Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Tome

Wesley Remory has added more pages to his years-long tome project.  You can see some of the previous pages over here

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Innsmouth Look

Artist Russ Lukich brings us this full sized denizen of Innsmouth. It was one of the featured pieces at the Conjoined 3 Art Show at the Copro Gallery in Santa Monica. Via VenomVyxen.



Friday, March 29, 2013

An Eldritch Easter

Jason McKittrick brings us this nicely done Cthulhu cultist plaque. It's a limited edition piece that's only available for 72 hours.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Tatarelli Edition.

John Tatarelli Jr. takes the concept of layered texture about as far as it can go in this Cthulhu sculpt. Keep in mind this figure is only about 7" high.



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Miller Edition.

Britta Miller returns to our pages with this green stone Cthulhu idol.

As an aside, her idol is just the latest of the spring Cthulhus. I first noticed a burst of new idols appearing during the spring of 2012 and the pattern is repeating this year. Do artists suddenly get inspired? Or is it just a matter of having free time thanks to spring break? Whatever the cause, it's a pretty interesting occurrence.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Needler Pistol

Renquist von Reik brings us a 40k-style needler pistol. His gallery includes an excellent series of work in progress shots showing how he transformed some very simple parts into a beautiful prop.



Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Christensen Edition.

Artist Keith Christensen brings us this outstanding Cthulhu idol. One thing I've picked up from work like this done by far better sculptors than myself is the importance of texture. Even very basic forms are far more interesting and pleasing to the eye when they have a definitive surface texture. Click through to the high res version of this shot and you can see all the wonderful texture variations that a truly skilled artist takes for granted.



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Black Sunshine Edition.

"Black Sunshine" brings us this work in progress Cthulhu sculpt. It apparently dates back to 2007*, but I can't find any followups.  That's a shame.  It was coming along quite nicely.


*That was when the owner's Myspace page was last updated. I'm continually amazed at the sheer quantity of material that's sunk under the surface of the web. You can still find it with very specific Google searches and a willingness to go through page after page of results, but it's effectively vanished into the information haze created by millions of web pages. I'd be interested to see if any writers have drawn parallels between deep web exploration and the efforts of Lovecraft's protagonists.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mouthparts

I look at this nightmare fuel from Jon Payne and just weep at my lack of talent. The texture and paint work  is just incredible, from the velvety upper surface to the fleshy protrusions on the underside. If there was an award for "Most Disturbing Use of Acrylic Teeth" this would take the trophy.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Raygun Construction Kit

This is one of the absolutely coolest prop ideas I've seen in a long, long time.

Raygun.es offers up a raygun construction kit of modular parts that fit together in an almost infinite variety of ways. The Spanish company is currently offering up 16 different resin parts ranging from bulbous bodies to stackable detail rings and Strickfaden-style adornments. It's an absolutely brilliant concept.


The mix and match construction style gives you a lot of flexibility in design. With the existing parts you can do everything from a Buck Rogers blaster to a retro-futuristic steampunk design.* Combine the castings with found parts and you can put together some truly unique props.  They would also make ideal detailing pieces for non-weapon designs.  Tillinghast Resonator, anyone?



*And to make it authentically "steampunk" you can sloppily glue on some brass watch gears in random locations! Epoxy blobs for the win!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Stone Book

Swedish artist Caroline Nymla Eklund brings us this beautiful tome. It's hand bound in leather with a polished obsidian embossment.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chapter Approved

For the Emperor! BloodworxSander brings us this purity seal from the Warhammer:40K universe. The sheer cheesiness of Games Workshop's imagery has always turned me off, but it translates surprisingly well to the real world.


