Posted in Built

DIY Prop : Dr Henry Jones Sr’s Grail Diary!!!

Hi Guys,
If there ever was one cult prop in the history of cinema, it would be the Grail Diary from Dr Henry Jones Sr in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. All of us would like to lay our hands on it and live the adventures of Indiana Jones, alongside his father, around the world, to find the Holy Grail.

This prop attracted me for 2 reasons:
• First of all, it is a challenge. The making of the Grail Diary calls for skills in drawing, calligraphy, weathering, document-forgery, etc.…
• Also, it is a very cool object to have on your bookshelf, or even the coffee table, to spark a conversation with guests.

The first thing to do is some research. You don’t start a Grail Diary without some information. There are several sites that list all the elements of the diary, but I advise you to go to zenseeker.net and of course, Club Obi Wan (COW), where you can even exchange with people on the same quest as you, or also to my good friend S’WAKPROPS (links below). You will see that you can either make a “Hero prop” (like the ones used in the movie), or a “Story Diary”, that tells from cover to cover the full journey of Dr Henry Jones Sr to find the Grail. In my case, I opted for the Hero Prop, although I have added some inserts from the Story one, like newspaper clippings and photographs.

So, the diary is made up of 2 parts: the notebook itself, and the “inserts”.
• There are several ways to make the notebook (including binding the whole thing from scratch), but you can also buy a blank sketch notebook and weather it to look aged. Simply use a brush and splatter all pages with strong coffee or tea. Once everything is dry, you can hand copy all pages in it. I advise to find out the text and illustration for every page, and print a list of the pages beforehand, so you don’t lose count (some pages are repeated in the Hero prop, for example, you can find all details by digging a little bit everywhere on internet). Copying and writing everything is a long work, but, hey, there were no photocopiers at the beginning of the 20th century… I used “India Ink” (or “china Ink”) to write everything because it has the particularity to be waterproof when dried. Just in case you want to add some watercolor or weather the pages further…
• For the inserts, you have to remember something: paper was rough and colored (not whitened) until the 50’s-60’s. You can therefore use all kind of off-white/thick/textured paper that you can find in your drawer. Reduce, reuse, and recycle! The more variety you have, the better, because all these inserts came from different origins. Try a lighter paper for telegrams, a thicker one for tickets and etc. You want to dip these papers in coffee or teas again, keep in mind that the longer you let it in the beverage, the darker your paper will be. Don’t hesitate to crumple, fold, and even sandpaper your inserts to give them an old and weathered look. And this also works for photo paper! When it is drying, you can also sprinkle a bit of instant coffee, so it looks like the molds found of some old papers. Then comes the printing. There is, here also, a huge work of research to be done. Especially if you are looking for believable stamps, chops, details. Once again, sites like COW and Zenseeker are fantastic sources for this.
• Once you have done all that, you can wrap the notebook with a piece of brown leather, using contact cement. Add the elastic band, and you are good to go! Adventure awaits!

Cost wise, the most expensive items were the piece of natural leather ($20), but I guess you could replace it with good, cheaper, PU leather, and the notebook ($10). The rest is more or less recycled from papers I had before.

OK, so, now, is my Grail Diary accurate? Maybe not, as I mentioned it is a mix the Hero and Story props and I confess I also made some mistakes in the order of the pages. But I am proud of it because it is still an object that tells a story when you hold it. Good luck and let us know if you have done your own! Cheers!

As promised, here are links to some sources for this prop:

ZENSEEKER: http://zenseeker.net/GrailDiary/

CLUB OBI WAN: http://indygear.com/cow/

S’WAKPROPS: http://swakprops.blogspot.com/?m=1

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Posted in Built, diorama, Papa, Reggie, Star Wars

Diorama : Mos-Eisley Cantina

One of my first memories of Star Wars must have been the Cantina scene. This wretched hive of scum and villainy is without a doubt the kind of establishment where I would be happy to have a drink, even if only once in my life! This diorama was not easy: just like its real life counterpart (or at least the idea we have of it), it is full of nooks and crannies, and understanding what piece to put first was a bit of a challenge. It is also the first time I put lights in a diorama (a simple battery-powered fairy light/Christmas light). But I am happy with the result! Enjoy!

Posted in Built, Harry Potter, Papa, Reggie, Uncategorized

DIY : Harry Potter’s Magic Wand Rack

Hey guys! For our first video of the year 2018, we will please all the Potterheads like us by showing you how we did a magic wand rack!! Don’t hesitate to change the design, the number of hooks and anything you want to suit your needs!!! And it is so simple to make that the kiddos will be happy to help!

basically, all you will need is:

  • a wooden plaque/flat piece of wood (can be as elegant or as raw as you want)
  • a bunch of little hooks (2 per wand, make sure the wand can fit!)
  • a D-ring for the back
  • optional 1: wood stain and varnish
  • optional 2: decoration for the top

Hope you enjoy!

Posted in Built, doctor who, Papa

Happy Halloween! : Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors!

Just in time for Halloween!!! For my favorite time of the year (which is also my birthday, go figure!) I have decided to re-create the strange and interesting looking plant every florist would like to put in their window! Audrey II, from The Little Shop of Horrors, may be a mean green Mother from outer-space, but it is sure to make for a good conversation piece, especially if you display it among your other plants! To make this sneaky carnivorous plant, you’ll need : a styrofoam egg, some epoxy putty, pva glue, acrylic paint, an empty tin can, some foam, a few fake flowers and moss! (Of course, the usual marker, cutter, scissors, glue gun…) Hope you enjoy!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

diorama: Old Luke on Ahch-To

Since the release of The Force Awakens, I have been obsessed with Ahch-To, the desert planet island where Luke Skywalker has found refuge, to hide from the horror of the World.

With the imminent launch of The Last Jedi, I bought Luke Skywalker and Rey Black Series action figures, and obviously needed a diorama to display them in all their splendour !! So, with a bit of foam, acrylic paint and accessories from miniature train decoration (different turfs and bushes), I started a new diorama.

The difficulty was to keep enough flat surfaces for the action figures but keep the rocky look of the island. I wanted the sea to be choppy as well, so the different resins usually used for water wouldn’t do it. I used clear silicone sealant instead. Hope you enjoy!

 

this diorama uses the same basic skills as the Warhammer board here and here.