The book we are making this time is the Book of the Dead from The Mummy (1999)!. The Book of the Dead from The Mummy has been in my to-do-list for a very long time, but I always thought I might be a bit too difficult to make. The whole clasps system looked a bit too fantastical to me. But, we actually got a request over Facebook asking if we could make a replica of it so we finally decided to at least start making a potential plan for building it. A couple of weeks later, we had a couple a reasonable plans and a list of materials so we started the build. In the end, the book was finished with a couple of parts missing, but you’ll will see all our misadventures on our next posts! The Book of the Dead References! As always the first par of any project is to gather some references. Sadly the movie doesn’t have quite enough shots of the prop to get much details so we based our replica on several other props that were floating on the internet. Here is a small compilation of the photos I used to start this build: … Read More
I initially thought of making all the gemstones from the book out of resin and trying to paint them with some sort of transparent paint but after several days of doubts I just decided to find some real stones. I luckily found this offensive piece of “jewelry” which had the exact shape of stones I needed and a very acceptable hue of purple! I cut the necklaces and selected the best stones: The actually look great! I used the stones just as they were for the cover part but the stone on the side needed to be a bit smaller so i cut it with a grinder. Then made a small wooden circle to put it in: All ready to go to assembly! See you all next time!
And here are some pics of the pieces from yesterday being painted! Here is the plain wood piece just sanded: And the painted with some woodstain: And finally with its golden decoration. It was done by first paragraphing a groove and then adding some golden nail polish: All ready! Next time we’ll build the last decorations before putting it all together! Bye!
Whenever one adapts any prop from this kind of animation into reality there’s quite a lot of details that eventually have to be either invented or simply interpreted to your own taste. In this case, the first interpretation had to be the shapes of all the decorations on both covers of the book. They have many slightly different shapes across the screenshots I could find but in the end i decided to make a very symmetrical version of them all. I thought that just like the cartoons are stylized deformed versions of real humans, the shapes on the book are the same but in book version. Here is an image of the original flat open book with all the decorations I found over here. It seems to me like the perspective is not quite right based on other screenshots I’ve taken but is absolutely fantastic reference material. So, here are my very symmetrical and exact version: I changed a bit the colors and printed out the complete page: I cut every part that will be cut and trace it with copy-paper into a think piece of wood: And then into the scroll saw: And then after some sanding the symbol … Read More
And thus it begins! After all the pages are done, we can now turn to the really complicated part… actually building the book. Step 1: Building the text block The first part was to build the text block. I already had the pages traced and printed so I took some photocopies of them so that I could age the page in water and don’t damage the drawings. The I used my usual aging process and placed the paper in water with fabric dye for a 10 or 20 seconds. Then let all pages dry out over plastic. I never use an actually flat surface because the small pools of water leave a lot of marks and dark spots on the pages that I really like.
So, here they are. All the pages I managed to trace based only on screenshots from the TV show. These are not the official pages from the book the might or might not be available in the future. Nor have I seen the ones shown in the comics. You can download all the pages on the Star vs the Forces of Evil download page! Next week we start to build the actual physical book! Enjoy!