Where to Find Miniatures

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My Doll’s House – New Tudor House

Whether it is for a toy commercial, practical special effects, or to simply make someone look ridiculously huge, miniature buildings and sets are an important part of the industry.

It can also be a real pain to track them down, especially if you are going to need it custom built. Because of that I have created a list of a few companies that either have what you need in stock or can get the job done for you when you need it (while also looking good).

Art, Models & Props
Prop fabricators extraordinaires over at Art, Models & Props have the years of experience many people can and have counted on to make the props they need. They have an extensive list of credits that have included realistic plane models, cities, and sculptures. Reaching out to them would not be a mistake.
Website: www.artmodeltech.com

Action Sets and Props / WonderWorks
As the go to experts when it comes to space exploration (including a wonderful collection of space suits and space shuttle interiors) it’s no wonder they are also the experts on models of the same genre. From a models of the X-31 to Star Trek Voyagers Kazan ship, they’ve also dabbled in realistic miniature barns and trains!
Website: www.wonderworksweb.com

Culver Architects
Who better to ask for architectural models for a scene than architects? With decades of architectural experience (and plenty of samples at hand) Culver Architects is a great stop for picking up items that need to dress an architects office, or even a boardroom discussing a “future project”.
Website: www.carcinc.com/C_ARC/model_rentals.html

My Doll’s House
It’s always nice to see talented hobbyists turn that interest into a long and successful business. That is what they have done over at My Doll’s House. Meticulous detail is worked into every dollhouse they make. Realistic ivy growing on the side, a small “man cave” complete with woodworking materials, and faux brick you wouldn’t know was fake except that it’s on a ridiculously tiny house. Swing by them for all of your doll housing needs!
Website: www.mydollshouse.com

Merritt Productions
A custom prop fabrication company for 30 years, Merritt can get you where you need to be. Mechanical effects, model making, and special effects are their specialty. That all, of course, includes miniatures. It never hurts to have experience on your side when you are working on a project.
Website: www.merrittproductions.com

Glenn R Johnson Scale Models
If it is miniatures you need why not go to the experts in the business? From commercial buildings and military bases to residential and school models, Glenn R Johnson Scale Models has done it all. Little tiny trees, cars and fountains have all been included in their pieces in the past. When architects come to them for their skills you know they mean business.
Website: www.grjmodels.com

Sketch Paper Design
One of those “under the radar” companies, Sketch Paper Design has been quietly creating miniatures sets. From a realistic stage for a doll commercial (including lighting & gels, rigging and even drapery) to a fully realized miniature warehouse with smokestacks, these guys are getting it done.
Website: www.sketchpaperdesign.com

Of course there are plenty more, this is just a few so check out our category Miniatures/Models. I am looking to make more posts about items our users could be looking out for so let me know if you have any suggestions for the next one!

Special Effects Unlimited – How You Can Make a Fake Snow Storm in July

202db7df73878de1e59922b76f46f2acSnow, wind, fire.

These are the elements that make or break a movie when it comes to special effects. Sure you could pay a very pretty penny to fake it, but why not pay less for the real deal?!?

Over at Special Effects Unlimited, if it is practical they can practically do anything. Of course you can get your giant fans and similarly “blow you away” equipment rentals but sometimes you need something to bleed green (protip; things usually bleed red so that’s easier to find). Other times you need people that can do the effects for you. There are even times where you need a custom special effect that hasn’t been done before. All of these can be accomplished with Special Effects Unlimited.bf055b4041e68ae4bd29f2e30ef353cf

Custom props, molds, and specific blood pools are also available, made just to your specifications.

So blow your audience away without blowing them (or yourself, or your budget) up and give them a call. As a quick aside, who doesn’t want to play with fire?!?

Website: www.specialeffectsunlimited.com

Reynolds Advanced Materials: Smooth-On Distributor

RAMPIP-Mold-Making-Photos-3-640x360If mold making and casting is part of your creative process, then Reynolds Advanced Materials should be one of your gotos. Bring your imagination and let the folks at Reynolds help you bring it to life. The company’s materials are used for lifecasting, special effects, prop building, architectural restoration, candle making, concrete casting, taxidermy, sculpting and much more.

The folks at Reynolds also offer seminars at the company’s all 8 of their locations across the country, so check out the website for the upcoming events near you. Reynolds offers so many helpful materials. Let your imagination run wild—then run to Reynolds Advance Materials.

Website: www.reynoldsam.com

Alfonso’s Breakaway Glass, Inc. – Breaking into the Scene

Screen_Shot_2013_02_26_at_52808_PM_1What’s an action flick without a body through a window or Western without a bottle smashing someone’s head? Enter Alfonso’s Breakaway Glass where you’ll find not only glass, but ceramics too—pots, figurines, dinnerware and custom-made breakaways like windshields.

