Friday, April 29, 2011

Tribal Charms

Pirkleations brings us these shamanic charms. Despite appearances they aren't wooden, but press-molded epoxy putty.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vampire Hunting Kit

The gifted Patrick Reilly brings us this very nice Blomberg-style vampire hunting kit. I really like the intricate compartmentalization, which includes the kind of restraints you would find in a real case. That's a detail that a lot of kit creaters overlook. Loose bottles and tools are a giveaway the project was only meant to look good without any regard for it's actual usefullness.

Supposedly these types of kits were produced during the 19th century for those traveling to Europe. Either there was a belief in vampires back then, or they were simply made as a novelty for European travelers. Although many of these kits reside in museums, some claim they are all fakes (produced in the 20th century). Some claim that they were indeed around during the 19th century. Either way, I thought it was a pretty cool conversation piece to I decided to try my hand at making one.

The kit includes -

- 1849 Colt pocket pistol
- 10 ball bullets (concealed in one of the compartments)
- a brass and copper powder flask
- .31 cal ball bullet mold
- one percussion cap tin
- wooden mallet
- two wooden stakes
- two mini crucifix stakes
- Rosary beads (concealed in on of the compartments)
- one metal and wood crucifix
- one dagger
-1873 bible
- Knotted rope
-"Vampyre Killing Kit Handbook"
- Map of Romania
- one bottle of Holy Water
- fifteen phials of apotropaic syrums, potions, and repellents.
-One syringe

Phials contents include -
- Holy Oil
- Garlic Powder
- Liquid Garlic
- Consecrated earth
- Wolfsbane
- Hawthorn
- Brimstone
- Wild Rose
- Root of Mandrake
- Elixir of Vitrol
- Vampyre syrum
- Poppy Seeds
- Mustard Seeds
- Romanian Millet
- Lunar Caustic

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bring Me the Head of Markus Lindstrom!

Italian artist Giulio Artioli brings us the final remains of the unfortunate Prof. Markus Lindstrom . Browse the rest of his site and you'll find some other interesting specimens.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Demon Skull

At great personal risk, Melita Curphy brings us this colorful demon skull . The skull is cast in polyurethane based on a master made from animal parts. Does it count as kitbashing if the bits were once alive?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Grimoire

French artist "cortaxCuir" brings us this wonderful leather grimoire. I'm not familiar enough with leatherwork to known how that mottled texture along the edges was created, but it's a wonderful effect.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Reproduction Wax Cylinders

Rev. Marx has kicked off a new project- a steampunk phonograph for an upcoming con LARP. The first installment of his build writeup is a cheap and clever way to make faux Edison wax cylinders. It would be awesome to use a genuine custom cut cylinder and vintage player as props in a game, but fudging it with a good looking repro and pre-recorded sound clips is considerably easier on the budget.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Lycanthropes

Christopher Chambers was kind enough to send over some rough drafts of a prop journal he's working on and asked for some feedback. I thought it might be interesting to have everyone offer their thoughts, and Mr. Chambers was very supportive of the idea.

I was wondering if you would take a look at my prop journal documents, created for a LARP, of a werewolf hunters studies of the biology of the creatures. I am trying to make them look as realistic as possible and hoping that they are getting close. I am currently attempting to draw more anatomical sketches for more pages. If you have time, I would appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks a ton.

Here are two of the roughs he sent over:

I think the artwork is outstanding, but the regularity of the text immediately jumped out at me. It looks far too blocky and neatly ruled. Having encountered the exact same problem in some of my own work I think the best approach for a journal-style presentation is to actually write out the text. Yes, it's tedious, but nothing beats actual handwriting. As an example, here's a journal page from the incredibly gifted Francois Launet (found in his amazing gallery of Lovecraftian art at Goominet).

Notice all the little variations in the text? How the stroke length and character orientation shifts? Even when sentences are repeated they're subtly different, a natural byproduct of the failings of the flesh. The incredibly powerful pattern recognition routines in our brain picks up on that almost instantly.

