First up, Rolling Stone checks out the ghost fighting equipment in that new Ghostbusters movie everyone is raving about. Props master Kirk Corwin shows us all the proton packs, traps, and other sundry items used throughout the film.
Rosco shows off how to make a statue of David out of foam and FoamCoat. Though the emphasis is on the FoamCoat, the real interesting part is how they were able to export a 3D model of the statue to a CNC machine and build the sculpture out of many layers of regular insulation foam.
Back to Ghostbusters, Rick Lazzarini shows how his shop built an animatronic “Slimer” to use as a stand-in for the CGI effects in the film.
Back to foam carving, Make Magazine has some quick tips for sculpting Styrofoam. Though short and fairly basic, they have a few tips that you may not have tried yet.
Finally, Popular Woodworking dispels six myths about wood finishing. They aren’t fun myths about unicorns and bridge trolls, but myths about stains and grains.
Meet Jim – Our Props Director – The Milwaukee Rep Tumblr has a conversation with Jim Guy, their props director. Jim is also the President of S*P*A*M and knows 97% of the props masters in the US.
The Day They Nuked Buffalo – Propnomicon brings us this interesting historical tidbit. In 1952, the State Civil Defense Commission had the Buffalo News print a newspaper as if a nuclear bomb had been detonated over the city. It was “the only prop newspaper ever officially sanctioned by the US government.”
Check Out This Amazing Ghostbusters Proton Pack – The new Ghostbusters movie opens this weekend, and Make Magazine brings us this great Arduino-powered proton pack. It’s from the original film; maybe in the coming weeks, we’ll see more builds of the new equipment.
Punished Props’ Foam Viking Axe Build – Tested shows us how Bill Doran built a viking axe out of flexible foam in this video.
How to Build a Foam Cosplay Helmet – Also from Tested, Evil Ted shows us how to make a helmet out of flexible foam. Basically, you can build an entire suit of armor and weapons out of your floor mats.
The Stage reminds us that an army of craftspeople exist to make theatre: “While there is no such thing as a job for life in the theatre, and many of these craft jobs are now freelance, except with the very big theatre and opera companies, if you are good at what you do you’ll find an abundance of work that even the best actor or director would struggle to manage.” They talk about how to get started, and even give a list of training programs in the UK.
San Diego Comic Con is happening right now, and with it come tons of displays and sneak peeks at the props and costumes of upcoming films. Io9 has a quick video of the absolute coolest things on the convention floor, such as Batman’s new weapons, or vehicles from the upcoming Star Wars. The Original Prop Blog is also there posting updates, such as this collection of photos capturing all the details of the proton packs from the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot.
Make Magazine has a helpful primer (or a reminder for those of us that should know better) on what to wear to work safely in a shop. They cover gloves, clothes and shoes, as well as pointing out what not to wear.
Most of us have heard the story making the rounds of the audience member who jumped up on the stage of a Broadway show to charge his phone on a (non-functioning) outlet on the set. Vanity Fair has a nice profile on Beowulf Boritt, the set designer responsible for coming up with the realistic church basement for that show, Hand to God.
This video is the coolest thing I’ve seen all week: Legacy Effects builds the Apatosaurus from Jurassic World. The film required a highly detailed animatronic head and neck of this dinosaur for a key scene. The video goes into great detail of how it was done. Check out the massive mixers they have running all at once for their foam rubber, not to mention the giant injectors they use to fill their molds. It’s an amazing inside look at the work they do.
Marty Marfin had an interesting challenge: how to mold and cast a spherical shape with a hollow interior. Find out how he did it in this comprehensive tutorial.
Over at Instructables, WardWorks has a fun guide to building a ghost trap from Ghostbusters. I’ve kind of always wanted one of these since I was a kid.
Finally, check out this plethora of images from the construction of a model of the Galileo Shuttlecraft from the original Star Trek television show. They take you from the blueprints all the way through the final painted piece.