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 Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...

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Nexus6
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PostSubject: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 12 May - 3:25

My screen-accurate 'Wheel of Pain' pendant:

Reference pix:




It took me about 2 weeks to finish (an hour here, an hour there):





The wood pieces are actually cedar twigs that I cut from the tree outside my office building. I stained the wood walnut color & gave it a light acrylic brown wash. The leather came from an old belt I haven't worn in years. This project initially turned out to be way more difficult than I'd hoped. I must've broken a dozen branches before I got one to bend into a nice, even, flat circle.

I wasn't happy with tying a knot in the cord for the necklace. Since the back of the piece is not shown in the movie, I took a little artistic liberty in making it so it could be taken from its display (in progress) to wearing it without too much effort. I also wanted to stay "true" to the piece, meaning, since it is basically authentic (read: no modern materials in its construction (minus the drops of glue)), I didn't want to use some kind of store-bought clasp, which would have snatched it from the hyborian age & dropped it squarely into the 21st century. So this is what I came up with:

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Nexus6
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 12 May - 3:39

After I finished the 'Wheel of Pain pendant', I got an urge to make another attempt.

Conan the Barbarian was the first movie I had ever seen where the weapons in the film caught my UNDIVIDED attention. I would buy any magazine I could find that had photos of the swords from that movie. Imagine my elation when Albion Armourers joined forces with Jody Samson to start producing exact replicas of the original swords. Take the "Father's sword" for example:



Now imagine my dismay at the price tag of these edged works of art (from $2,500 to $10,000). I cannot justify shelling out that much scratch for something that would amount to a mantle piece. My budget simply will not permit it.

In addition, I found all of the cheaper "Conan swords" that are available EVERYWHERE to be unworthy of purchase. They looked nothing like the originals, & appeared to be shoddily constructed.

Then one day on e-Bay I found a sword that was close to looking correct, but still not enough to be interesting to me, despite the very affordable price. As I looked at it, suddenly an idea occurred to me, an idea that appealed to my curious nature of owning oddball pieces that many people (even collectors) don't have. So I ordered this fairly reasonable facsimile, & set about taking screencaps of the Father's sword after Conan & Rexor's duel at the Battle of the Mounds:



When my "Father's sword" arrived, it was pretty much what I expected:





And here's what I ended up with:





And the completed shrine:





The entire stand is made from 5/8" MDF, stacked in glued layers. I was trying to make the finish resemble the stone formations that were present in the 'Battle of the Mounds' scene.

Also, I took a high-gauss hard-drive magnet (snapped in half) & imbedded a piece into the top of each of the boulders (where the sword actually sits). The pieces were added before painting, so the magnets are now invisible, but will still hold the sword quite securely.
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Nexus6
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 12 May - 3:50

And finally, my latest project, & my finest work (at least the one I'm most proud of).

35 pounds of wood, blood (yes, I cut/gouged myself several times during construction), leather, brass, & steel: THORGRIM'S HAMMER.

From start to finish, this effort has taken approximately 2.5 years. This includes design research, parts/materials acquisition, & build-time. It turned out just how I had hoped. Everything was basically done by hand (since I lack many of the "proper" tools), although I did make limited use of a circular saw, a dremel tool, a belt sander, & a cordless drill. Ultimately, I wanted it to be as authentic as possible, so MOST of the wood-work was done with just a mallet & chisel.



I scoured every conceivable, available resource to help me create a replica that is as screen-accurate & as functional (i.e., "sturdy") as possible. Now, as I'm sure others have noticed, there were multiple hammers used during production. In fact, I count at least five:

#1.

#2.

#3.

#4.

#5.

I made mine a hybrid of #3 & #5. The handle is a branch from the cedar tree in front of my building at work, & the head is a length of discarded telephone pole. (Incidently, I tried to get a piece of piling from the local dock-builders, but was unable to find a suitable specimen that was NOT pressure-treated with arsenic. So the old telephone pole was a Godsend) The bands & rivets are all chemically-aged, solid brass. The leather wrapping is goat-hide.

Build photos (some of the earliest shots are crappy cellphone pix, because at that point, I wasn't sure if I could even pull this project together):










At the widest & narrowest parts of the handle:





I threw a video of this project up on youtube if anyone's interested in taking a peek (I'm pretty proud of the vid too): Click to view video.

