Inglourious Basterds - Aldo's Snuff Box (PIC INTENSIVE)...

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Nexus6, May 19, 2015.

  1. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It's a few years out now. I didn't see it in the theaters (life interference), but once I saw it on Blu-ray, I had to pick-up the disc. It was just what I've come to expect from a QT film, hyper-violent & quirky, with an excellent cast.

    I started making mental notes on what prop swag I'd want to reproduce, & this movie has a few nice (sometimes obscure) options. As a first project, I decided to tackle one that I thought would be one of the more difficult builds (striving for accuracy, of course), & at the same time, one that helped define the character.

    As the thread-title says, I chose Lt Aldo Raine's snuff box. I'll say up front, the amount of research I put into this piece was crazy. I'm probably on some sort of government "watch-list", due to the number of days, & hundreds of sites, & THOUSANDS of * insignia I've been studying in my quest for screen-accuracy. But I digress...

    The box itself was not super difficult to find. There are a number of them on e-Bay at any given time, you can find them using the search term: "vintage french snuff box". BUT because they are all hand-made, getting the correct size can be tricky. I don't have mine in front of me right this minute, but I can provide measurements if anyone wants them. Another tricky thing can be the price. They usually run anywhere from $30 to $300 (USD). I got mine for around $30, but it was in fairly poor shape, & had to be mostly dismantled/rebuilt prior to accurization.

    Here are the screencaps I took, that I believe are the best available reference for the box:

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    And some close-ups of said reference:

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    And here is what I received in the mail:

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    There was a problem with the hinge, & the pins securing the lid were loose. I tapped out the pins (causing some wood splintering on the lid), & removed the lid/hinge. The hinge turned out to be a piece of sheet brass curved around a metal post (the overall engineering was pretty impressive), & attached to the lid. Once the hinge was removed, I flattened the hinge out for measurement purposes, & to check condition (POOR):

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    Using some wood filler, I rebuilt the lid (drilling new holes for the hinge), & started priming/painting the various parts:

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    Then I set about fashioning a new hinge, using some new sheet brass I purchased:

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    Then a test fit of the lid:

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    Then a final fitting & attaching with new posts (made from wood this time), & paint:

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    After the paint cured, I finished shaping/modifying/attaching the insignia. Again, I can dig up the specifics of that piece if there is interest. It was NOT easy, as there are seemingly frakking hundreds of eagle/swastika insignia available, but only ONE correct one:

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    Then installed the ten brass studs (3mm diameter, also extremely difficult to find for some reason), followed by some antiquing the insignia/studs & weathering/distressing the paint, which finishes the project:

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    It KILLED me to not have the studs perfectly measured out, but the ones on the hero box were a little wonky, so I followed suit. BUT, I'm super-happy with the way everything turned out, it was a [mostly] fun project. Thanks for looking!

    In other news, someone on YourProps claims to have the "Hero" snuff box, with accompanying documents. I hope he didn't spend TOO much on that...
     
  2. Crazybug00

    Crazybug00 Active Member

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    I too just saw it. It was awesome sauce. Dude your skills are AMAZING. *, if I had your skills I wouldn't be having as much trouble trying to recreate Aldo's knife. Great Job, Cheers.
     
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  3. Ferrochie

    Ferrochie New Member

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    Nice job. Great idea to do this box.
     
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  4. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks man. It was cool, because when I started it, I had NO idea if I'd be able to pull it off.

    Aldo's knife is my next project from this film. I'm ~hoping~ it won't be too much of a chore. Are you starting with the correct knife? My plan is to fake the stag handle (as opposed to trying to fashion one from an authentic piece). *fingers crossed*
     
  5. OneGoodScare

    OneGoodScare Active Member

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    That's such a cool little piece. I love seeing builds for smaller things like this, especially when they have painstaking little details most people wouldn't think twice about. Good job man
     
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