About usyou've seen more of our
work than you realise
Founded in 1993, FBFX has become the UK's leading suppliers of props and costume props to the film and entertainment industry, contributing to a huge number of major motion pictures and working with many of the worlds leading film directors and designers.
Our aim is to offer our clients original and creative solutions utilising our many years of experience and knowledge. We've constantly striven to push forward and pioneer groundbreaking new techniques and to use the latest technologies to enable us to offer the best possible solutions anywhere. Above all, our goal is to always offer the very highest quality props and costumes to our customers.
Since our foundation our company has grown considerably so that now we have some of the largest and best equipped workshops in our industry, but the most important aspect of our company remains the same now as it was in 1993, and that is a dedication to our craft and a desire to create the best work possible.
Project: To originate and manufacture space suit life support units
We were tremendously excited to be part of Ridley Scott's much anticipated return to science fiction, "Prometheus". From the beginning this was a very challenging project combining all the traditional challenges of costume prop making with complex electronics and advanced plastics manufacturing.
The creation of the final Life support units was something of an evolution beginning with the creation of several early working prototypes. Key to the success of final design was the shape of the clear dome of the helmet. As the units evolved we created a dome which was elliptical when viewed from the front but circular in profile, This shape would prove technically very challenging to produce needing to be both optically clear and shatter proof. Inside, the helmets required a huge array of LEDs with precise control to light the actors faces and to produce flickering effects when required. In addition to the in-helmet lighting there where also nine working LCD screens running custom made videos to mimic the effect of the suits technical read-outs. Another critical element of the design was the incorporation of an air supply which would keep the actors cool and able to breath easily and prevent the helmets from misting up. The design of the fans and air system would also have to be quiet enough to allow for dialogue to be recorded without the fans or airflow causing a problem. To keep the look of the suits slick and futuristic we had to minimise the use of ordinary wiring as it would be visible through the clear domes. As a result, custom-made flexible circuit boards were designed and manufactured and the various electrical components mounted directly onto them. Finally all of these elements needed to be controlled through a microprocessor mounted in the backpack.
Captain America - The First Avenger
Project: helmets, costume & prop elements for various 'hydra' characters
Working closely with the film costume and prop departments we helped to develop from prototypes to final design the various types of helmets worn by the movies Hydra troops. This process saw us produce numerous clay models, before moving on to create wearable prototypes for each of the pilot, infantryman, heavy trooper and motorcycle rider types. Once approved the final helmets were manufactured in our lightweight polyurethane material with some incorporating a reinforced Kevlar and carbon fibre inner for work involving motorcycle stunts. We also helped to create and manufacture the webbing and harnesses worn by the various types, including manufacturing the weapons harnesses and armour worn by the hydra heavy troopers.
Project: Originate, prototype and manufacture realistic Roman armour
We prototyped and produced all of the Roman armour for director Neil Marshall's movie which follows a splinter group of Roman soldiers fighting for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is decimated in a devastating guerrilla attack. For a movie as physically demanding as Centurion it was essential that the armour be as durable, lightweight and safe as possible while always looking completely convincing.
Clash of the Titans
Project: Creation of light weight principal armour
Working closely with Oscar© winning designer Lindy Hemming we created bespoke suits of armour for the films principal actors. The sets of armour were individually sculpted to fit each actor then moulded and reproduced in lightweight materials with a realistic metal and leather finish. In addition we moulded and replicated the armour for the Sheikh Suleiman character.
Project: detailed costume, props, armour & on set stand-ins of alien characters.
2012's epic John Carter saw us working in 2 main areas, first replicating large quantities of armour and costume props for all of the movies various character types. Second creating accurate full size on set stand-ins for the films alien characters. Although not so involved with the prototyping stage of this movie, we found that recreating the varied prototype costume pieces required all our skill and knowledge in order to exactly match the many material, metal and leather finishes on our special lightweight final versions. As is often the case the final pieces we made not only had to look identical to the original prototypes but move well, be light and safe for stunt and action work.
