Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by AndyDahm, on 2007-04-13 17:09:14

What should I use to build this

So I need to build the interior of an ofice building, but just the hallway. Somthing simple with lots of doors so it resembles long corridors in an office building, where should I start as far as material?

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-04-15 17:37:23

Hey dood, start with whatever materials you feel comfortable working with. Some people like to work with wood (my dad) and some preferre more lightweight/cheaper methods such as foamboard, cardboard, balsa wood, etc. (me.) Also start with lots of drawings and measurements so that you don't waste materials having to do something over again. Often I think I can just make something because I have a clear idea of it in my head, but detailed pics will make things a lot easier. basically just mess around and see what you come up with. By the way, is this for a stop motion short you're doing? If so, what's it going to be about? _mike

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-04-15 19:37:44

If the doors don't need to actually open, you could just paint them in. You mentioned "something simple" so you could go with a couple pieces of foamcore painted for the desired effect you want. That would be the easiest and probably cheapest way of doing it with still keeping it lightweight but not fake looking (such as cardboard where you'd see the lines so on.) Foamcore (or "elmer's foam board") is about $3 here in the USA for a 20"x30" piece and you can get almost every color under the sun at most arts and crafts stores. This way you might not even need to paint it, just cut the sizes you need. You can easily do this with an exacto knife or something similar. Good luck! -Mike

Posted by jamesride101, on 2007-04-15 18:19:43

Tell us your buget, scale intended for the miniature(It's a miniature right? :P) You might receive more specific info about a more specific question, otherwise go by what mike said :)

Posted by Nick H, on 2007-04-15 20:54:26

First, what tools do you have to work with? I would make the corridor from 12mm particle board, with all the doorways cut out on a bandsaw. Then I would make a frame around each doorway. That could be strips of timber, plywood, cardboard, whatever. I'd probably make the doors from 3mm plywood. But if you don't have power tools, this may be too hard. You can work with materials you can cut with a $3 snap-off blade knife and a steel ruler. For thick walls, foamcore is good. Even card can work, if you add a strip around door and window holes to make the wall look thicker. (Not corrugated card where the parallel lines show on the surface, but thin solid card.) For thin strips for the framing around the doors, or a skirting board running along the bottom of the wall, cardboard will do. You can add a second layer that's cut a little narrower to get a nice bit of edge detailing if that suits the style. Thin sheets of Balsa wood from a hobby/model airplane shop can also be cut with a knife, and have the advantage of wood grain. Balsa comes in many thicknesses. The main disadvantage is that it costs money, whereas card can often be scrounged or salvaged. The main thing is, look at things as pure shapes, then think about what could make the same shape in a smaller scale. What is your scale? (If a 6 foot tall man is 12 inches tall, then it's a 1:6 scale.) If the real corridor has door frames about 19mm thick and 70mm wide, then in 1:6 scale you want something about 3mm thick. Plywood and MDF come in that thickness. Most card is thinner, but maybe two layers will add up to that. A couple of coats of paint will help blend it all together. Like Mike says - I only make the doors that actually need to open with actual hinges. If you want the kind of doorknobs that are a kind of flattened ball shape, you might find some tiny knobs that suit, or you might not. But there might be a packet of mints that are the right size and shape - if you learn to forget what things are actually made for, and see them as shapes, all kinds of possibilities turn up. Or you can just roll balls of Sculpey, or epoxy putty, and flatten them. Sick a nail or pin into the back before they harden, so you have something to attach them to the door with. A hot glue gun and a good supply of glue sticks is really useful for building model sets quickly. PVA woodworking glue is great but needs drying time.

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-04-15 21:21:11

Nick has a lot of good ideas, I've heard of a lot of people here using that MDF with good success. The reason I was pushing for foam board is because by the time I have all my walls and floor put together things start to get a little heavy even with small sets made of thin wood. Since I often move my sets around I can't see using wood for the walls because it would just be too heavy to constantly have to move around. But if you don't plan on moving it much, sky's the limit! Foam board is pretty strong but can and does get dings or creases in it. My main point here is that it's really lightweight stuff, easy to paint, durable, and very easy to cut. I know I sound like I work for the company or something but honestly I dont' and it's just all I use for my set walls. Please let us know what you decide to use. :) Take care, -Mike

Posted by Nick H, on 2007-04-16 00:46:05

Same problem, different solution: You're right, my sets can get heavy, more than I could lift when all the bits are put together. So I mount my sets on castors so I can move them around. With outdoor landscape type sets, I often have to rotate them anyway, so I can shoot from different angles but still have the sky backdrop behind. One drawback though - I have to use blocks or sandbags to stop me accidentally moving them when I animate. I'd like to get the castors with a built in brake lever you stand on.