Casting Cthulhu

Many eons ago (mid 2012), I sculpted a statue that I thought would be a bit of fun, would end up on my shelf and never be touched again. Cthulhu. Originally I wanted to make a Deep One statue but I couldn’t come up with a nice design I liked so ended up making the big chap based on the description from the Call of Cthulhu story.

After making it, I thought “How could I cast this up? Can’t be that hard, I’ve done some before at uni.” and so I went for a browse round my local craft shop. All I could find there was latex which is a good enough casting material so I bought a big bottle of the stuff and set to.

It took weeks.

Honestly, latex is one of the slowest ways to make a mould. Its also one of the smelliest. The sulpher released was making my eyes water.

Its a case of layer, upon layer brushed on but you have to wait until its dry before putting the next layer on and that can take hours. I was layering it up with thickener as well to get some of the thickness once the first few base layers had been put on.

And so, the first few Cthulhu (Cthulhii? What do you call a group of Cthulhu) arrived via the latex mould.

Cthulhu statues

It was very hard to get them out of the mould. Latex doesn’t stretch very much so it was tough demoulding them.

During the following year I made another Latex one and then started to try out other materials for making moulds. At some point I tried Dragon Skin from SmoothOn which is silicone that can be used for either mould or casting.

Latex, latex, dragon skin and dragon skin.

Apart from the toughness to stretch the latex moulds, they had started to corrode from the heat when you pour the resin in. The Dragon Skin is far stretchier and can take a bit more punishment.

The first Dragon Skin mould was made in 2013 and the second was made in 2015 and is finally starting to give up. Bits come away in the fine detail areas and it becomes harder to remove the casting so I knew it was time to make a new one. Four years is a pretty good run for something that gets used a lot.

Over a couple of hours, one Sunday, I made a new mould by layering up Dragon Skin over the casting. As it flows quite freely, its great for getting into all the nooks and crannies but it does mean it runs everywhere. It takes a few layers to get a good thickness and you hae to apply it as its nearly set. Another thing is to make sure there are no big air pockets in overhanging areas.

After 24 hours to fully cure the mould peeled off easily, ready for the first casting.

It does look odd inside out…

The Cthulhu statue is available in my Etsy shop in a different range of finishes such as bronze, copper and green.

Adeptus Mechanicus Purity Seal

After I made my original purity seal, I’ve been meaning to make some new ones for a while. I even managed to start making a couple several years ago before forgetting about it. I finally got round to finishing and casting one based on the Adeptus Mechanicus logo.

It had been sitting unloved in a drawer for a while so with a little polishing up I managed to get round to casting it with some spare Dragon Skin silicone left over from remoulding Cthulhu. I used a trick I’d picked up a while ago for measuring the volume needed by pouring rice into the area to be moulded and then measuring that volume.

To test the mould, and also some different pigments I have, I mixed up some red resin and poured some test pieces.

I’m also trying out some new weathering process which look nice and is a little quicker than my current process. Using oil paint instead of black polish means I have longer to work with the weathering.

Adeptus Mechanicus purity seal
Adeptus Mechanicus symbol on the scroll as well

I’m pretty pleased with the end result. It looks nice and battered but the detail is still clear.

Adeptus Mechanicus Purity Seal

The finished Adeptus Mechanicus Purity Seal is now available, along with the standard Purity Seal, in my Etsy shop.

Star Wars DL-44 Nintendo Zapper mashup

Hantendo – A Star Wars and Nintendo mashup

Back at the start of the year, I worked with a freelancer on some video work and we got chatting about CG work and how we both used Cinema 4d. He shared a render of a design he had come up with for a mashup of a Nintendo Zapper and the DL-44 that Han Solo uses, calling it the Hantendo. I had to have a go at 3d printing it.

Hantendo Star Wars Nintendo blaster

A chunk of the files needed to be edited so they’d print correctly, I also had to work out the best way to split the design up so it would print easily. I thought the best way would be to split it by colour and then break down each of the pieces as needed. Hacking the pieces apart in my copy of Cinema 4d and then running them off on my printer took a little while but the pieces started to come out one at a time.

I had one piece fail for some reason. A main body piece slipped mid print, but I rotated it and it worked fine the second time.

All the pieces came out perfectly and it was time for the dull part… Sanding.

Star Wars DL-44 and Nintendo Zapper mashup Hantendo

So much sanding. Getting the print lines out of each piece was a case of sitting with them and just sanding over and over. I used needle files, wet and dry paper and even a scalpel to get the pieces cleaned up. Once all the pieces fitted together in a test fit I started to paint them.

Several coats of paint later I had the final pieces ready to stick together.

One Hantendo Zapper, all ready to hunt some ducks.

Hantendo Dl-44 zapper
Hantendo DL-44 Zapper

The 3D files are available on Thingiverse if anyone wants them.