Saturday, October 6, 2012

Predator and spray

Spray painting on Wednesday was an adventure. Outside there was a steady drizzle, which ordinarily would have forced a delay. But I was out of time — filming is on Sunday, so it was Wednesday or nothing. The solution: a spray booth, made from a cardboard box:

My office was heady with the fumes of spray paint, and I had to scrub the floor with turpentine after, but it worked well enough...except that the too-clever trigger-shaped nozzle of the black spray paint was broken right out of the box. I jury-rigged another nozzle, but if I didn't depress it juuust right paint dribbled out over my fingers, or (not preferred) squirted out backwards towards my face. This is what the can looked like afterward:

I had to bathe in turpentine later, but it got the job done. Here're Boba Fett's rocket and the "invisible" support rods for the miniatures, against the starry backdrop:

And here are Boba Fett's helmet and armor, after a couple of coats of Rust-oleum's moss green:

To detail the helmet, I bought a pack of acrylic paints (black, white, and the primaries) at Blick, then remembered that I hadn't mixed acrylic paint in about twenty years. But my mom (the artist) gave me some tips, and late Thursday night I ripped up some sponges and set to work. To produce crisp edges with the notoriously squoogy technique of sponge painting, I used a paper stencil for the visor:

Two hours later, here's the final helmet (sans rangefinder):

Weathering, it turns out, is a lot of fun. Through all the painting, I left the Duralar's protective film on the T-shaped viewport, and when I peeled it off I was pleased to see it had worked beautifully to protect the transparency.

The emblem on the chest plate is a duplicate of the one from the film, meaningless at the time but subsequently retconned to be the crest of Jaster Mereel, a Mandalorian commander. Mine was daubed on with bamboo skewers.

I just finished weathering the chest plates, gluing the rangefinder, and working the kinks out of IG-88's head dome illumination, which means I am completely finished with props and costumes. Earlier tonight was miniature photography (more on which later). Tomorrow I'll set up the Falcon's cockpit and turn my living room into a sound stage. Sunday will be principal photography. Then (up to) four days for editing, S/FX, and delivery!

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