Tag Archives: Rosco

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.

Prop News and Views

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 MenMasters of the UniverseNight at the MuseumTwilight (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.

Collectors Weekly consistently publishes the most in-depth and interesting articles, and this one on the history of Holiday windows is no exception. After reading the article, take a moment to go through the photo gallery showing Holiday windows dating as far back as the 1800s.

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.

Friday Links in September

Detached eyes, dead horses, and giant disco balls: The weird world of prop builder Seán McArdle – Seán tells City Pages how he made a horse fall over on cue and glued seashells to half a Volkswagen.

Prime and Smooth Props and Costumes with FlexBond – Rosco looks at a number of cosplayers using FlexBond to coat pieces constructed from Worbla.

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.

Working with EVA Foam for Costume Construction – Make Magazine has rounded up a number of videos and tutorials dealing with using EVA foam (or, more precisely, XLPE foam) to build armor and prop pieces.

Elevenses Links

Happy October 29th! Or for those of you on the Gregorian calendar, happy 11/11/11!

From Ryan Voss comes this fantastic-looking blood recipe based off of Crayola washable markers. They said they used it in a production where a character in a white wedding dress was covered in blood every night. (h/t to Propnomicon)

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.

You’ve seen some of this before on my blog, but Rosco shared a more in-depth look at how we made the portraits for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

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.

Faux Oil Paintings

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.

Rosco Crystal Gel
Rosco Crystal Gel

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.

Eric Hart paints Crystal Gel onto a printed painting
Eric Hart paints Crystal Gel onto a printed painting

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.

Jay Duckworth continues adding Crystal Gel
Jay Duckworth continues adding Crystal Gel

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.

A real-life oil painting!
A real-life oil 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.