Tag Archives: video games

Spooky Prop Links

Every Halloween, an Oakland Man Stages Spooky Marionette Shows in His Driveway – This man is living the dream. As the title says, Larry Schmidt has been putting on a Halloween marionette show in his Oakland, CA, neighborhood for the past 11 years.

8 Cosplayers Share Their Tips, Tools, and Ingenuity – Make Magazine showcases eight different cosplayers and their fantastic costumes. Many of their tips are useful for prop builders as well.

Hollywood’s Female Crewmembers Suffer Harassment Without the Platform of Stardom – While harassment of actresses has been in the news lately, the ongoing and pervasive harassment of female crew members is less visible. In theatre, the problem is even less acknowledged; as far as I’ve seen, none of the backstage publications have addressed the continuing problem of sexual harassment of women theatre technicians, designers, and students.

How to make a Shishkebab Prop from Fallout 4 – Zonbi brings us this video showing how she built this flaming sword weapon from the popular Fallout 4 video game. The materials are inexpensive, but the result is pretty hot.

Friday Prop Links

How to be a theatre animal prop maker – The Stage talks with Paul Robbens, who makes animals for companies like Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Opera House, and Shakespeare’s Globe. Also check out “How to be a costume prop maker for theatre” if you can make it past the paywall.

QUAKE 3 Railgun Replica Prop – BricoGeek shares a video of how he constructed a real-life version of a railgun from the Quake 3 video game. The body is mostly 3D printed. The electronics inside are impressive, with lights and sounds taken directly from the game. I also love how well-thought out the assembly process was, leaving all the electronics accessible.

How U.S. Counterfeit Laws Impact Hollywood Prop Money – Here is a good history of how movie money evolved to remain legal under counterfeit laws. These hold true for theater as well; make no mistake, the Secret Service has paid a visit to more than one theater in this country.

Use a Vinyl Cutter to Design Stencils for Spray Painting – Make Magazine presents tips and tricks for creating paint stencils on a vinyl cutter.

This Insane Dungeons & Dragons Model Is a Work of Art – Ryan Devoto has constructed a vast and intricate fantasy world for use with Dungeons and Dragons figurines. Though I’ve heard some nerd criticisms that this model is not actually playable, you can still spend hours just examining every detail.

Assassin’s Creed Tomahawk

I recently finished up a little personal project that I’ve been chipping away at since February in my vast spare time. It’s a replica of the tomahawk from the video game Assassin’s Creed. I filmed myself building it along the way, and shoved it all into a single five-minute video.

While you can find tons of images of the tomahawk online, a lot of credit goes to MoonLit Props who developed a full-scale pattern. You can see me using it in the video to trace out the pieces.

The blade is made out of MDF and gets its unique shape from the symbol in the game. It took a lot of rasping, filing and sanding to get the bevels right, followed by endless priming and sanding to make it smooth. I finished it off with some Krylon Stainless Steel spray paint, which has a fantastic faux steel look once you rub it down with some steel wool. It also has a wash of black acrylic for shading and some silver Rub’n Buff for highlights.

The handle is simply a piece of poplar cut and routed to shape. The thin strips of wrapping are actual leather, but the handle itself is suede, since I was sticking with materials I already had laying around the shop.

For the emblem carved in the side, I wanted to try out a technique that’s been rattling around in my head; mixing metallic powders with epoxy resin to mimic metal. It did not work at all as I had hoped. I’m glad I learned that on a small part of a personal project rather than relying on it for a show.

Assassin's Creed Tomahawk
Assassin’s Creed Tomahawk

All in all, I am happy with how it turned out, and now I have another fun prop to trot out at Maker Faires.

Some Links for You

I like this photography series called “Much Loved”. The photographer took photographs of teddy bears and similar toys which have been cherished for decades by their owners, and wrote a bit about their back story as well. It’s great research not just for teddy bears from 50-70 years ago, but also for the kind of extreme distressing and aging that these archetypal and cherished “favorite toys” can go through.

Some more interesting research can be found with these color photographs inside Nazi-occupied Poland, circa 1940.

A whole subculture exists of prop makers making replicas of objects which exist in popular video games. Here is a great step-by-step build of a dagger from Skyrim. Though the end result is a bit “plastic-y”, the process shots show some interesting techniques and use of materials.

Finally, here is an interesting solution to the age-old problem of four-legged furniture that does not sit flat. When your tables or chairs rock, try trimming one of the legs… on the table saw:

Friday Link-astrophe

Here are some more proppy prop links I’ve rounded up for the week.

  • The Dark Power – A blog showing off various rubber monsters, sculpture, models, and special effects. Lots of great process photographs.
  • Consollection – A massive photo collection of video game consoles from throughout their brief history.
  • Production Illustration – A blog showcasing production illustrations from various Hollywood films, often comparing them to the final film. It’s great to know there are detailed illustrations for “Hotel for Dogs”.
  • My Imaginative Own – Though dealing with makeup effects, there is enough crossover with sculpting, carving and materials on this blog.
  • Antique Telephone History – The site itself is a bit of a throwback to late-nineties web design, but it has a great deal of pictures, dates and descriptions of telephones throughout history.