Sorry if I took a little while to get back to my blog! The chibi Severina costume is one of the costumes I’m the most proud of, I did a lot of new things for this costume, got to practice new techniques and learned a lot. It’s important to me to complete this Making Of Blog and to share what I have learned with you. :) Last time, I was talking about my 3D printed dragon staff. Let’s move on and complete this part!
If you look at the picture, you’ll see that the dragon’s jaw is missing. The jaw piece is on the table. It was voluntarily 3D printed as a separated piece in order to be able to insert the red ball in the dragon’s mouth. Many of you asked if the ball would be glowing or would have transluscent LED lights inside. Unfortunately, for this project, I only 3D printed a sphere that I simply painted in red. (I’ve used clear resin for the sword that I made for Ninja Division’s miniature painting contest at Gen Con 2017. The sword was the trophy for the contest. Some very small parts of the sword were made with clear resin, but that’s the only experience I have with these products so far.) So the sphere would only be painted.
Then I realized that I would have some problems with the order of the assembling/painting steps. If I paint the red ball, place it in the dragon’s mouth, then add the jaw, how could I paint inside the dragon’s jaw, around the ball? But if I paint the dragon pieces first, then add the ball and jaw, I would have to use body filler to hide the junction of the jaw, so I’d have to retouch my gold paint. That second option wasn’t perfect either, but seemed to be the solution.
The ball was first glueded to a dowel so it could be painted all around. The spot where the dowel was gluded would be hidden inside the dragon’s mouth. I covered the painted ball with the same plastic sheets I used to paint Ninja Division’s robot, Lug, when I wanted to cover the yellow parts before painting the black parts. Then the dragon staff and jaw were painted separately using simple spray can paint (noting fancy this time.) I pierced a hole inside the dragon’s mouth, inserted the dowel with the red ball in it and glueded it there. I used that same technique, inseting dowels through the dragon’s jaw, to hold it in place. Last step was to retouch the jaw junction with body filler. Sanding, sanding, and I could add a final layer of gold paint. And finally I removed the plastic to reveal a pristine red ball. At that point, I was very close to my deadline, leaving for Gen Con the next day. I wish I would have had the time to do something fancier for the paint, like some dry brush/weathering techniques to make the staff look used and add some depth to it. But if I had applied those techniques to the staff, I would have had to do it on the other pieces of the costume too, the bra and little bones. I had no time left and no real experience with these painting techniques, so I let the dragon as it was. It will never be too late to upgrade the paint job.
Here’s a 360 view of the final dragon staff. The pics are not retouched, so you can see the remaining flaws, where I could have sanded more. If you look closely, you’ll see some remaining texture from the 3D printing. But deadlines are deadlines, so there’s a point where I needed to stop sanding and start painting.
Even if it wasn’t perfect, my dragon staff was very popular at Gen Con! :D I’m very happy that people enjoyed it that much! And I’ll present it again this weekend at Quebec City Comiccon! In the next part, I’ll talk about the other 3D printed pieces of the costume, bra, bones and other small accessories. You’re curious about the bra, right? ;)