Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Cthulhu Tablet

Stuart Williams brings us this Cthulhu tablet necklace. It's press formed from epoxy clay in a mold cast from his sculpted master.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Alien Skull

From Rose Tursi, a human/alien hybrid skull. Proof that much of human history has been influenced by extraterrestrials, and that the inhabitants of Earth will breed with almost anything.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sweet Miranda

Julian DiMarco brings us the personal sidearm and holster of Jonas Able, the infamous scientist and adventurer. The leatherwork really comes to life thanks to the brass hardware and custom etching.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wings Over Antarctica

Here's the the art for the flyer publicizing the Miskatonic expedition's departure ceremony. The original was done by the talented Jason McKittrick. He deserves the credit for everything good about it, while any problems are the result of my tweaks.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Tome

Copper Centipede brings us this nicely done ancient tome. The gnarled look of the cover was created with layers of cotton fiber and glue over cardstock.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Mountains of Madness Project Update

I was able to get a lot of work on the Mountains of Madness project done over the weekend. I wrapped up the research into period radio sets and finalized the details of the gear carried by the Miskatonic expedition planes, so the blueprints are finished. You can click through on the JPG below for a higher resolution graphic, or download an 11 X 14 PDF over here.


In the end I combined some details of the radio sets carried by the first Byrd Antarctic expedition of 1928-1930 with the ones used by Charles Lindbergh and his wife during their Pacific survey flight in 1932. Although the Lindbergh flight occurred later in the timeline it's equipment (the Pan-American 10C) was first available in 1929. The 50 watt telegraphic transmitter on board the Miskatonic Wals would have given them a communications range of over 2000 km, while the emergency transceiver would have been limited to around 650 km.

Another addition to the blueprint is the "fuel-warming and quick-starting devices worked out by Pabodie". This material was based on the modifications made to aircraft used by both arctic and antarctic expeditions throughout the twenties. It includes a rubberized canvas shroud for insulating the engine pod during warmup, electrical heating elements for the engine oil, and a backup system of kerosene heaters and an ether injector.

In addition to finishing up the blueprint I tackled a few other aspects of the project. That included work on the design for the publicity cards announcing the expedition's departure ceremony and some early work on the Kickstarter video. I should have something to show for that effort in a few days.

Update: For some reason the PDF was set to private, despite my default setting of making everything public. You should be able to download it without a problem now.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Small Madness

From Allan Harwood, an incredibly detailed miniature of H.P. Lovecraft. This is easily the smallest depiction of the gentleman from Providence I've ever seen.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Shaping of Cthulhu

Dave Kirkby has fallen prey to the "Cthulhu Spring" meme and started sculpting an idol of the sleeping god. What makes his effort particularly interesting is that he's documenting the whole process.

"My other tools include a number of home made ones, shop bought and some dental tools that a very kind dentist gave to me years ago. I was given about a dozen in total as he said he can only use them for a short time before they have to be replaced so rather than chuck them away he donated them to my worthy cause. As a number of them turned out to be the same I traded a few for bits (students work well on barter systems), some I modified to different shapes by hammering or grinding them while the rest are perfectly good tools that I still have the pleasure to own. Over the years I’ve collected quite a few bits with weird and wonderful (if sharp) edges but there always seems to be a basic few I reach for when starting something."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Essex County Autopsy Report

I only recently stumbled across Dean Engelhardt's Cthulhu Reborn blog, which features reboots of some classic Call of Cthulhu scenarios. They include a slew of supporting paper props and handouts that really kick up the immersiveness of the stories, like this excellent Essex County Autopsy form.

"You don’t have to run many Cthulhu scenarios set in Lovecraft Country before you start having a need for a prop form describing an autopsy conducted by the Essex County Medical Examiner. Most of the core of fictional Lovecraft Country (in particular Arkham, Kingsport and Innsmouth) lie within the real-world Essex County of Massachusetts … so its the unfortunate authorities from that part of the world who get to investigate the somewhat-higher-than-average rate of bizarre murders and attacks by animals which seem to bear no relationship to any known species."

Click over there to find the high resolution version, in both light and heavy wear versions. If you're a Call of Cthulhu player you should probably plan on spending some time, since it's absolutely bursting with great game material.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Laroche Edition.

The springtime explosion of eldritch idols continues. The latest example is brought to us by Laroche. It takes some obvious cues from Randy Bowen's Cthulhu statuette, which isn't suprising considering it's iconic nature.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Book of Blood

Benjamin Castro brings us the scientific journal of Dr. Prometheus Evergreen. Sadly, his innovative hematological research is but a footnote in the scientific record because of its monstrous side effects.

There's a lot to like here, from the beatiful marbled end papers to the rich finish of the leather binding.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Mythos Seal

Julian DiMarco brings us this Mythos seal etched from brass and copper, part of a new project recreating his Curwin research case. He'll be following up this up with an etching tutorial.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Mountains of Madness Project Update

Here's the current version of the blueprint for the modified Dornier Wal aircraft used by the Miskatonic antarctic expedition. You can click through on the picture below for a slightly larger version, or head over here to download an 11" by 14.7" PDF. The odd size is caused by scaling down the 18" by 24" original to keep the file size reasonable.

