Monday, November 7, 2011

The Chess Set Ordeal

About a year ago I sculpted out the pieces to a Lovecraft-inspired chess set, thinking I would mold and cast them into a complete set and maybe even sell a couple.

From left to right: Cthulhu as the king, Shub-Niggurath as the queen, a Yithian as the bishop, an Elder Thing/Old One as the rook, a Deep One as the knight, and a shoggoth as the pawn.

When I molded them, however, I learned an important lesson: Don't buy cheap silicone. Frustrated to no end by the fact it refused to cure, despite trying several times and accounting for several variables (mix ratio, room temperature, humidity levels, etc) and even letting it sit for several weeks, it remained a gelatinous blob of pinkish goo.

Because uncured silicone is extremely disgusting, after scraping off the majority of it, the pieces all sat on my shelf for almost a year because I didn't feel like scrubbing it off. I kept meaning to acquire some better silicone and try again, but figured if I was going to go through the trouble I might as well just resculpt the whole set. I wasn't quite pleased with several aspects of it (mostly the bases, as well as the Deep One and the Shoggoth).

So I finally decided to finally scrub off the repulsive silicone bits on these little guys and paint them, mostly because I want to experiment with painting different types of stone. The actual process of cleaning the silicone out of all the little bitty crevices was not fun.

But after they were clean and sparkly, the painting process was far more fun. Each is then coated in high-gloss finish to lend a look of highly-polished stone (or slimy stone, brought up from the depths of R'lyeh, whichever you prefer)

Cthulhu, painted to look like sodalite. 

Jasper. Need a finer paint brush to get all those bitty little lines.

Mother-of-Pearl seemed particularly appropriate for the Deep One, but difficult to achieve. I was not quite successful. 

Tiger's Eye, also difficult to achieve due to the way the colours shift and change when viewed from different angles. Was less than successful at depicting it in paint form.

Malachite, another favourite stone. A finer paintbrush is definitely in order...

Snowflake Obsidian.

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