Anyway, thanks for looking.


Last edited by Nexus6 on Fri 12 Jul - 21:55; edited 2 times in total
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MightyMcT
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 12 May - 21:07

Most impressive! Shocked thumleft

I especially like the broken sword idea... Very bold! Cool

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Protoplasme
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sun 13 May - 10:18

Amazing! Shocked

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AOster
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Tue 29 May - 14:14

Awesome work!

What did you make the bands out of? It looks like, brass? I have been unable to find a suitable material to do the bands properly on my own hammer, based off the fury version.
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Nexus6
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Wed 30 May - 4:19

AOster wrote:
Awesome work!

What did you make the bands out of? It looks like, brass? I have been unable to find a suitable material to do the bands properly on my own hammer, based off the fury version.
Thanks! Good to see you here (assuming that you are the same A. Oster Wink ). Some time ago, I posted this project in your thread over on the myArmoury.com forums (Click) . I never got any feedback from anyone, but since that is mainly an 'armor/edged weapon' forum, I didn't give it much thought.

Like I said, I searched for suitable materials for this project for a LONG time, & some of my best luck came from a friend of mine (credited in the youtube video in my previous post). The brass for the bands was one of the more elusive materials to find, that is until my buddy came up with an ingenious solution.

Behold ----> (Click).

Mr. Green Thorgrim Mr. Green Thorgrim Mr. Green
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AOster
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Wed 30 May - 5:25

Wow, I never got a notification of a new reply in that thread... I would have been all over your photo then!
I have to say, I did look at those kickplates, but they all looked too wide, and I felt they needed a bit of work what with the holes. What about the studs? I used a bunch of huge carrige bolts, but the color is off. I've since used some bronze paint of my fittings, but its just not the same. Wink
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Nexus6
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Wed 30 May - 5:50

AOster wrote:
Wow, I never got a notification of a new reply in that thread... I would have been all over your photo then!
I have to say, I did look at those kickplates, but they all looked too wide, and I felt they needed a bit of work what with the holes. What about the studs? I used a bunch of huge carrige bolts, but the color is off. I've since used some bronze paint of my fittings, but its just not the same. Wink
No worries. Cool

Well, the kickplates DID need work, however, the thickness was perfect. They are 8" wide & 34" long, so I cut across the length of the plate (on each side) to get rid of the holes (let me know if that's not clear). Then, I cut the plate into 2" x 34" strips, which I used for the bands. Luckily, that enabled me to have 3 available bands, cuz as I mentioned at myArmoury, the first time I tried to weather them using ammonia, I totally destroyed one of the bands. It shattered into about a dozen pieces. Shocked

The "studs", or what I call "rivets" (potato, tomato Wink), I ordered online from GrandBrass.com (Click). Those took a while to arrive though. They were on back order at the time.
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Nexus6
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 19 Jan - 5:33

Resurrection from the bowels of the forum!

I added this to my collection about a year ago, I just forgot to post photos:



It's SUPPOSEDLY screen-used, but with no way to prove or track provenance, that claim is almost certainly untrue. Anyway, it fits well in my collection. More to come... thumright
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Cromulus The Destroyer
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 19 Jan - 13:48

Interesting collection guys. I have a few items here and there, but never went all out.

The broken sword is a neat piece. I would only say, if it were mine, maybe weather it with an airbrush, to try and simulate dirt and blood.. namely on the blade.

I know for the movie, the hammer(s) were made outve rubber. During the battle of the Mounds can even see Thorgrim lose his hammer while on horse back, in the big capture scene of all the riders..can see the thing bounce off the ground one or twice.

Keep up the good work! thumleft
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Chrysagon
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 19 Jan - 13:52

thumleft thumleft thumleft thumleft thumleft thumleft
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A.oster
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 19 Jan - 16:34

Hey nexus,

Is that a plaster/clay/resin version or metal? I've got a cast metal (of some kind, but not lead) one that looks very similar in the straping of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 19 Jan - 16:35

Wow, taht was a crappy pic... lets try this one;

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Nexus6
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 19 Jan - 18:37

A.oster wrote:
Hey nexus,

Is that a plaster/clay/resin version or metal? I've got a cast metal (of some kind, but not lead) one that looks very similar in the straping of it.
It's resin. If yours is metal, it's probably some type of pewter. Pewter is a nice, heavy metal with a moderately low melting point making it easy to cast, & it polishes up really nice too. I would love to get hold of a metal version of this piece.

