Saturday, February 28, 2015

Off to School

One of the attractions of Vault living is the emphasis on a quality education.  The Trepanist brings us this collection of skill books from the "Fallout" series, along with a standard issue Vault-Tec bookbag.

These props look deceptively simple, but they're actually custom printed and bound books.  The majority of prop books are created using new artwork glued to an existing cover.  That's an insanely difficult process to pull off convincingly.  The thing that really stands out about these particular examples is the full color roll along the edges of the cover.  It seems like a minor detail, but it's almost impossible to do convincingly when re-covering a book by hand. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cthulhu Tablet

Russian artist Praskovia Vlasova brings us this very nice mounted Cthulhu tablet.  I love discovering Mythos projects from around the world, but get frustrated by how hard they can be to find because of the language barrier. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Netherspawn Token

Jacob Reeb brings us this interesting amulet.  The sculpt has some outstanding texture work.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hearthstone Box

This detailed recreation of the box from "Hearthstone"  is brought to us by Cassius Props.  Browse through his gallery to see the entire build process.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Bear the Mark of the King

Jeweler Whelen35 brings us a slab-style pendant bearing the Yellow Sign. This will come in handy when the stars are finally right and the King in Yellow walks the earth.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Elder Sign Tablet

Copper Centipede returns to our pages with this primitive Elder Sign tablet.  In addition to this piece his gallery is filled with a slew of new Mythos items.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Texture Tools

Alex Liao of Angelbeing Workshop has a great look at creating skin textures.  Texture stamps and tools are some of the most useful techniques in the sculptors arsenal.  More importantly, at least for our purposes, they can help a beginner cover up flaws while their skills are developing.  Just click through on the link for the full sized image.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rust Never Sleeps

Nothing looks like rust more than rust. Propmaker Bill Doran has a handy video on using commercial antiquing solutions to produce patinated finishes. The video includes some interesting experiments with Rub'n Buff and the metallic powders used in casting resin.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Order: 1886 Grenade

ZombTech brings us this detailed recreation of a grenade from the newly released "The Order:1886" videogame.  The game is terrible, but it does have some outstanding design work. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Clutch of Cthulhus

I spent last night laying the basecoat on a dozen Cthulhu tokens.  I'm aiming to have these ready for sale by next week.  That will give me enough time to apply the midtone, highlight, and unifying wash to each piece, replicating the work I detailed last month.   Initially I was considering a metallic finish, but in the end I just didn't like the way it looked.  You really need a piece with a grainy or roughened texture to pull off corrosion with metallic highlights. 

As you'll note from the links, this is a project that has been ongoing since last year.  It's a pretty good example of why short run, fan-driven projects are expensive.  By the time it's all done I'll probably have around 50 hours invested into the whole process.  That includes everything from the initial sculpting, through pouring the mold, throwing the first castings, experimenting with finishes, producing the working castings, and applying the final paint job.  After all that I still have to package up the tokens and extra goodies for shipment, get them posted off, and hope that none of them go a'wandering.

Multiply all those hours by minimum wage, add in about $100 in materials costs and it's a pretty hefty tab for a dozen pieces.  I'm aiming for a $25-$30 price point including shipping.  I'll be able to amortize some of those costs over time with a few additional copies on Ebay, but it should be obvious that "making gobs of money" isn't the primary motivation behind a project like this.  This is exactly the economic reality faced by every artist making the Mythos pieces featured here on Propnomicon.  Realistically, most projects are money-losing propositions once you factor in opportunity costs. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The R'lyeh Oculus

The talented Gage Prentiss returns to our pages with "The R'lyeh Oculus".  It's a brilliant concept, and the sculpt embedded inside the resin is wonderfully alien.

When he would gaze into the Oculus, he would fall into a waking dream. Sometimes he would shoot through the ebon depths of the sea like a fish. Other times he would see spectral lights, and impossible cities under the waves. The excitement and freedom he would feel during these times would always wilt under a dark feeling, though. He would feel watched. The more he used the oculus to dream, the more he would feel like a light in the darkness, drawing something closer. If he used it too much, horrible storms would come. At first he could stop gazing long enough for the ship he labored on to make port, but after a while, he had to leave the whaling trade with a reputation for being unlucky. This pushed him from the Pacific, over to the East coast, where no one recognized him. Like any addiction, his dependence on the Oculus grew, as the vistas it showed him became more maddeningly strange and terrifyingly beautiful.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mermaid Fossil

Tóbal brings us yet more proof that the conventional narrative of life on Earth is a farce. Despite the existence of artifacts like this fossilized juvenile mer so-called "scientists" continue to deny their existence.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Up From the Depths

This aquatic specimen comes to us courtesy of GritSFX.  The detail work on the gills is quite impressive.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Johnson Edition.

