Thursday, April 23, 2009

Designing Haunted Tiki Island (part 1)

I started making some sketches for props for Haunted Tiki Island in early 2007. While HTI was still a pipe dream for all of us, and probably forgotten by most of us, I was trying to figure out how to make a cool looking tiki theme that would be scary but not offensive to Polynesian neighbors. The look of Haunted Tiki Island is a conglomeration of all kinds of tribal design aesthetics and influences. It's Polynesian, Mayan, Aztec, Dayak, Palawan, Asmat, Ifugao, Naga, and even little bits of various African tribes. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I tried to diffuse the influence so it wouldn't seem I was picking on anyone group.

Here is an example:

This is our giant Tiki mask, whose main features are African and Polynesian, but if you look, you'll see Samoan and Aztec influences (the tongue sticking out on the glyph on his chin).

I made this tiki face from Dow blue insulation foam starting from a 2" by 8" piece. I had the drawing I made blowup at Kinkos, then I transfered the design to the foam. I used a dremel with a routing bit to draw out the features, then I used a small wire clay tool to chip out some areas to give a rougher chiseled stone look. I painted him with dark grey latex house paint, then washed him with black paint to fill in the cracks, and followed with a drybrushing of light gray.

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