Making a Life Sized OPERATION Game - Part Four



To catch up see Part One, Part Two, or Part Three.

When we last left off, the visual elements of the Operation board were done. Now it was time to make it work like the game itself.

And happily I got it to do just that.



Here's how, but first a brief disclaimer  -

Not being a "master of" or "trained in" electronic propmaking, this is what worked FOR ME. I'm not saying here what I did is the best way or the safest. Even though it uses a fairly low wattage set-up, it's still electrical and messing with the wrong way could cause a spark, heat, or bit of a shock. Be safe okay? Always seek the advise of a professional first before attempting any electrical gizmo project if you have no idea what you're doing.

The material/parts needed - Found all at the hardware store and my local Radio Shack.

 Red and Black electric wire. I used 18 gauge.
12 volt battery, a small one used for radio control hobbies.
Alligator clips
Metal foil duct tape. Make sure conductive. A good way to know what your buying is, get the one that says NOT to used near electrical stuff, good sign that it is conductive. 
 Buzzer speaker
Flashlight socket base, and get a bulb for it too.








Large metal BBQ tongs. Being a lifesized Operation game, these will be the tweezers. I got one that also had wood pads on the grip.








Now, wiring it all together.  Here's the final board.


Now imagine it flipped over, backwards. Below is a mockup plan of the wiring on the backside.

The overall plan here is the buzzer, nose light, and body part holes are on one circuit (black wire for positive). The tongs are on another (red wire for negative). The negative circuit (tongs) touching the other positive circuit completes it, and makes the buzzer and light work.

- The edge of each body part hole was lined with the metal tape. The excess width of tape was wrapped onto the back of board. Each hole was then connected to each other with a length of metal tape creating a conductive bridge.

- The flashlight socket was inserted from the back through to where the nose is, both the black and red wire were connected to the metal tape bridge.

- The buzzer was glued onto board and both the black and red wire were added to the metal tape bridge.

- Once all bridged, I ran a single black wire from it to the positive terminal on the battery (easily attached with gator clip).

- The metal tong was connected with red wire to the opposite negative terminal on battery. I also used a bit of metal tape to attach red wire to tongs. I left plenty of lead to allow players to go all around the board (about 8' worth) when they wanted.





In case your wondering- no, no shock touching the bare metal tong while the circuit bridge was complete. The wattage is really low.

Now that the bells and whistles were figured out. I just had to create the boxes under the board to hold the body parts to be removed. It was a bit tedious, but not brain surgery to do. I traced the shape of each hole onto black foamcore. I cut out each shape with an extra 1/2" width around it. I then literally bent, creased, and warped 1" wide strips of cut foamcore around the edges, hot gluing in place. Now each body part had it's own shallow box that was glued onto the back of the board under it's matching shape.

The final detail. Our board's character's glowing red nose.


This was simply a red plastic "ball pit" ball we happened to have in our prop stash that was the perfect size and translucent enough to see light through. I just cut a small hole big enough to slip over the protruding flashlight bulb and hot glued in place.

And so the Operation board making comes to an end. Thankfully it worked flawlessly and became a fun game segment on the show. I'm under orders to save it as it might be used again. There goes taking it home and making it my coffee table.

Left to Right - Mark Steines, Cristina Ferrari, Camilla Luddington (Grey's Anatomy), Dr. JJ Levenstein, Jessie Jayne.

6 comments:

  1. GREAT!!! I have been patiently waiting for this.
    I wish I got that channel!

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  2. Seriously...I want this! The whole idea is brilliant. :)

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  3. Stunning! Really awesome, thanks so much for sharing :-)))

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  4. I have to make this. Mmmm ... maybe with Frankenstein for our Halloween party.

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  5. This is fantastic. Great job!

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  6. I saw this show and thought then, how awesome this large operation game was. Love all o your pieces of artwork!!

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