Your pendant is awesome, BTW...
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Nexus6
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 19 Jan - 18:57

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:
The broken sword is a neat piece. I would only say, if it were mine, maybe weather it with an airbrush, to try and simulate dirt and blood.. namely on the blade.
To each, his own. I wanted it to look like Conan might have retrieved it, & perhaps swished it around in the fountain at the base of the Mountain of Power. Clean, but not as if a lot of time had been spent doing it. *shrugs*

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:
I know for the movie, the hammer(s) were made outve rubber. During the battle of the Mounds can even see Thorgrim lose his hammer while on horse back, in the big capture scene of all the riders..can see the thing bounce off the ground one or twice.
In the film industry, props are typically made in 2 basic varieties: "Stunts" (for action sequences), & "Heroes" (for close-up "beauty" shots, where detail is important). You may know all this, but there might be posters who don't...

A lot of the hammers in the film are of the "Stunt" variety, mainly because Thorgrim wreaks a lot of havoc with it. For example, if you watch the orgy chamber scene, when he hits the base of the pillar with the hammer; using frame-by-frame viewing, you can actually see the rubber hammer warp out of shape, & then bounce back straight.

But there were "Hero" versions that were made of solid wood. See 'A. Oster's' post HERE (<--Click), for details concerning the "#2" hammer in my 3rd post above.
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Flaming Turd
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 19 Jan - 20:01

Very interesting. Great works, also.
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AOster
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sun 20 Jan - 2:09

Nexus,

As i understand it, the one Rexor wore was resin in the movie. I recall a propmaster in spain or france has (had?) the original. One he used to make a mold for mine.

So... maybe it is the one? thumleft Though e-bay has had a few resin ones avalible over the years.
scratch
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Nexus6
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sun 20 Jan - 4:31

AOster wrote:
Nexus,

As i understand it, the one Rexor wore was resin in the movie. I recall a propmaster in spain or france has (had?) the original. One he used to make a mold for mine.
Yeah, I knew that the screen-used pieces were typically made of resin, but I thought maybe a few metal ones were made for close-ups. *shrugs*

AOster wrote:
So... maybe it is the one? thumleft Though e-bay has had a few resin ones avalible over the years.
scratch
Thorgrim's pendant is apparently owned by a collector (<--Click), who might even be a member here.

IF mine is screen-used, I would've thought it was worn by an extra or something. I do know that they made them by the dozens for the film:



Although, I can tell you that mine is solid, where the ones in the screencap ^above^ are hollow in the back. So I don't know. Anyway, it looks the business, & that's good enough for me. Mr. Green
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AOster
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sun 20 Jan - 5:12

Nexus6 wrote:
Anyway, it looks the business, & that's good enough for me. Mr. Green

ditto. Conan
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AOster
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Wed 5 Mar - 15:44

Because we worked so hard, I'm bumping this to add:

I went to the local art store to look at resin casting and molding supplies. I was thinking of duplicating some of my stuff. the molding seemed straight forward, but the resin part was a little tricky looking. Overall, it would have cost almost $100 just in supplies with no guarntee of outcome, so I decided to hold off for now. I had wanted to recast the jade medalion I have, for I have been watching the film and noticed reccently that it seems thinner in the shots. Mine seems a lot thicker, though it could be a trick of the camera. Anyway, the idea of trying to dye the resin to match jade evenly was daunting, and the cost was getting equal to what I paid for it to begin with. Maybe a project for the future... scratch

Oh, and I updated my conan props page to show my new spread:
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conan_collector
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Thu 6 Mar - 7:44

Shocked Amazing Work! thumleft
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Nexus6
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Sat 20 Sep - 2:38

*BUMP* for reference.
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Tue 30 Sep - 21:43

Great to look at. Looks a little bit like an altar. Wink
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Cromulus The Destroyer
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PostSubject: Re: Share in my madness: Some of my Conan projects...   Tue 30 Sep - 22:05

Nice collections fellas!
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