Workshop is Operational!

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Yeaaaaaah! That feels good. First cut done on a couple new short swords. I had to use a hack-saw to shorten the long piece of plastic because it wouldn’t fit on the bandsaw’s table. Mo’ plastic mo’ problems? Meh.

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These are my new babies. Belt sander and band saw respectively. They still need to be bolted to the table. And I’d REALLY like to get some sound proofing in the workshop before I fire these things up because they’re quite loud. I have some contoured foam incoming to attach to the wall so my neighbours will hate me a little less. Hopefully.

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To give you an idea of how hard acrylic plastic is, this was a brand new hack saw. Was. So, for those of you wondering “could I possibly do this project without a band saw?” Yes. Yes you can. But you will need plenty of blades to switch in when they wear out.

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I’m not kidding. This one is for cutting metal. So if you’re making one or two Seraph Blades for yourself, a hack saw will do for the rough cuts provided you have enough sheer stubbornness and elbow grease to get through it.

For those of you waiting on orders thank you for your patience. If my health will just continue to improve and my machines cooperate nicely, I should be back in the shop regularly soon.

Fresh Batch Of Acrylic

Woo! It arrived!

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Inside this violently yellow package is a tightly-wrapped bundle of ten acrylic slabs. Yes, it’s heavy. About 50lbs. The delivery fella wasn’t sure I could carry it but luckily I lift weights. All that exercise has gotta be good for something!

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Will it be 10 longswords? Will it be 20 short swords? Or perhaps 30 daggers? It could be a mix of all three!

Stay tuned to find out what’s coming next from the Adamant Studio…

All-Day Wear – Alcohol Activated Body Paint

Hi folks! A commenter asked some really interesting questions about how to manage and touch-up alcohol activated paint while you’re at a convention hall or other event. That’s certainly something I’ve experimented with a lot and I’ve found some things that do and don’t  work so well.

So, how do you keep looking like this all day long?

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Yup, those hands are painted.

It’s easier than you think with just a few tricks. Continue reading “All-Day Wear – Alcohol Activated Body Paint”

How to Drow: Dark Elf Makeup That Lasts

EDIT: Fuckyeahdrow was kind enough to reblog this post for other Drow fans out there. If you’re interested in dark elves, go check them out.

So, I’ve talked about how use alcohol-activated paint in a previous post but I haven’t really touched on the rest of the process to getting a good dark elf look. Of course, the colouration of the skin is difficult for any costume that requires a big deviation from your usual tone. Anyone who’s done a Wicked Witch of the West, Avatar, or Hellboy costume, for example, knows the headache that ensues when trying to get paint to stay on the skin and not wander all over wigs and clothes and everything you touch. If you’re doing a Drow in particular, your makeup coming off on your lovely white wig is a particular concern.

Well, the good news is, there are solutions. I’ve found two that work particularly well. One is a water-based paint makeup job. The other is an alcohol-activated paint job. Both have pros and cons and I’ll go through both of them so sit tight y’all, this is gonna be a long one!

I should also mention, before I get started, that although these tutorials are specifically geared toward dark elf makeup, the techniques described are useful for many other kinds of costumes so feel free to browse through for anything you can use.

To begin, let’s compare the pros and cons of the water-based and alcohol-activated makeups.

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Water-Based Makeup

Pros:

  • Cheap and easy to find.
  • Easy to put on. (Brush or makeup sponge + water.)
  • Easy to take off. (Soap and water.)
  • Lightweight and breathable.

Cons:

  • Easy to take off. (Even when you don’t want it to.)
  • Not a viable solution for colouring hands.
  • Requires a fixing spray or other sealer.

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Alcohol-Activated Paint

Pros:

  • Easy to put on. (99% Isopropyl alcohol + paint)
  • Will not come off. (Except in areas with a LOT of rubbing. ie: palms.)
  • Viable solution for colouring hands.
  • Does not require fixing spray or sealer.

Cons:

Black Hands: Using Alcohol-Activated Paint

Woohoo! I got my alcohol-activated paint in the mail and gave it a try. While it’s more expensive than the other solution I offered with the latex gloves, I recommend this method if you can get hold of the stuff. You put it on, it dries really fast, and then it doesn’t come off for anything short of 99% isopropyl alcohol.

I initially ordered it through Reel Creations but given that I live in Montreal, the shipping was going to be almost twice what the actual colour pot was worth! So I sent them an email asking if there were any distributors closer to where I live so that I wouldn’t have to pay crazy ridiculous shipping. They were exceedingly helpful and understanding and in a few days they got back to me with a distributor in Toronto: The Face Station. If you’re in Canada looking to buy unusual makeup and theatre stuff, I highly recommend these folks. They work alongside an actual theatre and special effects school so they’re able to give you tips and such on how to use their products.

The colour pot didn’t come with any instructions but instead of pestering the Station, I just talked to my friend who recommended the stuff to me in the first place. It’s ridiculously easy to use. So let’s get down to business and show you how it’s done!

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Continue reading “Black Hands: Using Alcohol-Activated Paint”