Doctor Who and the Vengeance of the Deadly VFX Cliche

I’ve been quite remiss about updating the blog but I’m going to put it down to being busy and also not having a huge amount to say. So what have I been up to over the last month or so? Well I’m glad you didn’t ask.

Firstly we have a green, a terracotta and two bronze Cthulhu’s.


The green one was a bit of a nightmare, I was contacted by a chap who wanted one to be the same colour thats described in the story which is green. So doing a bit of research I came across some stuff called Jesmonite. I ordered a load of it and some green dye then set too. The Jesmonite type I got was very gritty (AC-70) and being white, needed a lot of dye to colour it. I also found another little feature in that its slower to cast than the Easy Flo I’ve been using meaning it tended to settle in the mould. As I didn’t want to fill the mould and warp it I ended up doing it in stages and the mould suffered badly from the gritty material in the Jesmonite and it was trashed by the end. The final result was interesting as it was cracked and flaking in places which added to the realism of it being an old artefact but I wasn’t too impressed with the process. I’m sure with a bit of practice it would prove to be good stuff but I’m not rushing to get more anytime soon.

The terracotta was made with the last of the Jesmonite and some terracotta paint I had kicking around. There isn’t a huge amount of Jesmonite as I didn’t have much left so its backfilled with normal resin. It came out smoother and without the cracks but is covered in weird patches of colour.

The two bronzes are my latest pair of orders.


Have I talked about Cthulhuhuhuhu? I’ve sprayed and rubbed it down several times now so the next step is moulding.


The Munny I bought at some point is finally finished. I turned him into a Tiny Dr Doom (one of my favourite comic villains)


And finally I’ve been working on a sculpture of Thor based on the Eyrarland Statue. This will be finished and cast in bronze when I finish him off.

I’m sure by now you’re alseep but I’d better explain the blog title. Some of you may not know this, but I’m a bit of a fan of Doctor Who and I do like Colin Bakers take on the Doctor. From the slightly sinister start (throttling your assistant can’t be a good way to continue any relationship) to the Trial of the Time Lord (yes I still have the VHS set in the metal TARDIS tin). I have a smattering of the Big Finish audio play he’s in and (this is where the twist comes in) I even bought the toy set of the 6th Doctor and a Dalek from ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ on Saturday, which is weird as at some time on Saturday he said this:

If we had to walk through a maize maze with a Dalek it would take two hours to film, because the wretched Dalek would fall over every second inch of the journey. Now, stick it on digitally afterwards – a twelve year old with a computer does it for them – and it looks brilliant – very envious!

(As reported on Dr Who News)

He means well and I get the joke but, a twelve year old? Sadly this impression is the norm among people these days, the idea that teenage kids are sitting in their bedroom making award winning effect while getting up to lord only knows what else. It may look brilliant but theres a wee bit more to it than just slapping a few buttons. I’ve read the stories by the effects teams from back in the day about things like K-9 never working properly when on set and even Steven Spielberg had problems with his rubber monster, so it’s bound to be a frustration to anyone working on location with effects gaffs that don’t work especially on the budget the original series had. It’s just a shame that the lack of understanding about how much work does go into these things is so prevalent, everyone thinks that it’s easy so I think it’s about time we turned “it’s all done with a computer” into a positive phrase.

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