Big a** chain

edited January 17 in Filmmaking

Hi, I was procrastinating on pinterest when I found this picture and when I saw it my first thought is “wow, thats a big a** chain” than my next thought was “I wonder where I can get a chain like that”. So I was wondering if anyone here knows of where I can get a big chain to use as a prop for a relatively cheap price. It can be a real chain or a plastic chain, I just need a realist big chain.



MOD EDIT: Embedded image


  • @D1a1v1e11

    Not a trivial task but it would not be to hard  to do with a wooden jig a heat gun and PVC pipe. 

  • edited January 17

    @D1a1v1e11 ; What @BobDiMarzio is taking about is taking a piece of say, 3/4"  or 1" PVC tubing and cutting it into small sections which would be determined by how big you want the links to actually be and using a heat gun (plumbers use them to thaw metal frozen pipes) and evenly heat the PVC sections until they soften a little.  (You would have to keep the heat gun moving along the pipe sections to avoid a puddle) And then using a pre-made form out of plywood and wood (the wooden jig) you bend the softened pipe around to form a link of the chain.  Remember that when you make the next one it has to be made through the first one and turned at a 90 degree angle to the first the way a chain is made.  Then you paint it look however you need it to look.

    It could look something like this very crude mockup.  (Couldn't quickly figure out how to bend the pipe around to make a video out of it. Jig capture.PNG?dl=0

    MOD EDIT: Embedded image

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    How close are you to any kind of waterfront? The photo looks like an anchor chain to me but you'll see big chains around any kind of shipping docks and you might be able to ask around for a "scrap" piece. Big chains are really freaking heavy though so you're probably better off trying to fabricobble one out of PVC pipe.

  • @tddavis

    Thanks for helping out with the details.  I often forget that on a faceless forum the person I may be talking  to,  is possibly younger than I thought  and  has not been exposed to those types of construction methods.   

    I also think that the link can be joined using the union couple. 

    Union Couple in the same isle as the tubing in Lowes or home depot.

      Instead of a wooden fixture a length of 2" pvc or 2" dowel can be used a form for the radius.    Do not start a fire.

    heatgun $12.   Use the low temp setting,f,EAFeatured+Weight,f,Sale+Rank,f&q=96289

  • Can't see your chain pic but knowing how expensive heavy chain can be,and then there is what to do with such a beast once you are done, so why not but a smaller chain, rough it up a bit (sandpaper, oil) then film it on a green screen (or cloth). Then composite it into our shot nd scale it up.


  • Is this an effect in a live action scene? If not, could you use a normal size chain, painted to create a rust effect, in a scene with a mini back yard and tiny dog house?

  • look for a carpenter or make it yourself with wood.

    or look at an harbour for old anchor-chains, i suspect, every segment have above 20-80 Kilo weight.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Do a Google search for "Plastic Halloween Chain."

    This one is a six-foot section and the links are the width of my hand. Looks like a big-a** chain and it's $8.99 (and shipping) USD.

    This particular chain prop is at a lot of retailers... Price range varies from retailer to retailer. Some vendors have this same chain for $30. I'd rather pay $9.

  • @Triem23 for the WIN!!!  Never even thought of looking for one at those shops.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @tddavis @BobDiMarzio finally, 13 years of Halloween Hootenanny pays off. ;) 

    One could even buy two five-foot segments, slit an end link to attach the second chain, glue/epoxy the slit link together then paint for rust to hide the splice. 

    It's not as large as @D1A1V1E11 's initial picture, but it's a pretty big a** looking chain. 

  • Oh crap!   They're out of stock on the Tricorder and Communicator set.

  • Thanks guys, sorry I wasn’t very active earlier, my great grandma died and I haven’t been online much.

    @Triem23 Thanks! I knew those existed (and I managed to get a small one for 90% off a few days after halloween this year) I was just hoping for a bigger one, I didn’t think to look anywhere other than Amazon tho so thanks!


    @DannyDev yes, I do intend to use this in a short live action film.


    @EveryoneElseWhoMentionedARealChainOrMakingMyOwn  Thanks! I was going to try to get a real one or get my own, but after a little bit of research and reading these I think a real chain would be too heavy and a handmade one would be too hard and unrealistic.

    Thank you guys for all your help :D

  • edited January 23

    @D1a1v1e11 ;  First, my condolences on your loss. It's always hard to lose a loved one.  But second, I don't know if you're involved with using Blender or not but here is a tutorial I ran across from this kid I have been taking Udemy courses from on Blender Sims.  I am able to learn a lot because he presents the info in a way I can absorb quite well.  Thought it might be of interest to you not knowing how much interaction you planned on with the chain.

  • @tddavis and I were thinking the same thing at the same time except that Tddavis  types faster than I.  :)  These were the two Tutorials that came to mind.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Sorry for your loss, Dave. 


  • Sorry for your loss, Dave.  My heart goes out to you.

  • Thanks, @tddavis and @BobDiMarzo but I am actually pretty good with blender, I was trying to find a chain to use as a prop.


    @tddavis @Triem23 @jsbarrett Thank you guys for saying that it means a lot, that’s honestly more support than I've gotten from my friends (when your a 15 year old who looks at VFX breakdowns in his spare time you don’t have many friends). 

  • I found some prop chain handcuffs and made this: it was just a picture of me in my living room with some masking and effects

  • @D1a1v1e11 ; Good job.  You are far better at Blender than I am.  You really have the texturing and lighting thing down pat.  Your prop chain on the wrists looks very convincing as well. 

     And about your note at the end in the next to last post:  Always remember, in a few years when you are working on big Hollywood productions, they'll wish they had studied VFX religiously like you did.  Truth be told, I think the vast majority of us on the forum can relate to the 'not many friends' issue.  

  • @tddavis Thank you, everything you said means a lot!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    What tddavis said. Render looks good. 

    Also, not having a lot of friends in my younger years. Teens can be the worst at that, unfortunately. 

  • Teens are so self-conscious they think everyone is judging them, when others are actually far too busy worrying about their own problems.

    Some people take longer than others to realise that, but generally get there in the end. :)

    Why do you think most seniors/pensioners have such a 'devil may care' attitude? They know it's all nonsense. :D

    Be proud of your skills and plough your own path...just not at right angles to someone else's if you can avoid it... that's just impolite. ;)

  • Thanks for the positive comments everyone, it means a lot, I wish I had friends like you in real life :-)

  • well... that sounded a bit weird 

    non-vfx-forms life

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