I have determined that airbrushing in and of itself is not too difficult.  Figuring out the paint situation is a bit more of a challenge.

When I did my Nasus trial, I realized I bought paint that was not meant to be sprayed on the human body.  It was water based and easy to remove, but very latex-like and made my face feel … stuck.  Not sure why I didn’t think to do this originally, but I ordered some paint that is specifically for painting on skin.  Strangely, I have ordered this stuff before – it’s Mehron Face Painting Liquid, and I’ve got several small bottles of various colors in my makeup stash.  According to Amazon, this paint can be sprayed on with an airbrush.

When I tried it, I found that the statement is only somewhat true.  It does in fact go through the airbrush.  It’s just a little too thick to go through the airbrush WELL.  I tried adding some water and mixing it up in the airbrush cup.  I added too much and it didn’t seem like it mixed well as I had splotches on my face of drippy watery areas.  No good.

The next attempt, I pre-mixed my paint in a tiny cup (I have white and a medium gray, but Hades needs a light gray).  I measured how much was in the cup, and then I added only a couple drops of water to it (about 1/16 of an oz, according to the cup).  I mixed it for a while, and then poured it into the airbrush.  This was MUCH more successful, and allowed me to complete my trial run.

IMG_1125

The contacts I am wearing are supposed to be yellow.  But with my light blue eyes, they turn into a weird color.  Definitely different than blue, and the gray makeup seems to help, but not quite the glowing yellow I wanted.  My choices were limited for prescription yellow lenses :(  Maybe another time.

After the trial, I made some adjustments to my face with the leftover paint.  I removed some of the eye triangles, bringing them down to circles around my eyes.  And I used my crazy white eyebrow pencil plus some blue eyeshadow to turn the eyebrows blue.  I think I liked the way this looked a tad better.  I also discovered that it may be faster to apply the base coat of the gray paint to myself with a sponge rather than the airbrush, and then just do the darker accents with the airbrush.  Speed is everything with makeup at DragonCon.  I know I can sit in my room for 2 hours putting on a costume, and I’d really rather not.

HadesPainPanic

Above is the sort of exasperated look I am going for for my pose, though I intend to hold Pain and Panic out to the side / front a bit more.  I don’t quite have the sneer down, but dammit I can roll my eyes like a champ.  Sorry for the blurry iPhone pic.

photo 1-8

And here is a straight-faced, slight smirk, still blurry photo of it.

photo 2-6

The shoes aren’t yet finished, but they will lace up my legs like the ice fairy ones did.  The toga piece needs safety pins to hold it in place a little bit.  And there is a short in one of the el-wires if I raise my shoulders too much, but I think it will be mostly okay.  Obviously, three of my appendages are unpainted, and for the full costume I will paint them all.  And Panic’s neck?  Still slightly bendy.  Can’t put it back in the oven or I will remelt the hot glue.  Here’s hoping he stays in one piece!  Also, these photos don’t show the sparklies on the black fabric, which is a little sad. Maybe I will get some better photos at the convention that do show that.  The ones with my better camera show the sparkles more, so there is hope.

Well, that’s it until after the con folks!  Watch Facebook, Twitter, and Stre.am for convention updates as I am able to provide them!

As usual, I have about eleventy-billion things on my schedule in the DragonCon App. I will probably go to two or three haha. If you are going to con and want to meetup, shoot me an app friend code on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.

Schedule

If, as in previous years, the internet gods frown upon us, here are a few of the things I will definitely be at:

1. The Cog Is Dead concert – midnight between Saturday and Sunday (aka 12:00 am Sunday) in the Marriott

2. League of Legends Photoshoot at 2:30 pm Saturday on the Hilton patio (this is not an official event so it’s not on the schedule)

3. My Little Pony Meetup at 7 pm Saturday on the Hilton pool deck (also not an official event)

4.  Trader Vic’s in the Hilton somewhere between 10:30 pm and midnight, Friday & Saturday. (Let’s face it, my guaranteed things are just not “official”)

I have a ton of other things listed, but these are fairly certain. Also, when in doubt, my husband and I wind up in the gaming hall in the basement of the Hilton, so that is a safe place to look for us.

