Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012


Dan Smith brings us DarkSpeech, a fantasy font originally released as part of a failed RPG project. The flowing characters would be great for Deep One scrolls and tomes.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Reliquary of Shub Niggurath

This intriguing etched copper plate is brought to us by Julian DiMarco. It's part of a larger project that I can't wait to see.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sasquatch Hand

Jacob Petersson brings us this sideshow-style Sasquatch hand. Click through to his site and take a look at the high resolution pictures. There's some great detail work that's only visible in closeup.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Skull of the Nosferatu

Professional horror artist Tom Kuebler brings us this wonderful Nosferatu skull. I'll warn you now that following the link to his galleries swill result in a missing time experience. He's an incredible talent.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Amulet of Mara

Allan Harwood brings us the Amulet of Mara from "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" videogame.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Golden Idol of Dagon

"... I spoke to Jim Lowell up at Harvard last week and he made mention of a recent and unimaginable discovery. Apparently while collecting mollusks in an obscure little inlet town in T_____ New England, the good doctor came across what he believes to be over a dozen separate pieces of native gold, statuary, and other gold artifacts from the mysterious and ill-fated town of Innsmouth. Have you heard any news of this?"
Brandon Zimmerman brings us this interesting Dagon idol. It's a shame that so many priceless items ended up being melted down in the Marsh Refinery.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Elder Thing Relic

Jason McKittrick brings us this relic from the inhabitants of the plateau of Leng.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Volmithig Dimantis

The Biblionihilistica brings us the personal tome of Quelron Bathis, The Volmithig Dimantis.

"If one could but translate The Dimantis' tortuous, curvilinear scripts, what revelations might be ours to unfold, what recondite secrets ours to know?

We know, from the dropped hints of the olden magi, that such topics as the Kurduh Fennes and the diminishment of The Spawn-of-Him are touched upon. That Pharos Rakaman Har, the link between the Kn'Yn and the Foul Olden-Ones is spoken of, and that the theurgic use of gesture are all sought into.

Written by Quelron Bathis in the Morgathic Script of Potth, the volume remains a mystery that tantalises us with its glimpses of what was, what is, and what will, ultimately, be."

The calligraphy in this great example of tomecraft really shines. The flowing script is very alien, but still gives the impression of a readable, albeit highly stylized, text. The red on blue effect gives a very mystical feel to the whole presentation.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ultra-Cheap Animatronics

Allen Hopps brings us a tutorial on creating cheap miniature animatronic figures using salvaged armatures.

As with all of his projects there are a multitude of potential applications. The video mentions laboratory specimens specifically, but I was more intrigued by their potential use as costume elements. The perennial problem with live action Mythos games is how difficult it is to reproduce the look of a Lovecraftian beastie. Having multiple moving elements in the costume would go a long way toward breaking the "man in a suit" effect.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mayan Codex

LadyArtisan brings us this recreation of a Mayan codex. While they never developed a true alphabet they had the most literary culture in the new world, crafting texts from from long, folded sheets of felted tree bark. In the real world it was an epic tragedy when nearly every single one of their books was destroyed. In the Mythos universe that may well be a cause for celebration.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Seal of Cthulhu

This Cthulhu seal comes to us from the gifted Florian Mellies. It's based on his idol from earlier this month.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Cross of St. Numerius

As much as I love Blomberg-style vampire killing kits I have to admit they get a bit repetitive. Jason McKittrick combats that with "The Cross of St. Numerius", a clever variation of the familiar trope.

"I've been seeing so many of these very formulaic vampire hunter kits all over the place that I wanted to do kind of a fresh take on it. I looked at it from the point of view that if vampires really were infernal creatures then everything in the kit would be a relic or religious in some way. I wanted to make the ultimate item for killing vampires. Part relic, part weapon. I had the Spear of Destiny very much in mind when I was making this. I've attached some hi res pics for your viewing pleasure!"

I like how this set takes the familiar features of a traditional vampire hunting kit and goes in a new direction. Creating a faux artifact is a brilliant way to reframe the idea into a more interesting context. Christian mythology is so rich, filled with regional and doctrinal variations, that there's a way to tie almost anything into it.

The set just happens to be available on Ebay.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Shards

Graidhne na Ruadh brings us these faux cuneiform shards. From a storytelling standpoint you really can't beat a prop that by its nature needs translation. Not to mention the need to assemble multiple pieces to get the complete text. If nothing else the parts of a clay tablet serve as convenient plot tokens.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Deep One Relic

Phil Bolton brings us this relic of the Deep Ones, along with it's associated ephemera. The extras add a great deal of interest to the piece.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Great Old One

Dylan Thomas brings us this excellent Cthulhu sculpt . The skull-like mouth is a nice touch.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shrunken Head

Effects artist Dustin Heald brings us this nicely done shrunken head. If you follow the link the extreme closeups are instructive. The lighting makes the highlights a bit too prominent, but you can see just how detailed the piece actually is. The sculpting on the bits of stretched skin is outstanding. I also like the attention to the pore structure of the skin. They're both subtle effects that add a lot to the finished head.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dragon Scale

Markus Heinen brings us a dragon scale. As several drakes have demonstrated, a single scale, or the lack thereof, can have major consequences.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Trioxin Barrel Zombie

Continuing on yesterday's zombie theme, Kephazard brings us this reproduction of the containment barrel from "Return of the Living Dead".

