Indiana Jones' Grail - The same one but another one

Hi guys,

there are already a lot of Grails out there but I would like to show mine here as well to gain some fame :-D

Seriously - There are a lot, many of which look great (Poorly looking ones as well). What I had in mind was a Grail that looks and feels more "realistic" - as realistic as it can be should it still have the appearance like in the movie.

First things first: It is not screen accurate, by far. But let's go down to business.

First of all, I needed a cup. I didn't want to make it out of resin. Back then, vessels had been made of ceramic, and the closest that I could get to this was clay. Unfortunately, I have not the ability to do it myself, so I ordered one online from a pottery for €15.


As you can see, it was off-white/beige. The shape is by far not correct, too. But in the end, it wasn't that bad Looking at the result let your focus go to the big picture, not to such details. To get the reddish base, I painted it with acrylic paint - One of the compromises I had to accept. But therefor the result was quite remarkable.


Now, I came to something which turned out to be tricky: Applying sheet metal. No gold leaf but an alloy. That would have been a waste of money :-D My skills and the tools I had were (and are) limited as you can see in the picture below. I started on the balcony but the wind started blowing - You can imagine the rest...



Nevertheless, the result is good enough (I plan a second version which I will do way better, I guess). Afterwards, I "gilded" the outside of the cup. When you check pictures of the Grail from the movie then you may notice that the "pattern" of the gold on the outside is a little implausible. The pieces are too "accurate" and the scratches or gaps are in different directions at the same place what is quite unlikely.

So I applied the metal in a way that it appears somehow like it has been transported and used without real care over hundreds of years.


An aspect to mention is that the area between the cup itself and the lower part is protected against impacts. So, in reality that area also should be less damaged than the rest what I tried to reproduce.


The only problem so far: it looks too brand-new as the pieces look absolutely fresh and too accurate. To fix this I started to sand it very carefully. This created "realistic" scratches and reduced the gloss a little.


The last thing to do was to make the Grail look ancient. I tried out very thinned acrylic paint first, hoping that it would look like bright dust. Well - it looked like very thinned acrylic color :)

My alternative: First, I got some dirt from our garden. Fortunately, in my area, the ground is very sandy and if you want to plant vegetables it's not very useful, but for this purpose it was optimal. I filtered that dust to remove the bigger parts.


With that dirt, I simply rubbed the surface of the Grail. After that, both the gloss and the saturation of the red acrylic color were reduced significantly.



It looked still kinda new'ish on the photograph, but at this point, it already had a somewhat ancient look. Nevertheless, I wanted to go further. So I mixed the dirt with some plaster to make it more homogeneous and a little brighter, sprayed hairspray on the cup, and again rubbed the mix of dirt and plaster with my bare hands on the surface.



A side effect of this solution is that it not only looks but also feels ancient. Together with the weight of the clay, it has a somehow realistic appearance. As said at the beginning - Not screen accurate, but so what? :)

That's it :) Please find more details on my blog Part-Time Geek
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