Suggestions for a noob?

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Dubdog91

New Member
Well good evening all,

I have never in my life posted to a forum, so CONGRATS to the RPF! You sucked me in!

I have caught the crafting bug somehow and am itching to make my hands busy making something. My issue is that I have no idea where to even begin. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. I figured I needed to start with something simple and gradually grow my skills. Logic....it's for winners!

Anyway, my first general question to the crafting world is this.....got any suggestions that won't frustrate the snot out of me or make me hate my cherished franchises? I thought about a simple lightsaber hilt (no blade) but didn't know if that was already thinking too big.

Thanks all!

-Dubdog
 

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Cameron

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Do you want to assemble a prop ala Luke's ANH saber or do you want to make something from scratch?

The first prop I made was Luke's saber. I found a graflex at a flea market bought the other parts From members here and had at it. now I'm in deep :)
 

krisdoce

New Member
There are many things you can do if you have the money.
What is your budget.
Why not get your hands dirty and try sculpting? It's cheap and all you need are some tools and some clay.
I didn't even know I could sculpt until I actually tried. I'm ok at it but what I really loved was casting and re-creating my creations.
 

Dubdog91

New Member
I have done models in the past of planes and cars and the like. I was thinking of something more in the world of genre instead of random car number 12 or whatever. I do find it interesting that I had not thought of model building like that as being part of this world. I'll have to adjust my world view. :)

Obviously I don't want to break my bank, but I don't have kids, so I probably have more expendable income than some. I have thought about sculpting, but it seems so foreign to me. I am definitely not against it, but what is the learning curve on that like?

I was actually thinking of Vader's saber and not something custom. How difficult was the saber build? Clearly fulfilling as you are down the rabbit hole now.
 

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Dubdog91

New Member
This is how noob I am. Your term 'graflex' confused me so I looked it up. Now I'm even more excited. That is exactly what I have in mind to get accomplished, if it's a simple enough task for a newbie. I've seen the sites where you just buy all the parts to the saber, but assemble it yourself, but that isn't quite what I am looking to do, if you understand.
 

Gixxerfool

Well-Known Member
Get out while you still can!

Best post ever. Did you hand your credit card to one of the mods on the way in?

i started put doing custom action figures. I still do them from time to time. With that I got into the finer points of sculpting, painting and plain old modifying. I've had years of electronics experience which helps me to go a step further if possible. I'm now working on my first full scale scratch built prop. It's been a year and I haven't made much progress as I keep needing to make changes to design before implementation. It's neat to go back and see how my ideas have been refined through each iteration.
 

FordPrefect

Well-Known Member
I would say pick something you like first and foremost .. if you are into Star Wars the saber is a great option.

Also I like the size of the saber as a first thing to do. Going too small can just be frustrating :) Going to big means taking up space till you are done. Last do not worry about being a perfect screen replica unless that is important to you. Bite off making an almost like which keeps the budget small so you can make mistakes and not be upset on lost dollars.

Here is my first build :)
http://www.therpf.com/f9/second-doctors-sonic-build-171713/

Good Luck !!
 

Cognativetinker

New Member
Check out Punished Props Bill Doran. He has a free blueprint for a Destiny Hand cannon and a quick tutorial on youtube for it. It can be done with wood if you have the tools or with foam. For foam is pretty easy grab some foam anti-fatigue floor mats, some thinner craft foam (from Michaels or Joanns) some exacto knives or box cutters and a cutting mat. Oh and band-aids. Be sure to check out EvilTed Smiths youtube videos if you go the foam route.

Its a fairly easy build but will give you the general idea. From there go crazy!
Something else you can try is pepakura. You install a free program and get a pep file of your favorite random thing. Go with some easy like a hand piece or a leg piece. Then using a card stock you print out the pieces glue together and then fiber glass it. Sounds complicated but its really pretty easy. If you have put together models you can do pep.
 

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Crafter

New Member
Welcome Dubdog91,

here are some things I learned (most of them the hard way):

1. Just like clutch said, escape while you can ;) But seriously, propmaking is consuming time and money, be prepared.
2. Start with soft and cheap materials, like sculpting (as krisdoce mentioned) or wood and plastics. I started to worry about aluminum and steel way too early.
3. If you buy tools, plan ahead and think about it carefully. A mill that meets your requirements now might be to small for you next project. Don't spend money twice. Buy good tools that are precise and last a lifetime, cheap tools will always be frustrating in many ways. (This isn't limited to machines and counts for simple tools as well)
4. Look at your plans / ideas and think about how to achieve them, before buying extra tools or material. There is often a way you didn't see at a first glance that will many times be surprisingly easy and cheap. This mindset will enable you to build stuff that seemed impossible before.
5. Ask a lot people a lot. Most of the problems you will encounter on your way have been solved elsewhere and not necessarily in propmaking or the RPF. The people here seem have answers to almost anything, though, it's an amazing resource.
6. Do what you love. Make props you always wanted to have or from movies / games you love. This will make the suffering much easier to endure.

I hope that helps a bit, even though I couldn't tell you which project to start first, since it depends on so many factors (like no. 6).

Seb
 

Cameron

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I suggest you make a list or your favorite movies and the props from each. Find one that looks easiest and use the search function on here to research it. One of the builds is going to catch your interest and meet your skill level. Then jump in and don't worry about making it perfect, just enjoy the process. Skills will grow as you move from piece to piece.
 

George

Master Member
I would start with reading everything there is to know about Pepakura (don't forget to download it as well),different materials,tools needed,watch tutorials until you can't keep your eyes open anymore.Then let that sink in and get some sleep.The next day,read and watch more,and repeat this about 10 times.THEN and ONLY then,if you still yearn for creation,buy all the stuff you think you need,pick a design...and start researching again :D Easy does it
 

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Dubdog91

New Member
This has all been fantastic. Thank you all very much for the advice. I've always heard the community here is really supportive and you certainly proved that. I'm gonna go get started! Thanks again all!
 

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