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Making Minature Props

For these props I wanted to center them around a child's lunch. The character I wanted to make this lunch for was a young raccon kid, so naturally all of the food items should be things that you'd find in the trash. Wether that be a half eaten pizza or some melted Otter Pops I knew that everything should ride the line between gross and appealing. I used a bunch of different materials in order to better emulate the textures of real food. Everything is sized to be 1.75" scale.

I knew that I wanted to make some type of lunch bag, sandwhich, fruit, and a sweet treat. As always I like to start with thumbnailing. I went with a plastic bag to carry everything in. I hadn't made the puppet for the raccoon charcter at that point so I sketched out a loose drawing of the racoon to see how he could possibly hold the different bag types.

As for the food, most of it was straight forward on account of most things just being rotten or old versions of each snack. But I still went through some different ideas like an empty packet of gum or an apple core.

I needed to do some extra ideation for the sandwich because I knew I wanted to use different types of bread for the the top and bottom slices. The challenge was not to muddy everything by adding too many types of food to the sandwich. After sketching, the best combination for the sandwich was a slice of pizza and moldy bread. For legibility I deciede that the pizza slice should share the same silhouette as the bread. So I made it look like there were a few bites taken out of the pizza before it was thrown away. The filling ended up being what looks like old lettuce, red cabbage, and sardines.

I measured and cut down an actual plastic bag to make the minature version. in order to seal the two sides I heated up a knife and melted the edges together. I then took the Albertsons logo and photshopped it to look like an owl's face. Afterwards I measured the bag and shrunk the logo down for printing. I then ran the bag through the printer while it was taped to a piece of paper.

I wanted the pizza slice to be flexible and rubbery so I used hot glue instead of clay. I decided to build it in layers. The crust was made first out of flattened out hot glue and then cut into a triangular shape. I then painted the crust, and include a small layer of "tomato sauce". Using the hot glue gun I spread the melted glue onto the crust. I then dolluped a few hot glue dropplets onto a cold surface and, once slightly cooled, pressed down to form little pepperonis. After painting them I laid the pepperonis on top of the cheese layer and the put a bit more glue over that so that the everything looked baked in. for painting the cheese I mainly used yellow and orange paint, but I added a few bits of turquoise here and there so that the cheese looked moldy. The other slice of bread is made from really thin couch foam that I painted. The crust is just hardened acrylic paint. The lettuce is made from painted athletics wrap, while the sardines and red cabbage are made out of polymer clay. The challenge came in in making sure every part of the sandwhich was seen while not being overwhelming.

The fruits were pretty straight forward. The tomato and banana are made out of polymer clay. For the banana I used a specific type of clay that, when baked, emulated a leathery texture. The leaves of the tomato are made out of hot glue and then painted. Hot glue is a great substitute for clay because it doesnt break off as easily and is very flexible on a small scale. Once baked the clay tomato was painted with a clear glaze to make it look sweaty and rotten.

The melted Otter Pops were also fairly simple. I originally tried to use the same technique as the gorcery bag by melting the edges of some plastic. However, the sides kept leaking when I put the water in it. So instead I used the honey sticks that you can find at the grocery store. After getting rid of the honey I then cut the tube down, filled it with colored water, and then crimped the edges using heated pliers.

As always, the most fun part about working on a smaller scale is the problem solving that you have to do in order to make a believable prop. Working with multiple mediums opens the door up to a lot of exprimenting and figureing out what works. I always love coming up with new ways to make things and I am really glad I got to explore that with these props.


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