Prop Maker Michael Tinson

My names Michael and I started making and finishing props around 4 years ago.

 It all started with my love for the film Jumanji. Ever since I was a boy I’ve wanted a replica of the game. Making multiple copies out of cardboard along the way lead me to become somewhat obsessed.

Fast-forward to 2014 and I finally had the tools at my disposal to make 1. It was a long challenging process that was very much trial and error. Having never created a prop in my life I had to make it up as I went. Utilizing wood, resin, Perspex and paint. I learned so many techniques whilst doing it that would go on to serve me well in the future.

These first projects lead me to post it online which quickly went viral. Being featured on The Lad Bible, which was pretty crazy at the time. I had multiple messages asking to buy 1, or to buy a set of playing pieces etc. I couldn’t believe that people wanted to put down their hard earned money for something that I had made.

I decided from there to open an Etsy store, which did very well. As a natural progression I looked to my favorite franchise, Star Wars. I invested in a 3D printer, which allowed me to create some amazing props from the files that talented 3D modelers from around the world had created. Such as lightsabers, blasters etc…

As time past I got better at what I did. Putting more detail and techniques into the builds to make the props more screen accurate. With this also came more time spent making them.

A prop would turn from a day build to a week and sometimes more. With this in mind I decided to go to a more specialized method of working, 1 off pieces and small numbered runs of something instead of a shop where unlimited could be purchased.

Roll forward to present day and I try to focus on props that perhaps aren’t the center of attention. Take for instance The Death Star Plans Data Tape. It was the main reason for Rogue One yet only had a few seconds of screen time. However the prop fascinated me. So after 4 weeks of planning, creating files, making the molds etc. I was ready to do a limited run of 10.

Currently I’m working on a few projects including the broken Graflex from The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren’s lightsaber hilt.

Here are some examples of Michael's work.