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  • Building the “Normally This Weird” Death Ray Weapon part 3

    Posted on March 13th, 2011 dstipes No comments

    As I mentioned in my prior post, my friend Diane Cook introduced me to a fantastic, low cost craft material that we put to use in a number of ways on our death ray prop and on a put-it-together-quickly  “time machine.”

    What is this material?

    Fun Foam!

    Fun Foam; available at Michael's Art Supply and some Wal Marts

    Fun Foam is flexible, takes glue, paints well and is easy to cut and shape.

    Fun Foam has been around for some time but relegated to the “kiddie kraft” market. It has seen a resurgence in Sci Fi fan costuming and prop building. A local Phoenix costumer used it to make the body armor for his Batman costume. Since it is flexible and comes in a thicker size, he could use it to safely recreate the “spikes” along the outer edge of the Batman gloves.

    In the Death Ray prop for the SciFi web series, “Normally This Weird,”  Fun Foam was originally purchased as a spacer between tubing on the prop base. As we were trying to solve logistic problems, we found it excellent for use as light sealing gaskets, locking seals to hold removable parts, surface shaping or texturing  and art direction.

    Fun Foam used as a molding to left and surface to fit keyboard.

    Thin strips of Fun Foam used as a light seal for the "Plasma Coil."

    Here used as a flexible edging to fit on curved surfaces.

    In addition to the “Death Ray”, we had to tech-out the interior of a vintage car to be a ‘ Time Machine.’ We could do no painting or modifying to the actual surfaces. We found that the Fun Foam could be used to create or apply a non-permanent and non-damaging surface that could be painted or receive additional props or details. 

    Fun Foam resurfacing the center console of vintage car.

    Diane used the Fun Foam to solve a size / compatibility issue with the firing controls. We had items that would function as the handles but we also wanted hoses to attach to them. Because Fun Foam is so flexible, almost moldable, Diane was able to manufacture rubber ‘boots’ to fit the hoses and taper down to plug into the handles.

    Tapered hose to handle 'boots' for Death Ray firing controls.

    Now for a tease of what this Death Ray looks like:

    The evil Dr. Archeval's logo (Photo by Nathan Blackwell)

    Plasma Coil engaged! (Photo by Nathan Blackwell)

    Ready to fire! (Photo by Nathan Blackwell)

    So, what is that Plasma Coil? What were these handles made of? What common, even crazy, household items were used to construct this prop?   

    There is still more to tell! Check back in and see!

    (To be continued…)

    Photos by Nathan Blackwell © 2011 Squishy Studios.  All other photos © 2011 David Stipes


    5 responses to “Building the “Normally This Weird” Death Ray Weapon part 3”

    1. Great installment David!

    2. Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you like the efforts.

    3. Man at $.84 for a 12″x18″ piece, this stuff really helped solve a lot of problems inexpensively. I really loved working with Fun Foam! So easy to cut and glue. The intended designs didn’t always work out, but you could always make a new one with this stuff without going over-budget.

    4. Yes! It was a big help!

    5. Hi David,
      Thank you very much for sending part 3, it’s fun to follow the progress… that fun foam sure adds a nice finished look… I hadn’t known about it until my recent my VP111 class used it to make Power Ranger helmets, they covered the cardboard framework with it, looks like a fun material…

      All the Best,
      – Eric –

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