Hellraiser's Pinhead

This was a kit review for Sci-Fi & Fantasy special effects journal
N&T Productions 'Hellraiser Pinhead'

This resin kit from N&T Productions is possibly the best resin casting job I've come across or read about. This is a superb piece of work, consisting of a 1:5 scale (approximately) bust-and-plinth, with a self-adhesive etched brass nameplate, supply of metal pins, self-adhesive felt pad for the plinth base, a piece of dowel, and a 1mm drill bit for the pins. The plain cardboard box, tightly and carefully packed with bubble-wrap, includes a concise and helpful painting guide and a selection of colour images from four different head aspects &endash; plenty to do the piece justice. N&T's line-up at the moment also includes Freddy, Batman and Jason, with each coming in two options &endash; a kit for £40, or a finished piece for £70 including a special base and numbered plaque, thus attracting 'limited edition' status. Both options represent fantastic value for money. N&T Productions is a two-man team with a history of just six months. If they keep producing material of this quality they're going to rise to the top, and early material like this will be rare. If you're into figures at all, I recommend buying some of these without delay: you might regret leaving it!

Well, back to Pinhead. The surface finish is excellent and my example didn't have a single blemish or bubble vesicle anywhere, thanks to the vacuum casting process used. There were no mould lines either. When I checked the bust against the video, I found the design accuracy and proportions to be spot on, with nothing required in the way of adjustments. The face is cast with incision 'grid marks' and pinholes of about 1mm depth: just right for starting off the drill bit supplied.


the model

The construction phase was, er, short, and involved gluing the bust to the plinth using the dowel supplied for alignment. Perfect fit: use just half a teaspoonful of epoxy. Leave the pins and nameplate off at this stage, of course, but do drill the pin holes at this stage (health & safety: when working with resin, always use safety goggles and a respirator with appropriate filter). I set the drill depth to about 18mm, leaving about 7mm of the pins exposed, which is just about the width of the eyelids and in scale with the video footage. A mini hobby drill is handy here. I found that to line the pins up properly I had to go down a line at a time leaving a trail of pins in as a guide, especially round the font face area as asymetry in the pins would be glaringly obvious. Because of the depth of the holes, some pins interfered with each other deep inside the head: I chopped a few mm off one pin with pliers when this happened. The pins were eventually glued in with superglue, after painting was over.

The face

The painting guide suggests spraying the whole thing black, and adding the blue-tinted flesh tones on top. I did undercoat the whole thing in matt black auto primer, but I opted for a two-coat skin tone system, and the blood & gore on the front also took multiple coats. All paints were Citadel acrylics unless noted otherwise. For the skin tones, I painted the required areas with a 50% dilution of Elf Flesh - I kept the brushes quite dry, and didn't bother about patchiness that appeared. I repainted when that had dried, giving a mottled amber colour even after the second coat. Before the second coat was completely dry (about 10 minutes-ish: it should just smear when rubbed with a finger), I loosely brushed over a 50% dilution of Ghostly Grey, again with a brush that was quite dry - enough to leave a good paint trail but with no pooling. This seeps into the flesh paint and leaves a nice wispy but definite mottle. The area around the eyes was slowly enhanced layer-by-layer with more diluted Ghostly Grey darkened a little each time with spots of Codex Grey upto a 3:1 blend - not too dark. Eye lid edges, nostrils and lips were picked out with a blend (upto 3:2) of diluted Ghostly Grey and Scab Red.

The Gore

The gore on the front arises from strips of flesh that have been torn downwards and left hanging, calling for some serious meat tones. I read with interest the articles by Tom Savini in issues 44 & 45 of SF&F, and decided to do a gore job that even Tom would be proud of: I've always wanted a good recipe for painted blood, so here was my chance. I started with a colour test card, made by spraying scrap plasticard with the black auto primer. I used several reds and purples in a grid so that I could tell what had been mixed with what, and my test was the pictures in issue 44 and the local butchers window. After lots of experimentation, I found that the depth and lustre of real wet blood arose from the intense red of the blood overlain by a pool of thick serous fluid, which makes the spot look really dark - almost black, in fact. I got quite close to this with a 2:1 mix of Blood Red and Scab Red, which I overpainted when dry with a 2:1 mix of GlossCote and gloss red enamel (Humbrol 19) - just a thick smear here and there covering about one quarter of the darker scab undercoat, then I dripped one or two drops of plain GlossCote on top to let it run down and mix in loose swirls. After that had dried, I liberally applied a 3:1 mix of GlossCote and gloss black enamel (Humbrol 21) - quite a thick layer. When this dries, you'll have a swirly dark and light mess of weeping meat - lovely! This process relies on the refraction of light by successive clear layers of tinted paint, so be prepared to lay it on thick - the opposite of most painting techniques. The eye colour on the video is dark green, so I used Jade Green for the iris with a central black pupil: this was overcoated with a blob of GlossCote to leave a wet look.

Last Word

The high quality mouldings and the thoughtful inclusion of the extras gives the overall kit presentation a professional feel and will make it easy for resin kit novices to get a really effective and gruesome look. The kit offers exceptional value and it was a real pleasure to work on. I'd recommend it to anyone!


You can find them at:

N & T Productions,
19 Marina Drive, South Shields, Tyne & Wier, NE33 2NH
0191 456 3741

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