The Art of building Props, Miniatures, and Special Effects for Film, TV, Diorama

The Invaders Saucer

Image Charles Walts commissioned me for the construction of a two-foot diameter replica of The Invaders Flying Saucer as seen in the 1967 TV series created by Larry Cohen, staring Roy Thinnes and produced by Quinn-Martin Productions. I'm excited about this project, Charles has a real appreciation for the show, and it was a childhood inspiration.

Tiny Submersible

Shot: A 3D special-effects composite created for "Into The Abyss" movie trailer, published by Sea Chest Books.
Tools: 3DSMAX, Sound Forge, Sony Vegas.
Turn-around: 1 week.   A couple of afternoons to build the model, setup the animation, and test-render the volumetric lights. After client approval, another 10 hours to render the frames at high resolution on a single Pentium 4. Another couple of hours compositing a layer of camera flash (using Sony Vegas Pro) keying on the 3d volumetric lights, plus a layer of color shift to simulate deep diving. Finally, a simple sound effect by recording my PC fan tweaked in Sound Forge.  Wella - another happy client! Just wish I had time to add some bubbles.

70's Style Spaceship for Zombieduck Films

One fine afternoon sitting in my office listening to the monotonous staccato of rain beating on my desktop, and reading the name on the glass of my harvard door, "rehctarcs pihsrats" - suddenly the email rings! It is Shannon Henegan, an indie film-maker from Zombieduck Films, "we're looking to replicate the look and feel of an early 70's Sci-fi B movie," she said. "We need an original spaceship model approximately 15 inches in length. If you are familiar with John Carpenter's Dark Star, something similar to that spaceship is what we need."

"Flying Tigers" P-40 Movie Prop Restoration


The Flying Tigers won America's admiration because they were the men John Wayne pretended to be. They were outnumbered, and their supplies were inadequate. Their weapons were soon worn out, but the won anyway, and America loved them for it.

Original P-40 movie prop prior to shippingKnown as the "American Volunteer Group" they were military trained, and mounted one of the country's first ventures into covert operations against a foreign nation. Hollywood idolized the Flying Tigers because they were credited for having shot down nearly three-hundred planes at a time when conventional U.S. Military forces appeared to be losing on every front.

AVG Flying TigersA little while ago now, I was Commissioned to restore the original 1/8th scale P-40 movie prop. This project has led me through the annals of history, where I have learned a lot more about the Curtiss P-40, and the sacrifices of brave men and women to preserve freedom. Not just freedom for Americans, but freedom for the Allies.

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