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Walking Dead Trophy Necklace

Activision is developing a shooter based on AMC's version of "The Walking Dead". Starting today, the first 100 Comic Con attendeess that pre-order the game will get this zombie ear trophy necklace. I expect we'll be seeing a slew of reproductions appearing on Ebay and Etsy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Preserved Human Fetus

Giulio Artioli brings us this fetal specimen preserved using the innovative technique developed by Dr. Luigi Trinchetti. What makes the figure particularly impressive is that it's roughly two inches high.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The House of Corvinus

David Pirkle brings us this reproduction of the Corvinus necklace from the original "Underworld". Say what you will about the quality of the films, but the series has had some incredible design work.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ahab's Harpoon

Markus Felix Bühler was kind enough to send over pictures of a personal project inspired by "Moby Dick"- Ahab's harpoon. It's a great piece of work.

Just a short time ago I finally managed to finish my last project and thought you could be interested in it. It´s something very different from all the things I´ve made before, a reproduction of a whaling harpoon, which dates to around the early or middle 19th century. I think this things look just very cool, and I wanted one to hang it among the other curiosities on my wall.

I can do some smithery, but such a piece would surpass my possiblities, as I have (still) no forge. So I had to trick a bit, but that´s of course a main aspect of prop-making. I sculpted the harpoon head from sculpey and the rod is wood. The grommet is actually forged from a thick piece of a steel plate. Everything is glued together, and the sculpey and wood parts painted. Sadly the silver-colour was quite viscosous and concealed some of the details. It was a common practice to add the name of the whaling ship to a harpoon, and to make my model to more than only a fake harpoon but a prop, I chose the name of the most famous fictional whaling vessel - the Pequod from "Moby Dick".

It was not that easy to make the coil around the grommet, because most strings I had looked very different from the original tared hemp or manilla which was used. Of course I could have bought real tarred hemp line, but this stuff is quite expensive, and I needed only around 2 m. So I bought cotton line and painted it with coffee, to get a hemp-like and also somewhat darkened colouration.

I've always been surprised that there aren't more literary props. Fans spend an inordinate amount of time crafting items from even abysmally bad movies, but props based on books are vanishingly rare. Lovecraft's works are an obvious exception. I think that can be attributed to two factors. First, the popularity of the "Call of Cthulhu" role-playing game and it's tradition of player handouts. Second, the fact that Lovecraft encouraged artists, most notably Clark Ashton Smith, to give his creations physical form.

The one non-Lovecraft literary item I'd love to have is a variable sword from Larry Niven's "Ringworld" books. The description has stuck with me since I first read it back in the 70s.

"I have a variable-sword," said Speaker-to-Animals. "I urge calm." The kzin stood against a curved wall. In one clawed fist he held something like an oversized jump rope handle. Ten feet from the handle, held expertly at the level of the kzin's eyes, was a small, glowing red ball. The wire which joined ball to handle was too thin to be visible, but Louis didn't doubt it was there. Protected and made rigid by a Slaver stasis field, the wire would cut through most materials including the back of Louis's crash couch.

One of these days I'll get around to ordering parts for the handgrip from one of the custom lightsaber shops.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Tome

The Drake brings us this nicely done personal tome. More importantly, she shares the entire process of it's creation from forming the text block to the fine details of mounting the cover. The intricacies of crafting a tome are a lot less intimidating when you can see them carried out step by step.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Mellies Edition.

The talented Florian Mellies brings us this unusual Cthulhu idol. I like the very alien feel of his sculpt.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mermaid Fossil

The National Ocean Service can issue all the denials they want, but the evidence for the existence of aquatic humanoids is simply overwhelming.  The truth will win out!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Elder Sign Medallion

Before confronting the Mythos it wouldn't hurt to pick up one of these elder sign medallions from Stuart Williams. Every little bit helps.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dragon Skeleton

Artist Cecilia Arnqvist brings us this ornate dragon skeleton. It's made from over 220 individual pieces wired together.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Biohazard Specimen Label

The talented Jay Knioum brings us this handy biohazard label. The full sized version available at the link is sized to fit an Avery 8126 mailing label. Pro Tip: Obey all traffic laws if you happen to have a few props with prominent biohazard labels in your vehicle. I speak from personal experience.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Vampire Slaying Kit, Part Three

The saga of the vampire slaying kit offered up by Tennant's Auctioneers continues.

The original posts about it are here and here. Jonathan Ferguson, Curator of Firearms for the Royal Armouries, Leeds was kind enough to leave a comment on the followup post pointing to his own discussion of the kit. His take on the authenticity question is worth noting.

Although often claimed to either be made for genuine vampire slayers, or as novelties for travellers to Eastern Europe, this is probably not the case with this piece. I’ve been researching vampire-killing kits for five years, and there is no evidence of their existence prior to 1972, around the time of the famous ‘Hammer’ horror movies. For some people, this makes them ‘fakes’, but is it possible to have a fake if there is no original to copy?

I argue that they are instead ‘invented artefacts’ – movie props without a film. We will be subjecting our kit to some sensitive scientific analysis to see if we can find out more about it, but chances are that it was made relatively recently. This is not a bad thing – museums today collect far more widely than just traditional art and historical pieces, and the level of interest generated by this kit shows how culturally important it is. It’s hard evidence of the undying love people have for supernatural fiction, from Dracula to Twilight and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It also reflects centuries of folklore relating to vampires and the best ways to dispose of them, which for some people, even in the 21st century, remains a frightening reality.

That strikes me as being a reasonable and balanced approach. Vampire hunting kits aren't authentic historical items, but they are objets d'art worthy of appreciation on their own merits. Their value is in the craftsmanship and creativity of their creators. By their very nature they are intended to deceive, but they should never defraud.  That's why the use of the word "authentic" bothers me so much.