Archive for the 'Modelling/Modification' Category


I wish I had $150+ as this item has just become available on eBay:

The Necronomicon

This particular Necronomicon is “hand-bound in two colors of real hand-stitched leather and finished with high quality archival red felt.The sigil of The Necronomicon and the Elder Sign have been emblazoned on the front and back cover respectively. Each and every one of it’s 148 pages has been filled with original artwork, custom engravings, occult signs and circles, eldritch symbols and authentic occult texts in Latin. A few passages are in Old English as would be authentic to the time period of the piece.” Awesome.

Make a SAN check.

It was made for an off-Broadway production of H.P.Lovecraft’s The Hound, which looked kinda sweet and comes with all sorts of documentation (certificates of authentication, photos of it being used in the production, etc.). If you have more money than I do (and maybe feel like giving me a present) then head over to the item here:


The Robot King

“I am the robot king, I’m not made of tin
   I am the robot baron, my name is not Sharon” – InfernOtoriuM

ROBOT by Joshua Hoffine

So the other day Laura, ever a source of inspiring pictures, blogs, films, events, etc., pointed me in the direction of Joshua Hoffine’s personal website. He’s a pretty well known photographer specialising in horror shots – most of which are pretty gnarly (and some of which are almost certainly not work safe, in case that’s an issue). One of his most recent photos is the one above, entitled ROBOT. It’s a sweet shot and as I’ve been on a bit of a trip recently of 80’s classic horror and/or sci-fi films e.g. Blade Runner, Alien and The Thing  it should come as no surprise that I particularly liked this one (yes, I do know Alien was 1979, really, but it still falls into that same group of films in my mind). The actual robot also reminded me a little bit of IG-88.

Robot bounty hunter FTW

ThenI found out that he has a ‘behind the scenes’ blog, and has included a post about ROBOT that goes through everything from initial sketches, to the construction of the robot, from the prosthetics to the post-production. As I have, simultaneously to my film trip, also been getting steadily more and more interested in the whole world of special effects, this really captured me. You should check out Joshua’s blog detailing the full making of, his thought process behind creating the shot, etc. (it’s a WordPress blog, of course) over here:

The Thing

This past couple of weeks have been fuelled by images of the strange (predominantly the usual Lovecraftian madness) and welded to the processes of improvisational construction and modification. Later on tonight, I’m hoping to continue work on my thing in a jar over at Inner Sanctum collectibles (as well as some more miniatures for IABSM) but last night I watched The Thing, the classic 1982 sci-fi/horror (Lovecraftian cosmic horror, anyone?). I mean, John Carpenter directing, a score by Ennio Morricone and the magnificent Kurt Russell in the lead – who could ask for more?

Burn it. Burn it with fire!

As it happens, it doesn’t matter who, as we got more anyway. If you haven’t seen The Thing, then suffice to say it was absolutely groundbreaking in terms of its special effects – the majority of which were created by Rob Bottin (only 22 years old at the time i.e. the same age as me). Some of these effects have now become fairly legendary in shocking horror movie moments legend – such as the use of a double amputee for the scene in which a man’s arms are ripped off by a giant alien maw. Oh, spoiler alert.

In fact all the gribbliness of the film has not only helped spur on my own model-making project, but also given me some more campaign ideas for Call of Cthulhu. Actually, part of the reason that I decided to watch the film properly was on the recommendation of another keeper, a certain Mr. John Wick who wrote a monograph for Chaosium entitled Digging For A Dead God. The scenario focuses on a group of Nazi soldiers in 1939 who stumble across an unfathomable evil – as per CoC standards.

Continue reading ‘The Thing’

Thing in a jar, pt.1

This is hardly something new, and there are many good examples of other people having done precisely this and more, but as so many others before me I’ve always been fairly enchanted by the stereotypical laboratories and workshops of mad scientists, necromancers and Cthulhu cultists alike. So I have decided to make my very own ‘thing in a jar’ mostly for use in our Call of Cthulhu campaign, but also just because it’s the sort of thing that I think is cool. The main part of the structure, the ‘body’ of my… uhm, ‘thing’ if you like… was where I started:

Very simply: two champagne (or similar) corks drilled out and pinned together with a brass rod and liberal amounts of superglue.

Next I thought about giving my thing some sort of claw / head / other non-specific appendage but definitely something to be the main focus of the thing. It’s kind of hard to glue non-Euclidean shapes out of things that you find lying around your house, but I thought that this so-called desert rose crystal with a fossilised shar’s tooth on top looked kind of cool. I’m also adding some glass beads in non-symmetrical numbers and places to (possibly) represent eyes.

Old ornaments and things you find lying around in old drawers/boxes under the bed are a brilliant source of inspiration. Also, superglue is your friend.

Finally, as the… ‘assembly?’ …above is going to sit on top of the thing in the jar, and it weighs quite a lot, I decided that I needed to start constructing a base for the thing. Something to act as ballast to keep the thing upright once it’s submerged and sealed in the jar. So I drilled through some English two pence pieces and pinned them together with a brass rod. I find myself defacing the Queen’s image way too much recently.

I really hope I don't get hanged for treason...

More updates coming soon: Tentacles, eyes, limbs, sickly flesh… all this and much more to be revealed! Fhtagn!

