A discussion of how physics and human perception can be combined with craftsmanship to help create outstanding props.

Presented by Alexei Bashkirov

You know HOW to make those cool props, and you’ve got a good handle on finishes. But have you ever thought about WHY you do things a certain way? What makes metal look like metal? How does weathering work? Why do some things look “real”, and some don’t?

Professor Alexei Bashkirov will share his experiences and lead a discussion of how psychology, physics, and human perception can be combined with paint techniques and craftsmanship to help you create outstanding prop pieces, whether building from scratch or starting from a dollar store toy .

Alexei Bashkirov (Ray Sopko) is an artist, maker, and presenter. He has over thirty years experience with prop and model making (he likes to pretend it hasn’t been that long), and is passionate about sharing what he’s learned with others. He and his wife Sterling Rose are also the owners and artists behind Dark Rain Design, which repurposes old kid’s toys into animated steampunk creations.


Chicago Steampunk Exposition