Monday, March 18, 2013

The Arkham Trustees Executors Agency

Vonmeer brings us another useful document prop with this letterhead from The Arkham Trustees Executors Agency. As with his other print items this would be ideal for fleshing out the background of a physical prop.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

De Profundis

I'm looking to hear from anyone who's played the Lovecraftian play-by-mail game "De Profundis".   There are a few reviews scattered here and there, but most of the links that come up on Google are solicitations for players.  It sounds like something I'd absolutely love to play- a slow enough pace that I can fit it in when I have time, lots of mail-friendly prop documents, and an emphasis on narrative.  I just get the impression that it's great fun in theory, but actually getting a game up and running is devilishly difficult.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

"The Dark is Rising" Signs of Power

This is the kind of passion project I love to see. These recreations of the Signs of Power from "The Dark is Rising" series were made as a gift by David Stay. Each of the six is forged from a different element (iron, stone, bronze, etc.). The recreations are made from exactly the same materials, save for the "Fire" sign. The book version is solid gold. The prop is gold leaf over lead.


Here's a shot of the fire sign being cast from molten metal.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Sangheili (Covenant Elite) Skull

Pete Fielding sculpted this recreation of a Sangheili skull from the Halo series and then cast it in resin and fiberglass. The sheer size of the piece makes it difficult to see the structural details, but you can zoom in on the pictures at the link.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dragon's Teeth

Caerban brings us a comparison of dragon teeth, in this case a Great Welsh Red and an Atlantic Afanc. In the high resolution shot at the link you can get a clearer view of the sculptural details. The contrast between the smooth enamel and the striated root of each tooth is really well done.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Very Bad Day

The small town I call home has, sadly, been visited by a real life horror. Earlier today a man who lives around the block from me went on a spree that still isn't over. He gunned down four people at the barber shop where I have my hair cut, and at least two of those people are dead. He then went on to murder two more people and is currently surrounded by a massive police force.

This whole thing is terrifying. My son and my SO's daughters are still under lockdown at their schools. When I couldn't reach them via cell phone I just lost it. The barber shop is just a block away from the school and, well, you can imagine how that feels. As a parent all you know is that someone is on a rampage and THEY'RE NEAR YOUR KIDS. It's the most horrible feeling in the world. I can't describe the sense of relief when the overloaded cell system finally let me get a call through and they were all safe.

I'm not really sure why I'm even writing this, other than as a catharsis. I intentionally avoid talking about myself too much since I like my privacy and, frankly, I think it's a bit self-indulgent. My life isn't all that interesting.

I'd give anything for it to go back to being that way.

Here's the local paper's story on the shooting. They're keeping it updated pretty regularly.

Update: I wanted to thank everyone for their good wishes. My son, who's still my little bubbaloo even though he's 6' 7" and can bench press a car, is home safe and sound after being let out of lockdown. The girls will hopefully be out soon. The standoff continues.

Update: Everyone is home now. The shooter is holed up in an abandoned building. My barber, John Seymour, one of kindest and most giving men I've ever known, is in critical condition. It's hard to describe how important a barber is in a small town like this. His shop wasn't just a place to get your hair cut, but the unofficial seat of town government.

The Unquiet Void

Please join me in welcoming our newest sponsor- The Unquiet Void, purveyors of fine Lovecraft-inspired music. At their site you'll find sample tracks from a number of albums, available as both CDs and downloads.

Inhuman

Heather Jean Skalwold brings us this interesting Nosferatu skull.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Heavy Weather

Sebastian Baer was kind enough to send over a link to this great video featuring Adam Savage from Mythbusters. It's a detailed look at the weathering process for a prop equipment case from NASA. Mr. Savage started his career as a professional model and prop maker and has some great advice. The only thing I don't like is using coffee as an aging medium, but that's a personal quirk. I just can't stand the smell of the stale coffee.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Black Pharaoh

The prolific Jason McKittrick brings us this idol of Nyarlathotep, the Black Pharaoh. This would look great displayed in a packing crate. I believe it's perfectly sized to fit inside a wooden wine box.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Barsoomian Chess Set

Amanda Gannon brings us this incredibly detailed recreation of a Jetan travel set from Edgar Rice Burrough's Barsoom. The game, a Martian version of chess, is a major plot point in two books of the series.

I love seeing literary props like this. Movie and videogame props are impressive because the artists obsessively recreate the details of the original in physical form. Items from literature are more interesting. Once you've matched the known features you have to fill in the gaps from your own imagination. Two different people could create equally "accurate" interpretations of the same item with wildly different approaches.







