Friday, February 19, 2016

Rusty Stormtrooper

Do not underestimate what you can do with a stock white vinyl figure. These are iconic shapes you can start with to explore your creativity. Here my design was inspired by Star Wars TFA’s Captain Phasma aka Disco Stormtrooper. My thought being what would happen if her shiny pimped out armour had gotten beat all to $#%! like Vader’s helmet. I’ve done a lot of faux metal painting projects in my day, but this is the first time I’ve done a full on rust effect.

I started with a base of black acrylic paint applied with a rough bristled brush so you can see the harsh brush strokes. This will add a wear and tear scratches effect when I apply the metallic coat.

If you’ve read this blog before you know I use a frame antiquing wax compound called Rub n Buff for metal effects. Here I’m using their silver leaf for the body and ebony for the eye lenses. As for application technique this stuff finds its way into every nook and cranny anyway so mostly I just squirt a bunch at the top, put on some nylon gloves, and massage the metal in. Metal wax is good for the pores.

This looks pretty slick on it’s own. But we’re going for a long forgotten/weathered look this round.

You can do effective rust effects with three tones painting in layers as follows: black/dark-dark-brown, muddy middle brown, then flamboyant orange. But hold on space cowboy you can’t just sling some acrylic on this thing expecting it to look like real deal rust. You need grit and determination...well mostly grit. You need to reproduce the texture of oxidization through a stippling brush technique and/or adding actual grit to your paint.

Sure there are plenty of specialized paints that just produce rust effects. But in my art studio we tend to slum it. So adding coffee grinds to the paint mixture it is.

This coffee tasted so bad I almost don’t even want to paint with it. 
Made with 100% arabica-ish beans.

Well you ruined it. Hope you're happy now...

Here I’ve outlined where the majority of the rust is going to be in my French Roast Black paint. It’s important to coat any raised edges and the majority of crevices. The other thing to note is even though the helmet is symmetrical things don’t rust in a perfect mirror image. So no need to be precise.

This looks more like a Stormtrooper dropped their helmet in a Space Latrine. Is that corn?

Now for the muddy midtones. Again the Mocha Frappuccino Black color I used is mostly a base/guide for the big time brown which will represent the majority of the rust. I’ve added a little red to it as a stepping stone to meld with the eventual harsh orange I want to finish with as a highlight.

Finally now it's time to go full Florida. Orange! This is really where all the texture pops.

Making metal Yoda proud.