@Douglass: You might be able to achieve some interesting "lightning" effects on a slightly smaller scale if you can get one of those airport-runway style Xenon flashtubes...
Not a bad idea, although I'm more o a low-vltage man. I went down to Mock Electronics on Friday on the way into work (only 2 weeks before they close down) -- they have one huge tube left that made we dool -- but it's out pof my range -- I put a much lower offer in if no one else asks for it.
In the meantime I did find anther really interesting -- low cost -- tube there -- I can get the coil glowing -- and I'm just about to try lighting it from underneath with NeoPixels -- I'm just waiting for the hot glue holding the NeoPixels on the tube to cool down.
Back when Zimbabwe was Rhodesia, my school's colours(all boys school) were navy blue and plumbago, a grey with a bluish tinge. Plumbago was Cecil John Rhodes' favourite colour- the country being named for him. Better known today for the Rhodes scholarship.
You might be able to achieve some interesting "lightning" effects on a slightly smaller scale if you can get one of those airport-runway style Xenon flashtubes, such as this one currently on ebay ( though not for much longer ):
Your results may vary according to your HV source... but I've got one of these hooked up to one of those timer-ic driven ignition coil circuits... and it seems a nice way to add a bit of Frankensteinian sparkiness to a project!