So I’ve finally finished the Mekon but another month passes with no blogging. Ho hum.
The silver base was a nightmare to finish as it picked up every single fingerprint as I touched it. He is now sitting in our living room window along with the halloween figures from last year. I’m now focusing on the Hula dancing Cthulhu while thinking about my next couple of projects. I’ve got a couple of ideas in the pipe but nothing fixed just yet.
Its been over a month since the last time I put finger to keyboard, so I thought it was about time for a big old update on here. Whats new in 2013 then?
I’ve ditched the idea of moulding him so he’s nearly finished. I went through a week of hell when his head just refused to dry properly after being sprayed. The paint was really tacky and I didn’t know if it was the cold, I had sprayed too thick (a typical stunt I pull) or the can hadn’t been shaken properly. Fortunately it has dried (after much hot air blown over it) and is ready for painting along with the body and the floaty base. Speaking of which, it’s nearly finished.
I’ve gone for a more round base rather than the more boat-hull shape for two reasons. Firstly because I was struggling to find a way to get it exactly the right shape on either side without loads of working out (yes I’m being lazy), secondly a piece fell into my hands that is almost exactly what I needed. Its round, needed a bit of filling at one end and a flat bit on the top. Other than that it’s perfect. I drilled down the middle, fitted a brass rod that can be removed and drilled into an old silver dish (I think it was a small ashtray) to act as the base. The hollow in the hemisphere is now filled with resin and ready to be sanded and painted.
Plodding on. Here we have a herd of Cthulhu’s in their natural habitat.
Left to right is cast iron, brass, the little red lump next to the brass is the head of a copper casting (I will explain), aluminium (polised), aluminium (un-polished) and just off to the side is copper.
Just after the New Year I ordered some new materials (copper, brass, aluminium and bronze) and when they arrived I set to on the brass first. It came out really well! Huzzah!
So, brimming with confidence, I went for copper next and unfortunately the fates conspired against me and the mould finally gave up. Also for some reason the backfill resin I mixed up didn’t set. One problem I could have dealt with, but the two together meant I ended up with holes oooooozing out black filth that is still seeping out of the casting, parts of it are floppy and the whole thing is a just a nasty mess. That black goop is just dribbling nonstop and I’m starting to think its infinite.
Fortunately I was a scout (be prepared and all that) so had a backup mould ready to go. I did a couple of aluminium castings to test it out and they came out perfectly so I’m back on track after a slight hiccup. I’m actually shocked that the first mould lasted as long as it did but as a backup for this backup I’ve bought a trial pack of Dragon Skin which is supposed to be great for mould making but I need a few hours to work up the skin in stages.
I’ve just got some business cards on order from Moo which will go with displays in shops and Im getting a shop on Etsy finally in place. Now I just need another string to the bow in terms of products.
Still sitting waiting to be worked on, I can’t do anything to this inside as I need to be outside to use my power sander. Wait… have I blogged about this project? Hmmmmm.
Before Christmas I was having some form of conversation with Duncan, the chap who runs zombiemedia.co.uk and a gag came up about Cthulhu doing a hula (I can’t remember the exact details) but this is his response which is available on qwertee.com.
I’m now in the process of sculpting a version which, if i can cast, I am hoping will be available at some point in the future.
I’ve had a couple of requests for commissions which could be going down later this year and I’m dying to try out some clear casting. I’ve got some ideas on the go but really need to finish some projects off first or is that boring?
I’m a big fan of the classic Dan Dare strip as drawn by Frank Hampson and its iconic line up of characters and possibly the most obvious stand out is the Venusian ruler of the Treens, the Mekon of Mekonta. Originally starting in 1950 the strip was very much a British product with a stiff-upper-lip attitude and a complete lack of anyone getting killed, the story was full of incredible designs and had a gentle steer into scientific plausibility by the hand of Arthur C Clarke but it wasn’t until nearly halfway through the first story that the Mekon finally appeared.
With his bulbous head and tiny body, he has become a bit of an archetype for the evil science villan and one is the product of thousands of years of genetic engineering. The Mekon is also a title, rather than a name, given to the leader of the Treens and its commented at one point in the first story that that there won’t be another one ready for 50 years. Floating around on his magnetic hover board, getting dragged off it every other episode by either Dan, Digby or any other Earthman passing, he seemed to spend at least one episode being carried around as a hostage before being rescued by his Treens. The refusal of any of the Earthmen (theres only one woman in the Dan Dare universe and she has more qualifications than all of the men put together) to hurt him and somehow let him escape is the flipside of the number of times heroes are captured but never killed by villains but shows the morality of the characters. I’ve probably made him sound a bit rubbish but the Mekon was/is a very interesting character. So much so that I’ve started my own little Mekon to pull off his chair whenever he gets a bit bossy.
Lets start with a wireframe shall we? First up I measured out some sketches to workout his size and pose. To be honest the Mekon has two poses. Sitting on his chair with his arms resting on his knees and slung over Dan’s shoulder. Not hard to pick which pose I’m going for.
Slapping some Milliput over wireframe so the Sculpey has something to key to when I start. I’ve not put the arms in place yet as I’m hoping to do this as a multipart kit.
Starting to take shape there.
Me and the ‘kon, just chillin’ and watching a film together.
Into the oven with him.
When I put the wires together I should have made the head removable, as it was I part baked him to harden him up a bit then took him him out and gouged out chunks of his neck to get to the wire/milliput skeleton, clipped it and popped him back in the oven. Once he was fully done I drilled out his neck and top of his body, fitted some brass tubes in and milliputted (is that a word?) him back up. The head now slots nicely into his neck.
So he’s not totally armless (thats a joke innit?) I fitted some brass tubes into his sleeves before he was baked then made some wire arms coated in Milliput.
Last, but not least, working on the arms. Once they are baked I’ll move onto his hovering whatsit.