Following on from the finishing of Freyja last week, I finally had a chance to put some hours into a couple of projects to get them nearer to finishing.
The main one is that my Magneto helmet is just about done. I used Ford Purple velvet and Peugeot diablo red (both Halfords brand) for the paint colours with a heavy coating of lacquer to protect it. Thinking about it the car bodyfiller, the spray putty, the sandpaper, the masking tape and the knifing putty all came from Halfords. The insides has been painted with hammered finish metal paint (not from Halfords) to give it a raw metal look and the stand is made from a potpourri holder I found in a shop in town. It’s metal and pretty tough so I just painted it copper and weathered it with some metal polish. The paint that fell onto it while painting the helmet just adds to the weathering.
I’m going to polish the helmet with some car wax when I get a chance and I need to tidy up some of the paintwork first but overall I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. The damn thing is heavy and needs padding inside. Plus as I can’t wear my glasses with it on, I look like a mole when I wear it…
The other thing ticked off is that Freyja is now photographed.
I’m now selling my wares through Pyewackett and Pecke which is stacked to the gills with some of the most bizarre stuff I’ve seen online in a long time and is well worth a look round. I’m really impressed with what people’s minds can come up with and I’m also please to see theres an entire category devoted to Cthulhu and I currently seem to have a huge chunk of the idols section with my Norse gods (and Cthulhu of course).
Right, time to update my deviantart account with the new photos. I always feel slightly unclean after being on there…
Freyja is slowly rolling out of the mould with the very first one coming out nice and cleanly after I spent around six hours making the mould a few weekends ago.
Freyja out of the mould
I’m now a firm supporter of Smooth-on’s Dragon skin fx pro (which I get from Bentley) as my mould making material of choice. It’s is very easy to apply when making the mould and is flexible enough to give plenty of stretch when demoulding that I’m not scared of it ripping. When the mould was finished I make a quick mother mould using some easy flo to help with support as the final sculpture came out at just over 8 inches and she stands slightly above Odin.
Using my now standard casting method of out layer of easy flo clear and bronze powder with an inner core of fibreglass, I’ve been able to pull four so far with no errors or major disasters. I’ve also stopped using black dye in my mouldings as it was too tricky to get the exact amount in the mix and I’ve found that the final pieces come out lighter which looks nicer. Plus once out they get hit with firegrate polish and wire wool to bring out the shine and this darkens them down enough as it is without the black dye. I’ve tried a couple of drops of brown now and then but not noticed its made much of a difference in the final pieces.
I’ll get some better photos done at the weekend and update all of the usual lurking spaces such as deviantart and also get her listed on Etsy. I’ve got some more projects to think about at the moment but for the next few days it’s going to be cranking out Freyja to fill the pre-orders that I’ve got backed up.
Hey look, its another reeeeeaaaally long gap between two blog posts. Ho hum… One of the projects I’ve been working on I had hoped to get finished by this weekend as it sees the release of X-Men: Days of future past and I was hoping to tie in a bit. Yet in my own typical fashion, I’m late to the party. So while the rain is coming down (yup, its another bank holiday) I can’t get outside to paint so instead I’m doing admin and catching up on some other bits n bobs.
This little item is what I’ve been trying to finish. Based on a mashup of the X-Men: First Class helmet and the more flamboyant comic one, I started building this as a test that got carried away. I’ve been itching to try out Pepakura for years now but its PC based so had to make do with grabbing time on other peoples computers when possible. Not the best way. But around the end of April I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night with Wineskin in my head (yeah I actually do things like that). Wineskin is an OSX app which runs PC software in a wrapper and I’ve used it in the past to run things like Star Trek: Elite Forces and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. Pepakura, for those not in the know, is a paper folding app that gobbles up 3d files and spits them out as printouts you cut up and glue together to make things. The prop industry has been using it for a while to kick off projects and I figured it was time for me to have a go.
A quick hunt online got me a few different versions of Magneto’s helmet and using the free version of Pepakura (viewer) I tried a few out. I chopped and changed around some of the details and set to making my own with the intention of not actually finishing it.
So one fine Saturday morning I sat in the cellar hacking up paper and gluing it together.
I then layered fibreglass into it, along with some matting, some more resin and then started to coat the whole thing in car body filler. You know, theres something bad ass about putting a big helmet on, even when its not finished. I can’t see beyond the end of my nose without the glasses on but I feel awesome.
