Current Projects

Monday, April 18, 2016

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Holy Grail Replica Verson 1

This is actually a few days of work spread out over a month, and it's been done for a while, but I just got the notion to post it here so it's all condensed.  

A friend and I got to talking about history and archaeology a few months ago, and naturally an Indiana Jones joke came up. I'd been antsy to work on something fresh and get a break from the school grind, so I decided to sort of plot out an Indy project just for kicks. Eventually research alone wasn't enough, so the easy answer of course was to do a smaller/cheaper/faster accessory or prop piece. I bought a ceramic goblet at a thrift store a few years ago because it was too cool to pass up, but it had been mostly gathering dust ever since. I realized it's a pretty close (or close enough) match to the Grail. Seemed simple enough to paint it up.

This is the base I started with. The shape isn't perfect, but it's decently close and I already had it so it made things cheap and easy.

I did a sandable spray primer to cover the glaze and prep for Bondo, which I used for the little bubble pits in the original glaze. I liked the texture of the Bondo so I ended up spreading a rough single layer over the whole cup to make it more like an unfinished plaster/ceramic again. I didn't take a photo of the all-over Bondo on its own, but you can still kind of see it under the first coat of paint on the right.

Base paint was Ceramcoat Old Gold, and the second color was Ceramcoat Metallic Gold. The "Old Gold" is really more of a weird rotten pea soup or mustard color, but it worked well as a base to cover up the Bondo and make the second paint go on easier.

After paint I did a coat of Rub 'n Buff in Antique Gold. In retrospect I should have used Gold Leaf or Grecian Gold instead, but my local craft store was out of both of those (naturally) so I went with what I could get. (I really should have used actual gold leaf, but I didn't want to spend that kind of money on a cup that doesn't have quite the right shape. ~*STANDARDS*~) For anyone who hasn't used it, I highly recommend wearing gloves when you apply it. The package says you can just use your fingers, and some people say bare fingers work better, but I didn't notice any problems with gloves and it made the whole thing a lot less messy.

I dithered for a while over whether to continue with the coppery gold color, or wait until the craft store had another gold in stock and switch to that.  But I ultimately stuck with the Antique Gold. I was too impatient to wait for the store to get other colors in stock, and this is just a first draft, so I figured what the heck, might as well keep going. 

I mixed matte red and black acrylic and painted that roughly over the whole outside in a solid coat. It turned out what seemed like too red, so I went back with another darker coat that later ended up being too dark. Live and learn. Then I rubbed and scratched off sections of the paint to let the gold come through. I started with just a little, then progressively worked more off. The paint and scuffing had dulled the gold some, so I also touched up the visible spots to brighten them again.

I don't have photos of the process beyond that, but I mixed some white and black acrylic for a very particular light grey, watered that down, and did a wash over the cup. It ended up a bit too heavy so I sanded it. It also ended up too glossy, which is a whole other thing and my own fault for assuming the matte black paint would tone down the glossy white.  But again I didn't want to bother getting new supplies and I felt okay with taking a chance on it. After being sanded it looked a little better, so I sprayed it with a few heavy coats of matte sealant.

It's technically done now, and while it's not really ideal and definitely not close to screen accurate, I'm satisfied with it as an experiment. With some ashy Plains Dust and a grain of salt, it'll be pretty decent for a cosplay prop or casual display piece. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Round and Round

Let's try this again, for realsies this time.  I've set myself the mid-year's goal of keeping up with my costuming and its documented progress on a regular basis, partly just because I want to (and, really, because I should) and partly to spruce up my skills and keep better track of my work.  I've got movie replicas in the works, historical originals on the brain, some old stuff I might transfer over from the old blog (Throwback Thursdays maybe?) and plenty more going on besides.

Let's do this thing!