Weekend Watch: Steampunk Prop Building with “It’s a Trap!”

Costumes, Cosplay, and Props Craft & Design Photography & Video
Weekend Watch: Steampunk Prop Building with “It’s a Trap!”
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If you’d like to make a steampunk-themed costume for Halloween this year, the “It’s A Trap!” (IAT) channel is a great resource for ideas and techniques. Their “Prop-building guides” playlist contains helmets, masks, and even a steampunk spider to, perhaps, help decorate your house.

One of the more spooky props on this list is the “Steamtech battle mask,” which uses a tea strainer to cover the eye socket, and has fake rivets that appear to hold it together. To me, it looks like a strange combination of ancient armor and something from a science fiction movie, or perhaps a video game. The dark paint and obscured eyes would certainly be terrifying in the right circumstances!

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Besides props, a huge portion of what IAT does is create short films. Perhaps “besides” isn’t quite accurate, as according to team member Nigel Clegg, “Sometimes the scripts [for these films] inspire the props and sometimes it’s the other way round.” One of their earlier films, “Arms Race” was written after they’d made a brass and copper Gatling gun prop.

Clegg continues that the team was challenged with the question of, “Well I’ve made this, so what should we do with it?” This became his favorite film, since it, “Showed us what was possible with a bit of effort, and the reaction of the online audience encouraged us to continue.” The film is shown below, and is really worth a watch.

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Besides this initial film, IAT has expanded this into an entire series of Crimean War-themed films. “Arms Race Escalation, shown below, is a multi-part series that takes place after the original and is “a race to stop the evolution of the technology to the next level.”

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The “Herbert Talon and Sons” are fictional advertisements set in the same world as the “Arms Race” series, but that can fit anywhere in this timeline. Interestingly, according to Clegg, “In many ways these were prop driven and the story derived from hopefully an amusing way to show off the props.” Though videos that take you through a prop’s creation are interesting, it’s great to see another take on videos that show off “made” items.

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Perhaps you’re not planning to dress up as a Crimean War combatant for Halloween this year (though I wouldn’t be surprised if this inspired a few people).  Regardless, these videos, whether showing off the prop-building techniques or exhibiting how they can be used, could really serve as inspiration for what is possible with an excellent production effort!

For more information on IAT, be sure to also check out their website!


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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

View more articles by Jeremy S Cook
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