Copyright Acknowledgment: All images of THE OUTER SPACE MEN , THE WORLD OF THE FUTURE and other Products and Images, created by Mel Birnkrant, are Copyright (c) MEL BIRNKRANT
CTHULHU NAUTILUS is the direct descendant of the Elder Gods that once inhabited this planet, eons before the time of man began. He possesses his ancient ancestorís ability to project both his mind and body through the Seven Dimensions of Time and Space to explore the farthest reaches of our Galaxy and the vast Unknown Universe that lies beyond the Milky Way. CTHULHU NAUTILUS is equally at home in the murky depths of Earthís Great Oceans and the caves and caverns of the Hollow World, below. Now, he joins the Outer Space Men in their quest to save the Cosmos from the carnivorous onslaught of "VORACIOUS," the ever ravenous Black Hole.
The image above is Cthulhu as he was first envisioned. At this point, I must admit, I took him only semi seriously. Like all the later Outer Space Men and women, he had to be based upon what already existed, to which only a new head could be added. When it came to adding yet another character to the line in the form of one more new head that could be included in Zero and Luna's mold, it was Matt Doughty who encouraged me to choose Cthulhu. I was favoring Moltina and, hopefully, both flaming creatures, but whenever I mentioned that possibility, both Matt and Gary were conspicuously silent. So, finally, I saw the light, and to Mattís delight, I agreed to choose Cthulhu.
Thus, Eric Treadaway, in the continuing tradition of the Four Horsemen Outer Space Men, set about sculpting him. As could be expected his sculpture, or I should say, the computer image he created, to later be printed in 3D, was quite perfect. Nonetheless, I was really not excited. This was my own fault, not his.
I know that Gary, for one, is sick of hearing this screed, but Iíll bore you with it, anyway. When I created the Outer Space Men, fifty years ago, it was easy to be original. Originality, in fact, was unavoidable, because there was nothing out there to compete with, either in the toy stores, or in Outer Space. Now, several million action figures later, everything seems to have been done already, and managing to be original is like filling in the final word in a million word-wide crossword puzzle.
Furthermore, when Lovecraft introduced Cthulhu, he barely described him, suggesting little, and leaving the rest to be supplied by the readerís imagination. Meanwhile, several thousand illustrated interpretations later, that ambiguous character has become so thoroughly visualized that his well defined appearance has become a stereotype, as familiar as Mickey Mouse. One quick look at Google images will disclose a thousand Cthulhus, many of which are spectacular. So, what is a poor old Earthling like me to do to make our humble little GLYOS Cthulhu interesting, and possibly a little different too? Well by now, if youíve been following the OSM, you might know that the small regiment of OSM that populate my desk are backlit and, therefore, several, with my help, are prone to glow.
So, I determined early on that our Cthulhuís eyes would glow as well. Then, studying Ericís computer sculpture, I had a breakthrough moment. The back and top of Cthulhuís head could become a transparent dome to gather light, and, more importantly, that little bump above his nose could become a small third eye that would also glow. Hooray! Our guy was going to have something to offer that seemed, at least, a little bit original.
Here is another set of overlays that explain what I had in mind more clearly. The dome shape on the back of Cthulhuís head would gobble up light, and radiate it through his eyes.
And here we see the third eye depicted more distinctly.
Naturally, Eric nailed it perfectly!
Last of all I suggested that the middle eye could use some sort of eyelid, which Eric did. And then, the wait began....
Now, in the many weeks that followed, waiting for his new head to arrive, I played with his body, which as everybody knows is based on Astro Nautilus. Looking at him, standing there, sporting Mystronís wings, he soon got Mystronís lower torso and pointed tail as well. And then, partly because he kept falling over, and partly to create a different look, he borrowed new feet from Orbitron. And, here he stands, waiting to trade his old head in for the new one that should be arriving any day. And then Iíll paint him, in colors iridescent, and send him on his way.
Meanwhile, somewhere in New Jersey, the three new heads that Eric made, are underway.
Here we see what I believe to be all three heads newly ejected from the 3D printer, waiting to be trimmed and finished. I am told that they will be on their way to me in a few days. It has been decided that I will paint Cthulhu, while Eric will supply the finished paint masters for the other two new figures, Zero and Luna.
MOUSE OVER TO SEE BACK OF CARD
MOUSE OVER TO SEE BACK OF CARD
MOUSE OVER TO SEE BACK OF CARD
Several weeks later, the finished transparent head arrived. Eric did a fantastic job. The new head
was perfection! I had already harvested the parts that made up the rest of him. Now it was up to me to
paint him. These directions are from a letter to Matt and Paul, in which I suggest two possible methods to
achieve the same results that I did.
