New to the scene!! Looking for references


New Member
Hey guys! I just recently joined therpf and am absolutely loving everyone's projects. My interest in prop making started after attending the San Diego Comic-con, and realizing how awesome it would be to make my own replicas of my favorite games, movies, animes, etc...

So far I have had the chance to get some drawings done for ideas I want to work on both in CAD and Illustrator (more familiar with CAD, getting used to Illustrator), but I would love some websites people use to purchase materials. Mostly things I can't find in a hardware store.

I realize this may be a big request as there is probably a lot of material that can't be purchased at a hardware store, but for start, maybe some references to some resins and some foam that can be carved out?

I'd really appreciate some feedback!
I hate doing this, but bump.

Really just looking for a couple sites to check out for some pricing and what not. PM me even if you can't post them on the thread! Thanks again guys!
Well, depending on the project, I've gone to art supply stores and surplus stores to find materials I need for the builds I have done. I have also ordered materials on the internet, but usually as a last resort to avoid shipping costs that can be ridiculous at times -like I'll spend more money on the shipping than the item(s) I need. I've also been to some Auto parts stores to get a more accurate paint color I'm after. Thrift stores or garage sales can be a wonderful source of items if you keep an eye open for stuff that has the potential of becoming something very cool, or is an actual found item used as a prop. Airsoft or toy weapons can be modified into the prop you're interested in making. The list can go on and on...

I think, like most anyone, if you shop around -either on the internet or at your local shops (Yellow pages), you'll try to find the best deal for what you're looking for.
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Awesome, thanks for the reply Bak! I really appreciate it. I totally forgot about yellow pages, I'll have to pull one of those out. Love all the ideas, I will keep my eyes open.
I've worked on big budget films where some of the props were made from shampoo bottle lids and kid's bike reflectors. We used to joke that Wal-Mart was the most important prop house in Hollywood.
But then there's other projects where you've got more time and you can afford to concept each piece with drawings and revisions and more drawings, then blueprints and machining, etc...
The spectrum of materials and techniques is VAST.
I think the best idea is to look at the stuff you like with a critical eye. Look at how they're made, or how you might make it. Focus on things that appeal to your aesthetics and your budget - things you think would be fun and feasible to make.
Come up with a specific something you think you're capable of doing, and then ask around the RPF for advice on that one item. Once you're all inspired by the amazing input you'll get, you'll develop the confidence to invent your own ideas and concepts and you'll evolve into someone who has an instinct for materials and processes. Do a few projects and expect mistakes and disappointments at first. You'll get better and better.
If you know CAD then you'd probably like 3D printing. Sites like Shapeways | Passionate about creating let you design something and have it printed in the material of your choice. Very effective for pieces that might be difficult too create, or just for those of us that are terrible at sculpting (ie. me)

FYI, it can be expensive so make sure you hollow out your models if you decide to use this.

Most other materails that I use can be found at your local hardware store. If you live near a large city you can sometimes find suppliers of things like plastics, paints, etc. They often have larger selection of material
I completely agree with Phelyx, some of the best stuff for props come from random plastic parts, or as my wife calls "Trash". I am also a HUGE fan of the Plumbing section of Lowes and Home Depot. (Especially the sprinkler section.)

Also, i have found that there are plenty of odd places around town that I have been able to purchase Styrene, Resin, etc, locally instead of shipping it. I am not sure where you live, but it would be worth looking around.

I also have been extremely successful at the junk yard. Now I am not talking about the dump, but a scrap yard (if you have one) there are a ton of good stuff found on old cars, heavy equipment, etc.
Wow, I love this site. So many more responses than I was expecting! I love it! Thanks for all of the ideas/references to use. I have been looking around locally (just inside my city at the moment) for a place that sells resin, and have had no luck thus far, but I was expecting that, and will take my search to the county.

As for my designs, I have been using CAD, although I have yet to create a 3D model that was more complex but I am really stoked on that site you posted aron42486, I will probably be using that in the future.

Again, thanks for all these suggestions guys/gals! Hopefully I can get some of my projects posted in the near future for more suggestions from the community.
Nice little website called Micro-Mark: The Small Tool Specialists they have a catalog and all kinds of neat tools.

I'm just getting into everything myself, but this is definitley the right place to be. The amount of talent here is mind boggling, it's fun to see all the projects everyone is working on and then seeing the finished product! I love it here <3
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