Wand Prop update

I spent a couple of hours the other day painting the prototype wand that I’ve started making for MCM Comiccon later this year. It’s a simple enough process but has proved very effective at helping to focus past the extremely low place I’ve landed in recently – and that’s partly because it’s a simple set of techniques that very quickly give a useable result.

The basic wand, larger than the types typically seen on screen, is composed simply of tightly rolled up magazine pages, with a lattice of hot glue lines laid over it.

In terms of the structure I’d defined with the glue lines, I would best describe it as a wand with a blade protruding from the hilt, so a clearly boundaried area needed to be created.

This was simply done with a ring of glue at the top and the bottom of a length of the wand big enough to accommodate my hand.

I started by blocking the colours with Sharpie just to see how colour changes would help emphasise the sections of the wand, before giving the entire length a simple black acrylic paint base coat. This covered both paper and the glue lines, and helped seal the paper spiral edges to strengthen the whole thing.

Then I used a combination of thinly painting and drybrushing silver acrylic across the whole length. This picked out details and gave highlights to the raised glue lines and knots. Finally, I lightly painted and distressed the handle area with an ochre acrylic which gave the impression of a leather binding in that area.

So far so good. I next intend to try using a diluted black ink wash to darken shadows and joints, and am considering painting the traditional wand area to represent wood between the glue lines. I’m also thinking of staining the handle with a red ink to differentiate it more from the “wood”

I’ll see how it goes from there. Making new wands is such a quick process that if I make a horrendous mess of the painting or break anything I’ll just make another. As I’m not trying to replicate any particular design I don’t feel any pressure as to its final appearance

Games, Hardware and Artyfaking

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A bit of an oddball couple of days, but overall it’s been reasonably productive. I finally finished Dragon Age 2, so have allowed myself to start Dragon Age Inquisition at last – or to restart it, to be honest. I’d only previously got as far as closing the first breach, so this hardly counts as abandoning a previous game. As it’s still in the early tutorial-ish bit I’m reserving judgement, but there’s some nice touches already and I like the more strategic combat style.

We forced ourselves to go out last night to our usual haunt at The Plough, and I took the arrival on the handpumps of a beer called Black Dig to be a good sign. It amused me, at least. The persistent dull headache I’ve had today is surely more to do with the rain and plummeting air pressure, surely?

Today I seemed to be ferrying Lady M to and from various places thanks to public transport idiocy, so that broke up much of the day’s plans, but I did manage to get back ups properly working again on the desktop PC, and am clearing defunct laptop SATA hard drives down to form an impromptu RAID array (well, might as well do something with the storage).

I also bit the bullet, after hearing how much fun Lady P had at this weekend’s course, and booked myself in for the June Artyfakes beginners’ course in prop-making. If nothing else, I shall attempt to build my own banhammer.

Mood-wise, I’m moving in the right direction, despite occasional wobbles. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.