Post by jurassicmegafan on Nov 15, 2008 11:53:58 GMT -5
An amber piece with other bugs would be pretty cool too. How about doing one with a nice big spider in it? Or maybe botonical inclusions such as leaves, petals etc...?
I once saw a large piece of real genuine amber with a lizard preserved inside, and was priced at a staggering £70.000! Imagine if that was accidently left near a radiator and melted! The owner would be so gutted, he'd probably leap off a cliff! hehe. ;D
Post by Supersaurus on Mar 14, 2009 12:53:47 GMT -5
I'm sculpting my cane out of a length of wood dowel and plaster. I added milliput 'rings' along the length to make the indentations from later with my dremel tool. Once that's done, I will create a mold and cast a resin copy with a metal rod inserted inside for extra strength.
The amber piece is more challenging to get it to look real and screen accurate. I used a chicken egg to make my rubber mold from (although the movie version isn't that egg symetrical) and am experimenting with different resins and pigments/dyes to find the best effect.
Crane flies and mosquitoes would make the best inclusions and I'm trying to find a huge Elephant mosquito as I believe that's the species used to make the JP props. Anyone seen these in or around the house? I think they're mainly native to the States and Australia. They aren't actually bloodsuckers as they feed only on nectar, but who's to know? At least there's no risk of getting bitten and catching something.
Post by Supersaurus on Jul 16, 2009 12:42:32 GMT -5
Ok, I did another little experiment using my new pigment. First of all, I did a test using a small amount and got two half spheres made. I was quite surprised how different this yellow pigment came out compared to the other yellow pigment I've had for some time! They're from different companies and it's interesting how they vary.
In the first pic, you can see the mold I'm currently using, 3 earlier tests at the bottom, and my very latest test piece at the top left. The surface of the 'egg' did again get that weird vein pattern, but that's the least of my worries and can be removed easily. I'm more concerned with getting the colouring right, and the resin to cure fully with no air bubbles. Actually, a few bubbles are ok, as natural amber usually have these and I do want my pieces to look real, not artificial which is how it would look if it's too perfect.
One problem that continues to bug me is the reflective 'discs' inside the cast eggs. I don't know what causes them, but as I hold it up to the light and rotate it, many of these discs become visible as the light reflects off them. They're more oval shaped than round. Can anyone advise on this? I thought maybe I was just using too much hardener in my resin and thay're fractures of some kind?
Also, Can anyone identify the bottle of yellow pigment in the pic below? I had this sent to me by someone in the States. He can't remember the company he got it from and I'm trying to get more of this before I run out. It took me ages to find a good pigment colour, and now I have it, I'm worried my little 'pot of gold' will not last very long and I'll be stuck again. :cry
The pot is approx 1.7 inchs tall including the cap.
For my next test, I'll probably add a little more pigment to darken the egg more and include a bug also. I think what I have here is a tiny crane fly. :ohbaby
Post by Supersaurus on Jul 18, 2009 19:46:50 GMT -5
I'm hoping to have this cane complete by the end of this month.
Here's a piece with a spider in it I captured from the garden hedge. I'm having some trouble with polishing it up fully though. It only looks as clear as it does in the pics because I drenched it with water. It goes dull again seconds after removing it from the tap. I had to rub it down to get the vein patterns off. I would really appreciate some advice on polishing tools. I have a dremel and some polishing wheels and 'red' compound but no idea how to really use it? I tried going over it with the wheel, but it didn't make much difference, so I'm obviously doing it wrong.
Post by Supersaurus on Aug 11, 2009 16:35:20 GMT -5
I have had a lot of luck polishing that egg. It actually looks too perfect now. If you look at Hammond in the chopper at the end of the movie, he's staring into his cane top. The cane amber top piece looks far from perfect, and more like natural amber than a synthetic glass egg. What makes it look more like amber is the air-bubbles (on surface especially) and the uneveness of the egg shape.
A lot of amber pieces of this size often have fractures and other forest floor material embedded in it with any bugs.
I'll post pics very soon now of the polished egg sitting upon a mock up of the cane. I'm also doing the egg by itself sitting on top of a little rock base. I may be able to put pics up of that today. Stay tuned!
Here's an egg with spider sitting on a rock base (plaster cast):
Post by Supersaurus on Aug 11, 2009 17:19:11 GMT -5
Good news on small mosquitoes! As well as having a supplier online, I have just fished out a load of moquito larvae from the garden pond which I now have in a container. Once these hatch out, they'll be right in the resin amber eggs... hahahaha! ;D
I'd probably have to freeze them or something first to knock them out. Just one of these critters is capable of producing thousands of eggs so I'll never ever run out!
Here's the stage they're at now:
Another few days and I'll see how they look in a resin egg! ;D I'm not sure what species this is, but I'll assume it's the common house mosquito measuring approx 5 - 6mm body length:
I could do some amber chunks literally packed with these! ;D