Raiders of the Lost Ark Goat Skull

bk85

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey everyone!

While I'm waiting on RelicMaker bronze cast Raven Bar Headpiece to the Staff of Ra, I decided to attempt making the goat skull candle holder that Marion has on some of the tables in her bar. As many of you might know, this was what she hung the "worthless bronze medallion" on just before Toht burst in trying to steal the headpiece. As much as I love accuracy in replicas, I knew that I wanted to go for something a bit smaller, and less old/brown looking than the ones used in the film. From some angles the skulls looked more like sculpts because the eye socket holes go all the way through to the other side, and were way too big for my display cabinet. I'm trying to balance my preferences for appearance, and size, while trying to stay true to the prop on film. My first attempt was a few months ago. Since I was new to using a 3D printer, and was just beginning to learn Blender, I grew frustrated that I couldn't figure out how to do what I wanted. I actually gave up for a bit, but I was recently re-inspired by the thread that genZOD has on their build of the same prop.

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I found a great starter skull on thingiverse that had, what I consider to be, a more elegant shape than the props used on set. They were a little bulbous for my tastes. The problem is that the horns were totally wrong. I first tried to remove the horns in blender and add on horns from another thingiverse file. but the horn file I used was way too low poly. This was also long before I was comfortable changing my printer settings, so I was using way too much infill, layers that were too thick, and had some adhesion problems due to the length of the print. You can see here, just how faceted the horns were. After this print failed halfway through due to shifting on the build plate, I decided to put this to bed until I learned a bit more about how to do what I wanted.
Early attempt.jpg


I decided to pick this back up about a month ago, and while I still used the previous skull file as a starting point, I modeled the horns myself. I printed out 2 skulls- yes, I'll admit I was a bit lazy and decided not to make 2 different sculpts. I rationalized this by thinking that I'll only see the left side of 1 skull and the right side of the other, so they won't necessarily look like mirror images of each other. In an attempt to make whatever light possible pass through the PLA+, I decided to do walls that were around 1.5 or 2 mm and 10% lightening infill. Lightening infill allows a 3d print to be as hollow as possible (like a real skull would be) while still providing some internal structure for the walls of the print where needed. The below pics are where I'm at right now. I plan on finishing up my build over the weekend. Here's where I'm at right now: Some of the in-progress pics show the hollow interior, as well as bits of the lightening infill on the 3rd pic.

Final print 1.jpg

Final print 2 infill.jpg

Final print 3 almost done.jpg

Final print 4 finished.jpg


If all goes to plan, I'll work on sanding and weathering the skulls tomorrow!
 
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Have seen the movie so many times and never noticed. Cool.

Looking forward to seeing the end result. Keep at it. Setbacks are a part of things. Cool you found ways to keep going and get around them.
 
Mostly done with the weathering of the 2 skulls!

For the bone part, I just used some washes of acrylic paints, and a tiny bit of fuller's earth. Although it looks a bit washed out on camera, the whole skull is definitely warmer and a little aged compared to the bright white of the original print. Although I thought I sanded out most of the layer lines, once I started weathering I realized that there were quite a few left. They're mostly in hard to get areas such as the eye sockets, or divots that were a bit too deep using the supplies I had on hand. I'm ok with it though, because they're much harder to see in person- the camera doesn't capture the lighter brown tones as much and they really help even out the color. I definitely wanted to stay away from any fillers/primers to try and keep whatever translucency I could.

The overall look I tried to go for was something that was sitting in a bar, and was occasionally wiped down but not really cleaned or scrubbed. I still have some work to do tomorrow. Later tonight, I'm going to test out some tobacco stain ideas using what I have in the house. In my mind, these would have had a good deal of yellow tar build up from all of the cigarettes I'm sure they were smoking back then. I definitely want it to look like it was sitting in a bar for years, rather than a field somewhere.

I tried to give the horns a more organic paint job by thickly stippling some light brown, waiting for that to dry, then going over it with a darker brown. I then hit it with the sand paper to allow some of the light brown to peek through the dark. I also randomly hit the skull/horn line with sand paper to make the line between the two colors a bit softer and more irregular.

Top.jpg

Bottom.jpg

Side 1.jpg

Side 2.jpg

Nose.jpg
 
Slight update before bed, I decided that the best way to get it to look like there is soot from a candle is by....wait for it...giving it soot from a candle. I did some test painting and couldn't match the real thing, so I decided to give the real thing a shot. It worked out pretty well. I was careful to make sure that the skull didn't get hot enough to melt or catch fire. I'll probably let it go a little longer tomorrow to get it a little blacker and do the other skull.

