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  1. TJSonOfAnder's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
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    Slidell, LA
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    Jun 9, 2012, 4:38 PM - Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #1

    I know that when you here what I'm about to ask you will most likely lol, scoff, and possibly troll this thread.... but I have to ask.

    I am making the Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. And no I am not having trouble MAKING it. I am trying to be as precise as possible in making it as accurate as possible, and if nothing else this site has a reputation for attention to detail.

    I'm starting w/ a 6"x6"x8' post from a local lumbar yard. I've cut it down to 16 cubes (I have no idea how many of them I am going to go through before I get the color, etc., just right) and sanding from there. I should end up with a 5.5"^3 cube. I don't know how big Natalie Portman's hands are, but that seems to be my best reference point in the movie. Also color matching to a finished movie can be a pain in the butt (or maybe it's just me) due to the varied lighting in addition to all of the editing and rendering that is done after the fact to make a movie like that seem brighter and more "magical"

    I don't know if anyone out there has already tried this. Perhaps some of you think this is "beneath you", but whatever. I'm making this for my wife because that movie means a lot to her, and hopefully it will be my first of many props. I appreciate any advice, info or tips that anyone has. Otherwise I will post pictures and my finished product, dimensions, stains, etc. when I am done.
    Last edited by TJSonOfAnder; Jun 9, 2012 at 5:05 PM. Reason: title change
  2. DaddyfromNaboo's Avatar
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    Germany
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    Jun 9, 2012, 4:45 PM - Re: worst n00b post ever, sorry #2

    Welcome to the forum.

    Great project, great prop.

    I suggest that you change your thread title so that it references the movie and the prop that you try to make, to better attract interested members. No need to be more humble than necessary, everybody´s been a noob at one point in his RPF membership

    Michael
  3. TJSonOfAnder's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
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    Slidell, LA
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    Jun 9, 2012, 4:59 PM - Re: worst n00b post ever, sorry #3

    thanks DFN... how exactly would I change the title?
  4. Prince NEO's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Port Saint Lucie, Florida, United States
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    1,423
    Jun 9, 2012, 5:00 PM - Re: worst n00b post ever, sorry #4

    Click Edit on your first post and then click go advanced, and up top you'll see your current title.

    Good luck with your project.
  5. DaddyfromNaboo's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2004
    From
    Germany
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    Jun 9, 2012, 5:01 PM - Re: worst n00b post ever, sorry #5

    Hit the edit button of your fist post in this thread, go advanced, edit your title. See the FAQ and the QnA forum for more information on all things RPF related.
  6. troopermatthew's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2009
    From
    Wales
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    Jun 9, 2012, 5:34 PM - Re: Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #6

    Welcome Not seen the film but good luck with the project and I look forward to seeing something a bit different on here!
  7. RPF Premium Member Crank729's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2011
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    Canada
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    Jun 9, 2012, 8:17 PM - Re: Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #7

    I love this movie.....Can't wait for the build!
  8. TJSonOfAnder's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    From
    Slidell, LA
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    Jun 11, 2012, 5:49 PM - Re: Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #8

    So maybe it would help if I asked more specific questions.

    1) Are there any tricks or advice to color matching IRL to what you see on the screen?
    80-90% of the time the Congreve Cube is shown it is either in a highly color edited scene, or it is completely animated. So as if matching wood stains isn't already hard enough, the cube looks slightly more orange or red depending on the scene and the lighting.

    2) Are there any tips for determining dimensions. I have taken a ton of screen captures of the video, but I don't have photoshop so I've just been guessing how big the dimensions are based on my best guess of the size of hands holding it. Are there any open source tools with rulers, or ratio tools, that people prefer?

    Perhaps these are already talked about in other specific prop threads, but I didn't have any luck finding them. Maybe some of you with good memories and experience on this site can refer me to previous threads.

    As far as an update on the project. After trying a half dozen stains and as many different combinations I've settled on a straight Red Oak stain, one coat, and several layers of gloss finish. Part of me thinks that 5.5-5.75" is too small, but it isn't more than 7"... so it's hard to tell. And 6"x6" (which is usually under sized) is a very commonly available lumber size, and prop makers (like the rest of us) are likely to go with readily available material whenever possible.