 

As for my anticipated costume schedule, here you go:

8/28 Thursday night:  I might wear something to go have some photos taken at the Marriott.

8/29 Friday:  Lady Amalthea (morning), Hades (evening)

8/30 Saturday:  Nasus (afternoon), Rainbow Dash (evening)

8/31 Sunday: Elizabeth (morning), Hades/Rainbow Dash (evening)

 

Tomorrow will be my final post pre-DragonCon – the trial run of my Hades costume. Cheers!

In the grand scheme of things, Lady Amalthea from The Last Unicorn is the simplest costume I’ve made.  And yet I’m a bit unhappy with it.  Well if I’m being realistic, I’m unhappy with me, not the costume hah. Regardless, I am glad I did the trial run, as usual.

The makeup part went well.  I’m much happier with these lavender contacts than with the ones I had for Rainbow Dash, so I’ll be using these new ones for both at DragonCon next week.  I tried to keep the makeup tones soft, with pearly whites and lavenders, and it looked nice, but didn’t show up well in the photos.  I may go a tiny bit darker and heavier with the makeup for the con.  Here is a headshot where you can see the makeup well enough.

LadyAmaltheaFaceShot

I painted the star on my forehead (it might be a bit off center, I will have to do better next time lol), and used a giant white eyebrow pencil to lighten my eyebrows to match my wig.  Covered my face with a bit of a pearly sheen, light pink lipstick, and lavender eye shadow which got a little lost.  You can see it a tad better here.  I also used some latex rubber paint to stick a pink gem to the center of the star.

photo 2 (5)The Lady Amalthea is not a smiley character, so I’m doing my best to look contemplative and sad, without looking ridiculous.  I think I’m only half-succeeding there.

I went outside with the prop for a few photos to see how the mirror prop would photograph.  Turns out, it photographs pretty well, but I have to hold it at an angle and maybe turn my face toward the camera a bit more, even though I probably shouldn’t LOOK at the camera.

WithoutSlip

 

After seeing these pictures it was clear I needed to hem the dress and that I would need a slip.  I love the crushed panne velvet for this dress, but it hugs every curve and crease on your body, so it’s not really working for me.  After I threw on a poofy slip beneath the dress, I felt happier about it.  I need to tie the slip tighter next time, but the general idea is correct.

LadyAmaltheaTrial

 

I did a few other things this weekend – tried to paint my Nasus nose a bit to ensure that it shows up a little better in photos, sewed the straps for my Hades sandals, and I re-styled my Rainbow Dash wig.  It was my first time ever styling a wig, and it went pretty well I think.  I’m much happier with it now than I was for Megacon.  I watched this useful tutorial from Arda wigs (where I bought Amalthea and Hades from) prior to styling.

As a reminder, here is what the wig came looking like from Amazon.  When you spend $20 on a cheap wig, you get what you pay for.

OldWig

And here is the styled wig.  Left is where I sectioned off the pieces I wanted.  Then I took pictures on each side of the wig once I was done.  It took me a couple of hours to do.

RainbowDashWigStying

Now I have to figure out how to travel with it O.o  I will probably leave it on the styrofoam head somehow.  I didn’t want to stand any spikes up on my head since I have to wear ear headband and my hat.  I also remember how this wig was a little too small for my head and had me tugging on it throughout Megacon, so I hope I can secure it better this time.

Tonight I am doing my trial run for Hades.  I may or may not have time to post about it before the con. :/

 

Thank heavens for trial runs!  Every time I am grateful for what I learn.

With Nasus, I learned the following:

1)  I need to attempt a more dimensional paint job on my face to give it some depth.  Should be a challenge to paint black fur.  Hope it doesn’t look super different from my flat black Lycra suit.

