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Horsetail - Falling leaves

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#1 Sparky


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Posted 08 September 2013 - 03:16 PM

Hi all


I'm seeing a lot of small to medium size shells now producing some beautiful golden/silver rain (horsetail) effects. I've also seen many of these described as falling leaves.


From what I've seen most just seem to be normal stars similar to a Willow D or other long hangtime star but without the hard break. They are literally just pushed out the top of the cylinder shell and allowed to fall under gravity. Most don't seem to take any longer to descend than your usual round breaking shell.


My question is, are they just usual stars or are these horsetails really falling leaf effects constructed with layers of composition between paper etc?

#2 Atom Fireworks

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:12 PM

Hi Sparky


 Horsetail shells are not always cylinder, in fact the only ones I have seen/used are spherical just like a normal shell. They put enough burst in there to crack the shell open and then momentum and gravity do the rest. If you fire a horse tail shell vertically it doesn't produce the horse tail effect, more of a slim golden waterfall, they have to fired on an angle to produce the effect.


 The star comps in them I would imagine are just willow, d1 etc something with a long hang time and a long duration. A falling leaf effect is far from the Horse Tails effect, falling leafs are 1 solid object ( the star ) falling to the ground with no tail, obviously many of these stars but still not tail.



#3 Sparky


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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:42 PM

Thanks Jay, pretty much as I thought then but I assumed it was a plain old cylinder given the break pattern. I've seen tutorials for falling leaves that suggest the comp is pasted between two pieces of paper (or similar material) so you get a  very large surface area to slow the descent even further.

#4 Arthur Brown

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 09:41 PM

Horsetail is not the same as falling leaves, maybe something gets lost or found in translation.


Keep mannequins and watermelons away from fireworks..they always get hurt..

#5 pyrotrev


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Posted 09 November 2013 - 05:09 PM

Spherical horsetail and leaves shells only have a very thin pasting, often only a couple of layers to give a soft break. To get the classic horsetail effect they are often slightly over-lifted or have a shorter delay fuse than usual at the calibre, so that the shell is still rising when it breaks. Horsetail shells seem to have a smaller number of larger stars than the equivalent sized peony, I assume this is to get the longer burn time. The Chinese falling leaves shells I've examined are filled with lengths of a Visco type fuse filled with a slow burning colour comp rather than BP or KP fuse comp. I've only once seen a shell that had the pasted tissue paper type falling leaves, but it was very pretty as the leaves fluttered just like the real thing, whereas the fuse type ones seem to fall rather straighter.
Trying to do something very beautiful but very dangerous very safely....

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