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Falling leaf


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Maybe he forgot the question mark (?)

Your guess is as good as mine, but I can say this: quite a few months ago I bought some falling leaf fuse online from the place I don’t go to anymore, and I was phenomenally underwhelmed.

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Classic "Falling Leaf" was made by paste comp in thin layers between paper sheets. This meant that only the edge of the comp took fire from the "burst" and the sheets were inclined to float down gently, and travel in the breeze, a bit like leaves in a breeze. Likely there was prime and glue involved also. At a guess the gentle effect didn't get the ooh and ahh's that are wanted from big bang fireworks, so the design went out of favour. As second guess it's far too easy to have an effect that falls to the ground and sets fire to plants etc.

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Best Of AFN II also mentions using very thin sheets/slivers of balsa wood with comp painted on instead of paper. Haven't tried either but sounds interesting.


Best Of AFN II, Pg 83:


This project is for those of us who also fly balsa
wood R/C planes. If you are like me, you probably
have piles of scrap ultra light-weight balsa wood
lying around your workbench. I use the thin
planks (1/32" or thinner) to make a type of falling
leaf star shell. Falling leaf stars, as their
name implies, look something like hundreds of
twinkling leaves gently floating down from the
sky. Here's how I do it.
First, I cut the balsa wood into several dozen 1/2 x
3/4" pieces. Then I coat one side of each piece with
one of my favorite star formulas that has been
wetted a bit more than usual (so that the composition
may be spread on the wood with a butter
knife). Next, I prime only one half the the "leaf
star (wliile it is still damp) by dipping its long
side into a small bowl of meal powder. I prime
only half of the star since the composition is
spread thin and I don't want it to burn too
rapidly as it slowly descends. In this case, the appearance
of the twinkling effect is attributed to
the star appearing to burn on and off continuously.
As it floats down, it rapidly spins
along its axis, thus giving its extraordinary illusion.
By the way, thin sheets of balsa wood may be obtained
in any hobby or craft store. Yes, balsa
wood is somewhat expensive and the process is a
bit labor intensive. However, when used in only a
few shells, the effect is worth the bother. In
production, of course, the star composition is
spread out on whole sheets of a suitable type of
paper, stacked sheet on top of sheet, then cut into
small leaves. SC


Apologies for the formatting.

Edited by MicroGram
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Also from Best Of AFN II, pg 103:

Just a comment on the Falling Leaf Stars article.
In some Onda shells I have looked at, the falling
leaves were made by cutting stars in small rectangular
slabs (1/2 x 1/2 x l 1/2"), which were then
wrapped with a turn of Gampi, about 3" long.
One end was left exposed and primed, and the
other had a twist of paper, left bent at an angle.
These stars then spun as they fell through the
air, much as maple seeds do. Those I examined
were not strobe compositions.
Another method being used by the Chinese is to
coat the strobe composition on thin chipboard
and cut it into 1/4" x 1" strips. Many of these are
then held together and dipped into a blob of
strobe composition on one end. The effect is of
several large colored stars, which break up into
many smaller, floating, flashing lights. The big
Tiger Head Rockets use them. JHB

Hope this helps!

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