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A good alternative is to use a cookie press which is a cylinder with a plunger on one end which is used to extrude cookie dough through an opening at the opposite end.
Often a cookie press will have an interchangeable patterns or tips allowing the creation of different designs.
Cookie presses are large enough to extrude paper clays and are very useful for creating veins in wings or controlling the amount of clay to be used on the sculpture.
Cookie presses come in a variety of styles including electric, trigger or screw and many times they can be picked up inexpensively at thrift stores or rummage sales.
The cookie press is a useful addition to your arsenal of tools.
Document your work whether this is your first or 100th project.
Documenting means taking notes and photographing your build process.
A quick story.
The first props I ever posted on the internet for public consumption where my Demon Reaper skulls.
The Demon Reapers were created during the month or so prior to Halloween and my focus was on getting them done, I didn’t take a single photograph of the process.
After repeated requests for information regarding their construction I was forced to rebuild in order to answer the multitude of questions.
Record and document your process, it will help you in the long run.
Taking a break from building to take photographs can be a pain in the ass but with a little practice it can become routine.
When you stop work to grab a cup of coffee (morning) or beer (evening) take advantage of the break to snap a few photos.
Keep your digital camera or phone handy, your camera should become part of your prop building arsenal.
The mirror reveals problems with proportion and placement such as a crooked eye or lopsided nose, issues that otherwise go unnoticed.
If you don’t believe me take one of your creations and hold it in front of a mirror and spend a moment to examine the details, chances are you will see things you have never noticed.
Looking at things differently can really help in your prop building endeavors.
In addition to the mirror trick try photographing your props from a variety of different angles then study the photographs.
Another trick is to turn your prop upside down, take a few steps back and analyze your work, chance are you will notice details that have escaped you.
Take a moment to look at things differently and you just might improve the final result.