I’ve been interested in making props for quite a while and recently have finally started to make a little progress. From getting to know Bill Doran, I’ve been introduced to a huge prop and costume making community and the techniques and materials that they use. EVA foam (common foam floor mats) is one of the materials of choice because of it cost, weight and flexibility. Bill has written two books about using foam to make costumes and props that have taught me a ton. He’s also got a fantastic YouTube Channel. (I also interviewed Bill on BrainPick one time)Once I’d gained some knowledge, I needed to pick my first prop.
The good thing about prop building is that someone has already built just about everything you can imagine, somewhere in the world. It’s easy to find a lot of reference material for most things. However, I wanted to make something that I hadn’t seen a ton of. I was really interested in making He-Man’s sword, but it has some fairly complex curves and as a first prop, it may have been a bit much. There ARE other prop He-Man shields, but it wasn’t as common as some other things, so I figured I’d start there. It’s a fairly simple shape, but has depth because of the layers. Most of the pieces are flat but there were some interesting challenges like cutting large “perfect” circles.
Check it out, and don’t forget to check out Punished Props.