Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Mark of Cthulhu

Al Landron of Landron Artifacts brings us this well done Cthulhu pendant.  It has a nicely stylized, almost Meso-American look. 


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Miskatonic Alumni Unite!

I'm getting the itch again.

It's been a few years since the original Miskatonic University Prop Project.  I still get emails asking if I have any patches or pins available on a regular basis.  I inevitably reply that another run is coming up "soon".  I think that time has finally arrived.


The motivation for getting things in gear is that I really, really want a nice Miskatonic keychain.  The kind of thing an actual Ivy League alumnus would be carrying around.  Ideally, that means cast metal, or fired enamel (so the keychain doesn't get ruined by scratches) around 1.5 inches in size.  Not too big, but large enough to be impressive. 

As part of the package I'd also like to do a "Mythos Merit Badge".   Long time readers know I'm generally not a fan of the cheesy "Spellcasting 101" approach to the Mythos.  That said, I think it's a fun idea to commemorate the achievements of Lovecraft's protagonists.  In honor of Miskatonic University the first one will be the "Bookworm" badge, honoring those who've delved into eldritch tomes in search of forbidden knowledge.  If it goes over well I'll follow up with "Reanimator" and "I go Mi-Go!" badges

At this point I'm looking to have the complete Miskatonic Alumni package available in May, just in time for graduation season.  I'm aiming for a run of about 100 sets and a price point of $20 to $25.   If you have an idea for something cool to include I'm open to suggestions.

The Necronomicon, Gontier Edition.

The talented Laurent Gontier returns to our pages with this excellent take on the Necronomicon.  In most cases the cover is the highlight of a prop tome, but he's knocked it out of the park by concentrating on the interior pages. 








Monday, March 28, 2016

The Necronomicon, AlexLibris Edition.

It's a bit too pristine for my tastes, but this Necronomicon from AlexLibris is a beautiful piece.  Hand bound in wood, leather, and brass with woven leather closures.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

When I was seven years old I had the most nightmarish Easter of my life.

We lived in the country, about a mile outside town in an already rural area. Traditionally, we would spend the morning hunting down eggs hidden by the "Easter Bunny" the night before. Unfortunately, when my Mom let our dog Peanut out for his morning constitutional he'd decided to go walkabout. That meant we had to wrangle him up before he had a fatal encounter with the highway traffic about a hundred yards from our house.

This turned out to be both good and bad news to my sisters and I for our Easter egg hunt. Bad because our immediate gratification was delayed by hunting down the dog. Good thanks to us being able to sneakily spot all the eggs that had already been hidden in the front yard. Thankfully, after about ten minutes Peanut finally came bounding back from the woods and we could get him on his leash.

We tore through the front yard in about five minutes. I'm sure my parents were secretly amused at our slyness in "discovering" the eggs we'd already marked for recovery during the dog hunt, but much fun was had by all.

Then we walked around the house to tackle the back yard.

Imagine four youngsters, aged 7, 5, 4, and 3, having the time of their young lives searching for eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny. As they come around the corner they see a few less than well hidden eggs and a bunch of...fuzzy stuff...scattered across the yard. Like grey-ish white cotton batting.

Now imagine their faces as they realized what that fuzzy stuff, and the other, rather more bloody pieces scattered across the yard, actually was.

A bunny. The bunny that had been the cause of our dog's early morning disappearance.

The. Easter. Bunny.

That was the last time we had an Easter egg hunt.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Making Barbed Wire

Mike Jenkins sent over a link to an excellent tutorial from Meaghan Jordan on creating faux barbed wire.  It's just the thing for your post-apocalyptic weapon making needs. 


Friday, March 25, 2016

Behold the New Flesh

Morbid Curiosities brings us this disturbingly fleshy VHS tape.  Someone really needs to do a retro-release of "Videodrome" with this kind of treatment.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Forming Foam

Evil Ted Smith returns to our pages with a detailed video on forming foam domes and other complex curves.   The continual development of new techniques for shaping EVA foam has made it the go-to material for almost every kind of costuming. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Cthulhu Fhtagn! ArmEpic Edition.

Our latest Cthulhu idol comes to us from Thai artist ArmEpic. 




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cthulhoid Deep One

A reader was kind enough to send over a link to this "Deep One" mask from Basement FX.  The version without the tentacles mounted is even creepier.



