Tag Archives: casting

Props Talk from the Prop Stock

A Guide to Applying for Props Jobs – Natalie Kearns and Karin Rabe Vance have put together the ultimate guide to resumes, cover letters, portfolios, and interviews for the props person.

Reflections on the First USITT Props Lab – Jay Duckworth brings us the run down on the inaugural Props Lab at the 2018 USITT Conference in Fort Lauderdale.

Making a Cardboard RPG – A prop builder named Blackfish made this cardboard rocket-propelled grenade that actually fires an exploding projectile. The video shows how it was done, and they have templates available as well.

Great Tips And Tricks For Bondo And Resin Casting – Grab your respirator and open a window! Eric Strebel brings us this video of different ways to use Bondo as a building material.

Weekly Props Roundup

For the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s props director, one blood is not like another – The Washington Post does a fantastic job interviewing Chris Young, Properties Director of the Shakespeare Theater Company. Chris shows off all the different kinds of blood he uses, and why he needs so many. The article has some great photographs, including a few of the blood delivery devices he incorporates into props and costumes.

I Ain’t Got No Body – A lot of dead bodies seem to appear in Jay Duckworth’s props shop, so it’s about time you get to hear his side of the story. For Shakespeare in the Park’s production of Cymbeline, Jay used the Saran wrap and packing tape method for making a body, and he gives a good step-by-step tutorial in this article.

Midlands Professional – Set Designer and Prop Maker David Hardware – David Hardware tells his story of how he became interested in working in film. He started out working in craft services, and eventually opened his own prop-making studio in Leicester, England.

Pressure Casting a Glow-in-the-Dark Slimer Model – The folks at Tested have a video showing how Frank Ippolito cast a glow-in-the-dark sculpture of the Onionhead Ghost from Ghostbusters.

Finally, in an update to last week’s story about the devastation to The Alley Theatre in Houston from Hurricane Harvey, the theater recently posted some videos and photographs from their prop storage area. It looks like it will take awhile to clean everything up, and a lot of it may end up being unsalvageable.

Easy Prop Links

The Artist Behind Some of the World’s Most Famous Images Isn’t A Photographer, It’s Top Backdrop Painter Sarah Oliphant – I never realized that the backgrounds of photographs on the covers of magazines are actually painted backdrops. I especially did not know that most of them are painted by the same people. Sarah Oliphant and her studio create the custom drops you see on magazine covers such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and GQ.

Prop Emergency & A Drag Queen To The Rescue – Jay Duckworth recalls the time his drag queen brother had the perfect solution to a prop problem he had. Meanwhile, I built all the furniture for that show.

Easy Casting of Small Model Parts and Miniatures with Blue Stuff – Make Magazine shows off a product called “Blue Stuff” which is used to make molds for small parts. It becomes soft in hot water and is reusable. It seems to be fairly similar to “Friendly Plastic” over here, but definitely worth testing out.

Majoras’ Mask – Accurate Replica – User Hydromatic93 brings us this Instructable on constructing a mask from the Legend of Zelda video game series. The process starts with a clay sculpt which is molded in silicone and then cast in a two-part resin.

Fiberglass with Aqua Resin

When we think of fiberglass, we think of the smelly, toxic resins used to reinforce it. Many props people avoid fiberglass for that reason. Water-based resins offer a less toxic alternative. Aqua Resin is one brand which is useful for theatrical prop building with fiberglass. You need a dust mask when handling the powder, but once mixed, it is non-toxic.

In my latest video, I show how to make a prop using fiberglass with Aqua Resin in a one-piece negative mold.

You can see how the mold was made in my post on matrix molding, and you can see photos of the finished prop in my post on the Magic Seashell.

Using fiberglass is one of the techniques that now has a step-by-step photo tutorial in the second edition of The Prop Building Guidebook: For Film, Theater, and TV, which comes out February 10, 2017. You can see all the companion videos at the Prop Building Guidebook website.