Hello all!

I need to make 2 supermarket shopping trolleys like the one pictured below for a huge part of the short film I'm making. They need to be strong enough to support a clay puppet in each one (although I could get round this by rigging them from the side of the shots, but I'd rather they were actually strong enough). I've tried a couple of things but I've been really struggling with building them. My first thought was bending wire to the right shapes and supergluing the bits together, but it looked awfully uneven and wasn't at all strong and fell to pieces really easily. 

Does anyone have any super ideas?

Many thanks!!

Marnik

@marnikloysen

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I had a quick look on eBay and found this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/A4-Sheets-of-Aluminium-Wire-Grill-Mesh-Fi...

The mesh is about 10mm across, and isn't quite square, but it might be a start. What scale are you using?

And this, which is a bit closer:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6-Mild-Steel-Woven-Mesh-3-6mm-Aperture-0-...

There is also 13mm mesh sold as aviary mesh for birdcages.

You could make the main frame using square aluminium armature wire, or something like the polystyrene sections available from Evergreen or Plastruct.

Hope this is a start! 

For the frame you might try carefully slicing out the shape from a swatch of flattened polymer clay, baking it, making a 1-sided mold, and casting the two halves in resin. You could do the same for the wheel braces / cross sections, too. For the basket, if you're patient, you could sculpt that and cast it in resin as well, or use steel or aluminum wire (or even bent paperclips) and weld it all together with solder and a pen torch or small dabs of a cold-weld steel epoxy.

Just spit-ballin ideas. hope it helps some. Good luck. I'll be interested to see what you end up doing.

Does it need to be realistic? There are such trolley toys you can find in gift shops, if you dont necessarily have to make them yourself.

Thanks everyone. Simon, the mesh idea is so obvious and so brilliant...why didn't I think of that? Definitely going to purchase some of that later this week. I may well also try the idea of polymer clay baked and then moulded for the frame, Mike. (Don't expect results any time too soon, got lots of props and set pieces on the go as I'm building up the whole supermarket! However I will post updates on here about the trolley). Wonderful, thanks!

I've seen those toy trolleys - advantage is, you could get several of them to dress the supermarket set. The are a bit chunky, with the wire much thicker and fewer of them than it would be if it was a true scale model, but that suits some animation styles.
If you wanted accurate miniatures like you would if they were realistic props in a live action film, you would need to solder them up from finer wire.
If you wanted a wonky style where there are no right angles and everything is a bit wobbly, you would have to make them from scratch for that as well. Or maybe you could get some pliers and put a few bends into one of the toy trolleys to make it less perfect.

I have also seen plastic Barbie type supermarket trolleys in shops from time to time. They tend to be in horrible colours, but can be painted.

Don't dismiss the square plastic, which can be softened and bent into shape, then glued together for the frame:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PLASTRUCT-SOLID-SQUARE-ROD-Range-Polystyr...

This stuff is also available in round and flat section, so might be an alternative to soldering wire. It can be easily bent by applying some heat, and you could get a couple of struts quite quickly. Use a jig to ensure they are identical. 

Or you could always adapt one of the toy trolleys with a better basket.

3D printing? I expect that would be too tricky...!

How about this route..

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/american-metalcraft-fryt433-4-recta...

Definitely strong enough, looks pretty good, and seems to be the right size...

Trikfx

Here are the trolleys:I am happy with how they turned out - they are cartoony, quite wonky and uneven but they fit in to the film just fine! Also they are strong enough to hold a clay puppet in each which is great. (I must say they look better in real life than in the picture!) Thanks everyone for your clever suggestions! Here are two sides of one of the supermarket aisles i've finished: 

More pictures of the film here: https://twitter.com/MarnikLoysen

Those turned out nice. Love the supermarket shelves, too. Great work.

Nice job, Marnik!

Looks good! What did you make the frame of the trolleys from?

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