"You look terrible." "Uhh... thanks?" - Tactical Ninja
Aug. 7th, 2013
09:30 am - "You look terrible." "Uhh... thanks?"
Today I am back at work. The jury is still out on whether I should be. At 3 o'clock this morning I was thinking that instead I'd be going to the doctor with a suspected sinus infection, but I seem to have won that battle. As soon as the shops open I'll be off to the pharmacy to grab whatever passes for pseudoephedrine these days* and hopefully after that I'll be sorted. Meanwhile, I tried taking the stairs up to my office the way I normally do, and by the time I got to the top I was embarrassingly out of breath. But I'm here. Bleh.
* Our government thought it could stop the manufacture of P (crystal meth) by banning pseudoephedrine. Naturally this didn't work, but it now means that sick people can't get the one thing that really works to alleviate cold symptoms. Awesome. Yes, our drug policy creators are not very smart. You may have noticed.
I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere with this project now. Pretty much all of the stages are past half way. I've sewn the mail onto the front of the tabard and started on the back (one row). It won't look finished until I've sewn the backing on, but you can see how it's going to look:
I've also finished attaching the fastenings to the jacket. All that needs is for the little cover/concho things on the ends of the leather strap that holds it closed to get a coat of silver paint and a spot of weathering, and the two leather straps around the arms attaching, and it's done. Like as in, actually done. Well, except for the hood. But still, done!
And probably the thing that makes me feel most like progress is being made, is that yesterday I did the first test coating on the armour. I've been gesso-ing and sanding like someone who actually enjoys gesso-ing and sanding, but I haven't been posting pics because "Oh look, another coat of white yay!" is not all that interesting to look at. But finally, it's at the point where I think it's primed and smooth enough. I prefer to leave some imperfections because things that are hand made with a hammer would contain imperfections. I wanted to try coating it with this stuff called Rub 'n' Buff, which is a wax type coating rather than a paint.
Most armour painting tutorials say spraying is the best method, but I'm really not set up for spraypainting what with lacking a shed and all. Last time we tried doing it at home, a lot more got painted than the item. I'm not up for a repeat of that, so was looking for other options and this stuff comes highly recommended. So first I tested it on a piece of Wonderflex:
The bit on the right is the colour pewter, and the one on the left is silver.I decided I preferred the silver, and the next step which you can see on the left was adding some paint to see how it would work over the top of a wax. Because just coating in silver isn't good enough, the item has to be weathered to look realistic. I was rapt to see that my wash of graphite took so well on the Rub 'n' Buff base. Then on to a piece of armour. It's always a bit nerve-wracking, this part. I don't consider myself to be a particularly talented painter, and if I balls it up it can be hard to fix. So I picked one of the bits that'll be mostly covered, down near the bottom of my thigh when I'm wearing it:
I'm looking for critical opinions here. I tried to photograph it in natural light, but that late in the day it's a bit difficult to get an accurate picture. This piece has been coated with Rub 'n' Buff, then given a wash of graphite to begin the weathering. Graphite is a dark silver type colour, and is also reflective. It's brilliant for making a silver coating look older, but it catches the light so doesn't represent dirt in the corners very well. For that I'll have to use a matt colour like umber/black. Anyway, I'm reasonably satisfied but before I fire ahead and paint the rest of them, I'd love to hear what you think. Does it look like metal that's been out in the weather for a while? How could I make it more realistic? And to pre-empt those who are geeky about metal and would ask me all sorts of hard questions about alloys and shear forces and such (not looking at anybody in particular), it's supposed to be steel. Probably mild steel. And in the reference pic it's quite dull:
So I'm wondering if it's perhaps too shiny right now and needs a wash of something matt. It does almost exactly match the colour of the mail scales (which are galvanised), and also the blade of my mild steel skinning knife which is fairly old but not rusty. Hmm...
I have also added dubbin to the greaves, which makes them much darker and they match the boots perfectly now. *stoked* I'm under no illusion that there's still a lot of work to do, but it really does feel like I'm past the half way point. And meanwhile, the YoT's friend, who cosplays with his Dad reasonably regularly, has given it his stamp of approval. Yay! ;-)
I have been a bad LJ friend. I confess I have not been backscrolling the last few days and I have missed a lot of posts. Sorry about that. At this point it's probably too much for me to catch up, but I will try to be more present now that I'm stuck in front of a computer all day again.
In other news, the other day a couple of my friends were talking about items of my Mum's that they now have and how they make them think of her. rivet described her as 'fierce'. I think it would make her very happy to know that this is how my friends thought of her. ;-)