Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cthulhu Chess Set Concepts

This is one of those ideas I'm on the fence about, should I or shouldn't I? I want to do a Cthulhu themed chess set. Yes, it's been done before so I know I'm not being totally original here - but that's kind of beside the point I think.

I'm trying to suss out if it's worth the effort or has it been done to death? I'm looking at a limited 5 set edition cast in (most likely) Aqua-Resin, it gives a nice, almost unusual fake stone feel. Estimated price will be $350 and will include a fully sculpted and appropriately themed board as well.

I'm debating on the style. Realistic and slightly abstract have been done, both to very good results. I'm not looking to one up anyone, I just wanted to attempt more functional pieces. I'm not into chess, but I know plenty who are. So my thoughts immediately turned to "what would be the best style for this?" Are people looking for such an item more interested in a semi-realistic approach or would a cartoonish, somewhat Mike Mignola-esque take on Cthulhu be interesting enough?

My concepts are rough, I think the Cartoon version will have somewhat more detail and will also be fully painted with colour variations to represent each side, whereas the Realistic will just be simple light and dark variations with some minor antiquing to bring out the details.

I might, over the next couple weeks, actually sculpt both pieces and look at this again to see what opinions might be.

For those who think $350 is too expensive for something like this, I can't help but point out the sheer amount of work involved and expense of the materials. I won't be getting rich off this. I'm aiming for somewhere below the line of the serious collection (for which this would be easily affordable) and the higher end of the casual collector (those that might not be rich, but appreciate the work that goes into something like this). If I were to do just one set, I would charge way more, but I feel that a limited edition of 5 sets is more than reasonable.

I might also make a couple sets available cast in resin, without the board, to appeal to those with are really interested but feel the price is too out of reach. Don't know for sure, I'm open to opinions on this as well.

Basically, should I do or not? Is there already enough of this kind of thing out there? Is Realistic the way to go or perhaps some want to see a different, more Cartoon approach to it? After collecting a few opinions on pricing, I feel $350 is a very fair price for this - anyone else feel different? Just thinking out loud on this for the moment, it's very possible it won't even happen if I get enough negative feedback on the idea, I don't want to do something that there's no interest in - especially something that will require this much work.

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