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February 23, 2014
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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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:iconjaredjlee:
jaredjlee Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2014   General Artist
Do you always work at the scale? Any advantages to working that size?
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:iconmarkraats:
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...
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:iconjaredjlee:
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.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014
LOL, not at all, it was a great question!
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:iconreplicapropman:
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 
lol 

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 
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:iconmarkraats:
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:
www.markraats.com/Tutorial%20P…

Happy collecting mate!
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:iconreplicapropman:
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 :) 
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:iconmarkraats:
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
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:iconreplicapropman:
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 . 
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:iconmarkraats:
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:
05.08.2014 
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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:iconreplicapropman:
ReplicaPropman Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
I remember when the Hacker incident went down I asked myself  of all the things to hack the RPF? 
Just seemed to be more like a revenge type of hack like maybe this was someone they banned but I never really got the scoop on the why it was hacked just that they were from RUSSIA possibly they don't need a reason . Just seemed funny if your that good at Hacking why waste you time on a prop replica forum? 

I came in late as far as The Blade runner blasters go. But I have been a fan of the film since I was a kid . 
Harrison ford back then was amazing as he was in every movie he did back then  . As great as the film is on its own without Harrison Ford at the top of his game its a different film . They certainly cast the movie perfectly

The same goes for the Maltese Falcon with Bogart . From my research didn't Phil S. have a lot to do with the first accurate blaster being made ? I don't think I have ever heard Phil make a peep about what he has done in the past . He also did work on the first Real Deal pulse rifle with Steve D. but you never hear his name mentioned . On the short time I have been on the RPF I have seen Rich really piss off older members about 
not getting his praise and all that stuff .  I agree you live once let it go put out the Torch ugh. 

lol Yes it was a long chase for sure thanks . I always try to search out the Best of each prop I have a  connection to. I grew up next to a Movie Theater as a kid back in the 80's so you see theres a ton of nice things still out there to track down :) 
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014
Brilliantly cool, thanks for sharing Kingpin.

Yep Phil was very involved in the original release but somewhere they had a falling out over how Rich laid claim to everything (as far as I recall).
I think they have more or less patched things up but their relationship is very much at arms length from what I've been told.

Thanks for one of the more interesting interactions I've had in ages. Best of luck with your prop collecting - I'm sure I'll bump into you over at RPF sometime.

All the best...
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(1 Reply)
:iconsmjblessing:
smjblessing Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I think that shadow from the blinds would drive me insane while working !
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner May 20, 2014
LOL, they're not a problem Stephen because I can easily open them if they fall onto the easel.

There's a special blind in all the windows that diffuses light as well so its a pretty all round solution that works well when I need it to!
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:iconsleepyhead12567:
sleepyhead12567 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014
I didn't realize you are a lefty! My husband is as well, and also a fantastic artist. :D I like your set up, some great natural light from the skylight :D 
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Many thanks Kristine and send my regards to your lefty husband!

Thanks for your kind words..... :D
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:iconsleepyhead12567:
sleepyhead12567 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014
You're welcome! :D I will pass them along!
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:iconbluedevilsinger:
bluedevilsinger Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014
First tip: Beg to be tutored to Mark Raats. Or, just be Mark Raats. :P

BA HA HA HA HA. Okay, a good comfy chair helps too. I can't stand doing anything on an uncomfy chair....or the floor with nothing to support my back. That's just not fun!
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
LOL, that especially kind of you Katie - many thanks!

:D
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:iconbluedevilsinger:
bluedevilsinger Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014
:D
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:iconinpu:
Inpu Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I think there are definitely too less left handed artists out there! By the way, your stuff is simply awesome!
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
Thank you K.R. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to comment!
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:iconinpu:
Inpu Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! =) Lol, as I checked my feedback messages I was like "WTF, Daniel Craig is looking at me!" =D
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
:D
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:iconzach-starker:
Zach-Starker Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Professional General Artist
you sir....are very funny.  I like that. 
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
Thanks Zach!
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:iconzach-starker:
Zach-Starker Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Professional General Artist
Where do you get a sweet colored pencil drawer like that?  I'm looking for something to hold my pencils...
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
Hi Zach --

Its a set of antique apothecary spice drawers. 

