Saturday, March 29, 2014

Set Us Up the Bomb

It's a scene familiar from a thousand action movies.  A countdown clock steadily ticking down to the detonation of a weapon of mass destruction.  Unless our intrepid heroes are able to disarm it in time they, and everyone around them, will suffer the consequences.

It's hard to beat that setup for generating tension.  Thanks to Nootropic Design it's one you can recreate thanks to their Defusable Clock kit.
The Defusable Clock is a fully-functional alarm clock just like you’d expect (a normal beeping alarm, snooze alarm, etc.). But at any time you can press the big red button to start a scary countdown sequence exactly like bombs in Hollywood movies. There are 4 wires across the top of the clock. You have 10 seconds to choose the correct wire to cut: one wire stops the countdown and saves the day, two have no effect, and one will “detonate” the device immediately. These role of each wire is randomly assigned when the detonate button is pressed, so it’s a new challenge every time.

Check out their gallery of completed projects to see dozens of very cool devices made from their electronics.  It's packed with prop porn of the most glorious sort, from simple dynamite bombs to incredibly sophisticated terrorist bioweapons. 

It should go without saying that this particular type of prop comes with a "Don't be an idiot" disclaimer.  


Joseph White said...

My friend and I made some mock pipe bombs for a cosplay he did of Bill in 'Left 4 Dead'

We were extremely proud of how nice and authentic they looked as capped pvc with brushed silver.

Upon looking at them longer, we realized they looked TOO real and might be considered a felony.

So I'm curious how you don't get shot by the cops by making prop bombs. Though making them look less real probably helps.

damanoid said...

This seems like a really neat idea that is potentially also a really bad idea. You'd have to be really, really careful to monitor who does and doesn't catch an unattended glimpse of your really cool prop. Lots of other props invite display; this one seems to require that you never, ever leave it visible and unattended.

Propnomicon said...

@ Joseph White

While reading up on the subject I frequently came across the idea that most Hollywood bomb props are intentionally distorted. Real IED's are apparently rather sleek, with little or no exposed circuitry or wiring. Putting that stuff out in the open, as movies and TV usually do, is just an invitation to an accidental detonation during assembly.

@ damanoid

Personally, I think the best course of action is to build a relationship with your local cops. I think you would be surprised how cool they think stuff like this is.