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woensdag 11 september 2013

The Dwarven Hammer, part 3

In my previous post, I coated the styrofoam hammer with acrylic resin. Working with the resin was a lot harder than I thought, and I had to adjust my plans a little bit. The final result, however, turned out better than I expected!

I started by painting the entire hammer dark gray. I mixed a batch of acrylic paint, consisting of gray, some black to make it darker and some silver paint to give it a metallic effect (it didn't work, as it turned out later). I painted the entire hammer, except the two deep ridges, in this color. The deep ridges were painted gold.
I hoped the gray paint would have a metallic effect when dry, but as it turned out, it was just, well, dull gray! Mixing silver paint with regular paint didn't work. I had to find a different solution for this. But first, I applied some shading. For this, I used black and white paint and a sponge (no fancy, expensive artist-grade sea sponge, just the cheapest synthetic sponge you can think of). To make darker and lighter spots, I took a tiny drop of paint and rubbed it on the surface. I use this technique a lot to make nice surfaces that don't look like a single, boring color. I also drybrushed some black on all edges and ridges.
I still wanted a metallic effect, though. To achieve this, I rubbed some pure silver paint over the entire surface with a sponge. It turned out great! The base color hasn't really changed, but combined with the metallic finish, it actually looks like cast iron! And remember I said the surface wasn't as smooth as I had hoped? It's better this way, because this make the metallic finish stand out much better.

The handle
The hammer also needs a handle, of course. I made this with PVC pipe. The lower part will be covered in felt, and the upper part with cork, to make it look like a wooden handle.
I started with the lower part. I had cut a piece of PVC pipe to length, ready to be wrapped. I used two different colors felt, black and blue. I cut strips from it and wove them in a checkerboard pattern, glueing them to the handle with general purpose glue. This took quite a while, but I think the result looks quite cool!

The end of the handle also needed something to finish it. I carved an endpiece out of styrofoam and coated and painted it in the same way as the hammer itself. Sorry for the blurry pictures.

The upper part of the handle is wrapped in this sheets of cork. I stumbled on this by accident in an art supply store and immediately realized this would be perfect for the handle! To make it easier to work with, I cut in in 10 centimeter wide strips and glued these to the handle. I secured them with tape while the glue was drying.

Sorry, there's only one picture of the handle in progress. When all the cork was in place, I gave it a thin coat of brown paint and then attached it to the hammer head.

With the handle finished, I could finally glue it into place. I made sure everything was aligned properly, because once in place, it would be impossible to correct it. All that was left was finishing the connection with another strip of cork, and voila!

Even though the finished piece looks a bit different than what I had originally in mind, I'm quite happy about it. I expect to draw a lot of attention at Elf Fantasy Fair this year!

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