Working Davy Jones' music box locket from Pirates of the Caribbean

Cbstudios

Well-Known Member
What a surprise, CB is posting MORE Pirates of the Caribbean prop projects. Does anyone bother looking at these? Do I care? The answer to both of those is probably no. Oh well, lets press on.

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In P2 and P3, Davy Jones and Tia Dalma have a matching set of lockets as somewhat of a plot point, and many many years back, Master Replicas released a metal version of the Tia Dalma prop. It was hollow backed, and looked great. One thing I wanted though, was Davy Jones' version which in the film is shown to contain a music box. While wandering through my local mall several months back, I found a kiosk selling little hand cranked music boxes that played a segment of the the actual tune, at this point, an idea formed.
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Once I'd freed the mechanism from its tiny plywood bonds, I got to measuring and found that my mechanism was way too large for a direct recast of my Tia Dalma locket, but after looking at reference I noticed that the Davy and Dalma locket props were actually different sizes, This image from user Purgatori on DeviantArt shows a few screen used props from Dead Mans Chest on display, and two different sized pendants, with Jones' being significant larger. This was fantastic to see as that meant i could still keep it relatively accurate to the screen prop.
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I'd originally intended to sculpt this locket from scratch using the MR one as reference, but after a little searching online, I found an STL for sale for a couple of bucks, and bought that instead. An hour or so of dicking about in 3D builder and I had the file tweaked, hollowed and split, ready to print a prototype on my Photon S. 4 hours later, some superglue and sanding, and I can get to the good bits! PROGRESS PHOTOS
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I had a small print failure on one of the crab claws, but this model still needs a little tweaking so no harm,no foul on that. Overall the size is roughly 135% of the MR locket, but most importantly, the mechanism fits! It'll need slight tweaking and shaping to fit flawlessly, but this is a huge win. One thing I didn't account for on this first prototype was the depth of the locket, which needs to be increased another 10mm or so to allow the lid to close, thankfully that's an easy fix
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Here's a comparison to the MR Locket, and a shot of it in all its empty glory. Up next is printing the updated prototype, and then the really fun part begins, Casting a silicone mold to run my final pieces in pewter. That's right, this music box is gonna be Heavy Metal Baby!
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And finally, just because I can..... here's a video of the resin locket, playing the tune like it should. This makes me incredibly happy.
 

Cbstudios

Well-Known Member
Well, after spending some time with a pair of digital calipers, and making my robot print an altered set of parts, I had one chonky locket base. I'd decided that instead of increasing the overall dimensions, i'd just beef out the thickness to accomodate for the mechanism. This test print os a little flawed, but it gives me a chance to test some ideas and work out some kinks!

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Holy balls, it fits! Now, a downside to this, it has made the body of this locket feel significantly thicker. The original body was just a hair under 15mm thick, but to compensate for the mech its now 22mm thick. 7mm isn't much but I can't help but think it makes it feel a little boxy as opposed to lockety. Here's a bit of a comparison, original body vs the thicker one.
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Now, I've got a couple of directions I can go....
1. Do nothing and use this "as is"
Two. Use this thicker body, but shave down the crab legs to appear thinner (Height wise) as well as contouring the underside of the body to make it FEEL thinner in the hand
C. Rework the 3D file from scratch to adjust for these issues. (I'm not a 3D modeler, so this is way less desirable an option for me)

Option 2 is my current choice, as I'm going to be sanding this body back in places prior to molding it. While it's messier and a bunch of work I feel it could also add to the "hand made" feel all of the POTC props have, plus I can continue with my original plan of attack for molding.

Thoughts? Comments? how am I doing guys?
image10.jpg
 

robstyle

Master Member
The actual hero "working" musical locket didn't play any music. It was a watch mechanism put together buy a watch maker, if memory serves, in Long Beach CA. Only one was made for that single scene. I have detailed photos of it on an old drive.

The photos from Disney parks showing "screen used" props are prolific. Meaning they were created for the films premiere and park displays as the third film was still in production. Then many of those items ended up being used in the film itself. Some are now used in the park ride itself.

There was intended to be a working Tia Dalma locket that was abandoned due to its size. Disney props were created for that locket being a bottom half cavity opened section.

Lastly no replicas to date have been accurate to the real screen used props. The faces have been visibly off and the cast in details of sea growth havent been present or accurate.

