Release the Kraken!!

GM_Forge LOGO art2


Someone pointed out last night that I promised to do a walk through on making the large Kraken mini I posted pictures of last year. This guy;



This is actually a quick build. And — if you already have a bit of Sculpy and the paint, a cheap one.

Right up front I want fess up this was NOT an original idea on my part. I’d seen pictures of similar mods to this toy posted around the internet. I simply followed suit (and put my own spin on things).

Oh and one very important tip: I have ended up making about five of these things. Everytime I make one a buddy wants one and I end up letting them have it and then make another. I’ve learned it’s just as easy to make two or more at a time then one. These things are crowd pleasers when out on the table wrestling with a ship. Keep one and sell the other one. 😉


Large Pacific Octopus toy by Wild Republic You can pick one up on Amazon between 7 and 8 bucks. It’s made of soft rubber and comes painted. A fairly cool and realistic looking toy at a great price. Toy is about 7″ in diameter.

Sculpey Were going to use my old go-to product to make our bases with a choppy water effect.

Glue or Epoxy I found simple brown wood glue (Elmer’s) has held up great but Epoxy might be the best choice.

Water Effects™ by Woodland Senics This is optional. But if you want some truly cool white foaming water effects as in the picture above it’s a must. You can get a similar effect (somewhat) with Mod Podge but it’s not my preference. Water Effects may seem pricey but the bottle will last you for several years.

Razor blade knife or Xacto Knife.

Bases. I use 1.5 inch wooden nickels (had a bag of them sitting around). You can also find wooden discs at Michaels or on Amazon.


A Buddy Optional but a good dog or cat at your feet just makes things go smoother in my experience.

STEP ONE: Slice and Dice

Okay so Kraken-boy has arrived in the mail. Little does he know the fate that’s instore  for him. Here’s one fresh out of the box, spitting mad and full of bad attitude.



First thing we’re going to do is cut him up. Detach each tenatacle leaving about a 1/2 to an 1 inch of stub on the main body. Doesn’t have to be perfect — you can come back and trim cut off more later.

You want to end up with something looking like this.



STEP TWO: Trimming the Main Body and basing it

Now we want to remove some thickness from the main head so it will appear to be sitting low in the water. We’re going for a water-line effect there. I good razor blade knife with a broad new blade works best. And the obligatory, “don’t cut your fingers off” goes in here. Seriously, be careful.

Again you should end up with something like this.

IMG_3827You can toss the bottom piece.

Now get a ball of Sculpy about the size of a walnut and smoosh it out to form your base. You’re going to press the main body of your Kraken down into soft clay as shown.


Now just spend some time shaping the base. A good irregular shape works best IMO. Use a tool or tapered wooden dowel to smooth the clay up so it’s flush with the skin of each stub and stub end. You can also pinch little wripples in the clay to get a water surface effect (not shown in the photo above).

When you are done carefully lift the head off. You should have a mold-like cavity of the bottom of the body. You’re going to bake this clay base (without the head) and then, after it’s cooled, glue the head back into the cavity. Just be sure the cavity doesn’t deform when you remove the head. You may have to some baby powder on the bottom of the head and push it back into the cavity and reshape the walls before taking it out again.

STEP Three: Basing the Tentacles

Next you’ll take your wooden discs and cover each one with a thin (1/8 inch thick) veneer of Sculpy. You’re going to repeat the same process you did with the head. Shape the clay on each disk, press the end of a tentacle into it and further shape it. On the tentacles you’re going to be standing each one up – you’ll want to form a ‘cup’ around the end stubs. You might also want to trim some of the tentacles if you want to change their height or angle out of the water. Take a sharpie and number the exposed cut end on each stub 1 through 8. Do the same on the bottom of your bases. This will help identify which tentacle does on which base. Imporant since each will have thier own unique shape/cup


IMG_5080IMG_5113Once you’re happy with your water effects remove the tentacles and bake the bases. After cooling glue them into place. You may have to prop them up in place while the glue dries.

STEP Four: Painting & Water Effects.

Now that everything is based you’ll want to fill in any gaps on your bases. You’ll also want to smooth the edges a bit. Mili Put (Green stuff) is a good choice. Or you can just use some elmer’s glue.

Once that’s done paint the bases blue. Here’s mine after the initial paint. Not bad — but we can do better.


When the paint is dried you can add your Water Effects™. Just brush it on the bases. Here you can get sloppy and go “past the lines” let the Water Effects slosh up over the Kraken’s skin. It will help with the appearance of the Kraken churning up the water and at the same time hide any stub/cut marks. Take a paperclick or a toothpick and flick the Water Effects to create little ridges and spikes. The material is designed to hold it’s shape and not level back out. This is going to create the high marks we need in the next step to get our white/foamy water. Water Effects takes many hours to dry. It’s a good idea at this point to just set the piece aside for 24 hours.

STEP FIVE: Dry Brushing

Now get some white paint and broad flat brush. You want the paint very dry. Dry brush our bases and watch the magic happen.

As I pointed out the toy comes preprinted and looks fairly decent as is -— but it does have a rubbery sheen to it. You can knock that off by applying some black wash. Or, if you have it, a good sienna or brown wash as I did with this one.


And that’s it. You now have a pretty amazing Kraken mini to throw at your players. And for under ten bucks a little sweat equity. Release the Kraken!!!



Again pretty straight forward build. I realized I sort of raced through it. If you have any questions or need some clarification let me know.







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