Alfonso’s is family-owned and in business since 1986. Productions such as Thor, X-Men: First Class, Face/Off, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Ghost Protocol and lots more have used Alfonso’s breakaways. If you’re one of the few in the business who doesn’t know Alfonso’s, check out their YouTube channel.

Website: www.alfonsosbreakawayglass.com

Fire in Motion

FIM_New_Logo_sm-371x450Ladder trucks, fire engines, paramedic vehicles, ambulances, the Jaws of Life—Fire in Motion provides fully operational vehicles and equipment to make any emergency scene look authentic. They’ve been doing it for 26+ years, and the fleet is certainly impressive. Of course, all equipment rentals must have a Fire in Motion operator for safety.

They also provide fire rescue standbys for high risk special effects, stunts and aerial operations with professional firefighters and paramedics. Check out the website for more information on the services provided and pics of the various vehicles and equipment.

In case of emergency, call Fire in Motion.

Website: www.fireinmotion.net

Bill Ferrell Co.

15f829_4ce47ce1dcd5d7dbc15a9cd3f10c40cf.jpg_srz_p_468_335_75_22_0.50_1.20_0Bill Ferrell Co. and his crew bring bold, creative visions to life with portable stages, turntables, lifts, and mechanical and confetti effects that his team creates for commercials, TV, film, theatrical productions and large corporate events.

15f829_77f3d3eecf9d4909b156ad19051eb0ef.jpg_srz_p_468_335_75_22_0.50_1.20_0American Idol, the Academy Awards, Blue Man Group, Princess Cruises—these are just a few of Bill Ferrell’s clients. Did you know Bill got his start in entertainment with “The Greatest Show on Earth”? Well that magic theatrical flair still shines through (with a LOT of confetti).

Website: www.billferrell.com

Tech Works FX Studios – Now in Louisiana & California

show_photo-1If you didn’t already know, Tech Works FX Studios has set up shop in the New Orleans area, expanding its movie magic to Louisiana, Georgia, Texas and the world.

Looking for blood-thirsty horror or sci-fi wizardry? Tech Works can resurrect the dead with its jaw-dropping make-up and FX, creating mutilated corpses, walking zombies, creepy monsters and everything in-between. Or these next-generation special effects wizards will build robots, animatronic creatures, aliens and just about any other FX you need for your production.

For a quote or technical questions, give Tech Works a call. He even has experience teaching special effects!

Website: www.techworksstudios.com

W.M. Creations, Inc

static.squarespaceBehind this inconspicuous building is a plethora of talent and product. Creating a grotesque zombie or aging a person by forty years is no easy task. Quality make-up effects are an important and necessary part of the film and television industry. Making it look as real as possible requires a lot of skill and the knowledge of materials, so that the victim in the morgue scene of your favorite crime show doesn’t look like a cheap mannequin!

For well over 20 years, the creative forces at W. M. Creations, Inc. have been making the art of make-up look easy! Their “works” have been featured in countless TV, film and stage productions. Always looking to stay on top of the latest materials and technology, they can definitely create whatever you may need for your next project!

Website: www.wmcreationsinc.com

The Character Shop

TCS Web PicIt’s always fun to watch a commercial or film that has a realistic looking animal or other character, especially the ones that move on their own! Today technology is so fantastic that sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s real or not.

TCS Web Pic 2For many years, The Character Shop has been a provider of these animals, puppets, robots, creatures and other characters. They provide their services for all kinds of different projects, big or small. In addition they make prosthetics to give that actor the aged or terrifying appearance you need. So the next time you are looking to have something made, or maybe just rent a realistic fish, give the folks at The Character Shop a shout. They will most likely have what you need!

Website: www.character-shop.com

Special Effects Unlimited

Special Effects Unlimited Web Pic 2Wide shot on a burned out crop field scene, filled with only scorched tools and broken dreams. Suddenly, lightning strikes followed by a downpour. Because the weather has no wrangler, Special Effects Unlimited is at the ready to step in. Special Effects Coordinator Allen Hall recreates and puts the elements in check for you—how you want, when you want. Their physical special effects range from weather effects to explosions, and their experience is vast. Some effects simply can’t be added during post production, so get it done right with Special Effects Unlimited.Special Effects Unlimited Web Pic 1

They also provide special effect rentals and have the ability to fabricate breakaways and custom props! If you want your special effects to not be limited, check out Special Effects Unlimited.

Website: www.specialeffectsunlimited.com