Friday, August 31, 2012

WIP Vampire Hunting Kit

"Fear Me December" was kind enough to share some pictures of her work-in-progress vampire hunting kit. The bottled supplies are quite nice, with interesting labels and a nice weathering job. And you can never go wrong with those pieces of themed ephemera.

I'm not so sure about the stake, but I've never liked hand trimmed branches for this sort of thing. On the bright side, at least the stake is narrow enough to actually slip between the ribs. Large diameter stakes seem impractical and potentially fatal for the user. A huge honking stake requires considerable force, and a huge honking mallet,  in order to crack through the ribs and reach the heart. The Fairbairn-Sykes approach makes more sense- something slim and tapered that can slide right in.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Innsmouth Gold

Brandon Zimmerman brings us piles and piles of Innsmouth gold from the Marsh refinery. There are few sensations as enjoyable as coins running through your fingers. Then again, exposure to these particular coins may not be conducive to your long term health.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mi-Go Brain Cylinder

Calum MacDonald brings us this nicely done Mi-Go brain cylinder. Just the thing for crossing vast interstellar gulfs.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Faux Historical Landmark Sign

This faux historical landmark sign is brought to us by "Creeepycathy" at the Halloween Forum. It's made from styrofoam with craft foam lettering. The text is appropriately over the top for Halloween, but the concept is ideal for live action games.

Monday, August 27, 2012


It's rare that a Kickstarter project catches my interest, but "Whenabouts" is an intriguing idea. In essence it's a multi-media adventure game targeted at teenagers. What makes it unusual, and of interest here, is that the story unfolds via a collection of physical props and ephemera sent to the participants by mail.

Similar ideas have come up in discussion here a few times. Two of the cooler suggestions mentioned in some of those exchanges, the crate-as-story and journal-as-story, both make an appearance in the Whenabouts concept. That had me really jazzed about the project, but as I read on some of my initial enthusiasm started to wane.

In many ways Whenabouts is just a high-touch ARG, differentiated from the dozens of current online games solely by the heavy use of postal contact. From that perspective it's not all that exciting, particularly at such a high buy-in price. I like the idea of an exploratory experience that relies on props as the primary storytelling channel. Getting a mysterious VHS tape in the mail is cool! Receiving a "virtual" VHS tape that consists of a code that lets me unlock a VCR mini-game on a website? Meh.

Admittedly, that's not an altogether fair criticism on my part. It's rather like being upset because they cooked up a chocolate cake when I wanted vanilla pudding. This is a game marketed at teens, and I'm sure they would view having a heavy online component as a feature, not a bug. Then again, it strikes me that the kind of teenager that would be into a game like this would love the idea of having to dig up a real VCR for that obsolete tape.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dragonpriest Mask

Jarman Props brings us this Dragonpriest mask from Skyrim. Dremel + hours of time = rough iron finish.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dragon Skeleton

The talented Hajime Emoto brings us this masterfully mounted dragon skeleton. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Atlantean Diving Suit

Glenn DeCesare brings us this incredible Atlantean diving suit. Despite the insane level of detail it's just a theming prop at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Necklace of Human Teeth

Why wait to collect a single tooth from under a pillow? Better to take them all at once. Mary Safro bring us this disturbing necklace of human teeth. The translucence is a nice effect.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mummified Severed Head

Australian artist Luke Polti brings us this incredibly detailed mummified head. Take a look at the large version of the picture to get a feel for how well done the anatomy is.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Steampunk Diving Helmet

The Rev. Marx brings us the long-delayed fifth installment in his Steampunk diving helmet build log. The end result is quite impressive, thanks in no small part to the lighting system.
This has probably been one of the most complex builds I have done to date, and the results were well worth the effort. I am very proud of this piece. Many of the techniques I used on it were experimental, so obviously a second attempt at something like this would probably show some improvements, but over all I couldn't be happier with it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

From the Depths

Artist Terry Lattimer brings us a "Sea Monk". With evidence like this it amazes me how mainstream science can continue to deny the existence of aquatic humanoids.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cthulhu Cultist Artifact.

When life hands you lemons you make lemonade. Or combustible lemons.

The prolific Allan Harwood suffered a disastrous accident while experimenting with a new technique. Instead of trashing the whole thing, he turned it into this Cthulhu cultist artifact. The worn stone texture is fantastic.

Friday, August 17, 2012


After a far too long absence the talented Tiffany Vincent returns. She brings us this amazingly detailed reproduction of the McMartin spellbook from the "Books of Elsewhere" series by Jacqueline West. The source material is about as far from Lovecraft as you can get, but her craftsmanship is impeccable. It doesn't hurt that she had assistance from the author.

