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Submitted on
February 23
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Raats Painting TOD by MarkRaats Raats Painting TOD by MarkRaats
The horse is out of the starting gate....

Any hints and tips from the real artists out there would be greatly appreciated....
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jaredjlee Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2014   General Artist
Do you always work at the scale? Any advantages to working that size?
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2014
Cheers Jared..

Yes, I prefer working to the actual size the art will be used in the poster and besides that, my style is quite robust so its nicer to play over a bigger surface anyway. Lobby poster art is used for anything: from small art on the side of a coffee cup right up a 16ft high billboard so if you work too small it can't be used on anything really big. Its all about ensuring that the art is fit-for-purposer..

Great question mate, many thanks...
jaredjlee Featured By Owner Edited Nov 1, 2014   General Artist
Thank you for the response! It was really insightful.

Oh, wow I just noticed that the picture in your right hand isn't the one you are working on.
The piece you are working on is behind it!
I tend to work 17 by 11 inches. THat looked like the size of the picture in your right hand.
So I was wondering how you got so much detail into your finished work.
I feel silly now.
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014
LOL, not at all, it was a great question!
ReplicaPropman Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Hey Mark for a guy who does not call himself a Prop collector you got quite a few nice ones 

Mark not sure if thats you painting but mind if I ask where you scored the Green idol its a beauty . 

 Always liked the PSOL Idol before they sold it though I don't consider it "The HERO Idol"  anyhow it looks nice form that angle 
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014
Cheers Kingpin, that's kind of you to say sir.

I do have a lot of props and mostly they were acquired for the work I do for Lucasfilm, Disney and other movie companies I service. That said, not all of them are used for reference because a few of them I have acquired just because I like them. I've seen many, many original props over the years and also have a few screen used originals given to me by friends in the industry. 

Generally I like my props to be different. For example, my Iron Man helmet is not painted/finished, its a fictional raw prototype that Tony would have made before he made his MK 3 suit. The Idol is similar because I've seen the originals at Skywalker Ranch and Lucasfilm often and EVERYONE has a gold one so I wanted something unique. A few years ago, PropStore showed off a heavily weathered Idol version that had lost its plating and the undercoat was green - which to me looked more like Jade - so I decided to make my Idol look like that one instead of the standard gold one. Its a Gobler idol that has been heavily customised..

Regarding the BR blaster, I know the collector who purchased the hero prop at the Profiles auction so it holds a special significance. When I made mine, I (again) wanted it to be different, so when I built it years ago, I opted to replicate the heavily weathered Worldcon version - something that at that time had not been done before, or not to any serious degree that is... 

Because I've worked in the movie industry for over 30 years, I can't say that props are anything more than props to me and I am not particularly interested in screen accurate given that there can be so many versions of each piece. That said, what I DO like about props is that they are time capsules from a specific piece of popular culture and I consider them to be more of a modern day piece of sculpture - even though it might LOOK like a Lightsaber or a Arc Cherub,

Thanks again for your interesting questions, it makes a refreshing change to the usual one's. If you're vaguely interested there's a tutorial page on my web site that might be of some (prop) interest:…

Happy collecting mate!
ReplicaPropman Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Yes the gobbler it was a nice piece . Though I heard the platting had issues on a few  . I went over to your page and yes low and behold I have been there once in my travels around the prop world . I actually have one of Marks Idols with the removable magnetic back that to me is the nicest I have ever come across . The plating is like Glass and the accuracy is as good as I think one could be. Your weathered Idol is a real beauty its uncanny how much it looks like an original .  What kit did you use for your Blaster it really looks great ? I agree with props they are pieces that bring you back to that time in your life and are indeed a type of art. I assume your friend who bought the blaster was from the movie business also? He must have really wanted lol. figured it was going to end up in a museum in Seattle or something . I still consider the Maltese Falcon the most important prop ever made far as films go . I still wonder who paid out the what four million to have the stuff dreams are made of :) 
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014
I got my Gobler before the recent re-run (and the subsequent plating problems) and it was a raw cast which allowed me to finish it in a way that suited me. 

