Dan Baines

Fairy Rings and Monstrous Things

Designing the Doomsday Hex Factor Trophy

For the second year running I will be organsing Doomsday VII. This is the UK's top bizarre magic convention which takes place in May at Sneaton Castle in the iconic gothic seaside town of Whitby.

Every year I get numerous e-mails from people wishing to perform who either don't have enough material for a full show, want to try something new or have literally never been on stage in their life. So this year I have decided to replace the evening gala show with The Hex Factor! Each performer is given a 5-10 minute slot in which to display their magic routines, disturbing talents or anything you feel suitable for the Doomsday audience. A panel of judges will give feedback but ultimately the audience will decide the best act of the evening.

The winner will be awarded a full performance spot at Doomsday 8 and a pair of free tickets but more importantly they will win the The Hex Factor trophy! To dangle the carrot for potential entrants I thought I would get the creative wheels in motion and design the trophy.


Nothing screams occult more than a skull on a stick, especially one adorned with inverted pentagrams and glowing red eyes! I wanted the trophy to be more than your typical golden cup with a marble base. I wanted to create something that if you had it on your shelf at home it would genuinely worry visitors. What the hell did you have to do to win such a monstrosity? Satanist of the year 2016?!

The horns are 3D printed in translucent ABS. These were originally part of a Maleficent headdress but I removed the skull cap section and just printed the horns on a slightly smaller scale. The plaque on the reverse is also printed in black and translucent ABS. All that was required for the demonic red glow was a set of silver micro-string LEDs positioned in such a way to give the illusion of red pupils and a back light for the pentagram.

If you're thinking of entering the Hex Factor then you're currently in with a one in seven chance of winning the trophy. I'm going to cap the entries at 8 people so that we can have two 40 minute sections, an interval and guest performance from Brian Maxwell. So I need two more volunteers to sell their souls and be potentially ripped apart by the Doomsday dogs. However, you could walk away with the Hex Factor trophy! I can't promise you a million dollar contract and a pad in Malibu but what I can promise you is a glowing sheep skull impaled on a metal pole – I know what I'd sooner have!

© Dan Baines 2016