2)  I need to buy the correct type of airbrush paint – fail!  This kind was not for body painting and it was peeling off like nobody’s business.  See all the cracks and missing paint below?

photo 4-6

3)  My fasteners for my leg pieces were not staying on well.  Need to add more hot glue.

4)  The stick on velcro was a horrible plan, and nearly all of it came off the body suit and the leggings.  Also, it wasn’t really necessary.

5)  I am probably going to whack somebody with the axe.  Need to try to put a wall behind me for my battle pose.

6)  I was sweating after 20 minutes of wearing this, so I definitely need to try talcum powder before the lycra suit.

7)  The sandals are a little small around the ball of my foot, but probably bearable.

Here is a shot of the red contacts I am wearing.  They cover my blue eyes pretty well, and are comfortable.  It always bugs me that the iris hole in these contacts is too big and shows a bit of blue through it.  Honestly, in most of the pictures with this costume, you won’t be able to tell the color of my eyes.  Maybe I can photoshop some red glowy eyes later heh.

photo 5-4

 

I have three poses, one which is not pictured here as I didn’t download it from my good camera.  First, simple standing pose for photos in a crowd.

photo 3-6

 

Next, a fun battle pose, which is great if I am standing in the Marriott Atrium somewhere with space.

photo 2-5

 

There are tons of things about this costume that could be done better.  For instance, I hate how the leg pieces are very straight and don’t show any shape to my calves.  And the spot for my hand on the axe is “correct” but the axe is so heavy I have to hold it a little higher for this pose.  But for a first time using thermoplastics, first time airbrushing, first time casting gems and putting lights in them … I’m pretty pleased that this came together as well as it did.

Onward to DragonCon!  - “There, for grace, I go!” ~Nasus

Short post today – for a bit of a different purpose than usual!

https://stre.am/

Above is a link to an app my company, Sparc, was involved in creating.  Stre.am is video broadcasting, with as little baggage or lag as possible.  It’s the fastest way to share live video (just hit the green button to start) and the easiest way to view (just go to stre.am).  It is available for both iPhone and Android.

Once you have a free account, you can subscribe to my feed here:  https://stre.am/tyraenna

StreamProfile

As a subscriber, you will receive a notification any time I begin a live stre.am, which you can click to watch.  Also, my Twitter account will automatically post a link to the live stream.

Assuming that the convention wireless works better this year (at the very least I should have internet at my hotel), I intend to try using this app at various times during the convention to share my DragonCon experiences with all of you.  Heck, maybe I’ll even test this out during my trial runs before I leave!  So go download it now :)  Let me know if you do in the comments, so I can follow your stre.am, too!  And if you are attending the convention, tweet me so I can meet up with you – I’ll have some stre.am stickers to give away!

Nasus is complete.  Finally!  It’s been 5-6 weeks since I started, though the brainchild of this costume occurred prior to Orkfest.

I spent the last week sealing the paint on the armor, adding fasteners and velcro, and using the heat gun to reshape a few pieces.  Here is a small peek at Nasus:

photo 1 (4)

Taking a selfie with all this stuff on was not the easiest thing ever.  After I took this shot, I used the heat gun to move the tails on the helmet a bit, they were touching the gem a lot on the chest piece.

I added some clippy fasteners (I bought a large bag of small ones on Amazon) to the bracers, shin guards, cross piece, and the skirt.  I also added velcro to the bracers and shin guards to try to hold them in place a bit.  I used worbla scraps to attach them to the armor pieces.  FYI, they don’t stick to foam well …

photo 1 (3)

I added just velcro to the shoulder / chest piece.  The wires for the gem are glued down a bit, and the weird square thing is a pocket I made for the 9v battery – I used duct tape, and then painted it gold.  As you can tell I was not super careful about painting the inside of my armor pieces, but I tried to get the parts that might be visible to folks.

photo 2 (4)

Corresponding pieces to all the velcro were stuck onto the bodysuit and leggings.  I didn’t stitch them on, since the pieces are already put together, but I might add a bit of fabric glue for good measure.  Here is a shot of a leg piece.  I put hot glue around the edges of the sticky velcro to try to secure it in place a bit more.  Seems like that worked pretty well.  The fasteners on the leg pieces are actually really hard to clasp, so I’m kind of wishing I had used a different solution, despite the fact that they hold the armor nice and securely.  If these fail, it will be the fault of the worbla engineering to attach them heh.

photo 3 (4)

Some things about this costume:

1.  I am going to sweat a lot.  I might pick up some talcum powder and try to prevent that with the bodysuit, as I have heard that is helpful.

