Armor painting and weathering techniques [merged]

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Migrate from As You Wish

Originally posted by Slave1:

Here are some tips in the actual painting and weathering of armor . . ..

If you don't have the benefit of an airbrush and are painting from off-the shelf cans, do not just use one color on an area. If I'm using paint out of the can on props, I tend to mist with two, three or more similar colors whenever I'm doing something that's supposed to look weathered. Someone mentioned a Claret color being a good color for ROTJ gauntlets. I have used that color with good results, again, always misting on different colors. Too much of something will either make your gauntlets looking too red or too brown or too purple. Keep those ref pics handy while painting; don't rely on your memory.

If you have an airbrush and feel comfortable using it, you can get a lot more specific in your color choice because you can custom mix. I like using spray paint for certain areas and airbrushing on others. Be brave enough to try new techniques though.

For weathering, try this . . . artist chalk pastels. I take these and rub them on sandpaper to make a find powder, then rub that into the paint finish for a dusty look. Can also be used to simulate dirt. Clear coat it and it's protected. You'd be surprised how effective this looks. Misting black paint or light gray paint from a distance is fine too, though I see a lot of people go overboard with the black on Fett, and he ends up looking burnt instead of beaten.

On the silver areas of damage (chipping and scratches), try those felt tip metallic paint pens you can get at Craft 2000 and Michaels. You'll have a lot more control than you will with a paint brush. Drybrushing is a good technique for streaking on a lighter color and making it look as though that area has been bumped and scuffed.

Again, I'll stress that if you just use one color on any one piece, it will come out looking flat. If you look at the chest plates, for instance, on the original they are slightly darker on the outside edges. Then a medium color and then another color still on the very top. A lot of depth.

I found a good color for knee and shoulder armor . . . Caterpillar yellow. Again, use other colors as well. For the ROTJ version, you would definitely want to get some orange in there as well.

Once more (I feel like I'm teaching) the Claret and the Caterpillar should not be used on their own or they will just look wrong. And apart from those colors I try not to advise on color choice. I have had a lot of folks that have seen the replica I have on my website asking me questions about color, but I've always felt that if I get too specific and someone takes my advice, their replica will only be a relica of my replica. I prefer to encourage people to look at the source material and base their choices on that as much as possible.

I do encourage you to use as many techniques as possible to get that very random look to the damage that has occured. Spend some time and you'll see the payoff.

But if all that sounds like too much work, I've heard dragging your costume behind your car on a rope at fifty miles an hour produces the exact same results.
Originally posted by Lynn TXP 0369:

Liquid mask is also a great way to achieve realistic damage as well. It can be found at most well stocked hobby shops. I'll paint my silver first, than I'll use my liquid mask over the silver, were I want my damage to be, than spray my othe colors over it and peel the mask off when done and instant battle damage. easy.....
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Originally posted by Lynn TXP 0369:

Shelby..... Thanks for those painting techniques!! I just tried the misting several similar colors on my new gauntlets and I just redid my shoulder bells and knee gaurds using the same technique and they look 1000% better.....
Thanks a bunch,
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Below is my first weathering test using an extra piece of trim from my armor. The center weathering was masked with 2 layers of masking tape. To the right, barely seen was liquid latex which pulled up both the yellow and the green, and to the left, KY Jelly. Stop Laughing! ;)

Sorry for the slightly out of focus picture. I hope you can make sense of it. Please give me your feedback or perhaps a better method before I undertake the whole suit.

Thanks all and have a Great 4th of July!!!
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I like it. Just the right amount of yellow trim. If don't know if so much of the armor displayed a yellow underlayer, but if that's the look you're going for, it looks great to me. If it were mine I would next rub some charcoal in to darken it up and make it look scored and scuffed.

Looks great to me,
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Thanks. I just finished like an hour ago. I plan on darkening it a little. I wouldn't do as much, I was just testing to see different shapes and all.

Thanks again. I appreciate the feedback :)
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duh, sorry I forgot it was just a test piece :)

Am I wrong or is the only real yellow on what would be fett's left breast plate?

Love the signature...

...Build up a little boy's hopes then smash all his dreams to pieces? You're an inhuman monster!

I grew UP on that movie. Every day man...

All I ever wanted was a stormtrooper costume and one of those big-damn gummy bears...

Life woulda been just fine...

Take it easy,
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Yeah, I think it is only on one chest plate. Nothing on the collar or back. Man I am so nervous with this whole project. I don't want it to suck!



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lol, yeah I think all of us have those moments of apprehension while working on our armor. "please don't suck, no really, that's all I want, just don't suck..."

Theeeere's no earthly way of knowing...
Which direction we are going... (going...)
Is it raining?
Is it snowing?
Is a hurricane a-blowing?

Boy that freaked me out ;)

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What stage are you at in your outfit, or are you done? have any pics?

"Candy is dandy...but liquer is quicker"
A little nonsence now and then...relished by the wisest men.
Spitting is a dirty habit!

With Sam "B," it's a guarantee
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I'm actually building two suits. One with some lesser materials I acquired along with the better ones. I'm shooting to have something wearable by july 31st and I think that I will have enough parts completed to wear something. I just hope my jumpsuit arrives because if it doesn't I'm wearing my janky half-assed pouchless dickies. I also hope I'm able to get some slave1 gloves by then. I dare not show up with my sitti1 gloves, assuming they even arrive in time.

I won't have a jet pack though, I think I could complete it but I would have to throw a harness together and I'd rather not rush through something like that ;)

I think the best line is:

...And do you know what will happen?
No sir.
Well of course you don't know, because only I know.
If you knew and I didn't know, you would be teaching
me instead of me teaching you. And for a student to
teach his teacher is presumptious and rude. Do I make
myself clear?


I'm enjoying this :D
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If you have a copy of the Reference CD, go to the pictures from MOM and you'll see the yellow primer is on most (if not all) of the green armor including the back plate.
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practice weathering

Yesterday I did some practice weathering on a spare piece of plastic I had to see what kind of methods I could use. I used Aleene's original tacky glue to cover spots that I wanted damaged. waited for it to dry. It dries depending on how much you put on rather quickly. it dries nice and pliable. I then painted with black waited for it to dry then pealed the glue. it worked grate. I also tried gluing a piece of foil and scratching off the paint. It did not work well at all. so if you are thinking of using foil under the paint I would think twice before actually doing it. The glue method worked so well I have decided to weather my armor. I will post progress pics as I go along.
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You know, as far as the weathering, has anybody thought that maybe some of the scratches and dents on the MOM and AOSW suits were after the film while being dumped in some bin in a warehouse or something? Just makes me laugh that we maybe copying minute details that were not on the film outfits.

I hope that is not the case. :lol:


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