Tag Archives: Kamui

Friday Night in Props

Building a Sci-Fi Cyber Octopus for 80’s Style Practical Effects – Make Magazine talks with Nicola Piovesan, creator of an indie film called Attack of the Cyber Octopuses. He is 3D printing the titular cyber cephalopods to use as practical effects in the film. Cool stuff.

Sombra Gun Replica – Part 1 – Eva Foam Build – Kamui Cosplay is currently shooting a series of videos as she replicates a video game weapon out of flexible foam sheets. The first part on fabricating the gun is here, and you can find the next video on painting as well.

The Rise and Fall of the Everyman Tycoon – Or the 3d printing revolution that wasn’t. This article is more about the rise and fall of the Makerbot company; you can still find plenty of cheap, tiny 3D printers on the market. But the hype seems to be dying down. A few props people are experimenting with them, but many have discovered their limitations. The machines which are actually affordable print items that are too small for stage use, and the time it takes to draft and print an item can actually be longer than ordering and overnighting an actual item.

A Trick to Sawing Compound Angles & Odd Shapes – Christopher Schwartz has a great technique for cutting a compound angle on an odd shaped piece. For the one-two punch, follow this up with Get Four Feet Flat on the Floor to make sure all your chair or table legs are even.

First Links of September

I love that Oregon Live has put together a list of 10 Must-See Props at the 2016 Oregon Shakespeare Festival. From wedding cakes to bears, you can learn how the OSF prop shop made it all happen.

Kamui Cosplay has a great video tutorial on adding animated LEDs to your prop. Making your LEDs pulse and chase really bumps up the wow-factor compared to static on/off lights.

Did You Know The Props On ‘Melrose Place’ Were Covert Works Of Art With Coded Meanings? I don’t know what else to say about this article other than repeating the title. Apparently an art exhibition showcasing these works of conceptual art is now running in NYC.

Did you know that new overtime rules for workers in the US are going into effect in December? American Theatre tackles how this may affect theatres, particularly non-profits. All of us should be aware of the rules and regulations that govern our wages, particularly since theatre and small films are so rife with infractions. A combination of ignorance, lack of oversight, and the belief that we should “suffer for our art” keeps it from improving. My worry is that these new overtime rules will either be ignored or hand-waved away like so many other labor regulations that some theatres do not follow.

Friday Prop Links

Happy Friday, everyone! For those of us in the middle of holiday shows, whether NutcrackerChristmas CarolTuna Christmas, or what have you, I hope it’s going well. I have some fun things from around the internet you can read:

Propnomicon has been doing some research into early shipping crates and packaging, and has shared some of the discoveries made. It may be surprising to see that manufacturers were shipping products in corrugated cardboard boxes rather than wooden crates back in the 1920s.

A short article of note tells how 3D printing is finding a home in Hollywood. Of course, regular readers of this blog already know this, but it is still interesting to see specifically how and where prop makers are using 3D printing technology.

La Bricoleuse has an interesting post up about the parasols her students made in her decorative arts class. Now I know many props masters do not consider parasols to be a “prop”; I’m sharing it because Playmakers’ props assistant (and good friend) Joncie Sarratt has a stunning diagram of the parasol she had to create for their production of Tempest.

Finally, Kamui Cosplay is poised to release The Book of Cosplay Armor Making with Worbla and Wonderflex. I haven’t seen the book yet, but if it is anything like her tutorials, it’s sure to be a very informative look at working with various low-temperature thermoplastics.

The Luck of the Links

Happy Friday the 13th! While the rest of the day may be unlucky, at least with this blog, you’re lucky to get a great list of things to read today.

Kamui Cosplay has a great tutorial on using expanding foam for prop making. You can find this stuff in a can at home improvement stores, with names like “Great Stuff” (it’s used to seal and insulate cracks in houses). While it is certainly “great stuff” for some applications, it is a polyurethane foam, so you should only use it in a well-ventilated area and it should be allowed to cure in an area with separate ventilation from where you are working. If you work at home, you especially should not let this stuff cure in your house, where it will off-gas toxic and irritating fumes for 24 hours or more.

Over at Theatre Projects, Jesse Gaffney makes a half-eaten chicken carcass. With just bits of wood, some Model Magic, muslin, and a few coats of latex and Glossy Wood Tone, she comes up with a pretty convincing prop that looks like it came straight from someone’s fridge.

Here’s a great tutorial on turning clear glass into tinted glass. It is not useful for glass jars that need to be filled with water, but it uses nothing more than Mod Podge, food coloring and an oven.

Make Magazine reminds us that it is not only useful, but vital, that we document the process of building our props. Taking process shots is useful not only for your own portfolio, but it can help with the creative process itself. It is also helpful with sharing your work with others, since others can learn from your process, even when you think what you have done is simple or common knowledge.

A book called 507 Mechanical Movements has been around for awhile, and a number of reprints can be found at bookstores and online. Now, you can view all 507 mechanical movements online as well. The website is great because it has animated some of the movements, and has plans to animate more of them. These movements are useful when building moving or trick props, and you need to figure out, say, how to make a prop spin when you pull a string, or how to make a rod move in a straight line using a spinning motor.

Friday Link-o-Rama

I’m light on words this week because we are in the middle of tech for my first show at Triad Stage, but enjoy these links:

Set decorator Stephenie McMillan passed away this week. She got her start working on films in 1984, with her most notable credit as the set decorator on all eight Harry Potter films. Check out this interview with McMillan from last year to learn more about her work and her process.

If all the glues and adhesives out there are confusing to you, Design Sponge has an “adhesives 101” for you. It does a good job breaking down the major types of glues available and what they are useful for. Of course, you should always test the specific glue you want to use first, but this guide is helpful to give you a place to start.

Check out this massive behind-the-scenes photo gallery of the first Alien movie. The models and miniatures used on that film are incredible.

Kamui Cosplay has a detailed look at how she created some fantasy armor from World of Warcraft using Wonderflex, Worbla, Friendly Plastic, PVC and EVA foam.