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.
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.
Some of you already saw this yesterday, but I began a quick little survey on how your theatre uses fire and pyrotechnics. Please take a moment to fill it out; it will only take 3 to 5 minutes. Even if your theatre bans all types of fire down to the smallest candle, that information will still be useful.
Take a listen to this podcast with Ellen Freund, a prop master in film and television for 35 years. Her credits include Mad Men, Masters of the Universe, Night at the Museum, Twilight (no, not that Twilight), Twilight Saga: New Moon (yes, that Twilight), and so many more.
Karestin Harrison and Tammy Honesty are working on a recipe book of fake food due out in early 2018. Rosco has a few sample recipes up on their blog. It’s a much needed and much anticipated book for many prop builders, and one more step for Routledge in creating the ultimate prop library.
Finally, in angrier news, the UC San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance and La Jolla Playhouse recently laid off 21 production employees, and then “invited” them to reapply for their jobs at a severe pay cut. These employees include most of the department heads of the various production departments, including the props master. Read this article on Broadway World for the specifics of how and why this happened, then head on over to the UCSD Theatre & Dance – Help Save Our Jobs! Facebook Group to see what you can do to help and to continue following the story.
Corporeal Intangibility – The Alley Theatre made custom acrylic furniture and props for their production of The Nether, including a gramophone and a rocking horse. This was clearly an interesting project.
So Field & Stream, of all places, has a behind-the-scenes look at the props of AMC’s upcoming western show, Hell on Wheels. They focus a lot on the guns used and how they achieved the many gun effects in the show, but be sure to make it to the bottom of the article, where they have a video on building an entire train. That’s right, an historically-accurate steam locomotive made of styrofoam, wood and a fog machine. I thought my cannon was cool, but this is simply amazing.
This looks strange and promising. Autodesk has a free preview of their 123D Make software, which will turn a 3D computer file into something you can print out, cut apart, and assemble into a three-dimensional object. They have a video which does a better job explaining it. The software is only available for Mac, and it is only free until February, so if anyone with a Mac tries it out, let me know how it goes.
Mantle Studios has a very well-made tutorial on sculpting with wax. I’ve done a bit of wax sculpting, but nothing approaching the level of detail in this tutorial.
Our upcoming production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson has a gallery in the audience of 19 portraits. These were described as oil paintings of “dead white guys”. We decided to begin experimenting with printing these portraits out and seeing how we can make them look more like a painted canvas.
I decided to try some of the Rosco Crystal Gel we received a while back. Crystal Gel acts a little like “Sculpt or Coat”. You can brush it on in thin layers, and it will hold the texture you give it. It dries clear and hard, but it remains fairly flexible. My idea was to use it to add textural brush strokes over a picture we print out on our large plotter.
The Crystal Gel has a consistency of mayonnaise. The instructions say you can thin it with water if you want. It starts out white, which makes it easier to see where you are applying it.
You can see in the above photograph that the painting is getting wrinkled. We weren’t really surprised by that; for our next test, we mounted the paper to a piece of foam core before painting.
We were very happy with the final result. The photograph above doesn’t really convey the best part about this method. The texture of the dried Crystal Gel catches the light differently depending on where you stand, so as you walk by the painting, it appears to be made with thick layers of paint.
Making and finding props for theatre, film, and hobbies