Curiosity led me to buy the Reelart version of the Spear of Destiny. I had been looking to get this prop replica ever since I saw Constantine so I checked around to see what's available. The creme de la creme has got to be Indy Magnoli's (http://www.indyprops.com/pp-spear.htm) but his price was to steep for me. Bronze Armory also has one available, it's slightly cheaper than Magnoli's but its made from resin (Magnoli's metal). The fancy display case probably adds to the price. El-cheapo version was of course Reelart's. And they offered them in 3 flavors: (a) all resin, (ii) resin with real wires and (iii) resin "impregnated" with iron with real wires. I've heard of Reelart's infamous reputation for lousy products but as I said earlier, out of curiousity I bought myself the resin spear with real wires.
I didn't have high hopes. And I was right. Out of the box, the finish on the spear looked horrendous. It was cast in black resin (very flexible resin I might add) and green paint was sloppily and randomly added to simulate patina. The wire braiding work was downright horrible, with no weathering work at all done on the wires. But the one that takes the cake was the cheapo gold foil used for the central old sheath. It was also loosely fitted onto the spear and was removable just by sliding it off.
Here are some pics:
The Spear out of the box
The cheap and flimsy gold foil
Faux patina paintjob and wirework at base of Spear
Wirework at tip of Spear
I immediately set to modify it hoping to improve the look. The Spear was relatively cleanly cast. I removed the foil from the Spear and cut off all the wires.
After removing the patina paint, I primed the whole spear and filled out some holes which are not supposed to be there from the reference pics I found online. I also have a copy of the Discovery Channel documentary "The Spear of Jesus" which had a lot of images of the actual spear exhibited at the Hapsburg Museum so I used those as reference. From these sources, I find that the actual Spear is not so badly ladened with patina so the challenge is simulating the antiqued steel look. I used a mixture of gunmetal, grey and brown acrylic paints to this effect.
Then I redid all the wirework based on the reference pics (not as exact as I wanted but hey, its still a work in progress) and weathered the wires with acrylic wash.
Finally the gold foil. I trimmed it to fit better on the Spear. The gold finish on the foil looked too "goldy" for my taste so I applied some antique gold Rub n Buff to make it look somewhat muted. I'm still not happy with it so I might sculpt the sheath from scratch when I have the time.
Here are pics of where I'm at right now:
The modified Spear (still WIP)
Wirework at tip of Spear
Wirework at base of Spear
The gold sheath