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Sign of the times – 3D signage

  • November 12, 2015
Sign Of The Times – 3D Signage

There are often areas of a project that fall outside the remit of any definite department; 3D signage is one of these areas. Often dreamed up by the graphics department, who may not have the construction facilities to bring the design to life, and turned away by propmakers as 'not really a prop', signage can end up being overlooked. Amalgam offers a fast turn-around service to create bespoke 3D signs from your designs that can add the finishing touch to a well designed and constructed set for film, advertising, television or theatre.   Our model makers can create signage using a wide range of materials and techniques to achieve the desired look, whether this be using vinyl printing, special effects painting, laser cutting and etching or a combination of the aforementioned. We will work from your designs and provide suggestions and advice, to ensure you get exactly what you are looking for.     These…

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An Overview of our Sculpting Services

  • October 30, 2015
An Overview Of Our Sculpting Services

We are in the run-up to our third annual Halloween Pumpkin carving competition, the #AmalgamCarveOff, and being professional makers we are in with a good chance - however, the competition is stiff. With sculpting vegetables at the forefront of most people's imaginations this week, it's worth talking about the sculpting services we can offer, the projects we've worked on, and the role this traditional skill plays in the age of 3D printing.   Animals and Props Our sculpts tend to be one-off, bespoke pieces, but in some cases serve as casting masters to create multiple copies in different materials. The Big Midge for BBSRC has been artworked to high levels of realism, and beyond hand-making and paint finishing required no further processes.   The Rats of Medusa, for the BBC fantasy series Atlantis, took some thinking about how to create a texture that was both fur and stone. We settled on…

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Stainless Steel Sculpture for Blue Peter

  • June 11, 2015
Stainless Steel Sculpture For Blue Peter

Our sculpture of the BBC brand icon, the Blue Peter Galleon, is afloat in Bristol! When the BBC rang to ask us about making a sculpture of their iconic galleon which features on the Blue Peter badges, we were delighted to explore their options. As with most television props, the timing was tight to design and build it – so that filming could go ahead on schedule. We had a total of five days, from taking on the brief, to have the model ready for collection on the Monday by the Blue Peter presenter Radzi. The Blue Peter Galleon is easily recognised, so it was a challenging job to preserve the image and accurately re-produce it in 3D stainless steel. The background In conjunction with Avon Wildlife Trust, BBC Bristol has been developing a wildlife garden at the side of the Broadcasting House building on Whiteladies Road in Bristol –…

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Twinings Tea Advert Stopframe Animation Armatures

  • June 10, 2015
Twinings Tea Advert Stopframe Animation Armatures

Twinings Tea Advert Stopframe Animation Armatures In the latter part of last year, we created a range of jigs and mechanisms for design agency Stripeland and their 'Twinings - Drink It All In' TV spot. We made five devices in total; a rippling puddle, a huge tree with rotating branches, a swinging sign and a telescopic 'Sun Portal.' All of these devices were designed to allow precise incremental movements for stopframe animation, and each rig was dressed into the set with teabags and bright colours to create the final effect.   "We engineered devices that produced the desired motion, yet were also easy to operate by an animator."   The Rippling Puddle above was designed as a set of rings, with each ring capable of independent vertical motion, allowing the animator to create a 'Mexican Wave' effect.   The 'Sun Portal' comprised a concentric set of clear panels mounted on adjustable rails; when lit from behind…

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BBC One Show replica set bird table

  • May 18, 2015
BBC One Show Replica Set Bird Table

BBC One Show. Replica set bird table An extraordinary replica set for BBC’s The One Show Amalgam are always on the look-out for new talented makers to join our team, both experienced and eager new makers being welcomed. Recent addition, Julia Nichols, who worked for us on The One Show’s replica set Bird Table, gives her perspective as a graduate in the industry, working to such a unique brief, and on model making in general. Inspired by the work of Norwegian film-makers ‘Piip Show’, the BBC Natural History Unit team asked Amalgam to make a replica set scale model of The One Show programme studio in the style of a bird house. The idea is that common garden birds will be enticed into the birdhouse with the help of cunningly placed trays of bird food, and would look like they were sitting on the sofas – as the stars of…

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Not the Commonwealth Games Baton – but still….

