Getting Crafty

30 12 2009

If you’ve read the previous entries to this blog, you’ll know I’ve been getting into movie props and the like, particularly maps.   I’ve found some nice frames that don’t cost the earth, and I’ve been working on some other things as well.

First is one I didn’t make.  Hell, I wish I could.  I’ve had possession of the Gold Idol from Raiders of the Lost Ark for many years now, and at the time my friend bought a replica of the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra at the same time.  The Staff of Ra is used by Indiana Jones to find the location of the Ark of the Covenant, and before that it’s carried on a chain by Indy’s ex flame Marion Ravenwood.  The Headpiece plays a large part in the movie, much larger than the Gold Idol and I finally got a hold of one that was within my price range.  When I got it, it was a bright shiny gold, and since the original prop isn’t bright gold, and actually made of brass,  I carefully used some brown and black paint to age it.  I’m really happy with how it turned out.

The second item is a Space Marine purity seal from the Warhammer 40,000 universe.  The Space Marines are super soldiers living in a future universe in a constant battle against the forces of Chaos, the scheming Eldar and the Ork hordes. The Space Marines wear huge power armour and follow in the footsteps of the mighty God-Emperor of Mankind.   Each Chapter, or battle-group of Space Marines have their own unique characteristics and each fan will have their own favourites.  Originally starting as a series of board and table top games by Games Workshop, the 40K universe has since expanded into books, multiple game forms including PC and Console and soon it will hit the screens as a motion picture.

Space Marines are very devout and the technology they use is a mix of magic and machine with heavy splashes of religion.  Because it’s a little out of my league to build a full set of Space Marine armour, I decided to try making a purity seal.  These seals are worn on the armour or weapon of a Space Marine and are covered in prayers and litanies to help protect them in battle.  There are various designs and prayers, all of which do certain tasks.  To be given a purity seal is a great honour.   To make it, I used a blob of DAS modelling clay, flattened out a ball and sculpted the skull with various sculpting tools.  I think the originals are some sort of wax, or at least that’s the impression I get.   To that end I tried to make mine look a bit blobby and ‘pressed in’ like a seal should be.  I never was much of a sculptor, but it looks ok to me.  Once dry I painted it up with acrylic paints and highlighted the high parts and washed the low parts to give it a more 3d and wax look.  Once that dried I hit it with a coat of clear spray to protect it.

The parchment is just a litany I found on the web and positioned in Publisher.  I printed it out and trimmed the edges and aged it with my trusty coffee.

Finally I’ve been working on yet another map, this one is Thror’s map to the Lonely Mountain from the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  There are a bunch of versions of this map around, and the one in the Lord of the Rings movie is different to the one shown in the original book.  To that end, I decided to go with the one in the book as I think it looks more hand-made.  I tidied it up and changed the red parts to red in Photoshop, added the border and faded out the runes.  The runes are only meant to show up in moonlight or something.  On my print-out they’re still visible, but only if you look really hard.   I took it off to Officeworks to get it printed, as my computer still has no printer set up.  I think the ink will run anyway.

So, once printed I soaked it in coffee, just one application this time as it’s not as worn as the other maps, and tore up the edges and made the folds.  I used much the same technique as suggested by Jheilman of the RPF forum, but modified it a little to suit myself.  His map looks great, but it’s the one from the movie which I really didn’t want.   Once trimmed up I put it in one of the frames I bought.  No pictures yet because I haven’t make the little plaque for it yet since I have no printer.  I have some test plaques done, but I’m not 100% sure what I’ll go with. I need to see them printed and in the frame first.

I’ll show you once I’m finished.  Here’s some pics-

Sallah examines the Headpiece

My Headpiece Prop

Purity Seal

Space Marine Miniature

Thror's Map (Partially Aged)

Plaque

See you next time!

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