Friday, February 28, 2014

Fossilized Fairy

Tóbal brings us a fossilized fairy specimen.  Yet more evidence that so-called "science" is hiding the true history of the world.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Magic Circle

Another magic circle for your occult props.  Just right click and open in another tab to download the full sized version.

Someone dropped me an email asking why I don't distress these designs.  They're intentionally clean in order to make customization easier.  You can always degrade an image, but it's impossible to clean up one that's been aged.  With a basic image you can bleed the line work to give a more hand-drawn appearance, layer on texture, and hand color the design any way you want.  Here's an example using the image above.

This took about ten minutes to do in Photoshop, but you could do it equally quickly using something like GIMP.  Keep in mind that I'm a hack with no real natural talent.  Someone who actually knows what they're doing could do a far better job in the same timeframe. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Idol of Shub-Niggurath

Copper Centipede returns with an idol of Shub-Niggurath, the "Black Goat of the Woods With a Thousand Young".  I like it's strong callbacks to traditional fertility idol imagery.  It's the kind of thing that could be uncovered at an archeological dig with much excitement.  Except for the one person who realizes that what it depicts has disturbing connotations.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Traveler's Tales

Ethis Crea returns to our pages with a wonderful time-travelling tableaux.  The catalyst for this project was to tie together his other art and prop projects into a unified whole.  You really need to follow the link to appreciate just how cool this is.  English-speakers will find the translation of the original French page useful.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Skyrim Dwarven Dagger

Daniel O'Keefe brings us this amazing recreation of a Dwarven dagger from Skyrim.  The craftsmanship is impeccable, and the metallic finish on the resin looks perfect.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Arcane Circle

Today we have an arcane circle for dressing up eldritch scrolls and such.  Just right click and open up in a new tab to download the full sized version.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hellraiser Cube Internal Gearing

One of the things I enjoyed about the Hellraiser Mythos is that the puzzle cube is an impossible object.  For it's clockwork mechanism to actually work the way it's depicted on screen the gearing has to exist in an n-dimensional space.  The internal mechanism must have parts that slide in and out of 3-dimensional space to account for all the gymnastics it performs on screen.  Sure, you can excuse that behavior with "It's magic!", but that seems to fly in the face of LeMarchand's engineering expertise.

This was an attempt to account for one particular on-screen movement, the rotation of alternating prisms along the vertical axis seen in the first three films.  Just right click and open the image in another tab to access the full-size graphic.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Hunters

A remote archeological dig.  Strange artifacts that shouldn't be there.  The terrifying realization of just what those artifacts mean.   We've talked before about using props to tell a story, but Dale Bigford has really outdone himself with his latest project.

In 1932, following the discoveries of the Natufian culture by Dorothy Garrod in the western Judean Mountains in the late 1920’s, Miskatonic University funded an expedition. The goal: to further explore the culture of this unknown society of hunter-gatherers, now credited with the invention of farming itself, and uncover the extent to which their society roamed in the holy land.
Professor Harold Windsor of Miskatonic University’s Archeological Department together with his protégé Mr. Albert Holmes, proceeded to Greater Lebanon to conduct surveys. Professor Windsor’s target: the triple mountain peaks of Mount Har-Hermon which straddles the Syrian/Lebanon border.

One of the things I really like is that there's nothing overtly Lovecraftian.  The artifacts are realistic conjectural items that don't seem the least bit unusual.  It's the tiny details, like the stone used for a blade and the wear patterns on it, that help build up the horrific details of what it all means.

The team, comprised of very reluctant local laborers, quickly uncovered what appeared to be the oldest religious temple complex yet known. Adding to this profound discovery was the fact that relics discovered onsite (one of the extremely rare Natufian tool caches) strongly suggested that this site was built by the Natufians. Until then no one believed a Mesolithic society was capable of organizing a labor force to construct a site as sophisticated as the one Professor Windsor had found. It was on par, and in ways surpassing the level of design and construction of the megalithic henges of Northern Europe, which it predated by 6,800 years. 

The elation however was short lived.