I found that the second book in the series, Spellbound, was to feature a spellbook. I decided making this would be a great summer project for my niece and me. I e-mailed Jacqueline through her site, and she was kind enough to reply with a fantastic description of the book.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Pirate Codex

Marsella 'Sarednab' Pasquale brings us this reproduction of the Pirate Codex from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series. It's bound in a handmade leather cover with iron hinges. All the calligraphy was done by hand on tapa cloth from the South pacific.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quick and Dirty Prop Specimens

"Ravenworks69" at the Halloween Forum gives us a tutorial on creating quick and easy lab specimens using toy animals. For such a simple technique the results are surprisingly good and ideal for a quick and dirty bottled specimen. For the price of a cup of coffee and a few minutes worth of effort you can't beat it.

If you're willing to expend a little more effort these could be downright amazing. The first thing I thought of was my go-to material for wet specimen props: liquid latex carpet adhesive. Just sponging on a layer and rubbing it once it dries would produce some interesting webbing and texture effects.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cthulhu Fhtagn! McKittrick Edition

The gifted Jason McKittrick brings us another in his series of Cthulhu idols. This one is a limited edition that will only be available on August 20th, the anniversary of Lovecraft's birthday.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Have You Seen the Yellow Sign?

Michael Stueber brings us this copper and brass token of the Yellow Sign. It's based on the alternate version of the sigil I came up with a while ago.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Tooth Fairy

"AyahuascaAyahuasca" brings us this morbid set of trophies.

There's something about a collection of bloody teeth that's incredibly disturbing. I can admire the craftsmanship of a severed finger or a mummified skull gaff without the slightest sense of dread, but the thought of finding a set of these under any circumstances gives me the willies.  Given the human propensity for nightmares about our teeth falling out  I suspect the visceral reaction is hard-wired into our brains. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Deeps

Makeup artist Nick DeRosa brings us this concept sculpt of an underwater humanoid. The bright colors are a nice contrast to the normally dark tones used for those suffering from the Innsmouth look.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mummified Vampire Head

Skygunbros brings us this in-progress shot of a mummified vampire head sculpted over a basic Bucky-style plastic skull. Look closely and you'll have a pretty solid guide to creating your own. The eye is automatically drawn to the exaggerated zygomatic arch and orbit, which in turn flows into the pointed ears for a very predatory look. It may seem trivial, but the treatment of the sunken eyelids is really well done. It's hard to capture the look of dessicated flesh in that area without the figure looking too skeletal.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cthulhu Bracelet

Stuart Williams brings us this interesting Cthulhu bracelet. I really like the stylized Cthulhu sigil.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Shining Trapezohedron

Art glass producer Mystic Prism brings us this shining trapezohedron, sculpted from obsidian. It's a follow on to the boiled glass version they produced back in 2010.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Joe Broers has really outdone himself with this Dagon idol. The detail and overall theming, embracing the symbolism of both the real world and fantasy depictions of the god, is fantastic.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Great Ships

Kurt Hockenbury was kind enough to send over a link to "The Triumph of the Passenger Ship"*. It's an amazing online collection at the University of Southern Maine covering the history of great liners that once sailed the seas, from their earliest days to the pinnacle of their development in the mid-20th century.  The exhibit is filled with useful resources ranging from copies of liner ephemera to detailed deckplans.

This is just a small section from one of the four cutaway views available. Unless you have naval experience it's hard to appreciate just how jam-packed an ocean going vessel actually is. These give you a good idea of the immensity of a ship's working spaces.

I would humbly suggest that a love of deckplans is one of the defining characteristics of gamers. In many ways a ship is just a floating dungeon, filled with potential adventure while being isolated enough to allow some control over story developments.

Being able to cross the ocean in a matter of hours is an amazing technological achievement. That said, seeing the luxurious appointments of a smoking room like this demonstrates that we gave something up in the process. Including the very idea of a room dedicated solely to smoking tobacco.

* Mr. Hockenbury actually sent this to me back in May. Somehow I managed to draft the post and then forget about it. My apologies to him for the delay.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Lee Edition.

The gifted Simon Lee brings us this wonderfully alien Cthulhu idol. Just looking at it makes me weep at my own lack of sculpting ability.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Illuminated LARP Weapons

I'm not a huge fan of traditional fantasy LARPs, but these illuminated weapons from the Fantasy Forge armory are pretty cool. Combining combat safe props with internal illumination is an impressive technical achievement.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Aberration of Peru

Mexican artist Isaac S. brings us this unusual preserved specimen. I love finding international sites with cool stuff like this.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Daring Edition.

Nick Daring of the Replica Prop Forum brings us this outstanding Cthulhu idol based on Lovecraft's original sketch. The thread includes his initial design sketches, rough sculpts, and details of using a multi-part mother to throw a mold off his master sculpt.