Keep it Simple

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Chances are you will be building props based on other's ideas. There are thousands of Web pages devoted to building props. Check out the Monster List and you'll probably find a prop similar to the one you want to build.

I am amazed at the time that prop builders will take to make something that should be simple...but they've made difficult. Sometimes they use the wrong materials, which makes construction a nightmare. You should always be familiar with different types of materials--so you can always use the right ones (cheaply). Examples: I saw one fog chiller setup where the well intentioned constructor made this elaborate plywood box and covered it with epoxy to make it waterproof for the ice. Well, why do this? Other fog chiller setups use a simple plastic ice chest that are readily available cheap. No epoxy covering needed! Another example: someone wanted to make a candelabra using PVC pipe...and boiled it in water to make the bends. Why? For 50 cents a piece, you can get perfectly bent pipe (gray electrical PVC conduit). The list of these goes on and on.

The key is to know what to purchase, what to purchase and modify, and what to make from scratch using the RIGHT materials.

You should always ask these questions when building a prop:
How will the prop hold up in wind and rain outdoors?
Is there anything I already have that I can use to make it cheaply?
What material options do I have to make the prop?
Can I make this prop safely...and will it be safe for anyone viewing it?
Is this a one year prop to be tossed or do I want to make it with more durable materials that will be used year after year?

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