The site soon yielded a horrifying discovery: human bodies in profusion and the unmistakable signs of human sacrifice. A body presumably freshly killed had remained on the temples alter where it had died for over 12,000 years. In addition the bodies in and around the site all displayed signs of violent death followed by burning. The site had apparently been raided and destroyed in the middle of a ceremony.

Follow the link and check out the whole project.  It's an outstanding example of storytelling using props.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Big Book of Madness

 Crazy people create amazingly bizarre notebooks and journals filled with distilled insanity.  That's a trope that shows up in a variety of novels and movies, with varying degrees of believability and effectiveness.  John Doe's obsessive journals are one of the highlights of "Seven", helping to push the film to even higher levels of weirdness.  A great recent example is the journal discovered in HBO's "True Detective".  It ups the strangeness quotient of an already bizarre case by generously dipping into the territory of "The King in Yellow".

That's what I was thinking about when I stumbled on this thread on Reddit.  KingTycoon created a scrapbook built on the idea of a modern Dungeons and Dragons style spellbook.  In that context, looked at by gamers in an RPG discussion forum, it's an interesting project.  Outside of that, it's the kind of thing that leads to calls to the police.  The pages are filled with seemingly random things linked together by images and scrawled writing.  You can almost see the thought process of the person behind it, and it's downright bizarre.  Which, of course, means it's awesome.  Check out the full album.

Crafting something like this is time consuming, but you can't beat the impression it makes.  A couple of hours, a stack of old magazines, and next thing you know you've got your own Big Book of Madness.  The mashup nature of it's presentation makes is easy to incorporate clues and story background.  Best of all, it just gets better with time.  Add a few pages whenever you have a few hours and the weirdness just keeps growing.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Zimmerman Edition.

Brandon Zimmerman brings us this unusual Cthulhu idol.  It manages to seem both aquatic and diseased at the same time.

Due to the high level of oxidation, Miskatonic University scholars believe the idol, as well as its two counterparts, to have been submerged for well over 300 years. They are believed to have been originally brought to the Galapagos by Spanish pirates. Recovered ship logs from the late 1680s show that pirates commonly used the Galapagos as hideouts, burying their stolen goods in the islands' countless coves and craters. The Spanish in particular were known for this, often referring to the mist shrouded islands as “Las Encantadas,” the bewitched islands. Where the pirates originally discovered these three idols remains a mystery to this day.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Glass of Leng

An occult design for dressing up scrolls and such.  Just right click to open up the full sized version.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Period Paper

Propmaker Ross MacDonald is justifiably famed for the quality of his paper props.  He's posted a look at what goes into producing some of the period pieces used in "Boardwalk Empire".  One of the takeaways is how clean the imagery from letterpress work is.  Via Eric Hart's Prop Agenda.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Long Live the King

The prolific Jason McKittrick has apparently fallen under the sway of Carcosa.  His latest project is the King in Yellow, brought to life in the form of an idol.  It's available for the next 72 hours.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Vintage Medical Chest

Donern was poking around in his grandfather's attic when he discovered this vintage Japanese medical chest.  The paperwork inside apparently dates it to 1932, and there's some speculation in the comments that it may have been a naval first aid kit.  History porn like this provides a great example of how prop items dating to the same era should look.  Plus, you know, it's really cool.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Personal Incinerator

James Pocklington brings us this handy personal incinerator, perfect for handling a variety of situations.  If only a few of these had been on hand during the initial experiments with the Tillinghast illuminator...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Classic Coins

Alpha Officium is a one man operation that specializes in historic and custom coins.  It caters to the SCA market with event tokens, but they're more than willing to strike any design you can come up with.  More importantly, the monthly specials allow you to score a great selection of historic coins for prop use at a very reasonable price.  They're great for tableaux displays and running through your fingers. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Alien Fetus

Sinister Rouge Make Up brings us this fun little alien fetus

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Derington Editon

For close to two years Nick Derington has been working on a limited edition Cthulhu idol.  He's now in the home stretch of finishing the project, and it's absolutely stunning.  The idol itself is a wonderful piece of work that builds on Lovecraft's original sketch, but Mr. Derington went far beyond that.  He's produced some impressive packaging for the piece, and then topped it off with a custom illustrated edition of "The Call of Cthulhu".

