Tag Archives: metal

Last Prop Stories in April

Metal 3D Printing Like Never Seen Before – 1st Century Roman Helmet Build – We’re all out of a job! Except that this took months of hand painting and finishing on top of the actual printing. Not to mention you still need to deal with 3D printing just like any other process, where you break your prop down into its simplest components and determine the best materials and methods to achieve those components. Still, this is an impressive looking helmet.

Inside Hollywood’s Prop Food Wonderland – Take a journey to LA’s Prop Heaven, one of the largest independently-owned prop houses in Burbank, California. Nearly a quarter of their stock is devoted to food and restaurant-themed furniture.

Fit For A King – A Nine Piece Rolling Throne – Jay Duckworth details his process of creating a rolling throne for the Public Theater’s mobile production of Henry V. Initially, the throne had to come out in nine pieces and be assembled by the actors onstage, before another actor jumped on the seat and rode around in it. Luckily, it was the only prop in the show!

Propmaster Annette Breazeale Brings WBTT Theater Sets to Life – Check out this lovely photo slideshow of the prop stock at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, where Annette Breazeale is the props master.

How Some Of The Best Cosplay On Earth Is Made – This video details one of the costume armor pieces created by Henchmen Studios, where over fifteen people spent five weeks fabricating every part.

Here We Go With More Props For You

Silver Ain’t Steel – But It Can Be! How To Paint A Faux Steel Effect – Over at the Rosco Blog, Angelique Powers shows us how she came up with some convincing steel surfaces using only paint.

Quantum Creations FX’s Fallout Pip-Boy Prop – Tested takes their video cameras to Monsterpalooza, where they chat with Christian Beckman, founder of Quantum Creation FX. He shows off a Pip-Boy prop they fabricated for a Fallout commercial, as well as a custom spacesuit they constructed specifically for the trade show.

Late Show Backstage Pass: The Invisible Props Department – In lighter news, Stephen Colbert brings us a day in the life of Sarah, the head of the Late Show’s “invisible props” department.

Pro-tips for Painting Pretty Patinas – Angelique Powers brings us another article over at the Guild of Scenic Artists’ page, this time showing some cool techniques for faking patinas and verdigris on metallic surfaces.

Woodworking from the ‘Bone Age’ – Chris Schwartz unearths this great article on how archaeologists attempt to recreate ancient woodworking techniques using ancient tools to help them understand some of the artifacts they discover.

Friday Prop Links

Summer at The Shop – The Triad Stage blog recently featured their production facilities, which is where I work. Check out my workshop, and get a sneak peek at some of the projects I’ve been working on, like some military radios for South Pacific.

Backstage at Signature: 100 Heads for Venus – Cassie Dorland had to make a hundred fake heads for the Signature Theatre’s production of Suzan-Lori Parks’ Venus. This video shows how her and over a dozen prop builders as they mold, cast, and paint all these heads.

Quiz: Can you guess the Shakespeare play just from its most memorable props? – As the title suggests, it’s just a fun little game to test your prop knowledge.

Watch Adam Savage Make His Own Excalibur in One Day – Adam Savage recreates this iconic movie sword in aluminum using an enviable array of belt sanders. It’s a lengthy video, but filled with lots of little tips and tricks if you are interested in metal working.

Photo-Etching and Soldering Your Own Brass Model Parts – Make Magazine highlights David Damek’s techniques for creating detailed parts out of brass. He uses it for making models, but you can easily adapt these methods for adding decorative brass details to props like treasure chests and jewelry.

Rockin the Prop Links

Dedicated to the Craft with Mary Creede – Thrillist has this great video peeking into the shop of Jerard Studio and talking with its co-founder, Mary Creede. This Red Hook shop has been building and maintaining specialty theatrical props for over 25 years. Most recently, they provided a number of items for Hamilton.

Want The Best Iron Man Cosplay For Comic-con? Call This Guy – Wired has an article about Shawn Thorsson, who makes foam armor suits like Iron Man or Robocop. He also writes a great deal about it and shares his techniques, and has recently written a book published by Make.

Disabled Artisans Seek Equality in Behind-the-Camera Jobs – Variety looks at some of the disabled craftspeople and technicians working in film, including a visual effects supervisor, a director of photography, and a film composer. We talk a lot about serving audiences with disabilities, and occasionally deal with performers with disabilities, but very few conversations happen around backstage and behind-the-scenes people with disabilities. It’s a conversation worth having. Monona Rossol published a datasheet about Americans with Disabilities in the Scenic Arts back in 1997, but I haven’t come across anything more recent in those twenty years.

DIY Rocketeer Jetpack – David Guyton built a rocket pack from The Rocketeer out of sheet metal. He also made a video showing how it was done, and posted the template patterns for free on his store. Be sure to browse his store for a ton of other patterns offered for sale.

Prop Making 101, with Sarah Kaiser – Part 1 – Sarah shows us how to build some props from Warhammer 40,000, notorious for its giant, over-the-top sci-fi guns. These guns also contain a ton of light and sound effects controlled by an Arduino, so it’s a good project to try if you’ve been wanting to practice that aspect of prop building.

Props for the Weekend

Gamora’s Godslayer – Guardians Of The Galaxy – I lost track of the “Man at Arms” show for awhile. It turns out they’ve rebooted it as “Man at Arms: Reforged.” The original show saw Tony Swatton use forging, blacksmithing, and metalworking techniques to build real metal versions of movie and video game weaponry. The new show is the same, just with a different shop. I have a lot of episodes to catch up on, but I definitely wanted to share this one where they make Gamora’s sword from Guardians of the Galaxy, since it is such a cool blade. You can pick up a lot of techniques by watching them work.

Twin Cities actor blows the whistle on ‘unsafe’ theater production – The production of “Medea” at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis is described as having a three-to-four thousand gallon pool with a 30 -foot long exposed electric circuit along the drip edge. I can’t quite picture that in my head, but it was scary enough to get the actors to call Equity and shut the production down.

The Creature and Special Effects of Alien: Covenant! – Adam Savage’s new life involves visiting every movie set and playing with their props. It’s not a bad gig. Plus, as a former model-maker/prop builder, he knows what kinds of questions to ask to make these videos more informed than your typical “behind-the-scenes” featurette that’s slapped together at the last minute.

Tips of the Week: Wire Splicing, Table Saw Router, and Flea Market Brainstorming – Make Magazine publishes a short list of tips and tricks every week, and I found this week’s collection particularly useful.