Layers of filler, paint, lots of sanding (thankfully the rain washed the dust away from the garden) and more paint followed by erm… oh yeah… sanding.
I kept coming across weak spots from the first slushing so a lot of time was spent gouging out these parts and filling then getting back in the garden to sand.
I had some paper templates to measure around the edge and to get the raised lip I blocked out the negative space with plasticine and then mixed up some Rondo to brush in. For those not in the know, Rondo is a mix of car body filler and fibreglass resin and takes its name from Bondo (a brand of car body filler) + resin. A word of warning, this stuff stinks. It takes two of the most evil smelling products on the planet and merges the stench. Even with a mask on it was vile. On the plus side, it brushes in nicely and flows well.
Once the raised edge was in place I just removed the plasticine and sanded/carved it neater. A little tip that I came up with, my plasticine was rock solid and rather than spend ages kneading it, I popped it into a plastic bag then sunk it into hot water. The plasticine softened up nicely and was easy to press into place.
I spent ages carefully examining the surface for marks and pin holes but sometimes just running your hands over it… lovingly… caressing every surface… ahem… helps you to find things that are not quite right. I managed to find a couple of minor dimples which couldn’t obviously be seen.
The crest is sculpted from milliput and then drilled and pinned to the head. I’ve got the paint ready for the final colouring but sadly its not ready in time for me to wear to the premiere of Days of future past unless I time travel like in the story. Of course this isn’t a bad thing as I wouldn’t be able to see or hear anything while wearing it.
Huzzah! She’s done. I’m in the process of cleaning her up and should be ready to mould later in May (not much time left is there?)
She’s gone through around three different bodies and I’ve lost track of the number of heads she’s had. Around her base she has a cauldron, a boar (Hildisvíni) and two cats (more like Lynx’s than puddy tats), she wears a cloak of falcon feathers and a necklace (Brísingamen) and she has a large drinking horn in her hands.
These seals are going like hot cakes. So far I’ve done versions for bookmarks, fridges, computers, LARPing and even a badge which was actually quite hard to get the pin into place after the resin has set.
As the year is blindly lumbering towards the cliff edge known as New Years Day, I thought I’d do an update about what is stirring the mancave.
Due to a random series of events I have a bronze Cthulhu filling up space in the cellar so I’ve dropped the price by £10 to try and shift it… I mean pass onto a new owner before Christmas. I may even keep the price at that point after Christmas, who knows.
Now available in Castings of Cthulhu. Remember, each Cthulhu comes with a 100% guarantee of not being eaten by a great old one* or your money back.
*This offer doesn’t cover being devoured by Byatis, Hziulquoigmnzhah, Yig or Chaugnar Faugn.
After all the “making of” stuff, its time for one final post about Derek. the book was debuted at Thought Bubble and is now available via Great Beast Comics as either a printed version or a digital download (for only 69p) and I should point out that page 42 is the finest part of it.
Apart from page 42, the rest of it is pretty cool as well (just not as good as page 42) so I’d recommend picking it up, but just remember… PAGE 42. I’ll even sign it if you want.
No really, I’d be happy to.
PLEASE LET ME SIGN IT!
Oh and it came with a badge which was pretty cool.
OK, enough massaging my ego, it’s just its been a while since I’ve had my name in print that wasn’t a restraining order.
After several hours fun with a trial pack of rebound 25 and the Oliver Stone film JFK the other weekend, I now have a working mould of Odin and I’m currently casting as quick as I can, which is about one a day.
I actually piled the rubber on a bit too thick for the mould so its hard to get out, hopefully it will get easier with practice but its a pretty tough mould so should last for many mouldings. I also remoulded Thor so I’ve got a backup for the day the original mould gives up. I’m pleased with the way Odin has come out in the end and I’ll get some better shots up once it’s the weekend.
Freyja is coming on. A few nights ago I realised it was 2am and I was working away in my own little world which suggests that I was enjoying it. I felt like death the next day but fortunately it was a Saturday and was going to see Catching Fire, so I got to sit in a dark room for 2 1/2 hours.
I’ve started from the top, heading down towards her feet and I’m working on her hands at the moment. Once everything is in place around her I’ll work on the feathered cloak last. The hands are proving tricky but its rewarding to see them slowly shape into something recognisable.
Looking back I realised it’s just over two years since I dug out my old block of hard, crumbly super sculpey and started on Jezail after such a long period of not sculpting and in that time I think I’ve improved a lot. There’s still plenty of room to improve but I’m eager to see what comes next.