Here's a work in progress shot of the idol itself, including the felted wood base.  

The statue comes inside a protective bag...

...which is in turn nestled inside this custom printed packaging.

All that is accompanied by the source material, a limited edition featuring eleven illustrations from the hand of Mr. Derington.

You can follow the entire development process of the project in his thread at the Replica Prop Forum.  I suspect that in years to come this will be viewed as one of the definitive Mythos prop runs, akin to Stephen Hickman's Cthulhu statuette.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hellraiser Puzzle Box Initial Movement

Yet another LeMarchand folio design.  This time it's a diagram of the initial movement in solving the puzzle box.  Just right click and open in another tab to get the full size version.  If you have access to a large format printer this looks particularly nice paired with one of the internal mechanisms I posted earlier. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lord of Order

 More Hellraiser goodness.  This time it's a depiction of Leviathan, the Lord of the Labyrinth.  Right click to open up the full sized version in another tab, or download it from Google Docs over here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cthulhu Fhtagn! PRTrooper Edition.

PRTrooper brings us this Easter Island style Cthulhu idol.  Not many people know that the deforestation of the island was due to a shoggoth infestation.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The LeMarchand Engine

Another design from the old Hellraiser folios.  This is the one of the clockwork mechanisms that drives the box.  Right click to open up the full sized graphic, or download it from Google Docs.

This design is sized at around 8" by 8".  There are some minor artifacts, most notably from pasting in the brasswork for the gear in the lower left.  It's not too distracting, but applying some weathering should cover it up.  In my defense, this was originally drawn using an archaic copy of Paint Shop Pro back when RAM was still being measured in Megs.  I believe the font used was Glyphis.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Stone Sigil

The prolific Copper Centipede returns with this occult sigil carved from stone

The sigil consists of what appears to be a 5-armed, 3 eyed starfish-like creature (or creature's head...?) passing through a thick circular boundary, forming an inverted pentacle. The figure transcending the bounds of the circle may be interpreted as a depiction of the entity phasing from one realm into another. This implies it may have been used as part of a most sinister summoning ritual.

The imagery shares features associated with the Elder Sign (an upright pentagram-like symbol of protection from the Old Ones) and descriptions of the Black Goat of the Woods (also affiliated with/known as Shub-Niggurath). It also bears resemblance to the Sigil of Baphomet suggesting it may be of more modern origin, likely from an underground new age cult of amalgamated ideology centered around the worship of an entity sharing attributes of the more traditional Satan and the unwholesome and perverse Black Goat. One shudders to think where this may be going on...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hellraiser Folio Design

This is one of my old Hellraiser folio designs.  They were a collection of parchment sheets featuring conjectural drawings from the hand of Philip LeMarchand.  This was back before the sheer inanity of the Hellraiser mythos became too much to bear.  You should be able to right click and open the image in another tab to nick the full resolution version.  If not, I've posted the high rez image to Google Docs.  This was originally sized to print out at roughly 10" by 10", but you could push it a bit further without too much trouble.

If you're willing to put in a little effort this could make a very nice framed display piece.  Just print it out on some aged paper and then hand tint the design elements as you see fit.  I was able to get some really nice results using colored pencils, particularly with the degree markings.  If you lightly fill in each block with red or brown and then edge shade it you get a very cool looking effect.  I'd love to see what you come up with.

If you like this sort of thing I have dozens of other designs I can post.  All I ask is that you provide credit and don't sell anything incorporating it, in line with the Creative Commons license for everything here on Propnomicon.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


The immensely talented Don Simpson brings us this curious pendant.  One of the things I love about his art is how each piece seems to have mystical importance.  He has a real gift for crafting items of power.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hail to the King

Jason McKittrick returns, bearing gifts from strange Carcosa.  His new limited edition prop set celebrates, if that's the right word, the King in Yellow.  The "Tatters of Carcosa" prop collection is available at Cryptocurium. Given the recent attention on Chambers' work from HBO's "True Detective" his timing couldn't be better.