Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build - New Light Module Pics

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madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Update
The for sale thread is now up in the Junk yard for anyone interested.

Tutorial Finished!
http://madmanmoe64.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/hellboy-corpse-locator-tutorial-part-1.html
I've collected together all the bits of tutorial scattered throughout this thread in one place, and finished off the last few steps I never posted.

Also here are some pictures of one of the newly finished compasses



Original Post:

On first watching I wasn't a fan of the Hellboy films, no particular reason, they just never stuck out as anything special in my mind. But for this project I thought I'd give it another glance. So I did some research and although I still think the pacing of the films is all wrong, the imagery behind it is actually really interesting.

And although it didn't feature heavily in the film one prop caught my eye.




The weird compass type device that Red uses to find a viable corpse in the Russian graveyard.

Obviously you can't get much from that scene, but the guy who made it is on here somewhere and his thread on it is really cool, (don't wanna use his images without permission, but search for it)

Anyway it's a prop that hasn't been done to death and presented a new challenge in terms of making, I'm gonna run this like a WIP thread despite the item already being finished.

That was a bit long for no real content tomorrows post will have real pictures I promise.
 
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madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build

I don't think the screen used had any lighting in and I found that it caught daylight really well and had it's own natural glow.
 

Alan Castillo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build

Very much looking forward to seeing what you have done :thumbsup
 

madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build

When I first started this project, I wanted to get an idea of what the prop was all about.

Phelyx (creator of original prop) already posted a bit of his imagined back story, saying it was compass like, hundreds of years old, and something that Red may have found and fixed up himself.

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 :confused .

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

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madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build




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

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.
 

madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build

My original plan was to rough 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 triangle 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, more tomorrow
 
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madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build

I'd like to point out that these pictures aren't in strict chronological order, they're grouped together by piece.
Also that they represent al lot of work, planning, sketching trying and failing etc to get the final piece. That last post spans about 6 weeks of work.




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, and then lots of moulding / casting.
 

madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build

Internet has been down for almost 24 hours, which puts a bit of a crimp in my daily updates plan. :cry
Unfortunately there aren't many more pictures anyway, because I lost a whole bunch when my laptop died.
So it's going to jump from rough looking casts to the one finished picture I recovered from my image host.

Proper update tomorrow of what trying to weave epoxy putty looks like. :)
 

madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build

The intricate effect you achieved here with such 'simplicity' is admirable !

Really, really well done !

(y)thumbsup:thumbsup
Thanks, it's always nice when an idea pans out. It was slow work, about two hours with a tooth pick poking filler into gaps to achieve that effect. But not too taxing, so I did it while watching T.V .
 
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madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build

Photos are early today, because i'm having to post this from Uni (still no internet at home).



The main body was constructed out of layers of grey cardboard, just like before, nothing too complicated.
I intentionally misaligned the layers on that edge to make it easier when applying the detailing.




Here you can see the beading added to the underside.




And a close up of the inside detailing, I tried really hard to copy reference for these bits and I'm pretty happy with the way it came out.












This is definitely one of the odder ideas I've ever had.
Epoxy putty has a 3-4 hour working time so I had to work fast, most of the time was spent trying to roll long, consistent 'sausages' which I did using a sheet of perspex.

I then put all the strands in their starting positions and began to weave, because the rolling had taken a good 90 minutes I actually didn't have too much trouble with the putty trying to stick to itself.




I didn't do stage by stage on the side detailing, but it was a similar process. I sculpted the eyes first then did the vines around those.
This picture shows it after filling and a quick prime, I quite like the odd ivory/porcelain look of it :)


Long post today, almost done.
 
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madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build

Although the moulds weren't too hard to make, I'm quiet proud of these.
I'd got the knack of drawing hexagons while constructing the pieces, so it made sense to make hexagonal moulds too.
And I've recently started using dome nuts for location, so the whole thing came out fairly neat.



The lid mould is similar to above, only it got a bit messy around the central thorn area, I'd like to redo it if I have time.

The rest are just one part moulds, cast against an MDF side.



Lid


Detail


Centre Dial


Detail


Main Body


Side


These were all cast up using generic polyester casting resin. The kind that starts of a purplish colour and cures to a see through, yellowish type hue.

But I happened to use graphite powder to dust the moulds with (didn't have any talc) and it meant the casts came out a kind of iridescent black, which looked really cool.

I was worried the resin was too thick for this job, but it picked up the detail really well and there were only a few bubbles, mostly on the vines.

This is where the pictures run out :cry, due to the afore mentioned computer crash. From here I filled the holes then went on to priming.

The paint job was probably the hardest bit to figure out, I'll try to describe it in the next post, which will also have the finished piece :D
 

madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build



Ta-Da!

The finished product. Luckily I uploaded this final pic to an image host before my laptop died.

The paint job had me scratching my head for ages, and there was a lot of test pieces.

The first problem was how to get a really rich gold colour. Here's a few things I tried.

1. Airbrush it gold and then do dark washes to tone it down.
- didn't look great, and had a hard time keeping the raised areas shiny looking.

2. Simply paint black, then dry-brush it gold
- Effect was good but it ended up looking more silver than gold, obviously something about dry-brushing didn't agree with my airbrush paint.

3. Rub n' Buff gold wax, dry brushed on.
- We have a winner.

For anyone who hasn't come across Rub n' Buff it's a gold wax type compound that you can either dry brush or rub on with a finger.

The inside of the compass is near impossible to see in reference pictures, I thought it was probably of wooden construction so I went for a very dark brown / black, dry brushed over with a lighter shade to give it some texture.


Test Piece


Close Up

The verdi-gri / mould areas I had been mulling over for a while now, I mixed up a relatively thick plaster solution with a turquoise paint and then with a very dry brush stippled it on.

I did a bit of testing with this (see above), trying different approaches, some with lots of paint, but in the end deciding to use very little.

I did 3 tones, one that was very dark almost black, driest brush possible and really rammed it into all the tiny recesses.
Then a mid-tone, with slightly more on my brush.
And a final light tone where I was much more gentle.

I didn't do this all over but tried to make it look as if it had grown or spread from certain areas, the hinge being particularly heavy because it would trap water etc.

Significantly less of this was done on the inside, and during the whole process I had a cloth to wipe off the surface to make sure The tops of the vines stayed shiny.

This constant wiping did remove some paint, so it got one final dry-brush with the gold and it was finished.



I also have these shots Wildabeast snapped when he received his present (hope you don't mind me including them here?).

They're taken indoors so the flash makes all the details look far brighter than they actually are (the lid interior is almost black).

But they let you see some different angles.





There it is, the finished product. I still have all the moulds as well as plenty of paint and amber resin so I'm going to order some better resin for the main parts and cast myself up one.

I was going to put up an interest thread but it's such an obscure piece that I doubt I'd find even one buyer.
 

wildabeast

Sr Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build

Again...this piece is awesome to hold in my hand....it has become the center piece w/ O_B's journal to my Hellboy collection...Thanks again for the awesome gift
 

madmanmoe64

Well-Known Member
Re: Hellboy Corpse Locator Scratch Build

I've decided to try my luck and put up an interest thread in the Junkyard.
Since I spent so much time making these moulds, It'd be nice to just make some money back to invest in my next prop.

Also bump for Friday night.
 

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