Dec 2013

Volpin's Top Tip #6 - Rust

This is pretty simple: use real rust. I use Matisse brand ferrous powder (make sure its gray; red means oxidized already and it won't rust properly)

Dust a bit of this onto water-dampened places of your prop to get it to stay in place, then follow up with a few spritzes of rust accelerator in a spray bottle. My own personal recipe is:

• 10 parts hydrogen peroxide
• 10 parts vinegar
• 2 parts lemon juice
• 1 part salt

I call it "Hamster Pee" and if you mix up a batch you'll know why. Varying the amount of peroxide or vinegar will tint your rust more blue/purple or yellow/orange. Leave it overnight to cure and it'll be rusty crusty by morning!

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Disclaimer: These top tips have been posted here without the expressed permission of Volpin (AKA Harrison Krix). If you would like to view more of Volpin’s work, his website is http://www.volpinprops.com and don’t forget to check out is Facebook Page to keep up to date with his ongoing projects. Harrison, if you’re reading this and you would like these removed, please get in touch.
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Volpin's Top Tip #5 - Gun Metal Effect

Another tip from the archives! This is a technique for a gunmetal texture with a bit of depth.

This was borrowed from a builder named Matsuo over on the RPF, and modified a bit for my project. The base paint on this casting is flat black. I took a piece of cotton cloth from an old pair of khakis and rubbed a stick of graphite (HB) across the whole surface of the fabric. This was then used to buff the flat paint and give it a slight metallic sheen.

If you end up with something a bit too silvery don't worry, a coat of flat clear will dull the finish somewhat and leave you with more black than silver. You can repeat this process over subsequent clearcoats to bring out more silver and depth.

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Disclaimer: These top tips have been posted here without the expressed permission of Volpin (AKA Harrison Krix). If you would like to view more of Volpin’s work, his website is http://www.volpinprops.com and don’t forget to check out is Facebook Page to keep up to date with his ongoing projects. Harrison, if you’re reading this and you would like these removed, please get in touch.
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Volpin's Top Tip #4 - Decals

Today's tip is about decals! If you've ever made a model car you've seen water-slide decals. You can buy specific water decal paper for inkjet and laser printers for use on your props - just make sure to clearcoat the inkjet ones, since the ink can run if it gets damp. I used water slide decals on the yellow cell on the right in this shot.

For the forward decals on this gun, the water slide wouldn't work - printing yellow on clear over a dark base won't show up at all. Instead, I scanned a painted green surface and designed the decal over that scanned image, then printed the result onto white sticker paper. Bit of weathering and it blends right in.

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Disclaimer: These top tips have been posted here without the expressed permission of Volpin (AKA Harrison Krix). If you would like to view more of Volpin’s work, his website is http://www.volpinprops.com and don’t forget to check out is Facebook Page to keep up to date with his ongoing projects. Harrison, if you’re reading this and you would like these removed, please get in touch.
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Volpin's Top Tip #3 - Forming Resin Parts Mid-Cure

When making certain armor parts or accessories, using a slower setting resin will allow you to manipulate the shape of a cast piece. This arm cuff was sculpted and molded flat, then removed while the resin was "set" (changed color and no longer tacky) but not fully cured to its final hardness.

By taking the flexible piece and wrapping it around a pipe to fully cure, a round arm cuff was able to be created from a very simple flat mold.

Keep in mind, thicker parts of resin will cure faster than thinner areas, so this trick might not apply to pieces with a lot of varying surface depth.

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Disclaimer: These top tips have been posted here without the expressed permission of Volpin (AKA Harrison Krix). If you would like to view more of Volpin’s work, his website is http://www.volpinprops.com and don’t forget to check out is Facebook Page to keep up to date with his ongoing projects. Harrison, if you’re reading this and you would like these removed, please get in touch.
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Volpin's Top Tip #2 - Pebbled Rubbery Effect

for a pebbled rubbery "grip" texture on things like gun handles, a basecoat of Rustoleum Multicolored textured paint followed with a topcoat of flat black works great and is very durable on a prop that will see a lot of use.

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Disclaimer: These top tips have been posted here without the expressed permission of Volpin (AKA Harrison Krix). If you would like to view more of Volpin’s work, his website is http://www.volpinprops.com and don’t forget to check out is Facebook Page to keep up to date with his ongoing projects. Harrison, if you’re reading this and you would like these removed, please get in touch.
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Volpin's Top Tip #1 - Commercial Spray Paints for Airbrushing

If you like the color in a commercial brand spraypaint but the nozzle sputters and spits, turn the can upside down and clamp the nozzle to release all the propellant. Once it's depressurized you can drill a couple holes in the can and dump out all the paint inside for use in an airbrush. Much finer spray pattern and easier to control as well.

Make sure to drill two holes - one to pour and one to vent - and store your paint in an airtight container. NEVER DRILL INTO A PRESSURIZED CAN!

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Disclaimer: These top tips have been posted here without the expressed permission of Volpin (AKA Harrison Krix). If you would like to view more of Volpin’s work, his website is http://www.volpinprops.com and don’t forget to check out is Facebook Page to keep up to date with his ongoing projects. Harrison, if you’re reading this and you would like these removed, please get in touch.
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