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zondag 28 juli 2013

The Dwarven Hammer, part 2

It's been a while since my last post, but here it finally is. Last time, I had a styrofoam hammer head finished and ready to get coated in acrylic resin. After coating it with the resin, I intended to put some Celtic knot-type patterns on it, but I abandonded this idea (I'll tell later why). Instead, I'll paint them on.

Working with acrylic resin
The resin came as a two component system, a milky liquid and a white powder. They have to be mixed in a specific ratio and then applied with a paintbrush. Since I didn't want to ruin a high quality paintbrush I bought the cheapest one I could find for this. I also ordered a small bottle of so-called "thixotropic compound", wich is used to thicken the mixture if it's too liquid, but I didn't use it.

The resin hardens quite fast, in about fifteen minutes it's already too thick to work with. Because of that, I always prepared small quantities at a time. Coating the entire head was an eight step process. I started with one end, then put it on its side and did all six sides, and by the time I was done, the end I did first had dried enough to put it upright and coat the other end. I gave it two layers of resin, wich should be sturdy enough.
One thing I learned while working with this stuff: it's not easy to use! First, it's a runny liquid and runs everywhere, and then it starts thickening. Drops than have run down solidify in place and are almost impossible to remove. The most difficult part where the rivet heads I put in place. While liquid, the resin tends to flow together around them, so I had to keep spreading it out with a brush until it had thickened enough.

After the final layer had hardened, it was time to start sanding it to get a smooth surface. However, since the resin was so hard to work with, it was more or less impossible to get a smooth enough surface. Also, there were quite a few lumps and drops that I had to remove with a dremel.

So to put thing short, the surface isn't smooth enough for the next step I had in mind. I wanted to apply strips of thick cardboard to it to create Celtic knot-type patterns, but I'm afraid this won't work, and I don't want to risk ruining it. So the next step will be painting, and instead of the cardboard strips I'll paint some patterns on it.

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