Monday, March 21, 2016

Embryonic Thing

This adorable bit of nastiness comes to us from artist Ian Austin.  The translucent flesh really sells the piece.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Immortal Cthulhu

This is glorious.  Immortal Masks brings us their Cthulhu finished in a black to purple iridescent mottling by Skylars Art.



Saturday, March 19, 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Road to Madness

Det. Arthur Fitzgerald has learned first hand there are things in this world that don't fit in with our conventional view of reality. David Hemenway brings us some cool prop documents developed as background for his character in an upcoming "Call of Cthulhu" campaign.




Thursday, March 17, 2016

Finishing Touches

Just under three years ago David Gagné started a detailed tutorial for crafting a shrunken head.  He's now posted the final installment of the project.  The video recaps all the previous segments from his blog and adds the finishing touches and presentation of the tsanta.






Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lovecraft Action Shooting

Elmo Iscariot proposes the greatest idea in the history of the Mythos- Lovecraft action shooting.  We need to make this happen.

Each competitor selects a Prohibition-era investigator persona and alias. The high-society flapper who once attended an unconventional party thrown by the Arkham Astronomical Association; the mousy student who started reseaching the wrong cuneiform tablets for her archaeology class; the dock worker who started taking too much interest in what he saw washing out of the city's stormdrains; the police detective who refused to end the missing person investigation when it got too close to that esoteric businessmen's club.

For the Stage 3 shoot-off I would love to whip out a copy of Clyde Barrow's sawed-off Browning Automatic Rifle.  It was a monstrous weapon in every respect.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Shoggoth Larvae

This creepy little shoggoth larvae comes to us from artist Christopher Andres.


Monday, March 14, 2016

The End Times Approach

A friendly reminder that this is a blog about propmaking and Lovecraftiana.  It is, most assuredly, not the place to discuss politics.  I'm a firm believer in traditional etiquette on this subject- gentlepeople do not discuss politics or religion in polite company. 

That's the TL/DR version.  Here's the full take from my disclaimer back in 2011.  To no one's surprise the situation has only escalated since then.

I was recently approached by a reader to donate a few items to one of those "Art for Insert Cause Here" type events.* When I politely declined, since it was for a political cause I don't happen to support, I found myself being subjected to one of the most hateful, vituperative emails I've ever had the displeasure to read. What made it even more painful is that it was from someone I've corresponded with on a pretty regular basis in connection with propmaking and Lovecraft scholarship.

Things like that are why I never, ever bring up the subject of politics here.

I understand people are passionate about issues they care about. I'm very politically active and regularly contribute to causes and candidates I support. If you're so inclined you could probably dig up my history of donations, although I try to keep them all below the $200 Federal reporting threshold for privacy reasons. I love discussing politics, and there are a few regular readers with diametrically opposing views to mine that I've exchanged polite emails with on various subjects.

That said, I also think those kind of discussions don't have to be interjected into every single facet of life. There are a few websites I used to frequent on a daily basis that are now unreadable because they've become infested with true-believers. There is no shortage of sites devoted entirely to political discussion, but for reasons that escape me the most die-hard tribalists feel the need to not only slurp up the kool-aid themselves, but relentlessly press anyone passing by to take a deep drink from the punchbowl.

There's an old tradition that gentlefolk refrain from discussing politics and religion in polite company. I think that's a pretty good rule to live by.**

*As an aside, what self-respecting political cause would want to have anything to do with my work? As entertaining as I, and by extension you, might find these things they're not exactly mainstream. Half rotted parasitic worms? Mummified body parts? Murderous cult fetishes? Sweet fancy Moses, I'm an attack ad just waiting to happen.

** At least until the end times. That's when I'll merrily try to convert you all to my cultish minions. If I'm lucky I'll be able to enjoy some some truly epic drunken debauchery featuring gallons of absinthe and dozens of scantily-clad goth chicks before the Dark Lord devours my soul. Oh, and I want to work an opium den in there somewhere. Come to think of it, I really just want to live like a pulp-era villain when the end of days rolls around. A sentimental traditionalist, that's me.

Necromancer's Grimoire

The talented Mille Cuirs returns to our pages with this nicely done Necromancer's Grimoire.  Hand bound in leather with custom cast cover embossments.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Idol of Shub-Niggurath

From Beyond brings us this bronze idol of Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young.  The voluptuous female body makes the whole thing even squickier.