    I should be posting photos tomorrow.
  9. TJSonOfAnder's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Slidell, LA
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    Jun 27, 2012, 8:51 PM - Re: Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #9

    So I know it's way past 'tomorrow' but better late than never.
    These are photos I took outside yesterday of my second cube. I didn't get the color right on the first cube, and messed up on the clear coat. But like most failures I learned a lot.







    I did my best to estimate the radius on the corners by hand, and I can't tell if they are wrong. I was really happy with the way the color turned out. I used a red oak stain, and it didn't seem rich enough at first, but after I applied the EnvironTex lite it really brought out the color as well as added the finish I needed. I tried a few different polishes and sealants to try and get the shine, but the polymer coating ended up way better. Only I brushed it on instead of pouring. The instructions say pour, but with wood work a lot of people use it as a paint on finish when you want a thick gloss finish.
    Here are a few pictures taken of the same cube indoors to show how different the color can appear depending on the lighting, which is also apparent in the movie.







    I still have doubts about the dimensions. This cube is 5.75^3, and if Natalie Potrman's hands are roughly the same size as my wife's then the cube is undersized by about an inch all around... but it's hard to tell.
    I will be doing a third cube that will be almost entirely experimentation before doing several of them at once for a variety of people. I will post more pictures once I am to that point.
    But for now I will leave you with some lovely photos of my wife's home made zebra popcorn (dark and white chocolate caramel corn) which I am craving something fierce right now.
    Cheers.


    Last edited by TJSonOfAnder; Jun 27, 2012 at 9:04 PM.
  10. RPF Premium Member Crank729's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2011
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    Canada
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    Jun 27, 2012, 9:08 PM - Re: Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #10

    Very nice.
  11. Member Since
    Nov 2012
    Messages
    3
    Nov 20, 2012, 12:37 PM - Re: Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #11

    So...my wife is in love with this movie and we've seen it 10+ times. Lot's of great life lessons!

    She said to me the other day: "You know what you can get me for Christmas? A Congreve Cube". Google led me here and, of course, I don't want to disappoint the wife, so....

    Can you post all the details on how to make this (I have an engineer mind and will follow the instructions exactly)?

    Alternatively, I will pay well if you'd rather make it instead....

    --Russ
  12. Monkey67's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2012
    From
    313 D-Town ( Detroit )
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    611
    Nov 21, 2012, 1:19 PM - Re: Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #12

    What, your wife didnt want any of that lovely zebra popcorn? it does look very tasty to me.

    Great job on the Cube. If you are sellingt them..How much?
  13. Member Since
    Nov 2012
    Messages
    3
    Dec 1, 2012, 6:06 PM - Re: Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #13

    Alright now...it's December and I'm getting nervous for my Christmas deadline.... Please post the specs on how to build this or what you would charge to make one. Thanks in advance!

    --Russ
  14. Monkey67's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2012
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    313 D-Town ( Detroit )
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    611
    Dec 3, 2012, 10:04 AM - Re: Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #14

    Hey Russ,

    Try sending him a private email. Seeing that he has finished this and might not come back on here since then. Might be able to get his attention by going that route.
  15. TJSonOfAnder's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    From
    Slidell, LA
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    Dec 11, 2012, 10:45 AM - Re: Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #15

    Hey Russ, sorry I didn't respond earlier. I thought I had set up my account to email me when anyone responded, but I didn't see anything come across when you posted. Do you still have enough time to make one? It took me about 6-10 hours to make one.
  16. Member Since
    Nov 2012
    Messages
    3
    Dec 11, 2012, 11:35 AM - Re: Congreve Cube from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. first project #16

    TJSonOfAnder said: View Post
    Hey Russ, sorry I didn't respond earlier. I thought I had set up my account to email me when anyone responded, but I didn't see anything come across when you posted. Do you still have enough time to make one? It took me about 6-10 hours to make one.
    I don't as my weekends before Christmas are kinda full now.... But I did respond to your private message. Let me know...

    --Russ

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