1. Cthulhu is made up of several figures: The body including tentacles and legs is essentially Astro
His lower torso is to be replaced by that of Mystron, and he will also use Mystronís tail.
His wings also come from Mystron.
His feet are from Orbitron.
His trident is from Astro Nautilus.
His two piece head is the only element of the figure that is new.
2. There are two solutions for the colors. The model shows
exactly what I hope you can achieve. I did this by using a red
orange body. This was only to get the red dot on his chest, lit by
an area on his back with no paint.
I also painted his head with transparent warm blue ink, before I
painted the head. I sprayed the ink with clear Krylon to protect the
ink when I masked off the eyes with liquid latex. Of course, you
will have real masks.
3. There are several alternatives ways to achieve this effect. For
instance, the entire head could be cast in a carefully mixed color
of transparent plastic. I think this is how you solved Electronís
head that I had indicated by spraying blue paint on the back of it.
As the head will be in a different mold than Astroís body, it is
feasible to use two different colors of plastic, blue head, red body.
4. Or the entire figure could be cast transparent, and blue, applied
to head, and red applied to upper body. This would be the same
red-orange that will be used to spray over the silver of the head
and tentacles. It could be sprayed over the upper torso too, the
dot in front, and window in back to achieve the red light up glow.
The eyes and head window, and the dot and back window are the
only parts of the plastic that will show, so, any colors can be used
5. The red orange metallic of the tentacles tail and head will be
silver, with an overspray of transparent red orange.
6. The wings will be gloss black.
7. I used that pearl purple I like so much
in several places on this figure, I donít
know what you used to duplicate it in the
past, but your attempts have always been
successful. I used that color sprayed
over the finished red-orange tentacles.
that creates the magic purple on the
lower sides of the tentacles. I believe that
you already have a spray mask for these
as the glow silver Astro had the lover
sides painted silver. So, once the red is
finished on the tentacles, the lover sides
can be sprayed with that magic pearl
8. The Body was sprayed black, and then, a light spray of that same magic pearl purple was sprayed
over it, which over black lightly creates that interesting blue. If heaver, it comes out a lighter blue
purple, like on an earlier Astro figure. Either result will do, but I do prefer the more sparing use, so the
body is darker. I think this was done successfully on Mystronís wings in an earlier collectors series.
9. The trident, his belt, and the rings on his legs, as well as the diagonal emblem on his chest, and
Orbitronís toes will be gold paint.
10. One final note. I had a terrible time with this. The silver wouldnít dry, and the paint was so glossy
that the red ink comes off easily, and water will remove it completely, so, please handle it carefully. I
used up all my Astro figures experimenting with this. Matt, I would like to get my painted sample back.
Iím very attached to it. Right now, it is my favorite OSM. Thanks for convincing me to do it. You were
right! And Thanks to Eric for realizing it so perfectly.
THE REALM OF ELDER DEITIES
Eons beyond all reach of memory, when time was immemorial, and the newborn Universe was young, the entire Cosmos was the realm of Ancient Deities. These mighty entities, propelled by the unbridled power of their mind-boggling minds, could travel easily, and instantaneously, beyond the stars and planets of the Milky Way, to explore far distant Stars and Galaxies. Sometimes known, today, as The Elder Gods, their legendary histories, as well as their hibernating bodies, sleep, beneath the Sands of Eternity. There, they wait patiently for the Day of Reckoning, when this ancient race will rise again to once more rule the vast expanse of Outer Space.
Here on this humble planet, the third one form the modest star we call our Sun, we speak in whispers of these mysterious beings, whose vastly varied physiognomy is rumored to be both breathtakingly beautiful and hideously ugly. No words, among the multitude of languages that came and went, throughout a million centuries, were ever capable of describing what these bizarre beings looked like. Nor, is any voice of man or beast capable of pronouncing their complex names. It has been said that to meet one of these fabled creatures is an experience that falls somewhere between Nirvana and a Nightmare. And the viewer, be he Human or Alien, may never again seem the same. The Incredible Old Ones; long may they reign!
Now, comes the fun part, taking photographs. I try to shoot a wide variety, most of the time, from a low angle to help the figure look more stately. The photos that you see below will be applied to many uses. They will appear on the package, and in publicity. There are also a few extras, to make sure that I will have plenty.
And finally, hereís the pastime I like best, posing the above photographs in a variety of scenes. Searching for appropriate images on the internet is an activity that is not unlike collecting. The World Wide Web is like a giant flea market to me. And best of all, the treasures that I discover there are free!