Interesting that you've visited my page before and thanks very much for your kind comments regarding the idol - I was generally pleased with the outcome. Interestingly, many of my ILM mates (all the old guard from the original movies) have looked at those pages as well and said that they prefer the different take and the result - which is nice...

My blaster is a Sidkit. It was the last version Sid made before his death and its IMO the best (pre-Tomenosuke) version ever made. I've also owned a wonderful Coyle Worldcon but in fairness - and in spite of Rich always bitching about the fact that Sid "stole" his work - the finish and casting on the Sidkit is absolutely flawless - no pits, crappy spurs or bad grips. I respect Rich for how he opened the blaster to us the fans but having owned both blasters I can safely say that the Sidkit is far better - albeit not quite as accurate. Its also interesting how often my build is confused with the real one. If you really know what you're looking at then you would never make that mistake but more often than not, I'm contacted by people all excited because they think I own the hero.

No the guy who purchased the original is not a movie guy. He IS involved in some way but he's actual profession is not movies. He IS a very serious collector however and he owns the most astonishing collection of original props so, its not surprising that he was happy to spend nearly $300K on the hero blaster.

Interesting your comment on the Maltese Falcon.. I concur its a glorious piece and certainly would sit well in most people's collections..! :D
ReplicaPropman Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
lol Yea see Rich go off on a few rants before about how the tomen is a rip off of his 
in some way . The sidkit looks amazing ! Sad he passed away was it sudden? Not many people can cast sharp its an art form . I looke into the Colye the kit is pretty ruff and needs lots of clean to me . I really wanted a turn key piece and no drama :) 

I agree the idol is a real head turner you do nice work on your projects . His collection sounds very impressive what else does he have ? Sounds like a producer or something like that .

The pulse rifle is my favorite prop gun . I have a real steel aka all steel version thats the pride of my Aliens collection. 
I did see Rich got banned from Therpf must have blasted to many members lol. He knows his blaster though thats for sure . The Falcon as a prop is amazing so many people have tried to replicate it and failed . The best I have ever seen is by far the MK . It took me three solid years to locate one lots of  dragging myself threw forums and tons of dead end leads . Finally went the MK himself that took another year of begging him to make me one :) It was worth the adventure . 
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014
In fairness he does have a point (in part) because others have used his lead as a kick-off point for their offerings, but he conveniently forgets that he recast the Steyr and Bulldog parts - so who is more guilty of stealing from whom? The problem with Rich is that he feels that he does not get the CONSTANT recognition he feels he deserves for his work, but that's a bit like Henry Ford being pissed at Toyota, BMW and Chrysler for 'stealing' the ideas Ford cam up with for the Model-T. Rich is a very gifted man but takes every opportunity to pull others down in order to push himself back up which, given his age, is childish in the extreme.

RPF Banned members notification:
racprops has been banned for continually showing that he has no desire to be a member of the RPF community. We feel it necessary to point out that when the RPF was "hacked", racprops continued to attempt to advertise/sell on the "fake" site even after being informed of what was going on. The attitude that he displayed at that time and since, as well as his continuing to ignore rules that have been in place for many years, have lead to this action.

I agree, his casts are really bad and this is very disappointing given that he not only did so much groundwork in getting a really accurate blaster out to the fans, but also because he demands displace in the sun. While the Sid is not QUITE as accurate, its finish and overall packaging has murdered the Worldcon Coyle in every respect. Ironically, Rich could never get his grips cast sight and it was only because of a mate of mine in Aus (who made new casts and who instructed Rich on how to get the Resin cured properly) that he is now able to offer great grips. Sadly (and as is true to his nature) he steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the fact that someone else assisted him in getting that detail done. He want to be the king pin.

If I didn't already own two Sids, I would have acquired a Tomenosuke no question. Their offerings are for the most part absolutely stunning and you are quite entitled to feel very smug over your acquisition..

The Pulse weapon is also a fave of mine and if it wasn't for the crazy Australian laws I would have acquired one years ago. 

There is no question that you choice in props is top notch and I can appreciate your passion in chasing that ultimate Falcon version. Strange how these fictional items have become so popular in todays pop culture..
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