I don’t know about training the faithful but it’s been training my poker face.
A few more games of Dune under the belt and I’ve been enjoying how you can use the cards to create layers of intrigue and out and out base cunning. We only managed to round up five players this time, but the game did feel totally different to just three players as it seemed to flow better with each faction feeling more balanced.
What I really enjoy about the game is the meta part that can be pulled out of the game in progress. At one point I was playing as the Bene Gesserit and was going into battle against a force of Fremen, my one traitor card (traitors can win a battle outright for you if you’re lucky enough to have the leader that the other person plays) was Chani and the Fremen player used Chani in his battle plan. In the first Dune book, Chani works with Reverend Mother Ramallo when Jessica takes the water of life so if you squint really hard and think at an angle, you can almost imagine how this would work.
Well I can and it’s my game so I can meta all I want, so there.
An another note, I cast another Cthulhu but this one has a special birthday, Halloween night.
Spat from the blackest night of the year, it was poured and moulded without any blemishes or imperfections as Cthulhu himself was probably overseeing the process. Much chanting and wailing later it was polished the next day, which was All Saint’s day so maybe some of the evil was drained away. It’s safely on its way to its new owner in Germany and hopefully no primordial evil will follow it.
One last gaming entry, I picked up a load of Black Scorpion Cowboys/cowgirls a few weeks ago and wanted a game to go with them so after some searching around I bought “A Fistful of Lead” to run with them. Last night was the first game I had a chance to play and its a very slick game, well worth picking up and only $6.
Three of us had a two fights, the first was a straight up three way gunfight in which I not only shot Mary Poppins…
But I also killed Jessie from Toy Story…
I’m a bad man.
I had my comeuppance in the second game when the two other players rounded up a posse and hunted down my gang. Five of my gang holed up in a hideout and attempted fend off the other two gangs but, one by one, we got picked off. One guy made a brave dash for a shed full of TNT and came out hurling it around. He managed to blow up Jessie (killing her again) and one other posse member, but was gunned down in a hail of flying lead. My leader lasted a bit longer a flesh wound, but watched helplessly as his gang fell around him. He managed a brave stand to the end and even managed to fight off a round of hand to hand combat (which I should add is even more brutal that Necromundas).
Sadly, in the end he took another bullet and crawled back into the hideout only be taken out by a rather mean cowgirl looking for revenge.
The red tokens on the table are blood markers to show who is dead and the amount of blood (plus the rather scantily clad cowgirls) all added up to a b-movie scenario that would have done Russ Meyer proud.
I bought 1000 lollysticks recently for the princely sum of less than a tenner, so will be aiming to make some western scenery soon which will be a nice change from the woodwork on Dune but I still have to finish Odin and there was a rumbling about Freya being next.
Another month, another lack of bloggage, but I do have good reason as I’ve been working like a hardworking metaphor on several projects and I’ve finally finished Thor and started casting. The finished piece come is at around 6 inches high and I’ve made the first few out of bronze and one brass test piece.
No photo of the brass Thor yet as I got a bit over excited and took it out of the mould while he was still a bit soft so he got a bit knocked. Some of the damage looks quite funky and it adds something to the feel of it being an old artifact. Pics will come soon.
I had a bit of a problem moment with casting as I’d ordered some General Purpose RTV Silicone Mould Making Rubber (say that in a hurry) from MB Fibreglass (a good place to get supplied from BTW) and I’ve never used it before. Hmmmm, possibly I should have tried using it first but I jumped in head first and mixed up a batch and set to and discovered that it’s runny stuff.
I built up a lego wall around the original Thor and poured in the rubber and at this point the flaw in my cunning plan appeared. I know better, I know I should have built up a better barrier at the bottom but I was being sloppy and rushing things. When I poured the rubber in it started to seep out of the bottom and dribble all over the place but I did managed to plug it up on the fly and carry on. Next time I will be better prepared but I’d just better make sure whatever I use to build up the base around the bottom with is sulphur free.
The final mould is really nice, very stretchy but rigid enough to hold up by itself without the need for a mother mould which helps a lot. I did have to put a slit down the back to help with the removal of castings but with plenty of elastic bands that stays shut on moulding.
Two finished and polished while the one in the middle-back was about to be polished.
If you want to go and look at one in the flesh then they are currently on sale at Sacred Earth in Ipswich who commissioned the sculpture in the first place and through my Etsy store.