If there simply isn't enough time to write everything out by hand the best alternative is to use a font scanned from actual handwriting with enough alternate characters to add some randomness to the text body. Ideally, you would then go over the text blocks by hand and tweak it even more, something the Liquid filter and Jitter options in Photoshop and GIMP are ideal for.

So what do you think? How could Mr. Chambers improve his project?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Travis Escamilla brings us this bit of preserved tentacular nastiness. Browse the rest of his gallery for a variety of other preserved specimens.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Necronomicon, Rusinov Edition

A. C. Rusinov brings us this recreation of the dread Necronomicon, complete with a wonderfully stylized bookstand. It's an interesting blend of the classic grimoire style Necronomicon and the fleshy "Evil Dead" interpretation.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Choco-thulhu Rises

From the gumdrop and spun sugar bedecked depths of R'lyeh comes Choco-thulhu! Jason McKittrick brings us this Cthulhu idol cast in solid milk chocolate, just in time for Easter.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

De Vermis Mysteriis

Rev. Marx has posted a build log for his recreation of the infamous De Vermis Mysteriis for the indy film "Doctor Glamour". The detailed descriptions and profuse illustrations make it a veritable tutorial on creating your own.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Land Down Under, Down Under

The State Library of New South Wales has posted a selection of pictures from the 1911 Australian expedition to Antarctica. There are some incredible pictures in the collection that could easily be repurposed as artifacts from the Miskatonic Antarctic expedition.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Black Book

Buzzardbarf brings us this custom bound black book. I love the mix of textures, from the course stitching to the frayed edges of the wrinkled black leather cover.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tsathoggua Statuette

Joe Broers has really outdone himself with this statuette of Tsathoggua. The quality of his sculpting is secondary only to the quality of his research.

In “The Tale of Satampra Zeiros” an idol of Tsathoggua is described as follows:
He was very squat and pot-bellied, his head was more like a monstrous toad than a deity, and his whole body was covered with an imitation of short fur, giving somehow a vague sensation of both the bat and the sloth. His sleepy lids were half-lowered over his globular eyes; and the tip of a queer tongue issued from his fat mouth.

Later, in Smith's "The Seven Geases" (1933), Tsathoggua is described again:
In that secret cave in the bowels of Voormithadreth…abides from eldermost eons the god Tsathoggua. You shall know Tsathoggua by his great girth and his batlike furriness and the look of a sleepy black toad which he has eternally. He will rise not from his place, even in the ravening of hunger, but will wait in divine slothfulness for the sacrifice.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I have about a dozen sets of the Miskatonic University notebooks and postcards available for anyone who would like extras. Each includes three notebooks and three postcards identical to the ones included in the complete Miskatonic package.

The pocket notebooks measure 3.5" by 5" (8.89 cm by 12.7 cm) and have a saddle-stitch binding, 1/4" rounded corners, heavyweight cover, and 32 pages of high quality lined paper. All materials are 100% recycled and the cover designs are printed with environmentally friendly soy ink.

The three postcards are 4" by 6" vintage-style painted color prints of the Orne Library, Front Campus, and Middle Campus of Miskatonic University. The backs feature period layouts ideal for prop use. If you're using them as regular postcards please ignore the 20s era one cent postage rate. Heh.

Update: My thanks to everyone that ordered.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fae Under Glass

BrassnBedlam brings us a display of preserved fairy specimens. If I'm not mistaken they were made with the skeletons from a dollar store halloween garland, yet another example of how interesting props don't have to be expensive.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Contemporary Vampire Hunting

Howard Gribble brings us this contemporary take on the classic vampire hunting kit on display at the NRA's headquarters in Virginia. The coffin-shaped case is a bit over the top, but the craftsmanship, from the ebony case to the detailed engraving on the revolver, is amazing.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Not Quite Human

Mitchell Klein brings us this unearthly mummy found at a sideshow appreciation event.