The many full size alien models we made were created from digital models provided to us. First each type was machined out in a high density foam using a computer controlled milling machine. The milled out models were then further detailed by our sculptors to insure they fully matched the life like digital models. These detailed foam models were then prepared and moulded so that they could be produced in a variety of materials, some very light weight and others even fully jointed and poseable.
Project: Creation of light weight principle armour
For this Russian made epic, we were asked to create the large amounts of armour required. The highlight of this project for us was re-creating the incredible armour of the Polish Winged Hussar's. Famed for their ornate styling and large back mounted wings these cavalry armours were a real treat to make. As ever for this type of movie the armour needed to be realistic but safe for the large amount of action and stunt work involved in the film.
- The Dark Knight Rises
- Snow White and The Huntsman
- Jack the Giant Killer
- Myn Bala
- War Horse
- Captain America
- John Carter
- Sherlock Holmes, A game of shadows
- The Eagle
- Your Highness
- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
- Clash of the Titans
- The Boat that Rocked
- Kick Ass
- Robin Hood
- Prince of Persia
- Hellboy 2
- Babylon AD
- Golden Compass
- Pirates of the caribbean
- Da Vinci Code
- Last King of Scotland
- Harry Potter IV
- Batman Begins
- Kingdom of Heaven
- King Arthur
- Harry Potter III
- Die Another Day
- Tomb Raider Cradle of Life
- Star Wars Episode 2
- Band of Brothers
- The Avengers 1998
- The Man Who Cried
- Just Visiting
- Topsy Turvy
- Charlotte Gray
- Star Wars Episode 1
- Lost in Space
- Event Horizon
- Tomorrow Never Dies
- 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
- Prince Valiant
- Judge Dredd
From the very beginning of FBFX, special FX costume making has been at the core of our business. Over the years this is probably the area for which we have become best known. Some of our earliest projects were making light weight yet convincing armour for opera and ballet companies. Since then we have created many types of challenging costumes including: suits of armour, spacesuits, robots, protective costumes for stunt performers, in fact we've made literally thousands of specialist costumes for a vast range of customers. During all this time we have been at the forefront of developing new techniques and pioneering new materials in a way which has changed the way the way many types of costume props are now made the world over. We continue to push the boundaries always searching for new and inventive ways to create the costumes that are at the core of our work, whether it be taking advantage of new and exciting materials or using ground breaking state of the art technologies.
Of all the types of work undertaken at FBFX, props and action props present the most varied challenge. Each new project presents a unique set of problems to solve. A prop might be used in a museum, a television program, a film, theme park or night club. In fact we've made props for everything from pop videos to religious orders! In particular action props can be very demanding but rewarding to make, an action prop can be anything from the smallest hand held item to a large set prop. What all these items have in common is that they will need to be seen working live or on camera. The challenge in making these sorts of props comes not just from creating items with high levels of detail and finish, but also creating accurate and reliable mechanisms that can perform on cue and often need to be filmed in close up. This type of work often requires all the various disciplines of our craft to be employed to create a single item.
Core to nearly all our work is the ability to replicate any type of object or material that's required of us. Over the years we have constantly searched out new ways of replicating not just the shapes of objects but the look and feel of the materials they are made of. In many cases we are required to make objects look identical to an original but give the replica completely different physical characteristics, e.g make something look just like metal but be lightweight and very flexible.
We have built up arsenal of techniques and technologies over the years which place us at the pinnacle of this type of work, we continue to build on these techniques with the addition of our 7 axis milling robot, 3D scanner and 3d printer. These new technologies in conjunction with our Polyurethane spraying and moulding systems combined with our huge experience in this area ensures we will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.
Over the years our knowledge and enthusiasm for electronics has grown considerably and as technology advances we are able to be ever more ambitious in the type and complexity of the electronics installed in our work. Electronics has become an increasingly important feature in many areas of our work, enabling us to add an extra dimension of realism and depth to our products. Our knowledge in this area allows us to create real visual flare but also allows us build in systems that can offer real benefits to productions cutting down on post production time.
