If you get bowled over by the realistic looking spaceships, robots and other sci-fi gizmos in movies, you’ve Raphael Urbain to thank for. He’s the one who creates these magical and life-like props for leading movie houses. Just to give an idea, his creations include Space Shuttle, Kylo Ren’s helmet, BB8 Droid, Death Star, Terminator skull, Thanos sword, and many others.
What’s most surprising is Raphael doesn’t use any prefabricated plastics or other materials for them but creates all these complicated-looking props out of cardboard, cardboard paper, scissors, cutter, and glue! Says he on one of his YouTube pages, “I construct props for movies using only some cardboard and a few tools that everyone has or can easily get hold of….”
So, how does Raphael go about creating his props? His first step is to download the template of the prop to be created and print it with a regular printer. The next step involves cutting out each piece from the template and pasting them, one by one, on to the cardboard. Once pasted, the cutouts are then outlined on the cardboard by means of a pencil. The cardboard is then cut along the pencil marks using a precision knife.
The parts of the prop, thus obtained, are then glued together with their respective parts using a hot glue gun. To give the prop the 3D look, the same type of pieces with varying lengths and widths are pasted on top of each other. The exposed corrugated sides of the carboard are covered by cardboard paper. This provides the rough structure of the prop.
This structure is then covered with wood glue and spread out evenly. Once the glue dries, it’s then sanded with sandpaper to smooth out the surfaces and the rough edges. However, all this is the easy part; the difficult part is to place the intricate pieces on the prop to give it a realistic look. This is what makes creating props most challenging.
Raphael offers video tutorials for making these props on YouTube and encourages sharing them on social media.