to their creations can be seen in the effort they go through
when applying the hair. In order to achieve the necessary
realism, each hair is individually punched. It is an extremely
time-consuming process, but the results look fantastic!
A special thank you to Connie Grayson Griswell for
appearing on the cover of this month’s magazine.
She is shown working on Minotaur for a commercial
spot for God of War. You can check the video out at
To view the actual technique and see how you can
learn this method, check out the video from Brick In The
Yard. Mitch Rogers does a great introduction to the art and
can help get you started on learning this technique (see
Foam Body Forms
In order to house the mechanical framework of a prop,
an exterior shell needs to be constructed. This is often
accomplished by constructing a body form out of foam. The
foam is cut, shaped, sculpted, and detailed by another
group of skilled craftsman.
Seeing the incredible detail that is able to be added has
inspired me to continue my education in this area. I have
only started working with foam in order to provide a
structure to support a costume (see Resources). I would
like to develop my skills in order to create something that
possibly resembles the extraordinary figures these masters
This is the department that makes the designs pop!
The transformation that takes place when an artistic paint
job is applied is dramatic. The process requires the addition
of multiple coats and layers of shading to get the desired
Many of the creations are not complete until a costume
is added. This is the final component of the process that
completes the look. The skilled seamstresses must provide
the final layer that brings the project together.
If you have stuck around for this long, you now get a
peek into what I consider the best phase of the entire
operation! I have saved my favorite department for last. The
masters of this realm have been my inspiration as I design
and build my characters. Their knowledge, level of
expertise, and willingness to think outside the box is truly
amazing (Figure 9 and Figure 10).
Parts and Mechanism
Designing the mechanisms that put your prop in
motion is the first step in the process. Once a plan has
been made, the parts to make it function often have to be
fabricated from scratch.
Unfortunately, the parts required
cannot simply be purchased from
the corner hardware store, and
many must be individually
manufactured. This not only
requires the tools necessary to
get the job done, but the
knowledge and expertise to
convert the raw materials into the
Their shop is complete with
SERVO 08.2017 49
Figure 7. Transforming clay into creatures.
Figure 8. Make sure to follow all the directions when molding.