Based on the picture alone I would guess this is a vintage-style paper mache gaff. The classic technique used layers of wet paper saturated with adhesive over a basic skeletal armature. In the old days carnies would use discarded newspapers and flour to create the mache mixture, but these days simple white or carpenters glue provide a better, mold-resistant alternative. As the paper dries, a process that can take a considerable amount of time, it produces a characteristic wrinkling effect that recreates the look of mummified skin and flesh.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Upon My Desk the Dark Lord Rests

It's not a prop, but this Cthulhu pencil holder from Daniel Ritthanondh is a fantastic sculpt.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Miskatonic Pennant Fix

So, the Miskatonic pennant. One group of folks love it- the ones that didn't have their package crushed flat during shipping. The ones receiving mailers that did get stomped on the way through the post aren't nearly as happy. Their pennants are arriving with sharp creases, which is exactly the kind of problem I was trying to avoid by wrapping the banners around the flatpacked items.

Obviously, that approach didn't work.

There are two possible fixes for the problem. The first is to flatten out the creases using an iron set on low heat. Place the banner face down on a flat surface, place a sheet of paper on top of it, and then apply the iron. Based on my tests that should fix any mild creasing.

The second approach should work for even heavily creased pennants. This involves rolling up the pennant and immersing it in slightly warm water. Let the felt sit in the water for a few seconds so that it gets fully saturated and the fibers relax. Then spread it out flat on a horizontal surface and let it air dry. There may be some slight curling of the edges as the felt dries, but that's easily fixed with an iron. If you want your pennant stiff enough to display horizontally on the wall just apply spray starch to the back and iron on low heat.

Again, I apologize to anyone who had their pennant mangled in the mail. In the future I'll be using a hard-shell mailer for goods like this.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Miskatonic University Update

Everyone who pledged to the Miskatonic University project should have received a mailing notice for their prop sets. If you haven't, please drop me a line.

The feedback so far has been great, particularly in regards to the felt pennant. One of the comments I've been hearing repeatedly is surprise at just how big it is, which probably means I should have played up the fact it's 36" long a bit more. The one negative point I've come across is something I should have caught back in January- the art for the back cover of the notebooks doesn't have proper entry fields.

There aren't any extra sets available, but if you're interested in getting some of the leftover notebooks and postcards I'll be posting a PayPal link later today or tomorrow.

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Carrick Edition.

Paul Carrick is one of the best artists working in the Lovecraftian genre, and for several years he's been offering a wonderfully sinuous interpretation of the traditional Cthulhu idol. Now he's taken things to a whole new level by casting it in rich, dark chocolate.

Update: Sweet fancy Moses, I didn't realize this was an April Fools gag. I just assumed Mr. Carrick had swapped out his regular casting silicone for food-grade silicone and actually done a run of chocolate Cthulhu idols. It's funny, but I'm genuinely disappointed that it isn't real. Because whoever does do it is going to make bucketloads of money.

Update, Part Deux: I just received a note that there just might be a real Choco-thulhu from another artist in the works. I don't want to spill the cocoa beans (Ha! See what I did there?) just yet, but the stars may be right after all.

Browse around the rest of his blog, or his main website, and you'll find lots of other nifty stuff.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Evidence Scales

The very talented Florian Mellies has posted templates for the evidence scales he used for the prop shoot I featured earlier this month . They would come in very handy for anyone doing an archeological or crime scene scenario. Bonus feature- they're available in both Metric and Imperial measurements.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Starry Wisdom Membership Card

Sith Sheriff Brody has been adding new Lovecraftian paper props to this thread on the Replica Prop Forum . Since access to the RPF requires membership, he was kind enough to give me permission to repost this Starry Wisdom membership card. Just click through on the image for the full sized version.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Harris Edition.

Annie Harris brings us this fantastic rendition of Cthulhu . I love how it avoids the all too common grotesque approach and offers a unique take on Lovecraft's original concept.

One of the reasons this delightful mashup of Bugs Bunny with the dread Elder God really resonates is because of their shared role as occult tricksters. Despite dozens of references in the canon not many people pick up on H.P.'s subtle depiction of Cthulhu as a Loki or Coyote-like trickster figure. And rest assured, the Warner Brothers cartoons demonstrate an impressive familiarity with Mythos concepts. Like the "rabbit hole" that's clearly a dimensional gateway into non-Euclidean space.