Introduction: The Dark Crystal Geocache

This was a very adhoc project, constructed over many months only spending small amounts of time on it here and there. I didn't have any grand plan on what the final product would look like as I was making it but I tried to limit the project to only materials found around the house. The main materials I used were:

  • PVC pipes and cement
  • Casting resin
  • Pool noodles
  • Modeling clay
  • Bandages
  • Paint
  • Rags, sheets and freaky fabric
  • Umbrella stand for the base
  • Film canister placed inside a lantern to hold the log book

Step 1: Constructing the Head

The Dark Crystal is one of my favorite films so I've wanted to do a tribute cache for a while. But, I also liked the idea of not following any plan or looking at any pictures and just going off my memory of the film as a kid. I decided to base my Skeksis on Chamberlain.

The head was constructed out of a piece of pool noddle. I carved the basic shape using a stanley knife and placed a couple of dolls eyes in the eye sockets. I then made the rest of the head using modeling clay which then took about a week to completely dry. I added some extra detail to the skin using epoxy and added teeth made out of clay. I then painted the head with some of the kids acrylic paint.

Finally when I was happy with the head I coated it with casting resin to make it tough. I ended up giving four coats of casting resin.

Step 2: Making the First Hand

To make the first hand I made the fingers out of wire and tapped them to end of a PVC pipe. I then coated the fingers in modeling clay and painted them. I found that the fingers were not very durable and broke easily. So I then wrapped the fingers in bandages and coated them with PVC cement. This process achieves a result similar to fiberglass but A LOT cheaper!

This made the fingers a lot thicker than I wanted but they were tough as.

Step 3: Putting the Body Together

Now that I had a head and a hand it was time to come up with a body. For what would become the back of the Skeksis I used a think piece of pool noodle and cut out and shaped some spikes to add to the back. I cut some wire which I used to skewer the spikes to attach them to the back. I then glued them with epoxy.

For the base I used an old umbrella stand. I came up with the shape of the body with PVC pipes. As you can see from the pictures the first shape I came up with was unstable so I came up with a better design which you can see in the last picture. I pushed a pool noodle into the umbrella stand so I could thread a PVC pipe in it. When I was happy I painted the back as I intended the spikes to poke through its clothes.

Step 4: Adding the Second Arm, Some Clothes and the Geocache Container

Now it was time to make the second arm. I wanted to have it holding a staff to give the structure more stability. For the second hand I built it like the first but made it wrap around a T-shape PVC join which would connect to the two halves of the staff.

To make the staff I made a blob of expanding foam for the head of the staff then wrapped the whole thing in bandage and paint with PVC cement to give it strength. When I was happy with the staff I painted it. I also gathered some old rags and sheets to come up with a basic idea of how I wanted the clothes to look.

For the actual geocache container I simply used a cheap garden lantern and placed a film canister in it where the candle was meant to go. I attached the lantern to a chain to hang off the free hand.

Step 5: Final Construction

I purposely did not glue the final shape together so I could easily pull it apart so I could transport it and construct it in its final spot. As I put it all together for the final time I glued the parts together and also wrapped the joins in bandage and painted with PVC cement for strength.

I then covered the body with the sheets and rags. I cuts holes in the sheets to thread cord through so I could tie the whole thing in place.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Finally I added some freaky fabric which I bought on ebay for the final look. I also carried in a couple of cement blocks to anchor the stand so it wouldn't fall over. With everything in place, now all that is left is for geocachers to try to find it!

DIY Summer Camp Challenge

Runner Up in the
DIY Summer Camp Challenge

Outside Contest 2016

Participated in the
Outside Contest 2016

Outdoor Structures Contest

Participated in the
Outdoor Structures Contest