It’s been a while since I did a prop post. Let’s do something about that.
If you read my blog regularly, then you know that most of the props that I have done in the past were “inspired” by a genre, aesthetic, or fandom. I’ve done steampunk, deiselpunk, and sci-fi props, and I’ve done props that were inspired by Fallout and Borderlands. However, I rarely ever set out to make a specific screen accurate replica prop. There are a few reasons for this, but the primary one is simply functionality. I am often willing to sacrifice prop accuracy in favor of the prop having a function. This is especially true for the things that I make for myself. That is my reason for using Nerf blasters so often.
That said, there are times when accuracy is most desirable, and functionality can get in the way. For instance, some conventions are so strict that they will not allow any prop gun that has moving parts.
For a while now, I have been toying with the concept of EVA foam props. I did a test piece last year that turned out alright, but it was not a complicated prop by any means. A few weeks ago, I decided that it was time for a real challenge, to test my skills. Here is what I came up with.
The Duke Mk 44 from the video game Destiny.
I started with a free blue print that I got here. You will notice that the gun in the blue print is not the same as the one I built. I used the blue print as a “jumping off point.” It gave me the basic dimensions, and helped me get a good idea of how I should do the foam layering. I used reference pictures from the game to make the necessary changes to the blue print.
I built the prop out of EVA foam floor mats, 6mm craft foam, 2mm craft foam, and a couple sizes of PVC pipe.
It is held together with contact cement and superglue.
I sealed the foam with a few layers of Plasti-dip. The plastic pieces were painted with vinyl dye prior to assembly. The red is a Krylon paint that works well on plastics. I weathered the prop with some silver dry-brushing and a black wash. Finally, I gave the whole piece a matte clear coat.
Being built primarily of foam, this prop is safe, light, and reasonably durable. It should be appropriate for even the strictest conventions. Due to its light weight, it is comfortable to carry even for long periods of time, and unlike resin models, it will not crack or shatter if dropped.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading.