Thursday, June 30, 2011

Getting Gritty

Working on the white bars on the jetpack. Last time, I showed you the basecoat of silver.  After that, I did the usual application of Liquid Mask. Then I sprayed a layer of Rustoleum Almond, followed by accents with Rustoleum White and Rustoleum Anodized Bronze for some grit.

Then I removed the tape to make sure I was happy with how the white worked with the other colors so far...

I decided it was too almond, so I misted the center of the bars with more white.  Then I attacked the bars with a screwdriver for scratches and small areas of flecked off paint.
Next up, I retaped, then removed the liquid mask to show some "metal".  Now the fun part -- I decided to start adding grime. I mixed up two custom batches of Testor's model paints to simulate mud and grit, and began scrubbing them into the white areas with a paper towel for texture. Mostly a mix of flat gray, with drops of rust red, yellow, black and camo green.

You can really see the screwdriver scratches once the grit was worked in.

And the finished white bars look like this:

Then I moved on to grunging up the yellow areas the same way. You'll also notice some small smears of yellow and red, as if Boba bumped against something and the color scuffed over onto the jetpack. Just a subtle touch.

And with that, the center of the main body is done.  Trying to decide whether to do the top or the sides next.  Back will be last.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lucasfilm! / Crack is Whack! / Jetpack

So the coolest thing that happened last week was that Lucasfilm's official Star Wars twitter account tweeted about this blog to about 110,000 people!  I couldn't believe it!  
@StarWars wrote: "Crafty fan @blambot blogs about building his Boba Fett costume! #StarWars #crafts #cosplay"
But it's not time to celebrate yet! There's work to be done!

The lens in my helmet turned out to be cracked, which means making a replacement from a welder's face shield. You can see the crack running through the attachment hole on the inside of the helmet here:

I covered the welder's shield in painting tape so as not to accidentally scratch it, and then traced the original on it with a Sharpie.

After that, I drilled the attachment holes and trimmed it out with a Dremel tool.

And tada!

New lens! No crack. Cuz crack is whack.

As far as the jetpack goes, I'm plugging along, slow but sure. Here is the blue on the main body all done. Scratches added!

After that, I taped it off to do the red...

I decided to peel some of the tape away and see how these colors are looking all together. I can already see that once all the base colors and primary damage is done, I'm going to go over the whole thing as a unit and spray/scratch all of it one more time. This way there will be continuity from a scratch on one color that might continue on to the next color.  Definitely going to have to darken up the "burnt" parts on the yellow as well.

Not bad, though! I'm happy so far. Next I'm going to paint the white bars (that are still silver above).

More soon!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jetpack Progress / Helmet No. 1 Arrives

Monday and Tuesday this week were perfect for painting, so I did as much as I could on the blue areas of the main part of the jetpack. The rest of the week will be too humid and rainy to paint. :(

Picked out my color palette. The main color is Rustoleum Indigo.

Most of the taping I did for the yellow could stay on for the blue, so I took some tape off, and put some on. There are about three layers of tape on this now! 

First up, I added some liquid mask:

Then hit it with Rustoleum Aluminum:

Then peeled off the liquid mask and put a new layer of liquid mask and sprayed it blue.

Once the weather dries out, I'll do one more base coat of blue, then add all the grungy tones.

Meanwhile, the first of my two helmets came in!  Designed by Terminal Fettler in the UK, I managed to win an eBay auction for "#23".  To my knowledge, he no longer makes these, so I emailed him to make sure this was authentic.  He confirmed that it was.

Unfortunately, the lense that came with it is cracked, so I'm going to have to make a replacement from a welding shield, using the original as a template.

I've decided not to paint this helmet until my other one comes in (A "GMH" model by FettPride) -- so that I can decide which one fits best, and which one will be painted as Return of the Jedi and which will be Empire Strikes Back.

That's all for now!  Stupid weather!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Jetpack Painting Begins

 Some updates over the last couple of days.

I decided to work on the most complicated area of the jetpack, first: The yellow areas on the main body of the unit.  These sections will take the most masking so I might as well get them out of the way.

I sorted through my rattle cans and came up with these colors to apply the yellow areas of the jetpack.

Rustoleum Line Painting Yellow is the base coat.  Everything else is for toning.  Some Valspar colors mixed in there as well. The plan is to add these as fine mists to gritty areas.

The first task was to tape off all the lower, non-yellow areas.

Once that was done, it was time to apply the new Windsor Newton Liquid Mask fluid to the areas that will be "chipped".  I did a test with it the other day and it works WAY better than that other crap I used for the gauntlets.

I decided to also use cut up garbage bags as extra protection to any areas that I didn't want accidentally misted.  A little insurance policy. I propped the jetpack up on a bucket so that I had better access to the bottom edges, and laid down two base coats of the line painting yellow.

