the convergence of tech and mech

Welcome to reactive:substance

A compact physical design and fabrication group, we take the idea of stage property one step further.

For film and big stage, props just have to be convincing enough for each medium's audience. The advent of HD has required some added realism, or what we call three-feet props. These can get by as legitimate items at a passing glance and are designed to be viewed, or filmed, at no closer than a yard or so.

With an eye towards the small stage and the convention community, our approach is different. We design three-inch props. Instead of masking and painting something to look like a thing, we instead use design and construction techniques to make a thing what it is. By layering parts and materials, a three-inch prop can pass close inspection and still be taken as real.

Think of it like this. A prop gun is usually a resin casting of a real firearm. The color is close, and maybe the trigger moves. On the other hand, a replica weapon is designed out of the same materials as the real thing, with real attention to fitment and construction materials. Add in some actuated parts, and it's something good enough to be confiscated at the door.

Have something else you'd like to have us do? No problem. As long as it's cool, we'll take a look.

WHAT ARE WE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW: Excellent question. A client in Boston has commissioned reproduction instrument panels to restore a P-40 Warbird--an allied fighter plane from the second World War. Wanting things lighter and not prone to corrosion like the original, the client handed us a blueprint and a guideline: make it aluminum.

The original piece was a single sheet, bent around the edges in a press. How do we duplicate that without a custom die? Wait and see. We've got something clever up our sleeve.

Our current render of the piece looks awesome, and we have our design tools laid out and ready for the mock up to be approved.

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