Chicken Dinner

They don’t call me Champion Dave for nothing…

Crablike appendage not required for this mod.

At the weekend I purchased my second Nerf gun – an N-Strike Barrel Break IX-2. It’s a double-barreled shotgun and it was very simple to modify (at first). We simply drilled out the air restrictor completely (as you can see in the picture above), taped over the daft air release hole in the front part of the air chamber and then wrapped tape around the part where the spring sits on the air chamber to give it a bit of a buffer and to act as spacing. This increased the power of the gun fairly dramatically and didn’t take very long to do at all.

Then it all went belly up. The left chamber either wasn’t cocking or, the cocking mechanism was jamming, or the right chamber just wasn’t firing at all, or some combination of all three from pretty much as soon as I put the gun back together for the ‘final’ time. And I couldn’t figure out at all why. We tried removing some of the tape, gluing some components in place, firing it with only one chamber inside… pretty much everything we could think of, but to no avail.

I realised after much cursing that the rear part of the air chambers (obviously the Barrel Break has two, one for each barrel) were the wrong way around. Each has a clip that I had diligently made sure was facing down, in order to be caught correctly by the cocking mechanism, but we had completely missed the fact that these were off-centre – in the opposite direction to each other. A simple swap of these led to… one successful firing of both barrels.

Finally, late last night I cracked it. Not only had I put the air chambers back into the gun the wrong way around, but I had also put the left-hand trigger mechanism in back to front, explaining why that chamber wasn’t cocking and why the whole action of priming and cocking the gun felt like the whole thing was going to break in my hands (if I didn’t smash it repeatedly against a rock first). It’s all working fine now, though I need to reapply some more tape to act as a spacer or find some other sort of large washer, perhaps, to do the trick. I’vve also spent some of today shaving, filing and sanding down much of the exterior aesthetic nonsense on both the Barrel Break and the Maverick.

My jubilation over the completion of this mod cannot be underestimated, as it was really ticking me off on Sunday and I got a bit frustrated with it, myself and a few of the cooks (too many of ’em) pitching in variously with advice, suggestions and mockery. Still, I’m the one with the working shotgun now. 

Winner, winner, chicken dinner. (More Nerf news and mod updates coming soon).

Shopping List of Champions

My kitchen table, yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday, Sean and I had a pretty good day out in Stevenage and the surrounding area (represent, Graveley massive – in particular the Hungry Horse and your ridiculously underpriced food!). We visited all of the staples of a good day’s shopping: Toys’r’Us, Hobby Craft, Argos, B&Q and an Extreme Laser Tag centre. As you do.

1 Nerf N-Strike Longshot CS-6 Blaster
1 Nerf N-Strike Barricade RV-10 blaster
1 Nerf N-Strike Barrel Break IX-2 Blaster
1 Litre of Latex Liquid Rubber
1 Bottle of Latex Thickener
1 25mm Paint Brush
1 Junior Hacksaw
2 Cans of Citadel Chaos Black Spray Paint
1 Large Glass Jar
1 pack of 35 N-Strike Whistler Darts (reduced as there was one missing!)
1 N-Strike Flip Clip (with 24 darts)
1 pack of 36 N-Strike Clip System Darts
3 meters of 2″ Waste Pipe
3 meters of 3/8″ Overflow Waste Pipe
1 40mm Coupling
1 40mm ABS Expansion Coupling
1 pack of AA Batteries

Also on the list were some cheap wire coat hangers, but we couldn’t find any so I have salvaged some from home instead. All of this obviously cool stuff aside though, plus the mighty amount of meat that we ate, there was something even cooler that we managed to achieve today. The manager/owner of a certain Laser Tag center thinks it would be absolutely fine for us to hire out the space for Nerf War – hells yeah! Just hope we can get this sorted soon, but we first need… Moar Guns!

Hopefully all of the slightly more cryptic items on the list (plumbing goods and latex?) will be explained on this here blog within the next week or two, along with some more modding guides/updates for my new Barrel Break shotgun and the Maverick, which I do intend to actually finish soon. Honestly.

For posterity's sake: Sean's current arsenal!

Maverick Modding, pt.7

Grinding it down, man…

Work in progress shot, obv.

This is almost certainly (i.e. barring some unforseen disaster) the penultimate blog post about the modifications that I have been doing to / wreaking upon my Nerf N-Strike Maverick. I’m sure that the Airsoft guys are laughing at us, yes. And everyone else over the age of twelve, but whatever.

The final stage is purely aesthetic as it consisted of me slicing, filing and sanding down all the unsightly parts of the gun’s outer casing such as the N-Strike shield, the weird bobbles on the grip (as in the picture above) and all the other embossed writing such as the gun’s name along the undercarriage and the safety warnings on the side, which from memory read something like:

  • Do not aim at eyes or face.
  • Do not modify dart blaster or darts.
  • Do not have any kind of fun whatsoever.
  • Do not hit your friends with anything harder than some wimpily-thrown down feather.
  • More boring crap.

Point is, all that stuff has gone the way of all mould lines, and all the screw holes and other gaps are being Green Stuffed ready for the paint job and any other extra stuff I feel like adding to it – the final stage!

P.s. maybe it’s time for Airsoft next? We’re already stocking up on paint/smoke grenades for paintballing on the stag weekend next month.

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