Once it was dry, it was time to bust out the art skills. Slowly, over the course of two hours, I laid down very fine mists of 1) Orange, 2) Dk Gray, 3) Bronze, 4) Light yellow, 5) more Line Painting yellow, 6) Black.  And ended up with this:

The texture came out amazing.  The pictures don't quite do it justice, but here are some close ups:

Once this dries for a couple of days, I'll remove the masking fluid and reveal all the "chips". Then I do micro damage with screwdriver scratches, etc. Then on to the next area! One at a time...this is gonna take a while!

On other fronts, I misted my cape with black to grunge it up. Another piece 100% done.

And I got the lenses in the mail for the two helmets I'll be making. These are actually welding shields that I'll trim out with my Dremel tool.

More soon!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gauntlets and Belt Finished

I haven't really been able to paint anything all week. Stupid New England humidity. But the good news is that I finished my gauntlets!

And I finished scuffing up my leather belt, as well as adding the grommets.  I bought some rawhide leather lacing to cinch them together.

In other news, my belt pouches came in.  Going to have to dirty them up a bit.

And I bought decals for my jetpack, shoulder bells and helmets (I'm doing both a Return of the Jedi for my armor, and a Empire Strikes Back just for fun (SE?) I bought decals from a bunch of different folks so I can pick my favorites. Probably sell the unused ones.

And most exciting news: I scored an UN-PAINTED Terminal Fettler helmet on eBay! TF #23! (Terminal Fettler is one of the top 3 prop makers for Fett armor, and he no longer makes helmets.) I made sure I confirmed it with Terminal Fettler himself first. He confirmed it was indeed one of his.  Can't wait to get it! I'm going to have a TF and a GMH!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Liquid Mask Strikes Back

I sprayed the final red on the gauntlets (Rustoleum Cabernet) and then dusted them with flat black.  Followed by darkening some areas with even more flat black to make "scorch marks".  As I said last time, the liquid mask I was using turned out to be crap.  But by the time I discovered this, I had already used it on the gauntlets.  It turned into a nightmare.  Once I sprayed the final red on the gauntlets, I started peeling off the liquid mask and it began to peel up other layers beneath it.  I spent hours trying to gingerly remove the liquid mask.  Sometimes it ended up peeling everything right down to the white resin.

Luckily, with touch-ups, I managed to save the day, and in the end, I'm pretty happy.  I added more scratches and pock marks with a screwdriver, a car key and some gravel.

 A new bottle of Windsor Newton Masking Fluid came in, and I'll be testing that soon. The old stuff is going in the trash.

All I have left to do with the gauntlets is go over them with Testor's Dullcoat (a flat clear), install the switches I bought at RadioShack, and add the custom aluminum gauntlet darts I got from Mojo-Fett.  Speaking of which... here are the gauntlet darts and toe spikes for the boots. Custom machined aluminum. Beautiful.

Also, I received the ammo belt -- hand made leather by Mel Mattson -- and boy, did she do a hell of a job.  I still have to age it a bit, and add grommets to the back so I can cinch the belt with leather lacing.

In other news, the wife and I went to the fabric store and picked out the material she's going to use to make the flak vest that the chest and shoulder armor attach to.

And because I'm a geek, I bought this for myself, online:

It's been rainy here all weekend, so I can't finish the gauntlets yet, but soon. Then I'll get started on the Jetpack's paint job.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mannequin Madness

Lots going on in the last few days.  Most bizarre of which, is this guy, who now stands naked from the neck down...

I had no idea how hard it would be to find a mannequin to match my height and build. (BTW, I kind of lucked out, I'm pretty close in size and build to Jeremy Bulloch who played Boba in the movies.) This mannequin came closest to matching me and Jeremy. He's just an inch shorter, and has the exact same waist measurement as I do.

And just for fun, I gave him a little ink...

Meanwhile, I finished the final paint on this piece of the gauntlet...

And discovered that the liquid mask I'm using sucks. I'm having a hell of a time peeling away the top layers and leaving the bottom layers of paint. Lots of touch up work. But I've discovered a couple of great ways to add some grunge: Rub the piece in the gravel outside, and then go over it lightly with Testor's flat black paint on a paper towel, wiping off the majority of it as I go. That way the black paint gets inside all the micro abrasions and gives them some nice depth.

Unfortunately, I had already painted a coat of the masking fluid on the gauntlets themselves before I found out how lousy it was.  Oh well... I've ordered some Windsor Newton masking fluid. Hopefully that's better going forward. Here is the primer red with the masking fluid peeled off, and then re-applied but slightly overlapping some of the primer...

And just this morning, I applied the final topcoat of Rustoleum Cabernet red.  Most people use Rustoleum Claret Wine, but I did a side by side test, and the Cabernet is less purple, so I went with that...

Once this dries, I'll hit them with a light dusting of flat black just to give it some dirt, and then peel off the liquid mask to reveal the primer and silver in the "damaged" areas.  Then I'll add scratches and scuffs, and finally hit it will a clear coat when I'm happy.

I also received these awesome custom made "wookie braids" for the right shoulder.

The next couple of days is going to be hot and humid, so I probably won't be painting. Next update will most likely be over the weekend.

Thanks for tuning in!