In the upper left you'll find the rundown of the plane's electrical system. That information is based on the stock Wal's 24 volt configuration, modified by the addition of two heavy duty batteries and a backup two-stroke gasoline generator. In flight the craft can function perfectly well with the current from the airstream generator on the top deck. The secondary generator is used primarily to power the engine warming gear when the plane is on the ground.

The engine specs in the middle left are based on the ones used by Wolfgang von Gronau on his around the world flight. This is the one place where I engage in a bit of handwaving. Although the engines are close to stock I've assumed that the Miskatonic expedition used aviation gas with an octane rating of 93 or above. Fuel of that quality would be commonplace by WW II, powering the high compression engines of cutting edge fighters, but it was available within the timeframe of the story.

There are a few modifications to the stock airframe that aren't noticeable on casual examination. I've shortened the body and assumed that some of the steel frame has been replaced by machined aluminum, cutting the weight of the plane. Extending the lifting surface of the main wing helped generate more lift and significantly dropped the overall wing loading.

The blueprint is 98% complete and just needs a few more technical details, including the radio set. I've been able to find all kinds of information about period aviation transmitters and receivers used by military planes, but tracking down civilian models has been a little more difficult. Once I have that the blueprint should be finalized.

As always, your feedback is appreciated.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Johnson Edition.

Ah, spring. The trees are budding, the twittering tones of songbirds fill the air, and a flurry of Cthulhu idols suddenly make an appearance. The latest is from Carl Johnson, who brings us this clay statuette.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Lurking Horror

Artist Andrew Martin brings us "The Lurking Horror". I love works like this not only for the subject material, but because there's so much to be learned from them. Take a close look at how the eyes are formed, and the realistic lidding around them, and you'll get some valuable insights on how to recreate the same effect yourself.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Centipede Edition.

"Copper Centipede" brings us this fun little wooden Cthulhu idol. It has a wonderful primitive feel that you just couldn't get with an idol sculpted from epoxy or polymer clay.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Making of a Monster

Kristopher McClanahan brings us a look at the creation of a bottled specimen from start to finish. Starting from the concept of a carnivorous worm he details the initial sculpting...

Usually, when I'm doing a sculpture, I start with a pretty detailed sketch and then make up a wire framework, in this case, I didn't, I just dove right in, I had a pretty good image in my head, and it's a pretty compact thing, so I didn't do any real prep work, I just started sculpting. That may have been a mistake, without wirework in the legentacles, they may end up being too fragile for resting in a jar without them getting broken... We'll have to see if I can remedy that.

...and then goes through the details of applying the surface finish and bottling up the worm. If you've always wanted a bizarre specimen of your own you'll find a lot of helpful hints.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Moriarty Edition.

Irish artist Philip Moriarty brings us this wonderfully non-anthropomorphic depiction of Cthulhu. It reminds me of a martian from "The War of the Worlds", but I can't quite pin down which artist's interpretation I'm thinking of.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Spawnling

The talented Carim Nahaboo brings us this delicate fetal specimen. Head over to his blog and check out some of the other projects he's been working on.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Comes the Slender Man

"The Slender Man" is an ongoing interactive horror project that has the unusual distinction of being truly open source. Anyone can contribute to the mythos, and the overall canonicity of new material depends on how much of the community embraces it. You can get a feel for how bizarre the results of that approach are by paying a visit to the Slender Man Wiki.

One of the things I find fascinating about the Slender Man community is how much it mirrors the UFO subculture. Both incorporate certain landmark events into the overall narrative (i.e. Roswell crash, Stirling library fire) and then add layer upon layer of interpretation, casting them into a new light. Inevitably, that leads to the development of cliques that go to war with each other, which in turn produces charges that outside agents are intentionally spreading disinformation. What's amazing is that it still happens when everyone knows it's all fake to begin with. Whether that's a sign of creative brilliance on the part of Slender Man's community, or an indictment of human nature, is open to interpretation.

Andrew Wishart brings us these artifacts that are sure to add to the debate. Where they came from is a bit sketchy, but their existence would seem to indicate that there is indeed a cult or group of followers devoted to Slender Man.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Old Maps Online

R. Mark Adams was kind enough to send over a link to Old Maps Online. The site uses an interactive interface that allows you to travel to locations around the globe and then links to a database of stunningly high resolution historical maps to browse or download. The maps are interesting in and of themselves, but also make great bits of ephemera to include with any projects tied to a specific location.

Here's a look at the area around what would become Fairfield, NY from 1776. Eventually the town would become home to Barnett College, where Professor Henry Jones Jr. would spend much of his early career. At this point in time most of the country north of the Mohawk River was unmapped and unexplored by Europeans.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Nemesis Blade

After a too long absence, Julian DiMarco returns to our pages with the miserecorde of Angelette Baudin.