2.  It is going to be noisy, since anytime the armor pieces touch, they clink, and from my shoulders up I have about four pieces that touch constantly, including the helm.  Might give myself a headache hah.

3.  The axe is heavy as fuck and unbalanced.

4.  The skirt piece is awkward.  If any pieces break, I am betting on the cross piece that holds this together.  I added hot glue to the fasteners to reinforce the worbla.

I have a feeling my wear of this costume will be a bit short – probably Saturday afternoon and evening, so I can participate in the League of Legends photoshoot.  Afterwards I may just take it to the Marriott Atrium to stand around a bit – it is not going to be great for walking around in.  Stay tuned for the trial run next week!

No, I’m not quite organized enough to have started packing yet.  Plus, I have been sick the last few days, which makes me lazier.  Anyway, this post is about how and what we pack for DragonCon.

Costumes

  • Each of my costumes gets its own clear, shallow bin once it is complete.   It’s an easy way to keep all the pieces together.
  • The Nasus costume will have a larger bin than usual because of all the armor bits.
  • I pack a costume repair kit of sorts that includes various tapes, extra batteries, glues, fishing wire, needle & thread, and this year I’ll probably throw a few worbla and wonderflex scraps in there.  I probably won’t both to bring my heat gun, since in a pinch I suspect a hair dryer from the hotel will work.
  • My makeup kit always comes with, and this year I’ll be adding my airbrush to it.  I might try to separate out the make up bits I need for each costume into their own kit, including the contacts.

photo 3 (3)

Drinks, Snacks, & Other Supplies

  • Our snack of choice to bring to DragonCon is home made beef jerky.  I’m hoping to make some this weekend for the trip.
  • Drinks at DragonCon are pricey.  Much more efficient to bring your own and carry it around in a flask or water bottle or camel pack.
  • I might make some more vodka infused gummy bears this year for a snack.
  • In the past we have taken liquor to mix drinks with, but that becomes a bit of a hassle.  The only time I felt like that worked out was with the chocolate covered pretzel shots (Frangelico and whipped cream vodka, with a lick of salt off your hand first).  I think this time we might stick to beer / cider and wine for ease.
  • At the con hotels, the ice machines are empty pretty much all the time, as lots of folks bring coolers to fill.  We will bring a cooler as well, though we may buy a bag of ice to throw in it on Thursday.  It’ll be interesting to see how the non-convention hotel compares in terms of ice I guess.
  • This year we are bringing Jesse’s small Tardis refrigerator to plug in and keep a couple of drinks cold.  We’ll see how that works out.
  • It’s easy to get dehydrated at the con, so I intend to take some bottled water with us, though I’m not sure how easy it will be to carry with me while I’m in costume.

Are you a frequent con-goer?  Do you have any tips or tricks for surviving a convention that you’d like to share?

Time’s a ticking!  I’m gonna be taking this week to do some DragonCon themed posts while I get all the finishing touches put on my costumes.

OK.  So I borrowed this idea from a fellow cosplayer and DragonCon attendee, Kelldar.  I’m hoping to run into her at the convention this year, since she’ll be wearing Megara and I have a Hades costume!  But since cell phones and social media worked so well last year, it is hard to say if that will happen… Anyway, it’s one of those quiz things where you answer questions about your experiences.  If anyone has their own good answers or stories related to a question on the list, be sure to comment on the post and share it! :D

Regardless, cute DragonCon related quiz!  If you’ll be at the convention this year, look for me and come say hello if you spot me!