  • August 6, 2014
Not The Commonwealth Games Baton – But Still….

We cannot claim to have designed or made the Queen’s Baton for the recent Commonwealth Games (Even though a part of it was 3D printed).  Nor the iconic 2012 Olympic torch. But at Amalgam we are proud to have made our own version – after a fashion… Every year supermarket chain Morrison's staff vote for a worthwhile cause to be the company’s charity partner to benefit from their ‘Raise a Smile’ programme. This year’s charity is Sue Ryder, an organisation that provides incredible care for people who are diagnosed with life a changing illness. As a part of the companies fund-raising efforts M Local stores arranged a 24 hour relay race, each leg being completed on a different and unusual form of transport and at each hand-over our specially created “Apple Baton” was handed over. OK so we didn’t carry a message from The Queen, or visit 71 nations along…

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BBC Sport Tabletop Footballers, Wall Insulation Models and Otters

  • June 26, 2014
BBC Sport Tabletop Footballers, Wall Insulation Models And Otters

We are currently making set 15 of our popular Wall Insulation models! These engaging display units were designed in-house by project manager Phillip Harris and we have been trickling them out at a steady rate for the last three years. The models show three methods for improving energy efficiency and cutting down on home fuel costs, by adding insulative materials to the cavity walling and exterior faces of a modern home. Initially made for the Centre for Sustainable Energy, these educational display models have caught the eye of a number of other clients and we have been making them as sets-to-order ever since. Typically in our industry, each model we make is a bespoke piece, designed and built to the client's individual specifications.   Exhibition and display projects this month include the Mini MRF, a Compost Corner video interactive and cutaway compost bin - all more made-to-order items from our Recycling Displays trading arm. These…

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Julio Bashmore stopframe animation props

  • March 7, 2014
Julio Bashmore Stopframe Animation Props

A while back we made a set of stopframe animation props for Blinkink and the Julio Bashmore music video they were creating. The video for the Bristol producer's single 'Peppermint' is available to view online. Among the other animation props made by various techniques, the video includes the hands of our own Andy Wright, which were deemed holy enough to be cast in both Jesmonite and the role of God, where they can be seen clapping out a TR-808 style drumline and giving divine life-energy to a developing golden foetus.   Our propmakers have lent their setbuilding and sculpting skills to range of stopframe animation projects over the years, including hundreds of cast Creme Egg props for Aardman and the Goo Games, and a set of hand-painted Russian dolls for an Eircom television advert.   As well as the sculptural and artworking side of stopframe animation props, we are able…

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The lure of the bright lights calls Laurens Nockels to Pinewood Creative

  • February 18, 2014
The Lure Of The Bright Lights Calls Laurens Nockels To Pinewood Creative

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Laurens Nockels has left the building" Pinewood studios is a name synonymous with the film industry and UK film in particular.  So many blockbuster productions have been made there it is hard to know where to start on any list of film and TV credits.  Little wonder then that when one of Amalgam’s team of sculptors and project managers, Laurens Nockels got wind of an opportunity to work there he found it was a temptation well beyond resisting.  It is therefore, with some sadness, that we have to announce “ Laurens Nockels has left the building.”  We totally understand of course that people need to follow their dreams and wish him every success with his new venture as Head of Pinewood Creative, his cheerful personality and optimism, not to mention his creative talents will be missed by us all.  Laurens has of course been a popular and long-standing member…

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Cast hands props

  • January 23, 2014
Cast Hands Props

We've been making some cast hands, but can't let you know what for just yet. They're props. That's as much as we can say. Over the years we have cast a range of strange objects for various purposes, including Creme Eggs, lungs and bits of sheep. Our casting facilities are well equipped to handle intricate tolerance-specific components as much as they are body parts, and we can offer a range of materials depending on the purpose of the cast; from soft rubber stunt-safe props, to high-impact durable resins. Head to Our Work to find out more.        

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