They are quite difficult to come buy but you stumble across them from time to time..
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:iconhowlett66:
howlett66 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014   Traditional Artist
"Real artists"?What d'ya mean?That aside.

Cool place man.And that window up there must be handy.I wish I was still living in a house.If I paint something bigger than cards, I have to go to a studio.Sigh.

I asked you if you primed the wood before going on it, now I see.

Oh and what about that helmet in the back?Cool stuff hehe
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
Thanks Hugo... Yep, its a good place to be able to work and there are two big skylights so lots of natural light.

LOTS of things in the studio, that helmet was one that they used in the TV series Band of Brothers.
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:iconhowlett66:
howlett66 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014   Traditional Artist
I see.

Wow.How do you get your hands on those?You did some artwork for the studio and they sent that as a gift or are you a collector?Pretty cool.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
Because I've worked in the movie industry for over 30 years, I have gotten to know most of the guys who worked on many of the movies personally. They have been especially generous in gifting me a number of items and for the remainder, I've used my contacts in the industry to acquire items I was looking for...

Most of them I have because I use them as reference in my work but in some cases, I have collected a prop simply because I think its beautiful..

All the best..
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:iconhowlett66:
howlett66 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014   Traditional Artist
Hmm.I understand.It must be nice having some kind of close relationship with these people.And as you do those posters, I imagine it helps to capture the right expression and feeling their character has. Not to mention the actors's looks, but it's clearly to us that you do it just right hehe

Yes.Indeed some things are.And well it's cool having those stuff there.You can even give a 'tour' around the place to your visitors :)

You too!Thanks for taking your time Mark, and being kind to answer.I really appreciate it.
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:iconmax-dunbar:
Max-Dunbar Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Professional
What an awesome studio.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
Thank you very much for your kind words Max. I am very lucky to have such a great place to work!
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:icontombancroft:
tombancroft Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Professional Filmographer
My only tip- draw on the actual artwork, not the board behind it!  :)  Kidding.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
:D 

Duly noted!
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:icongahaggis:
GaHaggis Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
Confess...how many times have you walked around that room, handling that PDK while you noodled out your next project?  ;)
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
Hahaha.. cheers Claymore!

I have a lot of props mostly used as reference for my work but there are a few I have that are there because I want them and the Blaster is without doubt my favourite...

Here it is: 

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:icongahaggis:
GaHaggis Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
I cannot tell you how jealous I am right now.  If you really want to destroy my little world, tell me you have a DL-44...  ;)
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
LOL, yes I do...
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:iconsamarai:
Samarai Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
First thing you're gonna wanna do is get yourself an easel..
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
Maybe one day when I grow up...!
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:iconsamarai:
Samarai Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
To hell with that shit!!

[PS - Where the hell did you acquire the Blade Runner gun..?! - I've been trying to find one of those for years.]
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
I built it a number of years ago. Its all metal so it weighs a ton especially with the added weight of the .44 special rounds and its my favourite prop: Blade Runner Blaster

There are a number of replica's around these days but most of them are terrible. If you've got a little spare cash, the very best on the market is made by a crowd in Japan called Tomenosuke and they have a new version that will be released soon.



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:iconsamarai:
Samarai Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
Sold Out!!

Bummerooski.

Oh well.. guess I'll just keep looking.
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:iconjustinsdrawings:
justinsdrawings Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
Awesome. Amazed to see you produce such incredible work in difficult lighting conditions, lol. Best regards.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
Thanks Justin.. 

I'm happy to report that the lighting is something I can adjust as I need. In that pic, the venetian blinds in the skylight were slightly open casting some interesting shadows which given what I was doing at the time didn't pose any problems. When I don't want that, I simply close up the shutters or have the another canvas blind pulled down over the window which (if the venetian blinds are out of the way) gives off a diffused natural light - perfect for working. 

There are also a lot of lights in the ceiling which I can manipulate as needed so I'm happy to say that its not quite a challenging as the picture leads one to believe.
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:iconmlh70:
mlh70 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
Put on the hat :)
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
:D
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