Sunday, April 20, 2014

Eldritch Easter

Ah, the joys of Easter.  When the first bloom of spring turns our thoughts to the monstrous horrors that dwell behind the thin veil of reality.

Jason McKittrick is celebrating the occasion with two limited-run "Eldritch Easter" projects.   The first is a nifty little "From Beyond" prop collection.  It features one of the jellyfish monstrosities made visible by the Tillinghast Resonator along with notes recovered from the unfortunate aftermath.  The second is one of his excellent Cthulhu idols cast in glow-in-the-dark resin.

They're both available at the Cryptocurium website for today only.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Shaping Foam

Model maker David Neat brings us an excellent tutorial on making smooth shapes using foam.  His technique uses precise layout and simple sanding forms to produce some surprisingly complex shapes.

Styrofoam is one of the easiest materials to shape by normal means e.g. slicing with sharp knives or a hot-wire cutter, sawing with serrated blades, rasping with files, and smoothing with sandpaper. The real challenge lies in controlling the shape and especially, in this case, how one achieves concave forms. Here are the methods I’ve employed for a particular model piece which needed a ‘bowl-like’ form and very regular curves. I’ve used the standard blue styrofoam for this, in it’s most available thickness (2.5cm). There are other styrofoams, such as orange/pink or white, which are even finer and slightly denser.
 Via Eric Hart.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Trooper Edition.

PRTrooper brings us one of the distinctive Cthulhu idols used by the Black Brotherhood. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Terra Incognita, Part Deux

Last week's post about the Terra Incognita LARP in Sweden has drawn a goodly amount of interest.  Photographer Johannes Axner was kind enough to drop me a line pointing to a Flicker gallery of shots from the event that feature some outstanding characters, in every sense.  They're not only gorgeous photographs, but the wonderful setting and costumes make them ideal for re-purposing as handouts for tabletop games or prop accoutrements.     The photos are available under a Creative Commons license. 

Rust Never Sleeps

Bill Doran of Punished Props brings us a helpful tutorial on rusting props.  I'll warn you now that you could easily find yourself spending a few hours watching his excellent videos.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Tillinghast Specimen

An invisible swarm of creatures surrounds us at every moment.  These unseen organisms exist in an extra-dimensional space beyond our own, part of a vicious, ancient ecology.  Isolated incidents of dimensional crossover have occurred under rare natural conditions, but under normal circumstances our worlds never mix.

At least, that is, until Crawford Tillinghast's invention of the Tillinghast Illuminator.

This is a preserved example of the lifeforms that enter our reality when the barriers are down.     The creature is approximately 6" in length.  Six external mandibles composed of a substance similar to chitin surround the mouth, attached to the internal skeleton with a flexible joint.  Immediately behind the mouth are two grasping arms equipped with spearing points.  The dorsal surface is covered in protective spikes made of the same material as the mandibles.  Three motive vanes line each side of the body.

This was a fun little project.  I wanted something that blended the features of a deep sea fish with a "flying rod", the bizarre creatures that were a cryptozoological sensation a few years ago.  Sadly, they turned out to be an artifact of digital video recording rather than an undiscovered lifeform. 

I'm still trying to create modern gaffs with vintage techniques, so the body was constructed of bamboo and paper mache.  The vanes, mandibles, and graspers are natural materials, but I did cheat and use polymer clay for the back spikes.  I think I've figured out an organic replacement for that in the next iteration.