Traditionally, the artifacts known as Nemesis blades are identified either with their most famous victim (as in the case of Evissers bane) or with their most dramatic wielder, as is the case with The miserecorde of Angelette Baudin. It is assumed that all of the Nemesis blades contain within them, or bound up in their fabrication some type of angelic or demonic spiritual intelligence. How this is undertaken remains a mystery for the most part, as the 'Nemesis template' is still being researched and investigated by the Academy. What is known about these intelligences however is that they choose their wielders, and have intricate standards that are applied to any situation. The blades have been known to abandon their wielders if the act does not meet the geas of the being bound into the weapon. Often, the blade will, through a series of events that some academics suspect are manipulated by the intelligences themselves, come into the possession of a person in need of a blades' particular specialty.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Zedock Specimen

Tóbal brings us this interesting specimen from the collection of famed cryptozoologist Octavius Zedock. The figure itself is nice, but it's the supplemental ephemera that really makes this project come to life.

One particular item I want to draw attention to is the storage box itself. It's an off the shelf craft item, but the distressed paint finish does a great job of disguising it. That's a nice touch.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Cthulhu Tome

Ars Obscura Bookbinders bring us this custom made tome with a stylized embossment of Cthulhu. The hand crafted leather binding was designed by Harold Arthur McNeill.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Skyrim Daedric Sword

From David Carpenter, a detailed build video for his recreation of a Daedric Sword from "Skyrim". It's mind boggling what a skilled artisan can do with EVA foam.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Amazing World of Ukronium 1828

I've always had a fondness for the stories of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and the early pulps. When the initial wave of retro-futuristic "steampunk" artifacts arrived last decade I almost instantly fell in love. Artists were creating beautiful rayguns, flickering laboratory gear, and infernal devices that brought those worlds to life in a unique new way. It was a combination of the "worn future" aesthetic of the original "Star Wars" with an attention to craftsmanship that harkened back to the Victorian era. It was glorious.

And, like all wonderful things, it wouldn't last.

Today the world of "steampunk" art is an embarrassing ghetto. With a few notable exceptions the "artists", and I use that term very loosely, are incompetent hacks. Most of the work infesting the genre consists of thrift store finds covered in brass gears slapped on with a big sloppy dollop of epoxy. It's ugly, shoddy stuff without any real creativity, craftsmanship, or artistic merit, well deserving of the "steamjunk" epithet.

But now and again something pops up that makes me forget all my bitterness over what happened to steampunk and reignites my love for what it can be. A genre that plays with the past's dreams of the future and our present perceptions of the possibilities of the past. Something beautiful and filled with wonder, brought to life with flair and attention to detail.

ToNToN CoPT of Cré’à’Vapeur collaborated with Cristophe of Petites-Curiosités to create a variety of interactive steampunk displays for Ukronium 1828, a new gaming shop in Lyon, France. All of the displays are fantastic, and you really should head over to ToNToN's blog to view the full gallery. What makes this project so likeable is the whole-hearted commitment to total theming by both the artists and the store. It's very reminiscent of the design work done by Disney's Imagineers at their best, blending traditional prop creation with interactive electronics.

Of all the projects the Time Machine is my favorite. The design work and craftsmanship that went into it are outstanding on their own...

...but it's also animated, triggering a realignment of the rings every fifteen minutes.

You can see videos of all the interactive displays in action over on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Great Old One

Heiner Stiller brings us this small resin bust of H.P. Lovecraft. It's available from the Space Art site in Germany.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Henderson Edition.

Fox Henderson brings us this very nice Cthulhu statue. I really like the engraved detail and geometric embellishment. You can follow along as the sculpt comes together at his blog.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Cultist Chest

For years I've been featuring things like vampire hunting kits designed to fight malevolent occult forces, but what about the other side? Even the servants of dark powers have to appreciate the benefits of a well organized collection of tools. The gifted Jason McKittrick brings us an example of just such a thing with his cultist's chest, featuring a variety of implements including a sacrificial knife, Cthulhu idol, and a ring of power.

The chest and all of it's contents are currently available on Ebay.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Reality Show Casting

Sharp Entertainment is the production company behind dozens of reality shows, ranging from "Man v. Food" to "Doomsday Preppers". They're currently looking for some diehard collectors of horror memorabilia to participate in an upcoming program. I was contacted by Associate Producer Jessica Ribeiro, but given my love of privacy it's not something I'm personally comfortable with.

That said, it would be a wonderful opportunity for an aficionado to show off their treasures. I'm sure many of the respondents will be mainstream horror fans, but I would love to see some Lovecraftian collectors get a bit of exposure. If it sounds like something you would be interested in you can contact Ms. Ribeiro via email at:

The Devil Fish

Nick Storm brings us this collection of Deep One related items from the South Seas. It's currently available on Ebay. I like the fact the set is pristine, leaving any aging up to the end user.