Prop Design.


Film and Props.

I think my interest in props grew from watching a lot of fantasy and science fiction films as a kid. Characters like Robocop and The Terminator are just cool! What about the worlds created by Jim Henson, Gene Roddenberry, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg and (until recently :oP) George Lucas?

People love fantasy. Many of the world's most popular films have been works of fantasy, going right back to the Wizard of Oz and up to the recent spate of comic book hero films. I enjoyed the big box office stuff, but didn't limit myself to just those. I have vivid memories of such filmic gems as; Krull, RoboCop, Bladerunner, Conan the Barbarian, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Fire and Ice, Army of Darkness, the list is quite long...

Prop design questions/requests? Try the feedback page.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


Bolter Asault Cannon

Uni' - Final Project.

Today, I'm still a huge fan of the science fiction and fantasy genres. I own 7 (different) copies of Bladerunner alone!!! I've always been a bit partial to the future-noir genre, gritty dystopian societies and all that. My final year Uni' project was an attempt at capturing some of that feel, in a character costume; a future law officer/soldier with implant enhancements and a stack of weapons. At the time, I was watching a lot of science fiction including, Bladerunner and Robocop, playing Syndicate and reading "The Primal Screen" by John Brosnan. So it wasn't hard to find inspiration.

bolter bolter open blade blade open gps navsat gps open composite pic
Top to Bottom: "Bolter Assault Cannon", "Viper" combat knife, GPS/sat-nav, Body armor and "Tick" Grenade

My final year Uni' project was a joy to work on. Designing and building science fiction gadgets with mechanical and electronic integration as part of earning a degree, where's the catch? Since then, I've had a few opportunities to practice prop making, but not as many as I'd like.

A while later I started toying around with the idea of updating and enhancing this prop set, just for my own amusement. An idea I'd not had time to implement when I'd built the cyborg was to have working prosthetic hands. One afternoon when I had some free time I set about building a prototype hand. I built a very rough sketch model from foamcore and ironed out most of the functional issues. Then I replicated this design in 6mm acrylic. The basic hand form was finished in a few hours.

But then work got busy and I shelved the project (for about 8 years!)

Recently (5/9/2012), I dug it out of the scrap box for another look. Within a few hours I'd fitted some tendons and springs and it looks like I'll finally complete this prototype in the near future - check in for updates. I think the "hand project" is a good problem solving exercise for anyone interested in product design, prop building or biomechanics.

hand topside hand underside
Working hand prop (work in progress)

I'm always keen to work on film and theatre props/sets and I'm very good at working to tight budgets. The total material costs for the props above was less than AUD$300, most of which was the cost of the mannequin.

Head to the feedback page an email me a brief of your project.

Next: Halloween.