1. Favorite alias:  Tyraenna (it’s my go to in-game name for any MMO I play)

2. Hotel you’re staying in:  I’m still hoping to miraculously score a better one, but at the moment, we have a room at the Double Tree, which is in walking distance of the con.

3. What days will you be there:  Arriving Wednesday, staying with friends in the area, then heading to the con Thursday for badge pickup and early fun!

4. Best Room snack items:  Beef jerky (homemade), and possibly vodka gummy bears.

5. Most number of people you’ve shared a con room with? 2!  Been married since I started going.  Well I suppose technically there have been a few nights where we leant room space to a third friend, either sober or drunk.

6. Please give your current status: (as per this: Con Virgin, never been to any convention; Fresh Meat, never been to Dragoncon, but have been to others; Con Neophyte, years 2-5 of Dragoncon; Con Veteran, years 6-10 of Dragoncon; Exalted Con Elder, 11 years or more going to Dragoncon)  This will be my 6th year attending, so I guess that makes me a Con Veteran!

7. If you answered Fresh Meat, Veteran, Exalted Elder to number 6,What other cons are your favorites?  I have only been to two others – PAX, and Megacon.

7a. Have you ever left Dragoncon with more than $20 left?  Yes.  This is an odd question, and I don’t typically plan to bring all of my savings to DragonCon.  We tend to budget a spending amount for each of us, and actually we have had several times where neither of us has spent much.  I do always try to buy a t-shirt, though last year I failed at even that (sometimes I’m not a fan of the designs).  This year, I like the new logo, so I hope that makes it on some shirts!

7b. During the 4 days of Dragoncon have you gotten more than 20 hours of sleep?  Yes.  Not by a ton.  But my husband does like to sleep in, so I’m sure that influences my sleep habits.

8. Are you costuming (Cos Play)?  YES.  YES.  MOAR YES.

8a. If your answer to 8 was yes, could you please tell us what to be on the lookout for??  I’m bringing Sky Captain Rainbow Dash, Lady Amalthea, Hades, Nasus, and probably my Elizabeth costume.

9. Favorite Hall Costume (any con, any year. you can pick more than one)?  I have a soft spot for the Yup Yup monsters, and this raptor I saw one year wearing a dress.

10.Costume you’d most like to wear and why are you not rocking that?  Tron Siren.  I feel like I would be happy to wear this if I lost enough weight.  I support any and all cosplayers, but it’s all about what you are comfortable in, and I am certain I would not be comfortable wearing that costume right now.

11. Are you a gamer?  Yes.

11a. What’s your favorite game?  Probably Civ 5.  Most recently played MMOs would include Wildstar and Guild Wars 2.

12. Favorite Programming Track/s at Dragoncon?  Costuming!  All the tracks are great though, and I love the variety offered at DragonCon.

13. Sorry 13 is an unlucky number; therefore, this space has been pre-empted. (feel free to insert any smart ass comment here)  Meh.

14. What flavor of geek are you? Computer ? Podcaster? Robot Builder? Gamer? Photo Hound? I only come for the booze? Something not named?  Gamer – more board games than video games these days, though I enjoy both.  And I enjoy most sci-fi / fantasty shows in geekdom.

15. Science Fiction/Fantasy celeb, you’d like to have dinner with?  Patrick Stewart.  Especially if Ian McClellan came along.  Those guys just look like they have too much fun.

15a. Favorite Celeb you’ve had dinner/drink with?  Can’t say that I have done this.  I have spotted a few at the con – Lou Ferrigno while checking into the Marriott one year, Colin Ferguson at the elevators of the Marriott, and Felicia Day once rode the escalator several feet in front of us at the Hilton.

15b Story of above?  Ooops, I told them above.

15c. Science Fiction/Fantasy Celeb, you’d most like to get nasty with?  Probably not gonna share that.

16. Thing you’d most like to see stay the same at the Con?  The hotels being the host, rather than a convention center.

17. Thing you’d most like to see changed at Dragoncon?  Add another host hotel.  Extend DragonCon TV to more area hotels, at least the overflow ones.  Mail the freaking badges out ahead of time, or make the lines even faster to pick them up.

