One of the most fun props I’ve ever made was a basketball-sized tumor that needed to smoke a cigarette while on camera – making the end of the cigarette ember glow red and then puff out a plume of smoke. I did this by first getting an old basketball and using some fittings and sealant to attach a 1″ vinyl hose to a hole in the ball.
Then I cut a hole in the opposite side of the ball that was the same size as the neck of a hot water bottle. The hot water bottle was placed inside the ball so that it would act kinda like a lung does the human body – expanding and contracting due to the change in air pressure.
I made a hand-operated air pump to force air into and out of the ball, and then made a fitting that attached to the hot water bottle’s neck which would hold both a cigarette and a one-way air valve salvaged from a fancy dust mask – the idea being that air (and smoke) would be drawn in through the cigarette and collect inside the hot water bottle, and then smoke would be blown out through the one-way valve. Here is a video of the test:
Bleh! It worked as planned, but it made our workshop smell like Marlboroughs.
And here is an image of the finished tumor – with a covering made out of cling wrap, paint, and liquid latex:
I made many more tumors of all shapes and sizes for the show this season – here are a few: