…that’s Socrates, and taken out of context it can certainly apply here. I busted up the beautiful eggshell and orange Astronaut… well “faux-busted-up”. I had intended to show just a little wear and tear but ultimately took an extra step I didn’t plan. I took pictures along the way to better illustrate my methods…
Before I’m completely done, I still must repaint the boot tips black, then I’ll add an acrylic clear coat and last I’ll glue the final pieces: the ray gun, and the belt pouch. I mention this only to note that the clear coat will make some of the more subtle effects stand out (dare I say, “POP”). Not to worry, I’ll show you pictures when I’m ALL DONE. Today it’s all about how I’ve aged this little fella a few decades in just a few hours.
Of course, there are weathering powders you can buy at a hobby store for just this thing but I haven’t tried them yet. As I stated in the last post, I use regular ol’ drawing pastels and totally dig the versatility of it. The last thing I need is ANOTHER container of stuff to make room for.
This is how I make the powder with which I’ll be weathering the sculpture. I’m using an old Exacto knife. The blade’s past it’s prime but all I’m doing is scratching it on the side of the drawing pastel to make a fine powder. You may notice that the Styrofoam cup there has yellow powder in it already. That’s from a previous coat when I added some very slight yellowing in spots. If I were to just do the weathering with the dark brown pastel it would just end up looking dirty. Working from light to dark, I added yellow in spots, then a light rust color. The last step is to add this darker brown.
If you try out this technique with the drawing pastels it is important to brush it on sparingly. It applies like make-up. As you brush the powder on you may find that before you know it it’ll be too much. Not to worry though, you can seal it in with an acrylic clear coat and repaint any mistakes. The clear coat will keep the paint from getting muddy from the powder on the sculptures surface.
When I applied the yellow and light-rust powders it was in just a couple random places on his white “vest” and boots. The dark brown is what’s really going to show and it’s proper placement is essential. I use the word “proper” loosely since it’s entirely up to you, but I try to logically determine where the most wear and tear will occur on the spaceman’s suit: arm pits, boot tops, heels, toes, all the sculpted seams, and the lower edge of the vest and belt.
This is normally where I would spray the clear coat and call him done, except that I came across an image on the interweb:
This is the extra step that I mentioned in the beginning. The dark spots on this antique toy car got me to thinking that I could do the same effect on the Spaceman’s vest and boots. My initial plan was to use an itty-bitty brush with a dark grey paint and just give the illusion that the paint was wearing off and chipping from the edges. That’s when I remembered that I had used the grey clay to sculpt the spacesuit.
Instead of giving the illusion, I actually scraped off the paint very gently using a round woodworking file. Why give the illusion when the real deal is even easier! Using the toy car as reference, the paint chips mostly from the edges and other high points in the design. As with the dark brown pigment, it’s best to think ahead and determine where the most wear will occur.
So, our little Astronaut fella’s practically done.
Tune in Thursday for the thrilling conclusion!