We have found our skills in this area have been especially useful in our work making sfx costumes, allowing us to add ambitious lighting effects & complex digital displays to space helmets, cooling systems in suits and helmets and make complicated electronic systems that are controlled remotely and so cutting down setup times on set.
Central to our work making costume and costume props is the ability to create an accurate model of the actor who will be wearing a costume. To achieve this we have the ability to physically take a mould from a live subject and produce an accurate mannequin. We've done a great many of these type of "lifecasts" and have a very professional and experienced team to make sure everything goes as smoothly and safely as possible. As well as traditional lifecasting we are able to use our digital scanner to quickly create an accurate 3 dimensional computer model of an actor. This approach involves the minimum of inconvenience for the subject, is a much cleaner process (no use of any release agents, or moulding materials on the skin) and the actual scanning can be completed in just a few minutes. The digital model can then be passed on to our 3D sculpting robot which can 'mill' out a full size mannequin from a range of different materials. FBFX are proud to be at the forefront of this technology, continuing to develop and explore it's endless possibilities on a daily basis.
It has always been our ethos to innovate and utilise new technologies and techniques enabling us to always have the best possible approach for any particular task. FBFX has now invested heavily in state of the art digital creation equipment, allowing us to bring objects that exist virtually inside a computer into the real world by means of Robotic milling/sculpting and 3D printing. In addition we can not only bring virtual objects into the real world but can also convert real world objects e.g. models and real people, into digital virtual models using our own 3D scanner. These models can then be worked on, cleaned up, scaled etc. and then brought back into the real world once modified. Our Large robot has been specially created to mill/sculpt out large objects accurately in a variety of available materials which can then be used as is, or moulded and reproduced in any material required.
We also now have the ability to create incredibly detailed and accurate objects using our state of the art 3d printer. Using this technology we can produce models in a range and combination of plastic materials, as well as having incredible levels of detail these models can even be printed out complete with complex moving parts, so for the first time it is possible to create finished working models on a single machine at the press of a button. 3d printing in particular is a technology which is ushering a new age in manufacturing and prototyping, which over the coming years will completely revolutionise the way that objects are made. We are very excited about having this technology available to us and about the almost limitless possibilities it offers now and in the future in almost every area of our work.
We think that this technology in combination with our 3D Scanning and and Robotic Milling systems gives us the most advanced in house rapid prototyping solution of any prop makers in the UK.
Following extensive research and development over the past year, FBFX Ltd proudly announces the launch of 'Digi-Clone', its latest advancement in high-resolution full body digital capture. This revolutionary technology enables us to create 'full texture mapped' digital colour body doubles in seconds, providing massive advantages over traditional lifecasting and film prop making procedures.
360° Digital Capture
Digital Capture Model
Actual Digital Capture
- Digital life casting
- Motion capture doubles
- CG-VFX post production
- Costume props & fitting
- Digital doubles
- Gaming software industry
- Augmented & virtual reality
- 3D printing & robotic milling
Using bespoke in-house developed software and hardware, Our scanners provides a number of groundbreaking advances for film and game industries, delivering world-class speed and quality at an affordable price.
- Instant body capture
- High resolution digital output
- Full colour capture (photo-real)
- Full texture mapped digital models
- NO PLASTER WRAP MEANS NO DISCOMFORT OR MESS!
Call the 3D Scanning team direct on: +44(0)1932 593 541
FBFX is continuously on the lookout for new talent. If you feel you have the skills we are looking for, please go to the ‘Work For Us’ section on our Facebook page and upload your CV together with a brief covering letter detailing why you think you might be suitable to join the 'FBFX Talent Pool’. If we are interested in your application, we will contact you within 14 days. (Please ensure you provide us with a current contact email address and telephone number). Thank you for your interest in FBFX.