How do you get a mirror finish!?! on vader bucket

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by GundamZeppelin, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    I am at a loss, for some reason, i find it a bit hard to get the mirror finish, that i fell in love with in E.S.B and R.O.T.J, i am having trouble recreating the mirror finish i have seen on so many other great vader helmets. Any help and or tips will be well welcome
    i have been told to gloss over my helmet's with tons of coats till i get it the way i want? it didn't come out the way i was told, i want to master this befor i move on to my 3rd test helmet.
    I am hearing novus-2 polish after sanding down the clear coat with 800 girt sand paper or lighter gets the job done? any other methods are welcome. If prop makers that have done this a million times over have any tips feel free to share :D
    Thank you for your time
     
  2. Darth Domain

    Darth Domain Well-Known Member

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    When you put your last coat of gloss blck on did you sand that with a fine grit?
     
  3. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    tryed it :(
     
  4. Reactor drone

    Reactor drone Well-Known Member

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    a light overspray with thinner will sometimes help to give paint a shine-before it's dry obviously.
     
  5. carves

    carves Well-Known Member

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    My personal suggestion would be to run to your nearest auto repair and ask them to spray it gloss, that works for me so far.

    Also I notice that most helmets displayed here or in the Junkyard are all paint by the auto repair to achive that gloss looking appearance. Especially for Vader helmets.

     
  6. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Thats what I did with both my Vader lids. I was having the same trouble getting the gloss to work. I took them (one plastic Rubies and one fiberglass that I wanted to have repainted) to a local automotive body repiar shop and they did both of them. They turned out fantastic. I'll post pics later, the gloss is so good that to the casual eye it is hard to tell the difference between the fiberglass and the plastic lids.
     
  7. AnsonJames

    AnsonJames Sr Member

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    What you have to do is spray the helmet with a good few coats of paint allowing drying time between each coat.
    Allow the paint to dry for as long as possible - a few days minimum and preferably about a week.
    When dry give the whole helmet a sanding with 1200 wet and dry until the paint is completely matt and smooth - then use T-cut to polish the surface - you'll get a mirror finish.
    I've seen a helmet painted with matt paint come up like a mirror using this technique...

    Anson
     
  8. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    How much did it cost to have a shop do the gloss for you guys???
     
  9. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    I did do that, but instead of glossing it over i thought it would come out better if i hit the dome with another coat of black then i waited about a day or two befor i then put the clear coat on... didn;t come out the way i had hoped from a few feet away it looks like a mirror finish but close up just looks glossy
     
  10. Darth Domain

    Darth Domain Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering about the mirror finish myself as i'm currently replainting my rubies its shiny but not enough. It has had several layers of gloss black, been sanded and needs to sit for a week or two now before i start clearcoating. I was wondering if i could polish the helmet with Super resin polish (similar to Novus two) to shine it up a bit prior to clear coat or would this affect the clearcoat look?
     
  11. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    I wouldn't put any polish on the helmet prior to clearcoating it mate - it'll stop the lacquer going on properly.

    I suggest that you clearcoat, let that thoroughly dry then t-cut it.
     
  12. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    I paid $75 for both my helmets but I got a good deal. He gave me a big discount and in return I got in costume and went over to the managers house and spent 45 minutes with his 3 year old son. :)
     
  13. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    sounds like a fare deal to me :D lol
     
  14. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Yep, I thought it was a pretty sweet deal myself. :D
     
  15. JDFett

    JDFett Active Member

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    does it have to be any special kind of paint for this technique? im doing over my rubies and used krylon fusion to paint it. i also plan to use krylon clear gloss after the fusion cures. will that method still work with this type of paint job?
     
  16. combatser

    combatser New Member

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    Having a bodyshop spray it is the fastest and easiest way. but if you are a do-it-yourselfer, and if you plan to paint it yourself, use enamels. Or even an automotive urethanes with an airbrush. If you have no airbrush, keep reading anyway.


    If you are using a one-stage paint.... (color with no clear coat)....
    To start, sand it with some 800 grit paper. Spray it with at least 3 nice coats. Go easy on the first coat, then hit the last 2 coats wet. Wait 10 mins between coats. Don't bother spraying a thinner coat on or over your last coat. It doesn't do much better and only activates your last coat after it has started to dry and gas out. Once it has dried for at least a week, buff it out. Scroll to the bottom for that.

    If you are using a 2-stage paint.. base coat/clear coat.
    Sand wiht 800 grit paper, you can leave it with the color black the helmet comes, but for a better look and shine, spray with 2 coats of black base coat. Allowing 10 mins to dry between coats.
    After your last coat, wait about 30 mins then clear. Spray 3 coats of clear allowing about 10-15 mins between coats. Let it dry for at least a week. Then buff.

