Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wybie's Mask Part 2

Long overdue and way late for Halloween, here is my almost completed Webie mask. Here is what I did....
I removed the glass protection shield flip up part, then used a hair dryer to heat it up to form the top dent. This was taking way too long and the result was kind of icky. So, like the genius that I am, I stuck it in the oven. Now I had it in there too long and too hot, and I wasn't watching it the whole time and it got way too soft. So I quickly pulled it out using oven mitts and tried not to ruin it but instead make it work and form the mask a bit. It needs to be more 'skull' shaped than how it comes out of the box. You will have to do some freeze framing to see what I mean. The head is more rounded while the jawline comes in a bit. Once I had a shape that I liked, I went to the hardware store and picked up random parts here and there. I tried to find the cheapest PVC piping of varying lengths and diameters for his three eyes, and a ceiling fan mounting bracket to glue it all on. I used a adhesive called JB Weld that smells but holds really well. I then hand painted it. It's still missing the rivets along the forehead and the crank on the side, but it worked great for Halloween. Luckily when I purchased the mask it came with two. So, I will make a second attempt at the mask and take pictures as I go to do a more step by step.

Full size "Other" Squid

I am still loving Coraline and the world that was created that I can't help but want to make everything. The squid is no exception. There are three different squids that I have seen throughout the movie. There are two real world squids and one other squid. I do intend to make the other two, however for the Other Squid I asked a friend of mine (the same one who did my Coraline gloves) to help out. She used Joan of Dark's Squid tutorial to make this one. I really love the way it came out. I will have to sculpt the button so it is scaled proportional to the toy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Coraline Halloween '09

My wife and I went as Coraline and Wybie this year for Halloween. Our costumes were pretty simple for the most part. We either found what we needed in our drawer or online. The orange striped shirt was on sale at Old Navy. I was able to find little nick knacks at the hardware store to make the 'eyes' of Wybie's welder mask. I spent a few hours painting it. For the jacket I found a trench coat at the Good Will that I thought was perfect. I ironed on the reflector tape that I found at the fabric store. I think it turned out really well. It was a much cheaper alternative then to purchase a fireman's turnover coat. The shoes I picked up at Kohls on sale. Coraline's light pink shoes we found at Target. See previous posts for Coraline's hat, Wybie's gloves and Welders Mask. We had fun this year at our party and got a lot of complements.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Coraline gloves full size replica

I am so excited about these gloves. Inspired by Largely Unrepeatable Blog and using her directions, I asked a friend of mine, Claire Carpenter, if she would be interested in making me a pair. She likes to crotchet so she agreed. Now she has never made gloves before so it was a learning experience. She said that she is happy with how they came out and so am I. I think they are great. They are child sized so they wont fit me, but it makes them extra cool thinking that the would fit Coraline. Original gloves were made by Althea Crome who did a outstanding job.

Coraline at Comic-Con 2009

I wish I could have attended this years Comic-Con, but just didn't have the funds or the time off. It would have been a real treat as Henry Selick was there, as well as Chris Turnham, Terri Hatcher, Neil Gaiman, Keith David and Chris Butler (who knows how many others). All these people would have been a real treat to meet and have sign my Coraline poster. But to top the cake, Neca came out with an exclusive Coraline Doll with Star Spangled Sweater as well as a limited edition lithograph. You can find both on

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Coraline's Military Hat Full Size Prop

Since seeing Coraline the first time, I loved the hat that she wore. The production notes referred to it as a 'Military Hat'. Since then I have been searching for the same hat to add to my collection. On the web there have been a few like minded people who where also searching for a similar hat. One hat is this one, another is a chauffeur hat from amazon. There is a variety to choose from on Amazon, the police hat, and the limo driver one are too of the best ones but not quite right. Then I got some inside info from Stephen Bodin's blog, the graphic designer who worked on Coraline. He said that it was he was put in charge for finding the hat. He said he found it online from a private school in Japan. It is from a boys school uniform. With a little more help from Stephen, I was able to find this Hat. It is officially called a 'Gakuseibou'. If you watch the special Features on the Blu-Ray, apparently Henry bought a similar hat for his daughter. However he could never get her to wear it, but he could get Coraline to wear it. I just love this hat in the film, and think it works great. Now I just have to make the flame pin for the front.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tim Burton's Coraline?

