What makes a custom prop impressive to you?


Well-Known Member
I want to try to break into doing some of my own custom props and designs, I've gotten pretty comfortable replicating others but I want to truly test my creativity... My problem is I tend to get carried away with things at times. I know less is usually more but sometimes you just can't help it :)

So I figured what better place to ask advice than the greatest prop forum in known universe? So what makes you really ooh and awe at a custom made prop? Is it a flashy paint job? the re purposing of found parts in new ways? Blinky lights and sounds? Moving parts?

What really catches your eye and makes you go "HOLY CRAP THAT'S AWESOME!"


Sr Member
Ok, this is an obvious response, but it depends on what the item is...

A load of things posted on the RPF, even when i have no interest in the item, make me step back and think holy moly that's awesome, there has been some really incredible items on the RPF. There is an abundance of talent on here, and it doesn't matter if its a scratchbuild or a simple paintjob, some people just post some incredible things!


Well-Known Member
For me that is half the problem... I haven't had as much hands on making props as probably 90% of the people on this forum and I am always to at least a small degree intimidated by the sheer level of talent here. I am always afraid of putting in my input for fear of sounding silly, or uneducated.


Sr Member
Doesn't matter about your level of talent, give it a go, and see what you can achieve.

There is no silly questions, only silly answers!!! We are all a very helpful bunch and will give you as much help and advice as you need.

Choose an item that you really want and give it a go, you can only gain experience by first practicing!!

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
Cohesiveness and flow. If it looks like a supersoaker with a bunch of junk glued on it.... not impressed. If you make it looks like it should all be together and look like it has function and purpose, THAT is a successful custom prop in my mind.


Well-Known Member
Level of detail does it for me. I've seen stuff that from a distance looks cool but when in hand, I'm not impressed at all. Like when someone here did an imperial cruiser from scratch, all the stuff on the edges was not screen accurate, but it was a similar process to what was done. Looked absolutely incredible because the tiny details helped flesh out the scale and made it look realistic even though it was just studio scale (I think).

As Art mentioned above, cohesiveness and flow are also important. Sometimes a prop just doesn't look right. The ones that do all follow the basic theme set out by the designers.


Sr Member
Well for me ,its just the pure enjoyment of loving what you do and take pride in your hobbies even if other people may not always like what project you work on at the time ,its the love of your props and models ,always do what you feel it should be whether its off the showroom floor look or its wheathered look ,its the beauty you yourself pour into the props that look right to you in detail and accuracy in your eyes....


Sr Member
If it is a screen used prop it has to be accurate to what is seen in the movie. As an example, check out morganthirteen's Terminator endorifle.


Impressive, sharp details, immediately recognized, no corners cut in making the prop. A fan will want the prop, be proud to display it.

IEDBOUNTYHUNTER's work is another impressive prop. All the details, complicated details, lines so crisp you could cut your finger on them. Ultra quality, ultra details, properly proportioned, looks as good or better than what was seen on film. That's what gives me a proper prop woody.


Not everything has to be super complex or detailed to impress though. Take a look at Zorg's Total recall alien hand switch.

One piece, not terribly complicated, but man, instant recognition, you know where it came from, it's unique, and man, it makes me want one.


Well-Known Member
I love it when someone takes on a prop that never actually existed IRL.

For example something from a video game, I'm always really impressed when someone creates a prop in real life for the first time and all they have to go off of is official art work and screen shots, there is no real life template or instructions. Prop Pioneers!


Well-Known Member
I like the unique stuff.. I get tired of the same old same old...

Oh another x-wing *yawn*
Oh another AT AT *yawn*
Oh another Viper *double yawn*
Oh gee look the Galactica *rolleyes*

I love the sculpts and the original stuff people make. BUT if you're going to to the same old same old...make it spectacular!

Tan Djarka

Sr Member
Something that, in the case of something assembled from found objects, doesn't look exactly what it is. Or something that doesn't look like something with alot of other things stuck to it. It has to have some kind of logic to it. Some people put interesting detail on things with no other justification except that it looks cool. Even professional prop builders are guilty of this. Simply said, "form follows function". Don't just make it look cool. Make it look like it could actually work or be real.
This thread is more than 10 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.