Saturday, March 9, 2013

Al Bhed Font

Easy desktop publishing is both a blessing and a curse for propmakers crafting fantasy tomes and documents. It's now absurdly easy to layout a scroll or page and print off a copy all ready for aging. The downside to that is how certain fantasy fonts get used over and over, destroying the immersiveness of said documents. I'm looking at you, Tengwar. There's nothing worse than someone saying "I love that font!" when you reveal your masterpiece. And I'm saying that as a geek that trekked off to Marquette University to ogle their Tolkien collection when I was a teenager.

The only way to combat that while still keeping things simple is to find relatively obscure fonts that have the right look. Japanese video RPGs are one source I've had success with. They're obscure enough that the fonts aren't too familiar, but their enthusiastic fans insure their alternate languages get fontified on a regular basis.

The Al Bhed font comes to us from the Final Fantasy series. It has a nice alien look, particularly the stretched upper case letters.  The blade-like strokes fit nicely with how I envision Deep One writing would look.






Friday, March 8, 2013

Children of Decay

Hajime Emoto is one of the pre-eminent gaff artists working today.  He's produced dozens of fantastical creatures, but he's also made some excursions into non-traditional works.  These mushrooms demonstrate that a skilled artist can take a seemingly mundane subject and turn it into something strange and interesting.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Gift

Anubitz was kind enough to send over this delightful bit of vintage ephemera he discovered on Pinterest. The idea of donating your brain to science has a creepy charm, but the note about packing said organ into a tin bucket and shipping it to Cornell is my favorite part.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lebanon Circle Magic

Please join me in welcoming our newest sponsor, Lebanon Circle Magic.  I've mentioned a few times in passing that I'm an amateur magician, with a heavy emphasis on the "amateur" part.  That, and my fondness for the Mythos, is why I find Lebanon's "A Book at Midnight" so interesting.  It's a Lovecraftian illusion that embraces storytelling in place of sleight of hand, but that doesn't make it any less impressive.

Lebanon Circle proudly presents - 'A Book at Midnight', a collaboration between Dan Baines and magician Ian Harvey. This is a self working baffling effect that is so simple to perform it almost feels like real magic! The mechanics are invisible and foolproof, no gimmicks, no stacked decks, no memory work - just a great story and the imagination of your audience. Transport two minds back in time to the same place, make them hear the same sounds, see the same things. Is it a demonstration of hypnosis? Time travel? Or psychic synchronicity? You decide but either way your audience will be driven to insanity trying to figure this one out!


"A Book at Midnight" is a bit of a departure from the props normally featured here. I like it because it's exactly the kind of mechanically simple, but visually impressive illusion that's fun for both the audience and the performer. It doesn't hurt that it features some very nicely done physical components.  I would also suggest wandering through some of their other offerings on the site.  You'll find some interesting Lovecraftiana as well as offerings of a more outrĂ© nature.






Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Deep One Teeth

Vonmeer returns to our pages with these interesting teeth, purportedly from a Deep One. There's some really nice texture work on display when you click through for the high resolution picture.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Skyrim Shield

Harrison Krix brings us another prop recreation from Skyrim. This time he's tackled a shield from Whiterun.

As much as I like video game props I'd love to see someone tackle some old school "Dungeons & Dragons" items. For those of a certain age it would be awesome to have reproductions of Wave, Whelm, and Black Razor from the "White Plume Mountain" adventure.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cthulhu Fhtagn! McKittrick Edition.

In the early months of 1925 people around the globe began to have a series of strange and terrifying dreams. These disturbing experiences featured a monstrous being of inhuman form seemingly rising from the depths of the sea. What makes the shared dream occurrence even more puzzling is that it became increasingly widespread until suddenly coming to an end on April 2nd.

The indefatigable Jason McKittrick brings us this Cthulhu idol in honor of the occasion.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cthulhu Tablet, Take Two

In a stunning example of synchronicity, I stumbled across this take on a Mythos-touched clay tablet just after finding yesterday's entry. I love being able to compare different takes on the same subject. GladeFlower's tablet is far more ornate, but I rather like the clean presentation of Tailiana's from yesterday.



Friday, March 1, 2013

Cthulhu Tablet

Tailiana brings us a clay tablet with a touch of the Mythos.