Dale Bigford is the creator of this immense vampire hunting kit, which takes the tropes of the genre and turns them up to 11. Out of the dozens of kits that have been featured here this one easily takes the top spot in terms of size and the number of items included. The sheer amount of work assembling everything and then carefully packing it up in an orderly fashion is mind-boggling.
Here's Mr. Bigford talking about the inspiration for the kit:
"My friends and I were drinking wine watching an old Hammer Horror Dracula movie (Peter Cushing is the ONLY Van Helsing) in Germany (military) in 2008. Eventually my friend turned to me and said "you've got a box of vampire killing stuff right?" I answered "no...but why don't I"? So I started to build one...and it got outta hand. I just finished it this week. I didn't slave over it everyday for four years, but hit ALLOT of european antique/flea markets, did ALLOT of work and here it is.
One thing that always nagged at me was this:
When Van Helsing shows up in these eastern european countries he always has very little ON HIM yet always has whatever equipment is necessary. How could this be? In the age of steam ships, trains and carriages the answer was simple: A train case or steamer trunk.
I wanted to go for the look of a converted/heavily modified clothing train case (complete with added victorian-style upholsetered back padding and heavy leather straps (which only the BURLIEST of assistants could shlep through mountain passes or abandonded cemeteries).
It also was important to show a kit that, after the passing of the great doctor, passed through many hands from the latter 19th-20th century and continued to be modified/added to as new knowledge came forward and different techniques were tried. Modified when/as/how it could be in the disheveld, chaotic life of someone who KNOWS vampires exist.
I admit in this day and age laser-sighted automatic pistols and high-powered stake guns are more effective, but they utterly lack the romance of the Victorian period."
We start with an overall shot of the trunk that provides a sense of just how large it is.
I love this touch. A backboard with shoulder straps makes perfect sense for transporting something this big. In my mind I can see the put-upon assistant straining under the weight of the thing while the good Doctor obliviously waits for him to catch up.
The first set of panels opened to expose the interior.
Stakes and spikes to the left, tools and weapons in the center, materia and components to the right. The one detail that really stands out to me is that everything is tied down or otherwise restrained. Far too many artists ignore that basic usability factor.
A closeup of the tool panel. The one critique I have is that the patina of the wood varies so much, but that's a trifling issue.
You can never have too many wooden stakes or iron spikes. One of the legacies of my youthful exploration of abandoned buildings is an appreciation for the utility of heavy spikes in defeating doors, windows, and locks. They're incredibly useful tools for breaking and entering. More importantly, a spike in the jamb keeps a door from closing. Getting in and out quickly no doubt comes in handy when hunting the undead.
I'll have some more shots of Mr. Bigford's case, including a closer look at the dozens of material components, tomorrow morning. If you want to jump ahead you should be able to browse the album over here.