18. Favorite book or comic series or manga?  This is not really my thing … I do own some of the Drizzt Do’Urden books in comic book form, which I think are cool.  If we are talking favorite book series, I think I have to go with the Sword of Truth series, by Terry Goodkind.

19. What is your favorite Sci Fi TV show?   Too hard to pick.  On the SyFy channel right now … Face Off :)  All time … probably Star Trek TNG.

20. Favorite Con Musical group?  I liked Frenchy & the Punk in past years, but this year I am SUPER EXCITED about The Cog is Dead!!!

21. Are you on Staff/Panel Participant? What and where?   No.  I love the folks who do this, they MAKE the con what it is, but con is vacation for me.

21a. Panelist list your panels or artist, exhibitor or dealer? Where you gonna be?  N/A

22. Klingon, Star Fleet, Borg, Storm Trooper, Jedi, Browncoats, Scapers, Elf, Colonial, Cylon, Hobbit, Belly dancer, Drummer, Wizard, Furry, Steam Punk or what ever, I may have left off the list this year?   I might be dressed as Steampunk?  Not sure what this question is asking.

23. Current favorite special effects movie extravaganza? So far this summer, I enjoyed Transformers: Age of Extinction.

24. Favorite Con Activity?  People watching & cosplaying!

25. Con guest you’re most excited about meeting\seeing?  I am doing a cool workshop on Thursday with Roy Wooley and RJ Haddy from Faceoff so probably them.

26. Thing you’re looking forward to the most at Dragoncon 2014?  Wearing costumes, going to my first workshop, and attending a couple group photo sessions! 

27. Place you know you are likely to be if folks want to find you?  Trader Vic’s, around 11 pm Friday & Saturday.  Drum circle in the wee hours of the morning.  The Cog is Dead show (whenever that gets scheduled).  Gaming Hall in the Hilton at various times.  Hoping to hang out in the Marriott Atrium a few times with my costumes as well, but no planned times.

28. Thing that’s on your must see/do list while at Dragoncon?  The dealer hall!

29. Best Con memory: (come on tell us a story! )  Hmmm … probably drum circle.  There was a year where drunk Colin used an empty water jug as a drum.  And there is always an older lady at the drum circle dancing, we are fans of hers, so she is kind of a staple of DragonCon for us.

 

 

Let’s see, what updates can I give you guys on Nasus today …

1)  I found a better way to weather my armor pieces than the dry brushing technique I was using previously.  Even spray painted over the old part on the cross piece and did the weathering over.  This time I mixed the paint and added water to it so that I could turn it into more of a wash.  I brushed it heavily over any raised designed and crevices.  Then I smeared it around with a wet paper towel, and left it for a couple seconds (not long!).  It looks about like this after the smearing.

photo 4

Finally, I took a dry paper towel and wiped down the armor pieces, removing the majority of the wash.  Here is the set of bracers next to each other – one is weathered, one is not.

photo 3 (3)The difference is quite subtle (the one on the left is weathered).  I actually did the process a second time for that bracer, trying to get more paint on the central bug design.  I’m almost done with the puffy paint and weathering on my pieces – just the collar and the skirt to go.

2)  I added some puffy paint to the helm and added some black paint to the tails on the helmet.  Also weathering, though it is not done yet in this photo.

photo 1 (2)

 

3)  I patterned out the pieces for my bodysuit to wear under the armor.  I will probably stitch that together tonight.  Also need to add clear elastic bands back onto the face pieces since I painted the old ones and wound up cutting them off haha.  No pictures of this yet; patterning can be a bit boring.  I made a front, a back, and a sleeve piece.  And completely used up the black Lycra knit I’ve had in my stash for over a year – huzzah!

4)  I worked on the axe some – got some 1″ thick foam sheets and cut an axe shaped piece out to go between my Worbla pieces.  I have spray painted the axe pieces, but some detail painting has yet to be finished. I worked on adding the handle to the PVC pipe, and putting wood filler on it to smooth out the Wonderflex.

