Back & Shoulder Progress
The various promo photos I was using as a reference don’t show Dredd’s back, so I had to take a screen cap. I used my iPad’s screencap function, which is why the quality is shitty, but it’s enough for me.
Photo #1: One of two reference screen caps for the back. The second is even blurrier, but shows the fourth piece.
Photo #2: The base craft foam layer. The reason all the armor pieces have this layer, even though you can hardly see it in subsequent photos, is because in good light or when viewed from the side, all of Dredd’s armor has this little, flat, ledge-like seam running around the edge. That’s what the bottom craft foam layer is creating.
Photo #3: See the bits of yellow showing around the edges? That’s that bottom layer. This photo shows all three layers pre-painting.
Photo #4: The back pieces, sealed with three layers of Mod Podge and with the black base paint on. You may notice that there are four depressions at the corners in the reference photo that I didn’t carve. I was worried about getting a rough surface, so I decided to skip them.
Photo #5: The smaller of the two pauldrons (shoulder armor). This is made out of one layer of craft foam, then two layers of EVA foam (heated and shaped to my shoulder, although the curve isn’t obvious in this pic because the piece is so small). The EVA foam was farmed into the three tiers. This is just the base paint — the top two tiers will eventually be gold-ish. As it turned out, I was able to get pretty smooth surfaces when carving, if I was careful and used a good sharp blade. If I have spare (ha!) time at the end, I might try adding the depressions to the back piece. Starting with the small one so that if I ruin it trying to cut through the paint and sealer, it’s not much to re-do. *g*
Photo #6: Each shoulder has two pieces, upper and lower. This photo shows the small upper and the shaped but unpainted EVA foam that will be the lower portion. You can sort of see the curve that fits my arm in this pic. The bottom bit still needs its craft foam base — I’m making that section to make sure it’s the right shape for the curved piece.
Except for cutting the first craft foam layer of the back piece, all of this was done this weekend. I also did round two of sanding the helm (with the aid of a brand new Dremel tool, which helped a lot in the rougher areas) and started round three of primer. I think, if I had made the helm smoother before priming or if I had done a more aggressive sanding job on round one, I might have finished with round two. But there’s a reason I gave up on the smoothing before primer, and I didn’t really have the tools to do an aggressive sanding during round one, so here we are, starting round three of primer and hoping to finish sanding with the third round of that.
I forgot to post about it, but I have also put the base paint on the chest/vest pieces. And it all looks good, and the back looks good, but the paint job is very flat. Granted, I still need to add weathering (scuffs, “dust”, nicks, etc.), but still…it’s very flat. Right now I’m pondering doing the weathering and seeing how it looks, versus doing a second paint layer in a dark, charcoal grey and using that to create shadows and highlights.
I hasten to say that the base paint wouldn’t be wasted time if I did a second paint layer before weathering. Even if I intended to do the charcoal grey from the beginning, I’d have had to do a base paint to create the appropriate shadows.
It may, sadly, come down to time. We’ll see. But I have seen cosplays that went to shows in just a flat paint, and despite excellent craftsmanship (better than mine), the flat paint kind of spoils them. I want this thing to look good.