Saturday, 29 December 2012

Hellboy Corpse Locator - Dome

This post details the creation of the amber dome that will sit in the middle of the dial I created last time.

Originally Posted 17-Feb-2012

Bit of an abstract image , but all these paper circles were laminated together to create the dome shape for the centre of the compass.

The whole thing was then spot filled and wet sanded on a lathe to give this.

I then made a 1 part silicone mould.

And began castings, anyone who has ever tried to cast with clear resin knows how tricky it can be.

First cast, the surface didn't cure and was sticky, I polished it up just to see if it was useable, but all the gunk I cleaned off meant it was about 2mm too small and didn't fit.

Second cast, I pre-heated the mould, the surface did cure, but too fast which meant it pulled away from the surface leaving an odd, crinkly texture.

When I cast another I think it will help to reduce the amount of catalyst used, but for this one I just wet sanded the dome down to 3000 and then hand polished it and it looked really good.

Don't have the dome on it's own but you will see it in the final picture.

All that's left is the main body, where I show more details of how the vines were created and then lots of moulding / casting.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Hellboy Corpse Locator - Centre Dial

Last time I was detailing the lid, now I'm working on the centre dial.

Originally Posted 16-Feb-2012
My original plan was to roughly mock up the centre dial, and then cast it in carving wax so it would be nice and easy to etch out details.

This was my first attempt, layers of card built up with an acrylic top piece to make it smooth.

I moulded it but I couldn't get a usable cast with the carving wax, it's too thick and grainy.

So I scraped that and started again.

This is layers of card with the centre pre cut (left in for now).

I then put an acrylic strip round the edge and filled it with bondo.

I left the plastic strip on till I had sanded the top completely smooth.

I then cut out the centre and started carving in the symbols using a fine Dremel bit.

I used a knife and various needle files to add the edge damage (following reference pics as closely as possible)

The centre wall was then added, just a thin strip of card, it is at a slight angle, so I cut notches & curved the wall inward and smoothed it over with spot filler.

I used the same thin card to add formers for the raised details and triangles that come off of the centre.

I then melted lumps of carving wax up over the little formers and carved them to the proper shape, using a tooth pick.

Final touch was to add in these tiny scratches, again sticking as close as possible to my reference.

gtg now, tomorrow I'll post the creation of the amber dome.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Aperture Science Employee's Mug

Aperture Laboratories Employee Mug

I've seen the official portal mug available from places like 'Think Geek'. However I wanted this to be something that might have actually been in the game.
I spent a while searching the game for mugs, but I was disappointed to find that all the in game mugs just have jokes like 'Who Farted' on them.

My one is intentionally more dull. I've made myself an imaginary employee of Aperture. A quick search of the Portal 2 transcript showed that Cave mentions test associates several times, I also considered making myself the 'Party Associate' from the first game.

I've wanted to do this (and a bunch of other mugs) for a while now, but finally got it made with 'Vistaprint' .
It you join their mailing list and wait a day or two, they'll send you all sorts of free offers including a 'free' mug.

I think after postage and an additional cost for uploading my own image this one cost me £6.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Hellboy Corpse Locator - Lid Detailing

Previously: Intro

Originally Posted 15-Feb-2012

This detailing was done using epoxy putty. I rolled it out into thin strands then proceeded to weave with it.  :D

I don't know if anyone has ever weaved with epoxy putty before but it's not the easiest thing in the world.
It  took so long that I came very close to the workable limit (3-4hours) before it cures too hard.

I documented the vines on the underside much better so you can see those later.

I needed to blend the two elements together, as well as fill in any undercuts so that I could mould it without it getting stuck.

I used polyfilla (plaster based, used for filling cracks in walls, like spackle?)

Generally not good for props but I liked the grainy texture it gives you.

I was fairly free in the way I applied the filler, trying to re-create hundreds of years of dirt that may have lodged themselves in the crevices.

But to keep the smooth top surface I kept wiping the top of the vines with a damp cloth.

Don't think I've got a picture of the underside, but on that last picture you can just make out the beading on the edge, more epoxy putty.

Next to tackle is the centre dial.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Hellboy Corpse Locator - Intro

Just to make things a little less dry, and because it's hard to make the prop out from the movie screenshot here's how the first one turned out.

To be honest I was never really that fussed about the Hellboy films. When ever I thought back on them I could never really remember how the story went or much about the characters. But when I had to make a gift for someone I knew liked Hellboy I gave the films a second look, although I still think the pacing is all wrong I do like the imagery and design in the films.

I chose this prop in particular, for a few reasons. 
I liked the ancient compass design, it was a bit out of my comfort zone, I prefer to work on smooth square things. 
Also, it was obscure and to my knowledge the only others in existence are the screen used versions and a very small run of replicas made by the original artist*.

What follows are the original posts I made on The RPF

Originally Posted 14-Feb-2012
From Phelyx's* description I had a good amount to go on.

But just for myself I decided the main box was made of wood, with gilded details and exterior, and the centre dial was a solid cast piece of gold.

The top detailing looked like vines and thorns, so it had an old magic/nature type influence. The heavy amounts of verdigris looking rust/mould implied to me that maybe it had been lost at sea or the bottom of a lake and then recovered.
But the vine details still shone bright like Red had given it a quick polish with his sleeve.

Anyway, with all that at the back of my head I began on the lid piece.

Pretty simple it's just knocked up out of grey cardboard.
Although I did make a quick computer drawing to figure out what went where, this was all drawn up and constructed by hand.

I'm just giving it a quick spot fill.

Next I added a bit of detailing with a scalpel and compass cutter. Most of this detail gets covered up with the vines and texture, but you can still see traces of it in the finished piece, so in it goes.

You can also see the base plate that will hold the upper dial (hence the bearing set in it). A lot of work went into constructing and centering the bit that holds the bearing, but the rest gets covered up so I didn't do anything special to it.

Next I added on the edge detail using epoxy putty. Great stuff, but I've never used it for sculpting before, it's actually really nice to work with, not as much control as I usually like, but this whole piece is supposed to have a hand crafted feel to it. You only get 4 hours working time, max, but that's more than enough for most details :s .

I also drew out the lines for the vine details, tomorrow I'll post how they came out.

Next Time: Detailing the Lid

* The original creator known as Phelyx on The RPF posted some pictures from the handful of replicas he made as well as some of the screen used item, which were my basis of reference for this piece. He also contacted me about my replica saying he thought it was good and he was glad someone had taken an interest, always a bonus.


In the past I've used Tumblr for blogging all the stuff I've made. It was never really the right format for what I do and I've been meaning to set up a more traditional blog for a while.

These first few posts will be me adding a couple of big projects on here so there is actually something to look at. To make it easier I'll probably just copy and paste a lot of it from my posts on various other sites.

First up I'll be documenting the progress of building this item from the 2008 film 'Hellboy'

It's a 'corpse locator' used like a compass to find a suitably chatty corpse in the Russian graveyard of the film.

Hellboy Corpse Locator - Intro