This nicely done Cthulhu idol comes to us from sculptor Jake Johnson.  The texture work really stands out.  The detailed wrinkling of the facial area provides an interesting contrast to the smoothness along the back of the head.  And the eyes!  That's an insanely great paint job.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Wabbajack

Folkenstal Armory brings us this recreation of the Wabbajack from Skyrim.  I'm really impressed that he was able to get this level of detail out of Worbla. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Plethora of Passports

As a followup to Tuesday's look at Belloq's passport I wanted to offer up the "Passport Stamps and Visas"group on Flickr.   It's a fantastic resource for anyone looking to create a prop passport.  You'll find hundreds of examples spanning the 20th and 21st centuries from countries around the globe, all sourced from collectors and travelers.   The large format pictures make it easy to recreate transit stamps, or even lift them right from the posted images.

As an aside, I've become increasingly leery of recreating accurate official paper.  For a film or television series having an accurate recreation of a period document may be important, but for live action games?  Not so much.  For personal use I think "believable" trumps "accurate".  You also avoid the sad reality that a lot of official paper doesn't look nearly as cool as it should.  Central Intelligence Agency, I'm looking at you

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Warriors of the Wasteland

 "If you don't go over the top, you can't see what's on the other side."
- Jim Steinman

Sweet Jebus, I swear there's an insanely over-produced Euro-LARP for every genre, and I mean that as a compliment.  Today we bring you Wasteland Warriors, a German post-apocalyptic cosplay group.  Their props and costumes are fantastically well-crafted, with layers upon layers of texture and weathering.  Because having an army of grimdark raiders wasn't enough, they also put together a fleet of Mad Max-style vehicles.  Browse through their entire gallery for some closer looks at their craftsmanship. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Belloq's Passport

Dr. René Belloq is a highlight of "Raiders of the Lost Ark". He's the kind of intelligent, ruthless, and charming villain that's all too rare in film. Toy and Prop Masters brings us this conjectural recreation of his German passport, complete with period stamps, transit notations, and a plethora of inserts based on the search for the "Well of Souls".

Monday, February 9, 2015

Fallout 3 Terrible Shotgun

Harrison Krix is one of the go-to artists for recreations of video game props.  His spot-on copy of the Terrible Shotgun from Fallout 3 demonstrates why.  The detailed build log gives you an appreciation for both his artistry and the amount of work that goes into a replica like this.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ritual Tablet

Finneusg crafted this mythos tablet as a game prop.  I like how the finish recreates the look of blasted slag.

As an aside, if you're in to urban archeology you can almost always find some interesting, prop-ready "rocks" along your local "Glass Factory Road".   The glassworks may be long gone, but it's rare that tons of glass cullet and furnace slag weren't left behind. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Book of Shadows

This hand-crafted leather Book of Shadows is brought to us by AlexLibris999.  The pentagram embossment is gilded hardened leather.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Innsmouth Artifact

Schlitzie is the man responsible for uncovering this artifact from the raid on Innsmouth- The Matriarch of Y'ha-nthlei.  Who knows what other spoils are to be found in the restricted collection at Miskatonic University?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Crab Thing

Concept artist Einar Martinsen brings us this curious crab-thing.  The work that went into the dorsal coloration boggles the mind.   You'll find all sorts of interesting creatures at his website.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Landron Edition

Landron Artifacts continues to expand it's Mythos offerings.  It's latest effort is a nice take on the iconic idol from "The Call of Cthulhu".

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pemmican for "Beyond the Mountains of Madness"

One of the things that makes Chaosium's "Beyond the Mountains of Madness" a treat is an emphasis on just how difficult Antarctic survival is.  Part of that is making sure there are enough provisions to keep everyone fed.  The expedition's demand for pemmican becomes a major plot point.  If you're considering following the adventure's suggestion to actually bang out a batch of pemmican you could do worse than following the recipe in this video from Jas. Townsend and Son. It's part of a four part series that gives a good overview of the creation and history of pemmican.

A word of warning.  If you start browsing their videos you could find yourself losing a few hours. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

March Madness

Jason McKittrick has posted Cryptocurium's March "Parcel of Terror".  It includes a very nice "Innsmouth Plaque" featuring a Deep One, along with a selection of more mainstream horror goodies based on "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "Ghostbusters", "Creature from the Black Lagoon", and "Beetlejuice".   For $35 it's a steal.