Pad’Thulhu

I’ve been a listener to the Call of Cthulhu based Podcast “The good friends of Jackson Elias” for a while now and, every year for their Patreon backers, they send out a Fanzine inspired book. This years cover was drawn by the genius that is Evan Dorkin and before my copy arrived, I thought I’d have a go at sculpting the little chap known as Pad’Thulhu.

Pad'Thulhu
Pad’Thulhu

I managed to get the majority of it done in two afternoons, which is probably the quickest I’ve ever made ones of these things. Sculpted in Super Sculpey firm with wooden spheres for eyes, dowel for toggles and some lolly pop sticks with plastic details for his suitcase.

I don’t have any major WIP photos simply because I was working so fast. I often pause to look at what I’m doing and take photos but I was moving too quickly.

The hardest part was actually the hat, I struggled a bit to get the edge the right thickness and shape but it came out ok in the end.

Baked Pad'Thulhu
Baked Pad’Thulhu

Once baked, he was coated in Macragge blue because for some reason I have loads of it… don’t know why *cough* hashtagmarchformacragge *cough*

Blue'Thulhu
Blue’Thulhu

Once painted in traditional Paddington colours using GW paints and inks, he was based on a nice block of stained wood and his suitcase and luggage tag was added.

Pad'Thulhu front
Pad'Thulhu tag
Pad'Thulhu back

By coincidence, or possibly summoned at the same time, my copy of the Tome arrived the weekend as I painted him.

Tome'Thulhu
Tome’Thulhu

Its at this point I often link to a google gallery of more images. I hate to disapoint and I’ve got most of them here already but heres a few extra if you want to see them.

If you don’t already, I’d suggest having a listen to the Good Friends podcasts, especially if you’re into horror books, films, games or anything Cthulhu related.

Big Trouble in Little China + Warcraft = David Lo Panda

Big Trouble in Little China, one of my favourite films. A few years ago an artist I follow posted a photo of something that really made me laugh which was a mashup of Big Trouble and Warcraft and for ages I thought I’d love to have a go at sculpting it. So before I go into this further it’s time for a bit of background information.

I’m a massive John Carpenter fan, I wrote about him while studying my degree at university and last year I actually got to meet the man when he toured the world to promote his second studio album and afterwards I thought I should get round to doing something based on his work which made me think of that drawing again. So when I found a small slot of time, I made a start. Theres are WIP photos in the gallery link at the end of the blog.

I wanted to do a big figure and ended up with quite a heavy piece.

Big Trouble in Little China
He’s a bit of a big chap

Details on him are made from buttons, pins, wire, drawing pins, a knitting needle, some brass tubes, a glass eye and a couple of wooden spheres. Nothing like a bit of random stuff to add interest.

Big Trouble in little oven
Just after baking

It’s a bit of a basic paint job at the moment but I am planning on going back to add more details at somepoint when I’m feeling braver. Probably after I’ve rewatched Big Trouble in Little China for the bazillionth time. If you haven’t seen it, it is a great film and worth a view.

David Lo Pan
Painted Panda.

A Google gallery, if you want to see more pictures including the WIPs, is here: https://goo.gl/photos/Kvew6dxg2LQe6Wfa6

You can also keep up to date on whatever is going on in my cellar, on my Facebook page Castings of Cthulhu

Tools of the trade

I’ve been asked a couple of times about the tools I use on my sculptures. The main tools are my hands, that sounds a bit patronising, but it’s true. I’ll roll, push, poke, prod and generally mash Sculpey or clay around with my fingers to get the shapes. As for tools, heres some of my commonly reached for with the most important on the left and descending in order to the right.

tools

First off is a couple of wooden tools that are I would struggle to be without as I use them not only for building forms, I tend to use them for detail work as well. The top of the far left one is the one I use for hair a lot.

The next one is a home made one which is a brass tube with a bent jewellers saw blade in the end. I’ve had this for about 15 years as I made it at uni. I honestly have no idea how I bent it as these blades are tough but snap easily, all I can think is I heated it and bent it. I hope I never snap it. Anyway, its a rake, the fine teeth on one side help to shave the top layer of material to make shapes in the clay.

The three together are ball stylus ended thingys. Technical I know. They’re good for forming folds and indentations.

The five black handled tools are silicone tipped sculpting tools. I had some cheap ones once and they lasted about a month. Seriously c**p. I bought these ones from a Spanish website called green stuff world for about 10 euros and they’re amazing. They’ve lasted for about 2 years and show no serious degradation. Shipping to the UK was a bit of jolt but worth it. I’d shop around if I needed new ones now but at the time I was too narked off at my cheapness and didn’t care.

The small silver thing is a Zirconi Zahle 4 Wax Carving Stainless Steel Instrument and will gut you like a fish. Good for sharp clean edge work.

The next bunch of tools are a mix of sculpting tools I’ve collected and dental tools given to me by a dentist a long time ago. Yes, they are second hand… I cleaned them. Many times. The lone brass tube in the middle is a home made pokey thing build from a bit of stiff wire and stuck in place with putty. It comes in handy now and then but not that much.

Red handled tools are silicone paint shapers from a cheap shop. They come in useful now and then but theres nothing the wooden tools can’t do.

Some paintbrushes round off the photo but only because it stopped the shapers from rolling out of the shot.

Not shown are a load of wooden tools that get used on big things, knives, loops (very useful items) and bits I use to make texture like sandpaper and sponges. I also use wooden balls for eyes as I’ve got a selection of sizes although Cthulhu used some glass beads we had in the garden. Pin heads for rivets or buttons. Guitar wire for pipes.

Any questions then drop by the Facebook page and ask or leave a comment on here. I’ll try and make sense with any replies.