    To buff, wet sand it with 1000 grit paper then move to 1200 grit. Polish it with Meguiers Mirror Glaze #85 Diamond Cut compound or an equl to it by another brand. Then follow that up with the Meguiers Mirror Glaze #9 Swirl Remover. After that you can keep it looking that way with Meguiers #7 Show Car Glaze.
    You can get this stuff at any body shop or automotive paint supply center. If you don't want to use Meguirs, you can use an equal product. But that is just what I use. The polishs are going to cost you about $40 for the 3. But you can use it on ANYTHING with paint including your car. And it will shine like glass. Even if you get trash in your paint, you can sand it out with the 1000 grit.
    this method will even work for paint jobs sprayed from the can.


    As far as using Krylon Fusion, the paint is not what it is cracked up to be and is just plain junk with no long term durability. For the best results, for low cost, use Krylon gloss black. After you paint it with that, sand it, and clear that with automotive clear. You can go to most autopaint supply stores and get clear put into a spray can for about $12 a can. Use that. It will BLOW Krylon or any spray paint clear coat. or you can skip the Krylon black to and get them to put black basecoat into a spray can or even one-stage gloss black. Tell them what you want to do, they will be able to help you and know EXACTLY what you need. After all, look at the money you are putting into your suit to get the right look, make it shine AND last like it should.
     
  17. MarkG

    MarkG Well-Known Member

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    I've just had a similar job getting a nice high gloss on my Imperial Gunner lid.

    Black is defo not the easiest paint to get right.

    I found that after you do your last coat... leave it for a few days to let the paint fully harden.

    After that, run down with 1200-1500 grit wet & dry sandpaper....the finer the better.

    Get yourself a tub of high gloss car polish, and rub that hard into the lid. Do a small area at a time, and buff with a dry cloth.

    Should get good results that way.

    HTH.
     
  18. JDFett

    JDFett Active Member

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    ive had really good luck with the fusion...i painted my stormtrooper armor with it and it has laster quite awhile now?

    in regards to the post directly above mine...will that work with the fusion paint too?

    this is my supreme vader after mods and final paint...no wetsanding and clear as of this picture. all done with proper priming first and then many coats of krylon fusion(about 1 whole can on this piece) you can also see that i fixed the droop of the cheek on the pictured right side and it is now somewhat symetrical to the other side...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. AnsonJames

    AnsonJames Sr Member

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    You would have to cut back the clear coat back too. Don't forget that you're trying to remove the spray pattern.
    Even if you got your helmet sprayed professionally you would still have a spray pattern - it's just something that happens with spay paints and guns.
    If you can get it I'd use Duplicolor car paint - it dries rock solid and is really good stuff.
     
  20. Darth Domain

    Darth Domain Well-Known Member

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    Dare i say this, but the finish on that looks just as good (if not better) :thumbsup than the MR ROTS lid
     
  21. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Sithlord7768,

    That looks fabulous. Excellent paint job.
     
  22. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    "Meguiers Mirror Glaze #85 Diamond Cut compound or an equl to it by another brand. Then follow that up with the Meguiers Mirror Glaze #9 Swirl Remover. After that you can keep it looking that way with Meguiers #7 Show Car Glaze."

    Now out side of thoese products what about Novus Polish set? from what i read about the novus kit 1 2 & 3 there poilsh is perfect for use with auto paints like duplicolor?
     
  23. Darth Detroit

    Darth Detroit Sr Member

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    Pm'd you man, al I used were Duplicolor paints, and it turned out perfect.
     
  24. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    ....nothing beats a professionally applied acrylic clear top coat. After it has cured....buff it with Nu Finish or similar car finish compound....
     
  25. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    I agree. I had both my helmets done recently and I dont think I could be any more satisfied.
     
  26. JDFett

    JDFett Active Member

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    thanks for the kudos on my paint job...i still have some krylon acryllic clear gloss i want to put on..a figure a few coats of that and a screamin buff job..should look pretty sweet
     
  27. JDFett

    JDFett Active Member

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    just to let you know...im not sure cause i have not done it yet but i was told that acryllic clear has a lot of solvents in the clear and it can cause fusion paint to bubble, even after the waiting period...anyone spray with fusion and then wet sand and send to an autobody shop to have it cleared? just surious as i would like to go this route for the clearing but i used fusion paint
     
  28. gaines

    gaines New Member

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    So I've read through this, and several other threads on getting a nice finish and I'm definitely going to check around to see what kind of deal I can get with my local automotive painting places, but I'm wondering what my best approach is to prep it.

    Does the plastic have to be primed/painted before a clear coat can be applied?
    If so:
    - What is the best choice of primer/paint to prep it?
    - Any suggestions on how many coats or curing time?
    - Are there any must-have modifications that I need to make BEFORE painting?
     

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