Non Toxic Metal Finishes for Stage Armor
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Note: This workbook was made in 1984-85 as part of my my MA Project at California State University Fresno. It was intended as a text workbook for the Advanced Costume Construction class to use in the costume properties portion of the class. Certain portions of the text now border on the antique because of the date at which it was written, for example under "Materials" in 1985 a hot glue gun was an unusual craft supply, only obtainable at hardware stores. I hope you will bear with these small oddities and look to the basics of this work, intended as an introduction to several basic costume crafts processes. --TM
NON-TOXIC METAL FINISHES FOR ARMORMetal finishing on stage armor is usually a stylized representation of metal. Depending on the style of the production, the finish will be applied so as to look rusty bronze like, shiny, glittery, leathery, and so on, but almost all finishes will heighten the shape of the armor by using highlight and shadow to emphasize overlaps and curves or surface decorations. The finish shown in this project demonstrates how to highlight and shadow using metallic paints and silver leaf.NON-TOXIC METAL FINISH FOR ARMOR P u r p o s e:
- To learn about a non-toxic alternative metal finish suitable for many types of armor.
- Any Two of the following: "Hexalite" helmet, "Celastic" shinguards from projects #11 and #13, large scraps of industrial felt, large scraps of hardened "Celastic"
- Silver metallic acrylic paint
- 1" and 2" paint brushes
- Rubber gloves
- Black, blue and burnt umber acrylic paint
- "3M Eastbond 30 Contact Cement" or "Sobo" glue
- Clear acrylic glaze
- optional: Aluminum leaf and "5-Minute Leaf Size"
A. Pour a thick layer of "3M Eastbond 30 Contact Cement" or "Sobo" glue on the helmet or one of the felt or "Celastic" squares. Spread it over the piece with the 2" brush antipasto (messy) fashion. Allow the glue to get half dry, then mess up the surface again with the brush. Dry completely. Repeat twice.
B. Mix silver acrylic and black acrylic together (around 4 parts silver to 1 part black) until you have an even gunmetal color. Spread two layers of this on the piece the same way as Step A. Dry between coats.
C. Along one edge of the sample piece or along the overlap edges of the helmet, paint a rough shadow in burnt umber acrylic paint with the 1" brush, as shown.
D. Darken the deepest part of the shadow area with a small amount of black acrylic, as shown.
E. With the silver acrylic paint, paint a rough highlight on the opposite edge of the sample or on the raised part of the overlap, as shown. Dry.
F: Optional: In a broken line on top of the silver high light pick out the edges in "5-Minute Leaf Size." When tacky, apply pieces of aluminum leaf. Coat helmet or sample piece with~ plain acrylic glaze. Dry.
G. Pour a thick layer of "3M Eastbond" or "Sobo" glue on the shin guard or the second felt or "Celastic" square. Spread it over the piece with a wet 2" brush as smoothly as possible. Allow the glue to get half dry, then smooth the surface with a wet brush again. Dry completely. Repeat twice.
H. Using the black and silver acrylic mix from Step B., spread two or more coats on the piece the same way as in Step G. Dry between coats.
I. Along one edge of the sample piece or along the underlapped edges of the shin guard, paint a soft shadow in blue acrylic paint, as shown.
J. Darken the deepest part of the shadow area with a small amount of black acrylic as shown.
K. With the silver acrylic paint a smooth highlight on the opposite edge of the sample, or on the raised part of the over lap, and the curved top of the shin guard as shown, Dry.
L. Optional: In a smooth line on top of the silver high light, pick out the edges in "5-Minute Leaf Size." When tacky apply pieces of aluminum leaf.
M. Coat helmet or sample piece with clear acrylic glaze. Dry.
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