Showing posts with label Props. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Props. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Worbla Wednesday Workshop vol 1

Worbla.  You’ve probably heard of it.  If you go on YouTube, you’ll find tons of videos about it.  Decided it was time to throw my hat into the ring.

With that, here is my first Worbla tutorial video: An Intro to Worbla.

It is a very basic tutorial where I cover what Worbla is, what you use it for, tools you’ll need, and finally show you how to make a simple Robin style mask.

Hope you enjoy.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Harley Quinn’s Hammer–The Batsmasher


It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog update.  I’ve been busy, I promise.  Just too busy to sit and write a build log.  So, in the spirit of playing catch up, here is The Batsmasher.

This is the second of, what I hope to be, many commissions from the talented ~RedxHarlxoxo.  Harley has many weapons, and one of my personal favorites has always been her huge hammer.

When I was asked if I could build that, well of course I said yes (I always do, don’t I).  How hard could it be?

The core construction was easy enough.  A large concrete forming tube and a section of pipe running through the middle.  This pipe was to guide and secure the wooden handle.


The handle slid right in and simply screwed onto a bolt at the top.

This kept the whole thing light. 

I sealed the whole tube with a few coats of fiberglass resin.  This helped to hide the spiral running down the tube.

There was some confusion with the paint, that led to the first of several set backs.

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Please not the color says Kona Brown.

Opening the can revealed:
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Turned out this was one of those voodoo/witchcraft paints that goes on purple and dries brown.

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To cap the ends, I used EVA foam that I carved a wood like pattern into and glued them in place.

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Now for more purple/brown paint.


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And I now have a giant Tootsie Roll.  Great.

Several hours with the airbrush later, I was getting something that looked more wood and less candy.

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After a while, I finally got the paint right, only to screw up parts of it later.

Next we have the tension bands and rivets to hold it in place.  This was a fun little trick that turned out better than I expected, but the glue ruined some of the paint.

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Some touch up and repaint, and it looked much better.

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And I really need to get a better shop camera.  Sorry.

The next set back came for the ^$%@&$*$%^!!! handle.  It was too long to ship in one piece.  Making a sectional wooden handle is not something I’m good at, and proved again when I busted the wooden handle trying to fix it.

I didn’t want to, for various reasons, but I had to go back to my old friend PVC pipe.  It could be sectional easily, but I had to keep it from looking like pipe.

I took one section and permanently installed it inside the hammer, leaving a coupling section out for the rest of the handle.  The other two pieces were also joined with a coupling…a heavily modified coupling.




In the end, I am really pleased with how this turned out.  Yeah, I’d do some things differently if I built it again, but that’s true of almost everything I build.



Did I mention I came in just under 6 feet tall?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mini-Review Round Up

Taking a break from the regular posts to make two small reviews.  One will be on the thermoplastic product known as Worbla and the other will be on my adventures into airbrushing.


Where on Earth has this product been all my life?  Oh, yeah, over in Europe. 
Worbla is a newer type of thermoplastic similar to Wonderflex.  However, Worbla does not have the fabric mesh that Wonderflex does.  This means that you can get much more complex shapes and curves.  Worbla is also self adhesive and a zero waste product.
First, what is a thermoplastic?  Essentially it is a plastic that reacts to heat allowing you to shape and mold it.  Just like any plastic, but his has a much lower melt point, so you can use either a heat gun or even a hair dryer.
Worbla is sold by the sheet and each sheet has two sides.  The smooth side has all the adhesive and the other side has a rough texture to it.  You can sand down this texture if it doesn’t suit your needs, or you can also apply compounds like Bondo or regular joint compound over to smooth it out.
One of the biggest plusses to Worbla is the zero waste aspect.  All the scraps you have left from cutting out your design can be melted together and then used for trim, details, whatever you need.  This is going to be what the rest of this review focuses on.
So, what’s it like to actually work with the stuff?  It’s a lot of fun actually.
You will need a heat source, a work surface that won’t melt, and a pair of gloves.  I highly recommend the gloves.  This stuff gets a lot hotter than you would think.
Next gather up your scrap pieces.  We’re going to melt them into a big Worbla ball to make the trim on a set of armor.
One Worbla ball….sort of.
Getting there.  Just keep heating the ball and rolling it in your hands like clay.  Then you can start to roll it out into the shape you need.
One Worbla turd.
Heating and rolling to make the trim piece.  Be careful to keep the piece moving while heating.  It is self adhesive, but will also glue to any surface.
Here, we’re placing it over the detail lines.  It is a little rough, but more heating and sanding take that down.
Now that the trim has been applied to the piece, it is time to shape the piece.  This will do two things, get the overall piece to the shape we want, and cause the trim to glue to the base.
Hey, you should have known PVC was coming.  I wrapped it with aluminum foil so that if the Worbla did glue to the pipe, it would just be to the removable aluminum foil and not the actual pipe.
Piece in place.  Now we heat.
Melting to form.
A little help to get the edges smooth.  Gloves come in handy here too.
Well crap.  I melted a hole in it.  No problem.
Extra scrap piece, shiny side to shiny side for best adhesion. and heat.
Hole is gone and a little sanding and heat to smooth and it was never there.
I’m really enjoying Worbla, and I’m looking to really push it just to see what it can and can’t do.

Mini-Review Part 2 – The Airbrush

An airbrush is a tool that I’ve needed for a long time.  Using spray paints, towels, rags, steel wool, etc. to create my painting effects gets old (and toxic) at times.
I was lucky enough to get a complete set of three airbrushes and a compressor for Christmas.

The Brushes
This one is great for pin point and narrow detailing.  So great, in fact, that I clogged it up first time using it.  It is honestly a case of user error and not a problem with the brush.  Also, if you do suspect a clog in the brush, do not try blowing a puff of air into the ink tank while there is still ink in the tank.  Ink speckles everywhere, and you feel like an idiot.  Once you figure out what just happened, that is.
This monster is the paint roller of airbrushes.  Covers large areas with a nice even coat.
This is the fancy one.  Paint jars and it has a variable nozzle.  This means that it can do pin point and narrow all the way out to paint roller.  Very handy for when you’re not really sure what pattern you’ll need until you’re neck deep into it.

The Compressor

This one is a small compressor designed for airbrushing.  It’s quiet and just powerful enough.  The instructions say to run for 15 minutes at a time, then power off for 15 minutes.  This is because it gets really hot when working.  It does have a thermal overload switch that shuts it down in the event of an overheat.  This would have also been a good thing to have read before I started using it.  Burning one’s hand trying to figure out why the compressor just shut off is not fun.
The compressor had a really handy “holster” attachment that allowed the two brushes to hang in there between uses.
My new paint area is set up in a well ventilated area and as level as I could make it.  The canvas in the middle of the table was to do a test spray to check the color, intensity, pattern, etc.  Get a good feel for it before you paint the actual piece.
These are just rough examples of trying to go from Tootsie Roll to Tootsie Roll with lines on it.  After a couple of hours of practice and a lot of paint, I did get a really cool wood texture effect.  At least I like it.
I’m really pleased with both the airbrush set up and the Worbla.  The areas of application for these new tools is nearly limitless.  Look for more to come!