Category Archive: Guest Post

Guest Posts

Sep 08 2015

DVD Review: The Exorcist 40th Anniversary Blu-ray

Zombos Says: Excellent mix of movie versions and features in one set. Not having watched the extended director's cut or original theatrical version blu-ray editions previously released, this 40th anniversary set from Warners Home Video, adding two new special features on a third disc and a snippet from William Friedkin's book The Friedkin Connection, is a …

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Aug 02 2015

Wear And Tear

Over the weekend I finished up the bottled specimens I started last week, applying collection labels and the final weathering treatment. Here’s the “critter” after it was sealed in it’s bottle with wax. After a week the isopropyl alcohol doesn’t seem to be reacting with the figure’s baked Sculpey or the acrylic paint and liquid …

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Aug 01 2015

Miskatonic University Specimen Labels

The title pretty much says it all. This is an improved sheet of labels for specimens from Miskatonic University’s Special Collections, based on the original version over here and the revised single label here. The sheet contains three 2″ by 3″ labels and one 3″ by 4″ label for larger samples and includes crop marks …

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Jul 31 2015

Bottled Nightmares

One of my best Father’s Day gifts was the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 digital camera . After spending close to a decade using the same digital camera I bought in back in 2000, a Canon Powershot A-10, the difference is like night and day. I’m finally able to take some quality shots of my props! Well, …

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Jul 30 2015

Preserved Tissue Specimen Tutorial

There’s nothing quite like a preserved bit of nastiness in a bottle. A specimen floating in murky liquid in a dirty sample jar just calls out to people.  They want to pick it up, turn it around, and take a good look at what’s inside.  The ickier it is, the better. This tutorial will show …

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Jul 29 2015

Creepy Crawlies

Graham Bartram produced these nicely done bottled specimens and sent over some helpful tips: “I’ve made my first couple of bottled specimens and attached a couple of photos to so you can take a look. I hope you like them. What a learning experience that was. In hindsight I can see a couple of things …

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Jul 28 2015

The Congo Specimen

Another specimen from the Miskatonic University collection, this time from the 1927 expedition to the Congo. As usual, things didn’t end well. The glowing fluid is a by product of illuminating the interior of the jar with reflected light. The tabletop is lit by shop lights on both sides. Light passes into the jar and …

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Jul 27 2015

Bottled Beastie

Another preserved worm that just happens to be available on Ebay. With the crass commercialism out of the way… I think I may have figured out why the epoxy resin teeth on some worms pick up the dye used to color the water. Before I close up a jar I add a few grains of …

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Jul 26 2015

Latex Longevity

This is a followup to Saturday’s post about the effect on long term immersion on the kind of latex creatures using in “things in a bottle”. After 48 hours out of the solution the worm has dried and shrunk back to it’s original size. Based on that I think it’s safe to say that the …

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Jul 25 2015

“Thing in a Bottle” Longevity

Today I opened up a latex “specimen” that I bottled up in June of last year. Why? To test the effects of time on both the bottle seal and the critter inside. The seal, consisting of an internal and external layer of silicone for the lid and a coating of melted wax, was in absolutely …

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Jul 24 2015

A Discovery of Earth Shattering Importance

I think I may have made a major breakthrough in the field of “Thing in a Bottle” technology. It’s downright embarrassing how little discoveries like this make me giddy. Heh. One of the reasons I don’t make solid polymer clay or resin creatures is that they’ll eventually break after repeatedly hitting the glass inside a …

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Jul 23 2015


I’ve been on a “things in a bottle” spree for about a month, cranking out Halloween decorations for friends looking for something to add to a shelf display or mad scientist’s lab. In the process I’ve picked up a few more refinements to the “Making a Thing in a Bottle” tutorial and its followups (here …

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Jul 22 2015

Making A “Thing In A Bottle”: Addendum II

This is a followup on the original post featuring the Making a “Thing In a Bottle” tutorial. Since then I’ve made about three dozen more bottled specimens, progressively refining the technique as issues impacting the long-term stability of the projects pop up. I’ve previously written about ways to insure an air-tight seal. This post will …

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Jul 21 2015

Making A “Thing In A Bottle”: Addendum

Based on a few experiments I carried out over the weekend I’m going to add one more step to the Making A “Thing In A Bottle” project from back in March. As you can imagine, that tutorial has been getting an increasing amount of traffic as Halloween approaches. In the vast majority of cases it …

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Jul 20 2015

Making A “Thing In A Bottle”


There are a couple of tutorials for creating “Things in a bottle” floating around, but this is my approach. It’s a relatively simple process that’s designed to produce a high-quality prop from cheap, readily-available materials. First off, you’re going to need a “thing” to bottle. For this example I’ll be using a tissue sample from …

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Apr 14 2015

Movie Review: The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

My article, The Creature from the Black Lagoon Still Holds Us Captive,  first appeared in the British magazine We Belong Dead, issue number 13. I highly recommend you pick up a copy. WBD is the best fan written magazine available today covering classic horror. This issue in particular is a tribute to the Creature from …

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