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Anyone good with prop making?

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Sorry if there is a better place for this, couldn't find it so went for here. 


I have always wanted to try and recreate the staffs from origins (not the full functions, obviously). This would include the basic animations for reloading and firing. I may finally have the opportunity to do this, and seeing the ice staff recently showcased at ZWC made me want to try it even more. 


I wanted to know if anyone here has any experience that could help. I would plan to make it out of plastic, with an arduino inside to help with the electronics to move the parts (the twitter was helpful with giving me these tips). I would be appreciative of any tips for such a build, especially with specifics with materials and how to put it together to put the wiring inside. 

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Guest woj9000

Sorry no help here but I am interested in following this process. Would you share your Twitter handle?

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Thanks for catching our post!


I created the Staff of Ice myself, and WHEW was it a long but fairly simple job. The core of each staff is the rod itself, which makes for about an equal 50% of the design. But it's always the same. If you want the materials I used, here is a general list:


- (2) 2' PVC pipes 2" diameter

- (1) 2" PVC coupler

- (1) PVC Top? Can't explain it, but looks a lot like a cap with a hole in the center - screws onto piece with it which fits snug like a coupler on pipe

- (2) Small LEDs w/ resistors [can use 3 if you want to be technical]

- (1) Toggle switch [would recommend a button one and not a knob]

- (4) Thin rubber washer bands [can find in some PVC materials, especially that top piece previously mentioned]

- Bulby sippy cup [yes, that worked perfectly]

- Metallic sink drainer catcher [bottom piece]

- (5) Plant decor holders

- (5) Rubber handles for a toggle switch [but used for aesthetics]

- Rustic gold gloss spray paint

- Healing crystal [about 8" tall w/ flat bottom]

- Gorilla tape

- Black lightbulb cage

- Glitter paint (yes, glitter)

- Red and black copper wiring

- 0.50" thick wood for blades

- 0.75" thick wood for metal frames at head of staff


As far as tools go:

- Jigsaw cutter [highly recommend a more powerful one or a large version, not handheld]

- Dremel w/ sanding and blade bits

- Professional glue gun w/ industrial glue [you're gonna need it for the head to rod connection, my biggest mistake]

- Sanding paper or machine

- Power drill w/ bit collection including hole cuts


All-in-all, the project w/ tools cost around $450. If you have most of the tools, you could easily settle for about $170 tops. If you plan on making the head of each staff, I'd say use those easy-melt plastics that are malleable once heated and just create the design you want. The wood makes for a sturdier and realistic finish but was a pain in the ass to cut and paint correctly. Additionally, the weight alone made it near impossible to hold tightly on the pole itself, causing it to break under slight movement.


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Thanks for getting back to me in such detail. I hadn't thought of using wood for the head, although planned for plastic because of the weight, as you mentioned. 


My main issue at this point would be the electronics. Specifically trying to pit it inside the piping. Would the best way be to try to saw the piping in half, and then reattach them once it's in? 

Edited by Sirandomness

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