Is it just me or does anyone else cringe when they read and hear others say that 'Coraline' was done by Tim Burton?

I think the confusion stems from the slogan 'From the Director of The Nightmare Before Christmas - Coraline. Especially since it's Titled "Tim Burton's, The Nightmare Before Christmas".
Well let's go over it. Tim Burton wrote and produced The Nightmare Before Christmas, and asked a good friend of his, Henry Selick to direct it. It was Disney that decided to put Tim's Name on the Title the way it is to help with sales.

That said, when it says "From the Director of The Nightmare Before Christmas" they are referring to Henry, and NOT Tim. In fact, Tim Burton is not credited for Coraline at all. So hopefully that clears up the confusion.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pink Palace Blueprints Take 2

Ok, as promised I made another ruff draft blueprints for the 1st floor of the Pink Palace. Since watching the special features on the Blu-Ray of Coraline, it seems that the design of each room was intended to feel off kilter, so I am not crazy. The model of the Pink Palace does not match the scale nor the window layout of each room. But that's OK. Now my drawing isn't to scale, but it is a close representation of where each room is and how the house is laid out. It is more closely based on the the Other Pink Palace as it was intended to be straighter and larger then the real world Pink Palace.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Coraline Storyboard Replicas

I just couldn't help myself. It's the weird things that I like. Well, this is no exception. I used two separate borders for the storyboards used by Laika for the film Coraline, traced them in MicroStation, printed them out on some card stock, and finally cut them to size. I have no idea what the actual size of the original storyboards are, so I based their size/scale on The Nightmare Before Christmas Original storyboard that I do have. The art of the one that I made for myself was drawn by Graham Annable.

Wybie Welder's Mask Step 1

Step 1 to making Wybie's Welders mask, is... Buy a Welder's Mask. Did some quick eBay searching and found an inexpensive mask that had ruffly the same look that I needed. It will undergo some modifications in shape. I think the tricky part is really getting the 90 teeth sprocket and the lenses. Oh not to mention the crank on the side to rotate the lenses. I traced the skull detail in AutoCAD so I can print it full scale and use it as a template for painting the mask. Updates as I go.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Henry Selicks, Moongirl

I did a search at the IMDB for Henry Selick to become more familiar with his work. I new that he had done The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Monkey Bone, but I was not too familiar with his other works. That's when I learned about one of his short films, Moongirl. Seeing that it was another Laika film, I instantly picked up a copy of the book with the DVD off Amazon. It was cute. It had a nice story, kinda simple, neat visuals and over all enjoyable. The art in the book itself it really nicely done.

Other Mother Chicken Pot Holder

I thought that these where so neat. I have owned chickens since I was a wee little boy and think they are beautiful birds. I love chickens. In fact, my kitchen has a chicken/rooster theme to it. They give a nice country feel to your home. Anyways, when I saw that the Other Mother had chicken pot holders, I just had to have pair. I did notice that the pot holder the Other Mother Slides on in the film, isn't exactly the same as the one the 'puppet' is wearing being displayed for people to see. So, I will make both. This is my first attempt to get the pattern right and see how it all comes together. So this is my ruff draft. Already there are some things I am going to do a little differently for the next two holders. Otherwise, I am pretty happy how it came out.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Coraline Nike Dunks Contest

After the credits of Coraline there was a note to the audience that said "For those in the Know: Jerkwad". My wife and I both looked at each other with a curious question on our minds. What was that? We weren't in the 'know', but I wasn't going to stay that way. It actually happened by chance that I found out what it was for. I was searching eBay for Coraline stuff and I kept seeing these shoes. Finally, my curiosity got the better of me and I checked them out. That's when I found that they were a pair of shoes that were available through the Coraline Website. Like the fan that I am, I quickly went to the site, found the Contest and signed up. My wife did too. I love these kinds of contests and I was really hoping that either one of us would have won a pair.
I think that Laika did a great job with promoting this film. The dunks giveaway was one of those great ideas. There were only 2000 shoes made (not sure why everyone keeps saying 1000), the cast/crew got their own special pair, there were 50 that contained props from the film, 15 that where in wooden boxes, Some contained cotton candy, in circus shoe boxes, some came with reproductions of the button box, while others were just the shoes in a normal shoe box. Wow, what a variety.
It was interesting to see the demand on eBay for the shoes. Then I came across a couple of auctions of people trying to 'sell' the password: 'Jerkwad'. I couldn't believe that. With a quick search, the password was available online already, FREE. How could people be so greedy to try to cash in on the password? A password that didn't guarantee the buyer that they would win a pair of dunks?