IMG_1043

I think I have decided I am putting way too much wood filler on the wonderflex, but what is done is done.  Now I will know for next time.  In the meantime, the axe is not going to be my favorite piece of this costume LOL.  I attached the foam axe head to the PVC handle with some hot glue and some duck tape.  I just didn’t trust the hot glue to be enough once I got the heavier pieces of this thing on there.

IMG_1046

I did a test run on one side of the axe to see how it will look with the gem light, and where I might be able to house the battery.  I think I am going to cut a battery sized hole in the central foam and cover it with tape of some kind on the day of, once the batteries are inserted.

IMG_1050

That’s really it for now.  Next weekend is going to have to be my trial run fiesta, which leaves next week to finish up all the last little bits of things.

I am a little worried now that the version of Nasus I am cosplaying is not an active skin for the character in League of Legends.  The version I am making is based on the old school classic Nasus – even his main skin got an update … hopefully no one will judge me too much for that.  I added a lot of my own tweaks to it anyway, with the puffy paint design and some modifications to the helm and collar piece.  Cosplay would be boring if everyone did everything the same way – at least that is my opinion.

Next week you can look forward to a couple of pre-DragonCon posts, trial runs, and that kind of stuff.  Two weeks to go!

 

 

So painting this Nasus armor is taking forever.  I started at least a week ago, and I am not done.

After finishing with the Worbla, I had to do something to smooth out the plastic pieces.  I read that applying several coats of Gesso, and then sanding it down would work great.  Here are my Gesso’d up armor bits.

photo 1 (4)

I went through a whole 16 oz bottle of Gesso, which put 4ish coats on the pieces.  For the Wonderflex, this was barely hiding the rough patterning.  I ordered more Gesso, and tried sanding down one of my bracers with a little mouse sander using about 80 grit sandpaper to start with.  In retrospect, I probably should have gone to a higher grit, maybe 120.  Anyway, it helped smooth out the piece, but still did not reduce the visibility of the pattern much.  Below the piece on the left has been sanded and the piece on the right has not.

photo 2 (4)

I threw another coat on everything and two more on the piece I had just sanded.  I decided not to sand down the rest of the pieces because I felt like it pretty much undid all the work I had done to cover the textures, without improving things.  I’m still wondering what I did wrong because so many people seem to swear by this method.

For my axe pieces, I did some more reading and found that a few folks suggest wood filler before Gesso.  So out to Lowe’s I went, and returned home and then covered my axe pieces in wood filler.

IMG_1040

I used a pretty thick coat of the stuff since the Wonderflex texture was proving to be a hassle.  After letting it dry, I did sand this down, using 120 grit sand paper.  Then I painted it with a couple coats of Gesso.  I think I’m happier with it, but I don’t feel like wood filler is realistic for all my pieces with this time frame.  Maybe next time?  Anyway, I started spray painting my armor pieces as they were out in the garage.

photo 2 (2)

After a couple coats to make sure I got all the edges and enough of the insides, I pulled some pieces inside and began some detailing work with gold puffy paint.  I have felt like this armor is a little plain for my tastes, so I added a bit of a design to some bits of it.  Oh, and the beetle on my bracer needed legs.

IMG_1041

As that dried a bit, I tried my hand at weathering.  I didn’t want to do too much of this, just get a general idea of how it would look, so that when the puffy paint was completely dry, I could continue weathering. I tried a dry brushing technique, and I don’t think it’s working quite the way I’d like.  Once things are dry, I’m going to add some water to my acrylic paints and do more of a wash and wipe down the crevices with damp paper towels thing.  Color wise, I am using black and forest green mixed together.  Below is the weathering trial on the bottom of this piece, since the top has puffy paint drying.  Something about it is just … off.  Hopefully the other technique helps things out.

IMG_1042

There may not be a post on Thursday, since this painting is just taking forever.  I’ll try to find something to share with you all though.  Here’s to a productive week!