Welcome! Prop makers introduce yourself here

So I’ll get this sub-category kicked off. I’m Sean Keplinger, a little over a year ago I started a small Etsy store (Pine Armory) specializing in wooden armaments. Since then, I have been attempting more and more complex models using the X-Carve.

Check out my project on how to build your own Typhoon from Crysis 3:

Prop Building with the X-Carve

Be sure to share your own creations and techniques!


Sweet! I’ve made tons of props, mostly for Halloween costumes. It started out with sewing my own puffy shirt for the Pirates of the Caribbean premier. Then it was a Witch King of Angmar Ringwraith costume from Lord of the Rings which caused me to start thermo-forming plastic for the helmet, gloves, greaves, etc. Fast forward and I’m making a pepakura Iron Man costume out of 1/4" craft foam, hardening it with a 2-part plastic and already looking forward to cutting Predator weapons out with an XC1000.

For those of you who know who Frank Frazetta was, I’m an extended friend of the family and a huge Death Dealer nerd. I also teach Kendo, so any swords are fair play. In the past, making swords with a fuller (blood groove) has always been a challenge for me since it requires long, perfectly straight lines, which are extremely difficult to do by hand. Being able to chuck up a ball end mill and go to town is a dream come true.).

Anyhoo, the XC1000 will allow you to carve out epic weapons ala @SeanKeplinger, mark or cut out pepakura files for amour, cut out blades (once again ala SK), arc reactor parts to show that Tony Stark has a heart, aluminum parts for my Jeep Wrangler, etc. Stay tuned, this is going to be epic…



@MidnightMaker, post some of your costumes! Would love to see the Witch King.

I’ll definitely be checking in. I used to run a model/sculpture shop for a big media company. Made lots of props and models. This will be a fun addition.

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I totally forgot that while I was living in Austin, I helped out the guys from Illuseffects. They lived downstairs and worked out of their garage. I was the model for a life cast of my head they used to create all of their latex masks since I’ve got such a large head. Ha! I also sculpted a chestburster which we cast in foam for poking through a bloody t-shirt. When they decided to attempt a T-800 hand from Terminator 2, I helped them engineer the joints since I have a minor in robotics. Good times…

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This is awesome.

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Here’s another X-Carved model. The CNC allows you to add a lot more “small” details, for example the knife and the magazine.


Wow!!! Fantastic work guys!!!

My name is Dave, and I’ve been a prop maker in the film, and TV industries for the last 25 years…how time flies when you’re having fun :smile:

Hope you all have a fab weekend!!!

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That’s awesome Dave – welcome! Maybe you can give us some tips!

Hi Sean,

I’m so sorry for the delay replying…my wife and I are expecting a baby any day now…as you can imagine things are a bit hectic:)
I’m more than happy to help fellow makers in any way I can!!

Hope you’re having a fantastic weekend!!!

All the very best


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Want to know how to make a Harry Potter style Wand?, please check out my latest video on The Handmade Props channel:)

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When you’ve built your wand, you’re going to need somewhere to display it!!
Next week I’m going to be uploading files to Inventables which will enable you to construct your very own wand display stand!!

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I’ve been wanting to attempt to draw up Thror’s key from The Hobbit:

Then carve out a mold and cast some lead-free pewter. I think that would be an extremely cool project!:sunglasses:

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I found an STL file online for the key and generated toolpaths for the top half in aspire…


Nice! Kept searching using “thror” didn’t think about “erebor” and didn’t include “stl”. Part of the fun was going to be drawing it up, but there’s several on Thingiverse. While I’m at it, the real replica is only $29. Sigh…

Anyway, would that be ramping or v-bit for the sides, runes, etc.?

I think I may kick that over to the 3D printer on this cold, snowy day. This is great!

@MidnightMaker – perhaps you can do a write up on how to pewter cast this model? I think some types of silicone can withstand the temperatures. I’m thinking it’s call “cold casting”?

Ha! Thanks for the vote of encouragement @SeanKeplinger! For something like this, I tend to go all out in the pipe dream that I may make a production run (even though I usually only end up making one for myself to go on the mantle).

You have the ability to print this, which opens up a whole new world of cleaning up the print and using hi-temp silicone to make a two-part, keyed mold. From which you can make several before the mold starts to deteriorate. Sweet!

For the one off version, I’d have to see how much detail gets captured from an MDF negative carve. The MDF gets somewhat damaged from the temperature of the pewter, but sometimes that’s a good thing. The second pour captures the damage from the first pour, which adds to the weathering and authenticity of too crisp a carve.

Then of course you can carve things like an epoxy resin blank or machining was, from which you can make molds or do lost wax casting in sand. Hmmm…

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The toolpaths I generated for this was a 1/4" endmill for a roughing pass and a 0.5mm radius tapered ballnose for the finishing pass. I may actually cut it today to see how it looks.

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This is freaking awesome! Being new at this, I’m wondering what subtle differences might need to be taken into account as to whether you’re carving the positive or the negative. Hmm…

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