Then it got me thinking about the shoes listed on eBay. The implication (in my opinion) is that the majority of those who won the shoes and are selling them were people who didn't want them, yet they signed up for them anyways. All those who are buying the shoes are the ones who really wish they could have won. The quote that comes to my mind is a line addressed to all the Mysterbox 'winners' that says "WE HOPE SOMEONE LIKE YOU WILL APPRECIATE THIS" - The Coraline Team. It's unfortunate that so many who signed up and won didn't appreciate them.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Pink Palace Floor plan Ruff Draft

Did I mention that I was a drafter? Oh, well I am. I decided to draw up blueprints based on the Pink Palace in Coraline. I found as many reference photos of the Old Victorian home that I could. I then imported the files into Microstation and scaled the photos to 'scale'. Here is a ruff draft of the first floor layout plan. Here's my problem. I cannot get the ext. shots of the house to match up with the inside shots. The house just doesn't seem to match. I labeled where each room is as far as I can tell. The kitchen is seen with two extra windows from the outside, that are not seen on the interior shots. The scene near the beginning of the film, where Coraline comes in seemingly from the back door, and drops her raincoat on the hall floor, is also inconsistent to the layout, as that hallway does not exit to the outside of the house. Not to mention that the main room with the 'boring blue boy' and little door also doesn't match in overall shape and window layout. So, as far as I can tell, either the Pink Palace was redesigned since the reference photos where taken, or the intr. shots never where meant to match exactly with the ext. of the house. Or I am way off and totally misinterpreting what I am seeing. I think I am going to have to redraw the layout based on the interior shots later and post that so you can see the difference of that I am seeing.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Coraline Jones family 2007 Volkswagen new beetle

After some research online and looking at so many VW bugs, I believe that the Volkswagen seen in Coraline is a 2007. So, to continue my collection I wasn't going to go out and purchase a full scale car. Instead, I went with the next best thing and found this model. Unfortunately, it isn't a 2007 but I think with some mod'ing I can get it to look right. I will have to do some searching for some miniature luggage to put on top of the car. I think that railroad miniatures should work.
The only thing I am not sure of, is what the bumper stickers read. I was originally thinking that it may say 'I Heart Mulch', like the mug, but when I saw the movie again, it didn't appear to be that simple.

Nightmare Before Christmas Paint brush

I was told when I bought the brush that it was an original prop from The Nightmare Before Christmas. That it was in fact used in the scene were the vampires are painting bullet holes on the duck. However, with closer examination of the film, this particular brush isn't seen on screen, nor is the paint color the same. The brush did come with a signed sheet of paper from Jerome Ranft (as it was supposed to have been a sale from his personal collection) stating it was made for that particular scene.
So, to give benefit of the doubt, I believe that it is a pre-production brush, made as a concept to determine either the scale, style, or color (perhaps all three) of the final look.

When I first picked up the brush I had never heard of Mr. Ranft. However, since watching Coraline, I am now very familar with him and his contributions to animation. Now I have something in my collection that ties both Nightmare and Coraline!

The Nightmare Before Christmas Storybord art

I was able to pick-up an original storybord drawing from The Nightmare Before Christmas from Animation Collection. They have tons of original art from all kinds of Disney films. I wish I could afford to purchase the entire collection of NBC storybords. I am hoping to get this storybord framed along side a Hi-Res screen capture of the same scene. Should looks cool when it's done. Unfortunately there is no signature on it, so I can only assume that either Mike Cachuela, Jorgen Klubien, Steve Moore, or Bob Pauley, drew it, as they are credited as being the storybord artists. Joe Ranft is credited being the storybord supervisor.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Check out

How much bread does it take to build a bread house? No, that isn't a riddle. Peter is a member of the National Bread Builders Society (NBBS). It's a club to those who share a passion for bread. Their main event is to create huge structures of varying shapes and sizes entirely out of bread.
So, this year Peter intends to build a house, the largest one ever seen. He and his mother went to the grocery store and bought a whole lot of bread.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mel Jones' I love Mulch Mug

