Archive for art

Prototyping and Printing

// May 21st, 2016 // Comments Off on Prototyping and Printing // art, props

I finally broke down and bought a grown-up 3D printer. My Prusa i3 was fine, as far as it went, but my growing envy of the nice (and giant) prints of Lulzbot TAZ 5 owners’s like James Bruton did me in. So I bought a Lulzbot TAZ 5 and added a FlexyDually dual extruder which allows me to print in normal materials from the primary head as well as flexible (such as Ninjaflex) and support materials from a second head. And I don’t regret it one bit. This machine is heaven. It’s like going from a motorcycle to a luxury car.

Speaking of printing, I’ve been designing/prototyping some props. More on all these later, but here’s a peek at what’s on deck at the moment.

commlock1The first is a scratch-built Commlock (another Space: 1999 prop). I’m calling it a prototype in that the idea was to figure out how to build one well by building one at all. :) I have a screen and electronics for the next iteration using what I learned. This one, as will the next, was built from Plastruct sheets and tubing, some laser cut elements, 3D printed buttons with white-on-black label tape for the numbers.

Related, I just bought a Century Casting commlock off eBay, so I’ll build that later as well. But the scratch-builts are my first priority.




I’ve also been working on 3D modeling the Vulcan 65 grenade from the first Hellboy movie. I have a few additions to make on the internals and just finished making the top removable, but I’ve pretty happy with the overall design. I’ll make a couple more and then I may make a cast of it so I can make some resin versions. I plan to add LEDs to one or two of the later printed ones.

The lettering is done using waterslide decals I designed and printed in Photoshop.





saltcellar_proto2Yet another Hellboy prop I’m working on is Ilsa’s salt cellar, the one containing the tears of a thousand angels (or martyrs in the earlier script). This one has been all about modeling and learning to make a patina’d surface look right. I solid-modeled the base, legs and dome. The glass is just a 7″ glass vase. It’s not exactly the right size. It’s 7″ high and about 3.2″ wide, should be more like 4″ wide, I think. I’m currently looking for a better one (or two… or twelve). Adam Savage actually owns the original and once put up a bunch of hi-rez photos on The RPF, but they’re no longer there. So I’m working on the [missing] dome art using screen grabs from the movie. I have to sort out how to do the knurling on the edges since that’s difficult to print.



eyetestproto Speaking of Adam Savage, I’m also working on a replica of a prop he was originally involved in designing and building. In Bicentennial Man, there’s a very neat little art deco eye examination device. It’s all black and brass and it’s terribly, terribly interesting. I started modeling it a while ago and printed a test to make sure it all fit together. It didn’t. But I sanded it down and slapped some paint on it just to see how it looked. It looked like someone painted it quickly is what it looked like. hehe Anywho, I’ve added the splines on the sides and adjusted the center piece so the next one should fit together better. Once I’ve got it looking right I’ll print another, add the LEDS and do a proper paint on it. Maybe I’ll also send one to Adam… ;)

And then I’d like to build a HUD Motion Tracker from Aliens… but that’s for another day.

Cult of Cthulhu box

// February 14th, 2016 // Comments Off on Cult of Cthulhu box // art, props

This was a weekend build (but more like two evenings) of a prototype for an idea I had earlier in the week; A box for Cthulhu cultists to hold sacred artifacts.  I’m happy with how it turned out, however I think the next version will be a pocket box which pulls out of the top of the standing outer box. I’ll probably add a handle to the top of this one as, after looking at the pics, it seems appropriate (and what gave me the idea to make it a pocket box next time.)

This is made using an off-the-shelf wooden craft store box with the catch removed. It’s covered in a synthetic hide which I bought off Amazon a while ago. The legs, corners, domed tacks and fake lock mechanism are scrap-booking ornaments bought at Michaels (mostly Jim Holtz brand). They’re sprayed with Dark Bronze hammered-finish paint (except the lock which I decided I’d paint as thought it were iron and rusty) and them weathered with Testor’s gold, Alclad ‘Burnt Iron’, and dulling spray. The interior has a felt bottom and Damask wallpaper in the upper lid. The wood is darkened and aged with a combination of brown acrylic paint and an india ink wash. Spritzes of flat black paint and dulling sprays over everything knock down any remaining shine. A smudged bloody thumb print also seemed appropriate. :)

The Cthulhu sigil is 3D-printed using a model from Thingiverse designed by Al Billings. It was sanded, painted with black hammered-finish spray, then weathered with Testor’s gold, a gold paint pen, a green-gold paint pen and india ink wash. The sigil and corners were bonded to the case using super glue,  accelerator and some Gorilla Glue for good measure. The legs were glued the same way, but also have small screws in the bottom for rigidity.

As its a prototype, I haven’t decided if I’ll keep it. Any cultists looking for somewhere to store a dried heart or tentacle, feel free to make an offer.

IMG_20160214_205242 IMG_20160214_205257 IMG_20160214_205349 IMG_20160214_191206 IMG_20160214_191038 IMG_20160214_205719

#ImAStarCitizen lady-type-character-person

// September 8th, 2015 // Comments Off on #ImAStarCitizen lady-type-character-person // art, games

A very cool thing that’s currently making the rounds of Cool Things is the Star Citizen #ImAStarCitizen info card. Tom Banks has created this for fun and with the tacit blessing (and some assets) from CIG.

However, what he doesn’t currently have is templates for the women of Star Citizen (mostly because the there aren’t any yet. The in-game characters are all still in the work). So, based on some concept art, I created two templates lady pilots and explorers can use for now when creating a card (until Tom gets hold of some real ones). Feel free to copy one of the image links below and put them in the custom box here:

Image 1: Copy this link

Image 2: Copy this link

US Comic page sizes in Manga Studio

// July 16th, 2013 // Comments Off on US Comic page sizes in Manga Studio // art, musings

I made some default comic page settings for myself in Manga Studio, so I thought I’d share the settings here so you can make your own.

Caveat: Bear in mind that the page dimensions are equal to the trim size, not the paper size. So, your bleed line is the edge of the [virtual] page. Register Mark = Margin Area and Basic Frame = Live Area. So, again, full bleed means fill the page completely. You could make them to paper dimensions if you wanted, but I didn’t see the point in it as that would make the printable area too large to print on the intended paper size. I hope that makes sense.

The first is the modern US comic page just as if you bought some blue-lined boards (see below for older page size). I triple-checked this using some blue-line (EonProd and BlueLinePro)… and then Manga Studio rounded up (If this really bugs you, convert to millimeters). I’m going to just live with it. The ‘exact’ dimensions in inches are: 10.5 x 15.875, 10 x 15.375, 9×14.875

A surprise for Liz

// July 7th, 2013 // 1 Comment » // art, Rambling

Several years ago I illustrated a short piece written by my pal Liz Argall. It was a very simple B&W thing with very few words. I think it turned out OK. Well, today I ran across the files and decided to try out some digital brushes on my new tablet. So, here’s a blast from the past and a little surprise for Liz.

(click to enlarge)


So… this happened. For better or worse.

// June 28th, 2013 // Comments Off on So… this happened. For better or worse. // art, Rambling, Uncategorized, weird

Because of this

this now exists. I’m not saying it’s right… just that it exists.