Hi, I want to introduce myself before I get to my question.
I'm new here and new to prop making in general. I was inspired by volpinprops and eventually found my way here. I am currently a 3rd semester (out of 10) industrial design student and I am on the final leg of my model making class. I have 5 weeks to produce a final model and I would very much like to do a prop of some kind. I talked to the professor, who is a professional model maker but for products, and he gave me the ok.
Now its just a matter of picking a subject that I can do in 5 weeks. Since this is my first prop, I'm going to try to avoid anything complex or difficult by nature (helmets). Since I am graded heavily on the quality of the finish, I want to keep it small enough to give every square surface the detail it deserves. Maybe something with the volume of a shoebox I'm guessing. But past that, I'm not really sure how to pick something that is going to be both cool and challenging, but not more than I can chew in the given time. I have some model making and shop experience, so I'm not completely starting from scratch, but I will likely have to learn the majority of the things. Here are the skills and tools at my disposal:
- Experience working with polystyerne foam (and a convenient supply of it)
- Some experience with priming, painting, and clearing using a spray gun, but no experience with imitating "wear" or other materials besides plastic/metal.
- Experience with most typical shop tool, though limited experience with a mill.
- Limited experience with soldering and electrical work.
- Experience working with blueprints, autocad, profile views, etc
- One time experience with casting a mold.
- At least 10-15 hours of weekly access to a shop which also has a mill.
- Laser Cutter
- Possible rapid-prototype machine (3D printer)
- Dremel, though I just borrowed it from my friend and actually never used it.
- Autobody polyprimer, spray gun, some paints and clear
- A really experienced model maker (of products, not props)
I have my own car, a fair amount of discretionary income, and I live within driving distance to stores like lowes and hobby people. I should be able to spend about 20-30 hours a week to work on this and still get by in my other classes.
So thats basically me in a nutshell as far as prop-making goes. Sorry if its a bit long winded. I doubt anyone can quantify these things and measure it to an equally arbitrary difficulty number on a project, but I figure it gives you guys a better idea of where I'm coming from.
As for what I've been thinking about doing, I'm a big halo and I love the design of the gravity hammer. I would not be ashamed to have this hanging over my fireplace.
Would this be harder than it appears? Its hard for me to judge because everything in product is usually so simple that not much time has to be put into creating the form, and most of the time goes into the finish. With props, it seems like just as much time goes into planning, constructing, and assembling the form as it does applying the final finish.
Thanks for all your help.