When I first saw the film I noticed Mel Jones' mug sitting next to her laptop. It read "I [Heart] Mulch", which we see is the name of the shop where Mr. Jones brings the 'Garden Life Spring Catalog' binder. I assume it is the name of the buisness that Mr. and Mrs. Jones work for. I thought it would be neat to have a similar mug. It was only in a couple of scenes and really more of a background prop, but it's those kinds of things and that kind of detail that I really enjoy. I looked through my fonts (just the ones I had on my computer) for one that was close enough, and found a clipart heart and made a *.bmp image and got the mug made.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Full Size Coraline Prop Bobinsky's Medal

Whoo Hoo! Another little trinket to add to my Coraline collection. Apparently Mr. Bobinsky was awarded the medal for Service at the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster on April 26, 1986. The medal reads "Participant in the clean-up campaign". The "4A3C" is the No. for the "Chernobilskaya Nuclear Power Plant." I think that the real medal is much smaller in person than the scale chosen in the movie, but I am sure that decision was made so it could be clearly seen on screen. Once I found the identity of the medal I picked one up. I'm stoked!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Breadsmasher Natural Habitat

Original Drawing of Peter and his Mom driving out to the Breadsmasher Natural Habitat. The first edition of the book, this image wasn't complete. For the second edition, this is the final drawing. I like to keep the drawings in Black and White for now. Should be fun creating the set for this shot.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Coraline Press Kit & Keys

The Coraline Press kit came with a CD containing some production photos, a Low Res Trailer and Production Notes. The CD was attached to a cardboard lithograph. It is now been added to my Coraline collection. Mary-Frances and I attended the Emerald City Comic-Con and got to meet Chris Turnham, one of the production illustrators for Coraline to sign it.
I also acquired one of the production Keys that where spread around town to help promote the movie and website. I wasn't fortunate enough to find one, but eBay is a good place to find them now. The second key, is my first key of 50, from the Mystery Box's. I believe this key matches Mystery Box No. 29

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wybie Gloves Prop Full Size

So I decided that an easy costume for me would be Wybie from the movie Coraline. I did a quick search for skeleton riding gloves and found these. They are perfect. So this is my first full scale prop/replica from the movie. I am in the process of getting more. I just loved this movie. I have already seen it three times (twice in 3D and once in 2D), and I cannot wait to see it again. I also got a welders helmet that I am going to mod for this costume and I am going to have to make the firefighters turnout coat so it appears to be too large for me. I'll post pics as it goes.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Peter, our hero

My main character from sitting in his chair at school, waiting for the time to pass. Once school is out he will rush home to continue the search for the Breadsmasher!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I first found Rustboy while I was searching the CafePress website back in 2004. I saw the character and was like "oooo, this looks interesting. Very 'Tim Burton-ish'. So I went to Brian's website and was instantely hooked. He was offering a signed book of images at the time and I regret now not getting one while it was still available. I was able to manage to obtain the vinyl figure from Android 8. It is pretty sweet, a little on the pricy side, but worth it. His eyes are a little loose so he always looks like he is looking two different directions at once. Mary-Frances later got me the Mug and T-Shirt.

I drafted up some blueprints of Rustboy that I hope to make into a puppet someday. Once I get my CNC machine, or a Laser Cutter, that is. But at least I have the dream.

On an interesting Note, if you are a Fan of Lost, watch the speacial features on, I think, the first Season, you will see J.J. Abrams wearing a Rustboy T-Shirt that he got from the Cafepress store.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oogie Boogie entrance

Another Nightmare Before project that's in the works. As you see to the left of my wife is the mouth entrance down to Oogie Boogies layer seen in the Treehouse. I made this out of foam board using a pattern template. I intend to add the lights to the back, paint the teeth to it and add the twig eye brows. The masks that hang on the walls around it in the look like I could make them out of pinkish foamies.

Gift from the Wife

A fantastic sculpt of the Mayor of Halloweentown, signed by the artist, David Kracov. I received this from my wife as a gift. The detail is awesome and the likeness is uncanny. A great piece added to my ever growing collection.

