Thursday, February 14, 2013

Little Wonder

Since so many people have asked, here is the basic idea of the "Little Wonder" prop as I made mine for a long-ago production of "Oaklahoma!"

I can not vouch for the practicality or safety of this design.  I am drawing this from memory.  The one I built was of whatever random bits of pipe and tube were lying around the scene shop.  My memory is that the inner tube was metal, but the outer tub and a further decorative ring were from ABS.  I'm pretty sure you could do this all with ABS, though, using ABS solvent cement and a NERF dagger, and just find the right lightweight spring from Orchard or Ace's copious selection (or if that fails, order the exact dimensions you need from Grainger.

This also doesn't quite match the description given in the dialog.  But it is fun to look at and when it works, dramatic.  Since mine had the inner pipe of metal and of course the rod has to be 1/4" metal as well, it made a nice dramatic metal-on-metal "kaclank!" when activated.  Although I forget if it is Ali Hakim or Judd Fry who demonstrates the thing.

If I did it today, I'd make TWO -- one firing, that Judd would purchase in the first scene, and a second non-firing that Curly could play with in the second scene.

Paint it up like a Victorian kaleidoscope.  Or, considering the risque nature of the supposed thing, in red or burgundy flocked paper and gold filigree to make it look properly tawdry.

1 comment:

  1. It's been a while since you posted this. I'm creating one for a Non-Profit Kids' Theater that is doing Oklahoma. Your design was a launching point for mine. I will make it appear to be more of a traditional kaleidoscope with the larger end being the "Turning" part that will release the knife. THANKS