Unlike a traditional hinged cellar access door
in a floor,
a stage trap must lower and rise. With paper
figures, the cut floor section must operate like a very level elevator
so that the figure can stand alone on the floor. The figure must have a
stand without a handle. Some stands are made that can be pushed or
snagged and pulled with a special rod handle, so the figure can be moved
on and off the trap.
The depth of the "basement" of the theater must be
deep enough for the standing figure and the floor of the trap itself to
drop below the main stage floor level, so that the figure will disappear
completely while still placed on the trap.
There are numerous ways of building a floor trap,
but above are some photos of one way. This one is operated by a cord,
secured by a bead when raised to stage level. The red cloth tapes are
used in place of cords for elevation, and they are managed together. The
overall design gives a smooth and level operation. This one was built by Preben Engmann, in Denmark.
Like everything else in model theater – the
imagination is the limit!