Babushka Dolls

Being a huge Nightmare Before Christmas fan I am never short of interested in making more props from the film. I bought a blank set of Babushka dolls to make these. I traced the pattern of the doll from the film onto the wood frame. I then proceeded to paint each doll by hand and finish it off with a coat of lacquer to seal it. I really like how they came out. To be closer to the movie I would need to add some more distressing to them, but I am not sure I want to do that. Not yet anyway. I know that in the film there was only three, but I like it being a full set.

Halloweentown Jack-in-the-Box

I bought one of those foam pumpkins for this project. It also comes out every Halloween. I traced a photo from the film of this prop to make the templet then proceeded cut it out with a scalpel. I painted the inside of the pumpkin black and repainted the outside orange to give it a more 'realistic' look. I am almost finished with the box that it goes in. I hope to make it functional by adding a motor in the box that moves the pumpkin head up and down. I was thinking about using the guts of those Moving Chrismtas wire frame animal displays for it. Course getting one cheap it the only way to go.


This was a quick project. Not yet completed though. I sculpted Zero from the Nightmare Before Christmas with sculpty clay (got tons of it). I used twist ties in the body to help hold the clay in place while it baked in the oven. I intend to mold this too and create a display with my Jack Skellington.

Scraps, from Corpse Bride

I took some old wire hangers that we weren't using any more and cut them up in small parts. Then using sculpy clay I crafted the bones. Once it was at a point where I was happy enough with how it looked and fit together, it was baked in the oven to harden and I glued the parts together. The head was hollow that I originally formed around a tinfoil ball. Once it was hard I pulled the tinfoil out and filled it with expanding foam. Scraps has been out for display every year now for Halloween. I am in the process of making another scraps that I intend to mold and cast to make a little more ridged. The sculpy is just too fragil and weak to be a permanente alternative.
For Halloween of 2005, Mary-Frances and I dressed up as The Bride (Emily) and Victor for Christ First Baptist Church's Trunk-er-Treat. I made Mary's costume and rented mine.

Sally Puppet face replacement replica

This is one of my favorite items in my NBC collection. It is a re-cast off an original face replacement from the puppet Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, or at least that was what I was told when I purchased it. It is cast in resin and hand painted. The eyes were a seperate cast and glued into place. There are two dimples on the inside where. I believe, the mask locked into place on the original puttet.I bought it on eBay several years ago. I haven't seen another available since. It would be really cool to have a couple more expressions.

Jack Skellington Cake

This was a fun and easy project. I made this cake in a small cake pan and cut it into a square to make the shape of a gift. I was originally inspired by the Disneyland French Market desert that was available one year during the holidays. It is a regular cake, with green icing (white icing with green food coloring) and some "creative" sculpting with Fondant to make the ribbon and the Jack Head. Using some food coloring to make a black 'paint' to color the eyes and mouth. Pretty simple, and quick.

Christmas Town Sled

I started this project some years ago and have yet to finish it. I was inspired to make it when I saw the original on eBay. I saved the photos listed with it as it provided great reference material. I went to Home Depot and bought some wood. I made a pattern by scaling the photos up to what I believe to be 'full' studio scale and traced it out. I was able to cut the parts out at my brother-in-laws as he had a skillsaw. I am still looking for a good source for the wheel that the penguin is in that drives this sled.

If you havn't reconized it, it is the sled seen in The Nightmare Before Christmas when Jack visits Christmas town. Three Elves are singing carols and passes Jack while he is hiding in a snowman. I have two of these that I am putting together. I had painted this to match the orginal as much as possible.

I am also in the process of sculpting the elves. I have the two identical elves sculpted and cast, they just need to be sanded smooth and painted. I'll get on the third elf and the penguin at a later date. Hopefully someday I'll get this project completed.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Welcome To The Breadsmasher

Welcome to the breadsmasher. What is the breadsmasher? you ask. Well, it is a children's story that I wrote in kindergarten that has stuck with me all this time. I have since rewritten it and had it published into a book that is available for purchase on Being a fan of stop-motion animation, I have decided that I would being work on creating my story, the breadsmasher into a feature short. The full length is not yet determined, but I hope to make it at least a half hour long. So, this blog has been created to document the progress of my story and all the work that I am putting into it. It wont be a fast journey but a slow and painstakingly fun one.

However, I will take the time to explore into my other hobbies and show works that I have done and am currently working on that may or may not be related. In short, I'll post the things I am working on.

My other blog that is domumenting the progress of my Boba Fett costume can be found here: