Prop Tutorial for Leg of Meat for Lion King Jr.
A couple of weeks ago, I created a leg of meat prop for a local production of LIon King Jr. I’d created small drumsticks before, so I was excited to take on the challenge of creating a large leg of meat for the hyena’s to fight over.
- 1 ” X 3 ” X 2′ piece of lumber
- Masking Tape (1″-2″ works well)
- Red and Nutmeg (brown) Paint
- Paint Brush
- Paper Towels
To create a stable base, I used a 1 ” X 3 ” X 2′ piece of lumber, however you could use whatever type of lumber or even pvc that you have on hand. I just chose to use a piece that was available in the shop. Next, I wanted the prop to be sturdy yet padded in case the actors swung the leg of meat or hit each other with it. I began by balling up newspaper and attaching it with masking tape to the 1″x3″, adding more newspaper where needed to create the shape of the leg of meat. Rather than constantly adding more newspaper to the outside, I also stuffed newspaper inside of where I’d taped to make the prop fuller and sturdier. I continued layering until I had the shape that I wanted.
Prior to painting, you want to make sure that you have a good surface for the paint to adhere. To do this, I simply made sure that the prop was completely covered with masking tape with no exposed newspaper, as the paint would cause it to be soggy, heavy, and take a long time to dry. It’s also important to make sure that your masking tape is applied smoothly. To achieve this, don’t use long strips of tape, but rather many shorter pieces.
Step 3: Painting
The masking tape made for a good bone color, so I left the bone section unpainted. Next, I applied a watered down coat of red to the meaty portion. Then I immediately streaked brown over this and went over it lightly with a balled up paper towel for texture. I continued this process until it had the depth that I wanted.
This project only took a couple of hours from start to finish. It was also really simple to do. For smaller legs of meat or drumsticks, I have used the same process, minus the 1″x3″ base. For “cooked” meat, you would just eliminate the red paint and possibly substitute it for a shade of tan. Happy prop making!