The Mummy - Canopic Jars (build)

veneziaworks

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RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hello everyone,

I am a Modelmaking student studying in the UK. One of my University modules was History & Replication and I was tasked with replicating a famous film prop/props. I chose the Canopic Jars from The Mummy (1999) film.

Here are some of the images I took of the Jars:

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In this thread, I will walk you through some of the processes of making the jars.

If any of you are interested in these Jars, I might make a run of them in future.
 
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RobertMuldoon

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thank you so much, I'm thinking of casting some of them in a semi-translucent resin and making it look like alabaster like how it is in the film
And of course looking like their real-world inspirations.

In case you hadn't seen, I did a thread about the jars which might be a help for reference.
 

veneziaworks

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
And of course looking like their real-world inspirations.

In case you hadn't seen, I did a thread about the jars which might be a help for reference
I did see it! Your thread really helped me when I was doing all the initial research about the jars a few months back. Especially when it came to the inscriptions on the Jars being from Tutankhamen’s canopic chest, that definitely gave me a few points on my report!
 
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veneziaworks

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Sizing Research

I found different sources providing a variety of dimensions so I'll note them down here:

1. Lion Head Jar sold at Heritage Auctions (with felt bottom, packaged in a wooden crate)
Dimensions Provided: 9"x 2.25"
link: (https://entertainment.ha.com/itm/mo...ad-canopic-jar-from-the-mummy/a/997062-2486.s)
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2. 367/400 MOVIE PROP CANOPIC JAR from the 1999 Universal Movie " THE MUMMY "
It doesn't have a felt bottom and instead has "The Mummy, Property of Universal Studios and the item number" engraved.
Dimensions Provided: 8 3/4 inches in height and 3 1/2 inches wide
link: (THE MUMMY MOVIE PROP NUMBERED REPRODUCTION CANOPIC JAR | #43184351)

the-mummy-movie-prop-numbered-reproduction-canopic_1_60767ae8d997614469eb8b6389e5559.jpg
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the-mummy-movie-prop-numbered-reproduction-canopic_1_60767ae8d997614469eb8b6389ee5559 (1).jpg



3. 170/400 MOVIE PROP CANOPIC JAR from the 1999 Universal Movie " THE MUMMY "
This appears to be the same as #2, but with different dimensions provided.
Dimensions Provided: 9 x 2.25 in.
link: (Universal Studios Mummy 1999 Lion Canopic Jar Prop Replica RARE Limited Promo | #3821562323)

universal-studios-mummy-1999-lion_1_6450238d961142ca9622b2d20fe21e6f (1).jpg
universal-studios-mummy-1999-lion_1_6450238d961142ca9622b2d20fe21e6f (3).jpg
universal-studios-mummy-1999-lion_1_6450238d961142ca9622b2d20fe21e6f (4).jpg
universal-studios-mummy-1999-lion_1_6450238d961142ca9622b2d20fe21e6f (2).jpg


4. 1 of the 125 Limited Edition Lion Head Jars made. This is the first of 3 made for colour approval prior to production. These were also made out of original casts. These also do not have the felt bottom and the paint job also seems a bit more vibrant than the other 2.
Dimensions Provided: 9" tall and 3.5"wide
link: (Rare 1999 The Mummy movie Canopic Jar that held Organs PROP 1 of 3 Color Proofs | #1880128290)
1999-mummy-movie-canopic-jar-held_1_ddfca50ba381d624501c5fc16f77a7e6.jpg
1999-mummy-movie-canopic-jar-held_1_ddfca50ba381d624501c5fc16f77a7e6 (1).jpg
1999-mummy-movie-canopic-jar-held_1_ddfca50ba381d624501c5fc16f77a7e6 (3).jpg
1999-mummy-movie-canopic-jar-held_1_ddfca50ba381d624501c5fc16f77a7e6.jpg


Note: As you can see there were a variety of dimensions, this sucked cuz I was unsure who to trust but thankfully I found 2 sources with pictures taken of the jars up against a ruler (unless someone's using a faulty ruler I think I'm good)

5. Falcon Jar sold on the Prop Store. This jar seems to be shorter than the others but this is probably due to the falcon head itself being shorter than the lion.
Bottom Half: 5.5 inches
Dimensions Provided: 9 cm x 9 cm x 20 cm (3½” x 3½” x 8”)

link: (MUMMY, THE - Henderson’s (Stephen Dunham) Canopic Jar)
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6. I found this batch of images too but I can't remember where I got them from and reverse google images isn't being helpful either.
Full Jar with Lion Head: 8.5 inches
Bottom Half: 5.5 inches

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I was able to determine that 8.5 inches was the height of the bottom half of the jar, from here I could find the dimensions of all the other elements. I printed out the image(to scale) of the frontal Lion headed Jar as it was the most centred image I could find with minimal parallax. This was one of my main references when it came to making the jars.

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thanks for stopping by!

- Val
 
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veneziaworks

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RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Starting the Base

Since this was a school project, one of my aims was to utilise the techniques adopted by the original canopic jar propmakers. To do this, I contacted Dick George Creatives (Prop Making Company | Making Props for the Mummy Movie) to see if they could give me an insight into the techniques they used when making The Mummy props. Unfortunately, I got no response so decided to move forward logically and think about the best way for me to approach the production of the jars.

A profile of the jar was traced and used as a reference when carving the master base. I decided to lathe the base instead of sculpting it due to not having access to a turntable where I could use wet clay.

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I used the lathe on a block of mahogany and tried to hollow it out as much as possible but as I went deeper it got a bit difficult as there was too much resistance. So instead I drilled/carved it out by hand.

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Next, I marked the rectangular section where the inscriptions were supposed to go and carved it out. I then filled that area with car body filler and sanded it down by making a quick drill lathe. I then carefully carved a 1mm deep "section".

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thanks for stopping by!

- Val
 
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veneziaworks

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Detailing the base

Image References:

IMG_0863.jpg
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For the inscription, I drew it out first on the vase and constantly made sure it's was as accurate as the source material as possible. I then dremell-ed out what I had drawn.
After this I masked out the inscriptions and filler primed the jar to get rid of the wood grain texture.

For the details at the top of the jar, I decided to layer some duct tape and cut it into the rectangular lapis or jade pieces and simply placed them on (very rudimentary, but it works).

Finally for the bottom part I sculpted it since I couldn't think of a quicker or better way to do it for the time being. Looking back at it I wish I had carved the bottom lip on the lathe. (I will do that in my next iteration)

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thanks for stopping by!

-Val
 
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RobertMuldoon

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just a point on the hieros; if you want a better reference, with all the symbols and not just a pseudo-mapping to the Latin alphabet, you can download a program called JSesh (free and for both Mac and Windows) and you can also reference the Unicode representations of the letters here.

And as an irrelevant historical point, the idea of carving back a surface and then filling it with a medium to carve is what happened in ancient Egypt when objects were re-used and the original inscriptions were cut back and filled with something like gypsum to then re-carve.
 

veneziaworks

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just a point on the hieros; if you want a better reference, with all the symbols and not just a pseudo-mapping to the Latin alphabet, you can download a program called JSesh (free and for both Mac and Windows) and you can also reference the Unicode representations of the letters here.

And as an irrelevant historical point, the idea of carving back a surface and then filling it with a medium to carve is what happened in ancient Egypt when objects were re-used and the original inscriptions were cut back and filled with something like gypsum to then re-carve.
Thanks for the advice!! Also good to see I somehow still adopted some of the techniques used by the ancient Egyptians
 

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