Prop grading & terminology

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DylanRose

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey guys, I was trying to come up with a grading or scoring system for props and replicas with some accompanying vocabulary. I think there's some general terminology for most of these, but I haven't seen it formalized. And the last one I haven't heard any specific terminology for. Here's a summary:

prop-grade.jpg


So they're organized in relation to their intent and likeness to the original.

-3 Costume grade - This would be like a halloween mask, where the inly intent is to show a general likeness to the source material via the cheapest means possible.

-2 Collector grade - An example would be the Black series trooper helmets. The intent is to look and feel good up close and at a distance, but still budget friendly. It's a good display item but you wouldn't expect the highest level of detail and would likely contain 'corrections' or simplifications of the details in the original prop.

-1 Replica grade - The intent here is all about getting as close to the source material as possible, sparing no expense. You would expect every detail of the original to be scrutinized and present, often using the same manufacturing processes of the original to get as close as possible in likeness.

0 Hero prop - The actual source material.

+1 ?????? - I don't have a name for this. This grade is basically when someone goes above and beyond the detail, often taking liberties and adding detail where the original may have cut corners, to make a prop that not only looks good from a distance but contains a level of detail and over-engineering that warrants up-close attention. Since, especially for movie/tv props, there is often only enough detail and realism to make the object look right on film, this grade goes further and aims at making an object that looks and feels like a real-world object that the original prop only alludes to.


So what do you guys think? Is there some better terminology that might capture what i'm going for here? Are there any areas I missed?
 

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eethan

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
for the +1 I think we often talk about idealized here. But it doesn't mean just what you are describing, most of the times it just depicts a replica grade object that has been idealized a bit, for instance, the Tomenosuke blaster is a slightly idealized replica of the blade runner blaster.

I don't if this would fit in your grading, but the original stunt props could be separated from the hero prop grade. :)
 

Thomas Guycott

Active Member
To stick with the proposed criteria and stormtrooper examples, would a Rubies helmet fall under the -3 "costume" category compared to the Black series in -2 "collector" category?

I also agree with the place for a hero/stunt subdivision in the 0 category, and the need for a +1 "idealized" group, whatever that might end up being called.
 

DylanRose

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Oh i like Idealized

The case for stunt props makes this interesting. For example, there might be an original stunt casting, which could arguably be its own prop, and then there may be reproductions of that object with varying degrees of detail and accuracy. But they're still part of the same family and reference back to an original object (or group of objects, in cases like the stormtrooper helmet where there isn't a single hero prop).

I wonder if this would be better suited as a grid rather than a linear scale. Something with like a primary scale for the hero prop and then another scale for secondary objects that stem from it. Like the X direction measures the level of detail and likeness to the original, and the Y axis catalogues different iterations or versions of the object with different intent. This could also account for things like 'inspired' props or different interpretations. Could get complicated... but it's a fun exercise, ha
 

Thomas Guycott

Active Member
I don't know about a grid: that might makes things more complicated compared to something like a linear scale with subcategories. We could consider adding letters to the numerical grades in order to designate variances such as hero and stunt props, or different degrees of "idealization" (such as internals, functionality, blank/live-fire weapons, etc...).
 
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Thomas Guycott

Active Member
For example, let's stick with Stormtroopers and look at the E-11 blaster rifle:

-3: This would be replica blasters based on toys, such as those offered by Rubies, Hasbro, Kenner, etc…, painted and/or modified to more closely resemble their on-screen original counterpart. Could use -3a to note features such as lights/sound effects.

-2: This would be collectable/wearable offerings through companies like Master Replicas or Anovos’ upcoming foam E-11 "costume accessory" kit. Might require additional modifications or detailing (such as paint) to closer match the screen-used props. -2a and such could also designate functionality like lights/sound effects

-1: This would designate builds derived from actual Sterling submachine guns or be constructed entirely from scratch, with an emphasis toward absolute screen accuracy toward hero or stunt versions of the original props.

-1a: Same as above, but includes interactive features such as lights and sound.

-1b: Also same as above, but designating versions either modified to retain blank/live-fire functionality (location and license-dependent, YMMV).

0: The original prop, derrived from modified Sterling submachine guns. We could further designate 0a for blank-firing hero versions and 0b for non-functional stunt versions, made from either hard or soft materials.

+1: Prop replicas that also maintain absolute screen accuracy but also include varying degrees of idealization toward not just the screen-used prop but the actual in-universe object the prop represents. These can be built from the same sources as the -1 examples.

+1a: Minor idealizations and interactive elements, such as lights/sound effects. Target scope illumination, removable detailed ammunition pack, etc…

+1b: Major idealizations similar to the above, but going further with functions such as blank/live-fire features (again, local restrictions would apply).

Something like that, I imagine.
 
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PAULH

Well-Known Member
This is a great idea. Looking forward to seeing how this develops.

That's leads me to toss in a potential new category. I build my ANH stormtrooper helmet to look like the `Set for Stun'/Dave M helmet in its current condition, ie. not screen accurate, but real-world accurate / up-for-auction accurate. Not sure there are many builds that fit this though?

Another category - found items needing no modification or improvement, ie. that book in BR 2049 - unless that's a 0 using DylanRose's stormtrooper example?
 

eethan

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
that's true, the "as of today" category. It's also true for the world con blade runner blaster and for quite a bit of other props that are in a totally different condition today and that are photographed. (y)
 

Gixxerfool

Well-Known Member
I love this idea. In order to further obfuscate things, what about screen props, grade 0, that have several versions of what’s supposed to be the same prop? Sticking with the SW theme, I’m not overly familiar with the actual props, but I thought I read somewhere that Luke’s lightsaber was a little different in each film, but was supposed to be the same one. There are the +1 grades that will sometimes pull details from each version and make a custom version.
 

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