked amazing and gave them some flexibility with lighting in the seating that they normally don’t have. Plus, honestly, strobes and low fog are cool as long as they are used in the right context; and this was certainly the right context.

They spent 9 days in the month of May building the set pieces they could. The finishing touches were done on Sunday night and Monday before the Tuesday through Thursday Event.

Their budget was for all the scenic was $2500. 90% of their materials will be (or have already been) used in other sets.

Get more info on Steven’s blog.








Film Stripped Blackout Letters

2 responses to “Superhero Base”

  1. Robert James says:

    Looks good. I like the use of trusses.

  2. Looks awesome! I have looked into doing a similar design but with more of a space ship design. I was curious about how long this set was up for? Was it up for a week long VBS or was this up for a whole year?

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