Candle 1.jpg

candle 2.jpg

before and after candle.jpg
 
Fantastic results so far! Both the print and the weathering are working out great. I think I found the model on thingiverse, and it juuuust barely fits on my Prusa Mini when I chop off the horns, I may have to play around with this some day. For now, I'll just sit here and be impressed with your progress!
 
Fantastic results so far! Both the print and the weathering are working out great. I think I found the model on thingiverse, and it juuuust barely fits on my Prusa Mini when I chop off the horns, I may have to play around with this some day. For now, I'll just sit here and be impressed with your progress!
Thanks! Yeah, it's the one called Goat head bone. All I did was slice off the horns and sculpt new ones. I don't recall, but I think I stretched it to make it just a bit wider. I went through so many iterations, that I lost track. I also scaled it down a bit.

The original horns are fine when chopped and would look great (and more realistic) but they curved inward just a bit too much for me and I kinda wanted to keep true to the original horns being kinda fake and too smooth, with no sculptural transition between the skull and the horns. They're also super textured, so I was a bit concerned about how the layer lines would interact with them. I also made the cut so that where the skull meets the shelf is flat to make it a bit more stable.

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I thought about uploading my STL to this thread (or the free 3d print thread Jintosh started up) since I think I'm allowed to under the original Creative Commons license, but the file was way too large at 26.4 mb. I'm not sure the best way to get around that. When I tried to make the file smaller by decimating the mesh in Blender, it made the it lose a lot of the detail and get kinda funky looking. Unless anybody has other suggestions for uploading it directly, I might just upload to thingiverse and link here.
 
Great job! This whole time, I just assumed it was a small tree stump or something. Never realized it was a skull.
 
Thanks! Yeah, it's the one called Goat head bone. All I did was slice off the horns and sculpt new ones. I don't recall, but I think I stretched it to make it just a bit wider. I went through so many iterations, that I lost track. I also scaled it down a bit.

The original horns are fine when chopped and would look great (and more realistic) but they curved inward just a bit too much for me and I kinda wanted to keep true to the original horns being kinda fake and too smooth, with no sculptural transition between the skull and the horns. They're also super textured, so I was a bit concerned about how the layer lines would interact with them. I also made the cut so that where the skull meets the shelf is flat to make it a bit more stable.

View attachment 1783370

I thought about uploading my STL to this thread (or the free 3d print thread Jintosh started up) since I think I'm allowed to under the original Creative Commons license, but the file was way too large at 26.4 mb. I'm not sure the best way to get around that. When I tried to make the file smaller by decimating the mesh in Blender, it made the it lose a lot of the detail and get kinda funky looking. Unless anybody has other suggestions for uploading it directly, I might just upload to thingiverse and link here.
If you're willing to upload it, that'd be awesome. I know some folks use dropbox or Google drive other file hosting sites for files that are too large. Thingiverse is probably the most discoverable option, totally up to you though.
 
I used Zbrush to reduce the file. Is it still acceptable quality?
 

Attachments

  • Raiders Goat Skull bk85 4.zip
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Alright everybody- This will probably be my final progress update for a bit until I can upgrade the LED candle. Once I get a better candle, I'll probably also add some wax drips to make it look like it's had at least a few previous candles in it.

Final weathering:
I mixed up some dyes with alcohol and tried to get a murky brownish yellow color which I sprayed on the skulls, wiped off, repeat, etc to get that nicotine tar buildup that I was looking for. I also got some 9 gauge aluminum wire which I aged with some paints and graphite powder. Once that was done, I used a cheap LED candle that I had laying around from the holidays, put it between the two skulls and wrapped it with the wire.

Thanks for the support you all have shown. I was extremely nervous posting my first build here, having seen the absolutely breathtaking builds that many of you have posted. One of the things I have noticed being a semi-lurker is that this community is more that just building props... it's more about building knowledge and skills, confidence, and most importantly building people up. Thanks all!

Some final pics and a vid to leave you with :)

Tobacco stains (it's a much duller yellow in person):
IMG_1255.jpeg


Final build on my desk:
IMG_1259.jpeg




At home in my cabinet, ready and waiting for the Raven Bar Headpiece:
IMG_1273.JPG

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