Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Frog altar

   The Frog altar is my latest terrain piece. Recently I visited Salamanca where I bought a strange little souvenir, a skull with a frog on it. I will explain the story later. First, lets see the construction of the altar.

Frog altar

   I used styrofoam and white glue to "build" the main body of the altar. Then I stuck it on a MDF base.


The skull souvenir and two Ziterdes skulls

The MDF base

The altar

   I used supermarket black foam trays for the coping stones, which I glued and secured on their place with a few metallic pins.

   Finally, I glued the three skulls.

   It was time for the plaster! I grabbed the proper tool and covered all the surfaces of the altar and the ground as well! On the ground I stuck little rocks, sand and static grass.

Ready for painting

black grey

neutral grey

light grey and flat earth for the ground

Sky grey and USA tan earth for the ground


The stairway skulls 

The skull with the frog

   Using the opportunity we had some "family" photos:

   And now the story of the legend of the frog. The frog, which appears on a skull and decorates the façade of the original building of the University, constitutes a touristic attraction and has its own history. The façade was built during the 16th century, commissioned in 1529 by the Catholic Kings, though the university itself was built in 1134.

The façade of the University of Salamanca

   According to the legend, if a newcomer student can see the frog on one of the skulls, he’ll succeed in his exams. It is the most popular souvenir in Salamanca nowadays!
   Recent studies have shed new light on the subject. It seems that the skull would represent Prince Juan (son of the Catholic Kings), who died in 1497 before turning 20, despite the many efforts of his doctor. The frog would represent the physician who treated him, Doctor Parra, giving the frog its nickname of “Parrita” (Little Parra).

The skull with the frog!

   That's it for today! Stay tuned for more! 
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