THE SMA FORUM ARCHIVE
Posted by Steve (Guest), on 2001-03-17 12:38:07
Need Set Help
NOTE: the following messages have been transferred from the original SMA.com Message Board
User ID: 0366544 Feb 26th 4:36 PM
Hey guys, I have a few questions regarding sets for Stop motion.
I want to do a short film that will involve a set that is inspired by Tim Burton and like Han China, the thing is that I want to make a set that consists of a small cemetary, a hill, and a building the corner. How would I build all of this for the set? I've heard using wires and such but I am unsure how. Any advice would be cool
User ID: 1752694 Feb 26th 5:09 PM
Flat ground is easy, just use a sheet of 1/2" particle board. But for rounded hills, you can cut a couple of profile shapes out of particle board, and fix them to a flat base. Staple chicken wire (or expanded metal mesh) onto them to get the shape of your hill. Then get some fibreglass matting, cut it into pieces and strips, dip the into plaster and lay them over the chickenwire. When they are beginning to set, add another layer or two. Then finish off with just plaster, stipple with a brush to get a nice texture, and paint. You can drill holes for tiedowns. Yhere are dozens of ways to make headstones - from particle board or MDF, carved from styrene foam, sculped from clay and painted, or sculpted, rubber molded, and cast in plaster if you want lots the same... Also with buildings, what sort of building? What tools do you have?Styrene carves up well for rounded stome shapes, with just a sharp knife.
User ID: 0366544 Feb 26th 5:23 PM
the building? Well, it's kinda gonna be a gatehouse. The idea behind the film was that I wanted to do a film inspired by Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,so the building would be a pagota to be sure. How large it would be I don't know... fairly large in relation to the puppets. (7inches tall) As for tools I have a toolbox full o' junk, I got a hammer and saw and wrenches and screwdrivers and a soldering gun etc.
User ID: 7468553 Feb 26th 6:18 PM
Here's an alternative for your ground surface, depending on the type of models you have. Florists styrofoam comes in large green sheets up to about 3 inches thick and as big as 4x8 sheets. The nice thing about this stuff is that it isn't like the styrofoam usind in ice chests or the like. It's designed for poking flowers and things into. Therefore, it works great for sticking plants and limbs into for trees, bushes, etc.
Also, depending on the type of animation model you have, you can use descretly placed "U" shaped metal rods as a tie down around the toes. Just press the upside down "U" into the styrofoam across the toes or instep of the foot. If the legs of the "U" are about 2 inches or so, it holds remarkably well. Not as secure as a bolt, but a lot more convenient. Plus the styrofoam can be reused over and over. The green coloring makes a nice place to start when landscaping.
User ID: 1752694 Feb 27th 1:30 AM
Cutting particle board really calls for a bandsaw and/or jigsaw, and a power drill... so maybe that green florists' foam is a good idea. (I've seen something like that, and it was actually a rigid urethane foam, not styrofoam. 2-pack urethane foam is also good for sticking plants in, but it's light brown, not green.) I use foam for background hills and rocks, but don't like it myself to walk my puppets on, I like a hard surface for tiedowns. You can make most of your pagoda with cardboard, cut with a snap-off blade knife. Or foamcore, it's styrofoam sandwiched between layers of paper. Lightweight and easy to cut with a knife, but has thickness and rigidity. Tile adhesive is really good for putting a rough stone texture on all sorts of materials, or you could mix up a bit of wall paint and sawdust, or a little plaster. Get a hot glue gun, it's good for fast set construction.