GIFT GUIDE

MAKE: BELIEVE

Stan Winston School of Character Arts

Stan Winston School of Character Arts

From $30/month

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I’ve subscribed for three years now, and believe this is the single most useful subscription you can get for real-world fabricating experience in FX and monster design, period.

Painting and Weathering for Props and Replicas, ebook by Harrison Krix

Painting and Weathering for Props and Replicas, ebook by Harrison Krix

$8

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The book doesn’t waste a word and covers all the topics I had hoped it would, and more. It’s an amazing resource, especially the chart on “Paint Interactions” — when to mix enamel, lacquer, and acrylic, and in which order — is worth twice the price of this whole book.

Foamsmith: How to Create Foam Armor Costumes, ebook by Bill Doran

Foamsmith: How to Create Foam Armor Costumes, ebook by Bill Doran

$12.50 eBook, $30 print

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Looking to make a costume out of foam? Nothing will help more than the series by Bill Doran. Materials, suppliers, and techniques are broken down plainly, taking the mystery out of cosplay and faux armor.

Sculpture Depot Adjustable Armature Stand

Sculpture Depot Adjustable Armature Stand

$64 - $77

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A good sculpting experience starts with a good armature stand, and nothing is more adaptable and sturdy than this one from Sculpture Depot. It’s the first, and last, stand you’ll need to buy.

Monster Clay

Monster Clay

$30 for 5 lbs.

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This sulfur-free, oil-based smooth clay has replaced almost all other clays for me. I can crank out detail and organic shapes, yet it holds up to sanding and smoothing better than anything I have used. Monster Makers will soon offer hard and soft versions — I can’t wait.

Ken’s Tools Itty Bitty 1

Ken’s Tools Itty Bitty 1

$13.75

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Ken Banks’ Itty Bitty line shines among his rake and loop tools. They hold up to abuse on hard wax detailing or large clay raking. These absolutely never leave my tool wrap.

Casey Love Airbrush

Casey Love Airbrush

$165

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This gravity feed airbrush co-designed by monster maker extraordinaire Casey Love is simply delightful to wield. Small details and fine lines are easy to dial in, and it’s comfortable to hold for long jobs.

Casey Love Black Heart Models Paint Line

Casey Love Black Heart Models Paint Line

$134

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You got Casey’s airbrush, now get his personal selection of paints to make your monster slime — err... shine. Don’t know where to start with skin tones (living or dead)? Start with these colors, because you can’t go wrong.

Anatomía de Superhéroes by Ariel Olivetti and Martin Canale

Anatomía de Superhéroes by Ariel Olivetti and Martin Canale

$42

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It’s hard to find in the US, but take the time to track it down. Sculpture references for exaggerated superhero body types are hard to find, but this has gobs of detailed 3D turnarounds for when you want to make your next mutant-powered sculpt look real.

Master Airbrush G22 Kit

Master Airbrush G22 Kit

$80

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The perfect airbrush beginner package — an inexpensive gravity feed airbrush is included, but the real winner is the small, quiet 1/5 HP compressor. Before you go pro, go cheap.

Wilton 301 Pow-R-Arm

Wilton 301 Pow-R-Arm

$350

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This is a buy-it-for-life carving stand, but look on eBay or Craigslist first, as they are super expensive now. It’s the workhorse of ball vices that allows you to tilt up to 70 lbs. in most directions to get at all parts of your sculpture.

Logan Deluxe Foamwerks Kit

Logan Deluxe Foamwerks Kit

$108

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If you need to prototype tools, props, or scale models, this cutting set will handle all your foam core needs. Throw out your X-Acto and use this for bevels, rabbets, and joints — all are simply easier and more precise with this kit.

Yasutomo Niji Roll

Yasutomo Niji Roll

$12

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My favorite, no frills tool wrap. What makes this so special? Most sculpting utensils have different tools on each end. This wrap shows off both, instead of the regular pocket design, allowing a fast glance for that perfect tool you are looking for.

Sculpey Medium

Sculpey Medium

$10

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Hallelujah! No more mixing soft and hard to get that perfect blend. I think I cried a little when I got my first brick of this stuff. It still bakes perfectly to a rock-hard state and sands beautifully.