Saturday, March 12, 2016

Mounted Griffin Head

This trophy mount of a griffin from "The Witcher" video game series comes to us from prop maker Kai Norman.  The casting is detailed with real African porcupine quills, horsehair, and feathers.


Friday, March 11, 2016

The Miskatonic University Kutha Expedition

Dale Bigford returns to our pages with this collection of items from the infamous Miskatonic University Kutha expedition.  What makes this particularly notable is that it's part of an elaborate joke inspired by an obscure self-help tape from the 80s featured in a video from Red Letter Media.  Yes, the "Mr. Plinkett" guys.

I think the prop set successfully accomplishes what it set out to do- prove the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" proposition.  That's the idea that even the most stupid and ridiculous concept can be cool if you treat it seriously.  His craftsmanship and attention to detail goes a long way toward selling the inherently goofy notion of a cult worshiping a demon grief clown.



Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mask of the Spider Queen

Nathan Rodriguez brings us a work in progress shot of his gorgeous leather Spider Queen mask.  I can't wait to see it when it's completed.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Eyebot Build

Brazen and Bold Productions return to our pages with a prop Eyebot from "Fallout".  Their gallery includes step by step shots of the project.  This is the second time they've tackled ED-E and his brethren.



Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Monday, March 7, 2016

Up From the Depths

This impressive life-sized merman comes to us from artist Cameron Stalheim.  One feature that normally gets ignored in projects like this is the genitalia.  Jokes aside, it's nice to see a realistic approach to mer anatomy.



Sunday, March 6, 2016

Chimaera

Spawning Pool Studios brings us this bottled bit of nastiness.  There's mention of a kit going into production, but I can't find any follow up information on the project.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Roll Dem Bones

Andrea Falaschi returns to our pages with this set of Futhark runes scribed on real bone.  They look like something dug up at an archeological site, and I mean that as high praise.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Institutionalized

Deadbeard Props knocks it out of the park with this incredible synth cosplay costume based on "Fallout 4".  It includes a complete set of synth combat armor and an Institute laser rifle equipped with a removable power cell.  Browse the rest of his gallery and you'll see some great work, including an ongoing effort to recreate a set of T-60 Institute power armor.




Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

This Elder Sign amulet comes to us from artist José Rodríguez.  It took me a while to figure out why the picture was so creepy.  Then it hit me- it looks like a post-mortem evidence photo from a crime scene.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Plane That Inspired "At the Mountains of Madness"

The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum blog has a great article about Wolfgang von Gronau's around the world journeys using the Dornier Do-J Wal.  It includes some gorgeous high resolution pictures of the D-2053, a specially modified Wal, taken during his 1932 circumnavigation.


The only significant difference between this aircraft and the ones in Lovecraft's tale would be the upgrades installed by Frank Pabodie.  Conjecturally, that would include an enclosed cockpit, the use of aluminum to replace some of the plane's steel construction, and slightly lengthened wings.  That's the only way to get the plane to match the levels of performance described in the story, at least from a Watsonian perspective.


This is one of the very few overhead shots of the Wal I've ever seen.  As the scoring on the tail rudder demonstrates, "clean burning" was a pretty relative concept for early mid-century aircraft engines.

Gronau's earlier excursions used the D-1422, the exact same plane flown by Roald Amundsen (wearing the N-25 badge) during his 1925 arctic expedition.  That specific plane is almost certainly the one that inspired the aircraft flown during the Miskatonic Antarctic Expedition in "At the Mountains of Madness".  Amundsen's expedition had cemented it's suitability for polar exploration.  On August 26th, 1930 Gronau and his crew completed an epic flight across the Atlantic with the D-1422 and landed in the Hudson at New York City.  For the rest of the year von Gonau made regular appearances in the news as he and his crew were feted at events across the United States and Europe.  Lovecraft penned ATMOM in February and March of 1931, and it's no great stretch to see Gronau's flight influencing Lovecraft's portrayal of the aerial assets in the Miskatonic expedition.

Vegvisir Pouch

Hamish "Half-Goat" Odinson brings us this beautiful leather pouch embossed with the traditional Vegvisir compass design.



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Viking Key

This recreation of a historic Viking key comes to us from Peregrine Studios.  It's cast in pewter from a mold taken from an actual artifact.