Next time I have that old drive out I'll post some pictures.
 

Cbstudios

Well-Known Member
The actual hero "working" musical locket didn't play any music. It was a watch mechanism put together buy a watch maker, if memory serves, in Long Beach CA. Only one was made for that single scene. I have detailed photos of it on an old drive.

The photos from Disney parks showing "screen used" props are prolific. Meaning they were created for the films premiere and park displays as the third film was still in production. Then many of those items ended up being used in the film itself. Some are now used in the park ride itself.

There was intended to be a working Tia Dalma locket that was abandoned due to its size. Disney props were created for that locket being a bottom half cavity opened section.

Lastly no replicas to date have been accurate to the real screen used props. The faces have been visibly off and the cast in details of sea growth havent been present or accurate.

Next time I have that old drive out I'll post some pictures.
I had wondered about the screen used prop, The mechanism inside did look to be fairly complex for a music box, and it didn't make sense that they'd need to make a fully working one, so that is AMAZING knowledge to confirm. I had figured that a lot of the props that have showed up were like the current Disney display Star Wars props not being entirely Screen Used.
This is all so fascinating to hear. So much of these movies has been documented but at the same time, there are massive voids in information surrounding props and pieces like these lockets or Jack's compass and where they originated from. I'd LOVE to see any photos you're willing to share. Thank you so much for sharing your insight dude!
 

robstyle

Master Member
Jack's compass, at least for the second and third films, was a new creation. The original first film prop may have been used at times that I am not certain. But a new version had to do different things the original was never designed nor intended to do. I also seem to recall both the face and dial of the original prop being replaced for the sequels but I am not 100% on that.

There are some items of Jack's that don't seem to have either made it to screen or nobody noticed. One was a pocket knife that when folded appeared to be a fish but when opened it looked like a toucan. I also remember Barbosa having a pocket watch. There was a King Arthur medieval style sword for Davey Jones which I'm unsure had ever been seen. If I recall nobody really considered his ability to use a sword having a crustacean/octupus hand.

Some of the off or missed official information may be due to the sequels original prop Master passing away during pre production and his hand picked replacement taking over in which he pulled off an near impossible task. The bone cages were the last thing he had approved before passing. It's difficult to comprehend how much information one person holds until they are gone. Then someone else has to piece it together as they go. With POTC there are discrepancies whome designed and created the cursed coins, the Davey Jones key, the lockets, the chests, the swords, the live fire weapons... One person will have one piece of the puzzle while another that worked on or completed a job will have another piece of that puzzle totally unaware of the puzzle as a whole.
 

Cbstudios

Well-Known Member
Jack's compass, at least for the second and third films, was a new creation. The original first film prop may have been used at times that I am not certain. But a new version had to do different things the original was never designed nor intended to do. I also seem to recall both the face and dial of the original prop being replaced for the sequels but I am not 100% on that.

There are some items of Jack's that don't seem to have either made it to screen or nobody noticed. One was a pocket knife that when folded appeared to be a fish but when opened it looked like a toucan. I also remember Barbosa having a pocket watch. There was a King Arthur medieval style sword for Davey Jones which I'm unsure had ever been seen. If I recall nobody really considered his ability to use a sword having a crustacean/octupus hand.

Some of the off or missed official information may be due to the sequels original prop Master passing away during pre production and his hand picked replacement taking over in which he pulled off an near impossible task. The bone cages were the last thing he had approved before passing. It's difficult to comprehend how much information one person holds until they are gone. Then someone else has to piece it together as they go. With POTC there are discrepancies whome designed and created the cursed coins, the Davey Jones key, the lockets, the chests, the swords, the live fire weapons... One person will have one piece of the puzzle while another that worked on or completed a job will have another piece of that puzzle totally unaware of the puzzle as a whole.
Yeah Jack's compass definitely had a redesigned dial and face for P2 and P3, Easier to read and smaller brass work, from what I've found the same prop house who made the Cursed aztec gold also made Jack's compasses for the first three films. I tried contacting them, about it on their block but they don't seem to frequent it much. I don't know if they designed the compass but they've got a beautiful breakdown on the construction of the coins

The Medieval style sword for Davy might be in the film, I don't remember, but its definitely represented in the Hot Toys 1/6th scale figure of Jones, which is neat. I had no idea about Jack having a pocket knife, or Barbossa having a watch and that just blows my mind. So cool to hear about!
 

robstyle

Master Member
This is the "working" Davey Jones locket. If I recall correctly it needed to be wound for every use with its own key device. As mentioned it was a watch mechanism and not a music mechanism. I incorrectly stated the watch maker was in Long Beach CA, he was in Costa Mesa CA at the time.
 

