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Author Topic: Thing in a jar help  (Read 1798 times)
josecou
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« on: March 20, 2012, 01:41:41 am »

Does anyone have any tips for things in jars? I am wondering what I should use as a liquid, and also a good "thing" material.
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Cubinoid
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 02:06:36 am »

I am not sure exactly what you are after...but I like pterydactyl foetus in vinegar, or a brain with air bubbles in uplighted red food colouring dyed water...or electroplated baby.

I do hope that helps.
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 02:28:24 am »

Obviously something not soluble in the liquid.

Things in jars usually mimic medical/veterinary specimens.

For steampunks some form of cryptid is a favourite, think maybe of a chupachabra fetus, or similar, look to your local folklore for inspiration.
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josecou
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2012, 02:38:09 am »

In response to Cubinoid, I was more wondering about what materials I should use to make the specimen, and what liquid I should put it in. Modeling clay might dissolve over time, so I think that's out of the question. I tried one with water and it started to stink after a while. Is ther any liquid that will not go bad and any material that won't dissolve over time?
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von Corax
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2012, 04:34:24 am »

Polymer clay (eg. Sculpey, Fimo etc.) seem to be popular choices, and to stabilize the water, somebody (might have been on Propnomicon) suggested a dash of sodium metabisulphite, which is readily available at any home-brewing or wine-making supply shop.

Here's a Thinginajar tutorial I found a while back; this chap uses Sculpey covered with rubber cement to simulate decaying skin, and adds a shot of Coca Cola to the water to make the Thing harder to see clearly ∴ more mysterious and creepifyin'. I'd still add some metabisulphite, though, if I were doing it. (I've also wondered about tincture of iodine, which would both tint and sanitize the liquid, but might stain the Thing — which might be either bad or good…)
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Herbert West
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2012, 05:09:21 am »

Mine start out with a core of aluminum foil, over which I sculpt a layer of polymer clay. Saves a lot of clay that way, and makes the finished product a lot sturdier. Make sure you add a small pinhole at the top of the specimens head (if it has one) to let any trapped air escape. Don't want your wee beastie to bob around like a cork after all. Smiley
 Any tiny projections like spines or teeth that might bump against the side of the jar and break off, I mold out of quick set epoxy putty (you can find it at any good hardware store for a couple bucks) and attach seperately with 2-part epoxy or even bathtub silicone.

 For color, I paint them with plain old acrylic craft paint. Then I give the entire thing a couple of coats of satin polyurethane sealer to waterproof it afterwards.

 For the liquid, I use plain old warm tap water and a VERY well washed jar. I haven't had a chance to pick up any sodium metabisulphite, so I just add a couple teaspoons of white vinegar. For color, I mix a little brown ink (Daler Rowney 'Antelope Brown' acrylic ink in my case) with water in a seperate container and just stir it into the jar until I get the color density I like.

Close it up and let it sit for a few days or a week to let everything 'settle'. If you want a permanent display, glue the lid shut with a bit of bathtub silicone to prevent evaporation or accidents (or escapes). Coating the outside with wax afterwards is a common practice as well.

Finally, POST PICS! Smiley

You can see some of my jars over at http://herbertw.deviantart.com/gallery/

 I really need to try the rubber cement trick sometime. I've been using latex carpet seam sealer which looks rather fleshlike already, but acts like a sponge after a couple of days in water and looks amazingly like grey, dead flesh.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 12:37:48 pm by Herbert West » Logged

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von Corax
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2012, 05:15:49 am »

One thing I neglected to mention about metabisulphite is that it forms sulphuric acid in water, so (as I recall) you need to let it outgas for a few days before you seal it up.
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Herbert West
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2012, 07:49:29 am »

One thing I neglected to mention about metabisulphite is that it forms sulphuric acid in water, so (as I recall) you need to let it outgas for a few days before you seal it up.


Uhhhh...yikes?
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von Corax
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2012, 10:14:28 am »

One thing I neglected to mention about metabisulphite is that it forms sulphuric acid in water, so (as I recall) you need to let it outgas for a few days before you seal it up.


Uhhhh...yikes?

Not really. It's commonly used as a sanitizer for beer- and wine-making equipment, and at the onion packers where I worked the past few summers it is a (minor) ingredient in the vinegar brine. When metabisulphite is used in normal quantities the concentration of acid produced is extremely low (the onions actually naturally contain much more sulphur acids than the brine does) and it breaks down quite rapidly in an open container.

Drop a little into your jar of water, leave it open and after two or three days the acid will have killed off all the bugglies and then dissipated; then you can safely drop in your Thingina and seal it up. (It has a distinctive smell, so you can easily tell when it's gone.)

Also, upon reflection I think it's actually sulpurous acid, which is far milder to begin with.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2012, 10:48:11 am »

Why not use the prosess of home canning? I remember we used to do that at my grandparents house with all sorts of vegitables and fruits. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_canning
Polymer clay can withstand the temperature.

My thing in a jar problem is the content. A foetus might be an option, but it shouln't look to much like a baby foetus. (we've lost a full grown baby a couple of months ago) Most foetus from basically any large animal looks alike. A dragon foetus might work, but it has to be completely different than a baby. I could also go for a "alien" foetus. I have seen "fluffy toy animals in a jar" somewhere here on BG. I like that concept. Perhaps a combo.
Severed body parts are more for "things in a box" Unless it's a brain.

@Herbert West: I love your thing in a box! It's amasing.
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2012, 12:26:36 pm »


A thin solution of gelatin with a dash of mouthwash (Lysterine) to act as a preservative. Various food dyes could be added to the gelatin mix depending on the colour you desire.
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Herbert West
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012, 03:20:27 pm »


Also, upon reflection I think it's actually sulpurous acid, which is far milder to begin with.


Ah okay. Sounds far less scary then. Smiley

Bikebuilder: Thank you for your kind words sir.

 I know the feeling though. Coming up with a critter design is really the hardest part. Maybe something wormlike, or spiky?

 I've mention him elsewhere, but http://propnomicon.blogspot.com/ is always my go-to place when I need inspiration. There are a fair number of examples of strange creatures that would be right at home in a bottle.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 03:23:30 pm by Herbert West » Logged
madron
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2012, 05:01:05 pm »

what about cold cast clear resin you can tint it aswell and milliput is good for modelling things or adding to dolls arms/hands etc you can even cast insects into it
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2012, 08:08:13 pm »

Air Kraken embryo, all tentacles and wings
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Cubinoid
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2012, 11:57:10 pm »

A little decomposition might look good, but I see your point. I recommend not making anything out of aspirins.

How about good old fashioned clay? Fire it, and it is good to go.
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Herbert West
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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2012, 02:37:38 am »

And if all else fails, theres something to be said for random bits from the dissecting table. Smiley

http://drpnakotic.deviantart.com/art/Yithian-Nerve-Core-199641794?q=sort%3Atime%20cthulhu&qo=65
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 02:43:02 am by Herbert West » Logged
Sir Ninian Marsh
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2012, 11:17:11 am »

Sculpey is a great medium for the 'Thing'. Give a it a couple of coats of waterproof varnish to the keep the finished product watertight.

I would stay away from anything acidic. Especially coca cola. It'll look great at first but we've all seen what it can do to metal over time. You don't want your precious thing to be eaten away in a couple of months.

I personally use distilled water and food colouring, along with an airtight seal this should do well to preserve your Thing for a long time. I do give the jar an occaisional gentle shake as the colouring does tend to settle after a while

Here's some photo's of one of my things:



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Herbert West
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2012, 12:38:41 pm »

Looks good! The background setting adds a lot.
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