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Cbstudios

Well-Known Member
This is the "working" Davey Jones locket. If I recall correctly it needed to be wound for every use with its own key device. As mentioned it was a watch mechanism and not a music mechanism. I incorrectly stated the watch maker was in Long Beach CA, he was in Costa Mesa CA at the time.
This is incredible reference to see! The shots of it in the movie are so hard to make out much detail, but this is gonna let me try and replicate so much. It also has given me so many ideas for the patina of the locket. I genuinely cannot thank you enough for this, robstyle
 

robstyle

Master Member
The color of all the props in the first two sequels is random. Some items such as Davey Jones' pipe had a beautifully detailed full of depth and color paint job, aged and weathered then dunked into a vat of gunk wash for the grime look everything had on that ship. But over the course of filming and repeated gunk wash dunkings it became mud to the eye.
The lockets were no different. If I recall the ones sent out to the parks and film premieres for display were painted in seconds then dunked in the wash of doom. Next time I get back on the computer I'll post some pics of the main hero lockets.
 

Cbstudios

Well-Known Member
The color of all the props in the first two sequels is random. Some items such as Davey Jones' pipe had a beautifully detailed full of depth and color paint job, aged and weathered then dunked into a vat of gunk wash for the grime look everything had on that ship. But over the course of filming and repeated gunk wash dunkings it became mud to the eye.
The lockets were no different. If I recall the ones sent out to the parks and film premieres for display were painted in seconds then dunked in the wash of doom. Next time I get back on the computer I'll post some pics of the main hero lockets.
I'm gonna have to always refer to heavy paint washes as "Washes of doom" from now on. As always, this is fantastic insight and I'm always thankful to see anything you're keen to share, dude!
 

robstyle

Master Member
The metal cast lockets had unique markings due to the metal casting method itself. For the master used to make all other lockets some imperfections were smoothed, cleaned or filled where needed. Not noticeable really unless you eyeballed them close up in hand. There was also a unique way to attach the chains to those cast lockets which only original pieces have or retain remnants of. This was intentionally done to twart potential future fakes or pulls from those moulds being passed off as screen used items. Even the cast metal lockets had unique chain attachment methods that wouldnt be easy to fake.

The picture showing the Davey Jones locket on the slab of MDF board was when it was being moulded for the plastic castings. The picture of the Tia Dalma lockets shows the metal casting next to a plastic casting. For an idea of wear from on set water and multiple wash of doom dunkings that plastic casting was originally very shiny. In the end they were muted silver, near flat in sheen.

Lastly the photo showing both lockets together are plastic castings for a better idea of the color and sheen they had as fresh pieces.
 

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Cbstudios

Well-Known Member
The metal cast lockets had unique markings due to the metal casting method itself. For the master used to make all other lockets some imperfections were smoothed, cleaned or filled where needed. Not noticeable really unless you eyeballed them close up in hand. There was also a unique way to attach the chains to those cast lockets which only original pieces have or retain remnants of. This was intentionally done to twart potential future fakes or pulls from those moulds being passed off as screen used items. Even the cast metal lockets had unique chain attachment methods that wouldnt be easy to fake.

The picture showing the Davey Jones locket on the slab of MDF board was when it was being moulded for the plastic castings. The picture of the Tia Dalma lockets shows the metal casting next to a plastic casting. For an idea of wear from on set water and multiple wash of doom dunkings that plastic casting was originally very shiny. In the end they were muted silver, near flat in sheen.

Lastly the photo showing both lockets together are plastic castings for a better idea of the color and sheen they had as fresh pieces.
Well damn, in a single post you've given me clearer better reference than I've seen in a decade or more. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your insight with this. The washes really give me some leeway with aging and finishing of these pieces so that's a big relief, its stunning to see how much detail was actually in these pieces. SO much that either didn't translate on screen or just was totally muddied by grime and weathering
 

robstyle

Master Member
About ten years ago I had offered to so a run of the lockets and the pipe with little interest. People seemed content with the off the shelf replicas at the time.
 

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