how NOT to treat your props - but how to fix them too

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ave4uevoli

Sr Member
Some people may have realized that I've taken a small break in posting and updating my collection thread. (Most people probably stopped clicking on it because it was just getting silly). The reason why I slowed down a bit is because there was a major disaster in my collection where Yoda (sculpted by Cyberman and finished (?) and received by Natty15d) broke! :cry

I don't know what happened - I woke up one morning and went over to wish Yoda "good morning" only to find Yoda doing a face plant on the floor. I was absolutely devestated. Believe it or not, I really do try and care for my props and when something breaks I feel very disheartened.

Anyways, Yoda was a complete mess. I have spent the last month or two trying to repair it. I have attached pictures and the story behind it to help those who have suffered similar accidents.

Some of you may remember my yoda display before the accident. I really loved the little guy:





Then I woke up one morning and found him on the FLOOR - uGH! This is what I woke up to: Yoda didn't even have a face left!! There were pieces of resin and green bits all over my floor. I found eyeballs underneath my sofa.. It was one of the worst days of my prop collecting life.




So, I tried to fix yoda. I gathered up as many little pieces as I could and tried to fit them back on with Krazy glue. I've had to do some minor repairs to fiberglass and resin. Krazy glue actually works pretty well to bond those materials together. This was like a jigsaw puzzle from HELL. The face really just completely shattered.




So I got as many pieces that I could find and fit back on- At least Yoda has a face now but there were still serious cracks and holes all around that needed to be filled.





Obviously I couldn't leave such an exceptional piece looking like this. So I went and started filling up the holes with bondo. I actually applied it by hand and then sculpted it to match with a toothpick and a eyeglass screwdriver. I didn't want to screw up the existing surrounding paint job near the cracks so I had to do some precision sculpting so I didn't have to sand afterwards.

The little cracks couldn't take the bondo, it was too thick and it wouldn't seep into the cracks. So, after looking and reading all those topics on the SS thread I decided to give Zap glue a try. According to other posters here, it's very watery and will seep into the crack and fill them up. Guess what? That's exactly what it did. I had to use my lighter to stretch out a piece of plastic until it was really really thin. Then I "wicked" the ZAP glue into the cracks. I did this a few times and sure enough, it filled up real quick.






Sigh - well that got the cracks filled - but they still showed.. Drat. So I bought a set of pastels. My pastels were in the shape of a pencil. I figured that I would be able to smudge it and make it blend. Plus, the pencil shape will give me the control for precise touchups.

That FAILED. Turns ot pastels don't stick to shiny smooth superglue. Who knew :angel. It stuck to the bondo, but my bondo "precision sculpting" wasn't as smooth as I would have hoped so the pastels didn't go on smooth.

So I went online and purchased small bottles of green acrylic paint. Which green shades did I get? ALL OF THEM. I didn't know what green would work with Yoda so I purchased 8 different shades of green. 1 shade of brown, 1 light blue, 1 grey... I ended up only using the green colors. I mixed them up in a combination that I couldn't even remember and I tested it on the rim of Yoda until I got a color that matched.

Yoda's head is a real pain to match. There are SO many different colors and layers of paint I was very surprised. I found a little trick very helpful when painting. I took a cuetip and dipped it into each paint bottle. I pulled them all out and put them into a disposeable cup. That became my palet. The paint started to mix on its own on the bottom of the cup, but if I needed some more yellow green i would dab the paint brush on the yellow cue tip which I left in the cup... or if I needed some darker green I would dab my paint brush on the darker green cue tip. If I needed a mix of the two, I would dab my paint brush in between the two cue tips. ... well - you get the idea. :)

After getting down a good base, I still wasn't completely satisfied so I went back and used pastels again for a bit of weathering. The pastels took to the paint well. I used all sorts of random colors (green, yellow, brown, grey).


So here is Yoda now - i still need to spray some dullcote on the new paint parts. I think I did a fairly good job getting the paint to match. Heck - I'm just happy I didn't totally ruin it. It's not perfect, I know, after looking at the pictures I've been tweaking the coloring of the paint with pastels (especially Yoda's left cheek). It actually looks even better now than in the pictures below.








Thanks you guys for sharing your builds and your info. Hopefully I put some of the info that I learned here to good use with this project. I couldn't have done it without you guys. :thumbsup
 

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Moviefreak

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
that is an incredible fix. You couldn't have paid a professional outfit that would out do your work. TWO THUMBS UP!!!
 

Kevin

Well-Known Member
What a nightmare!

I have to say that you did an excellent job restoring Yoda. We can all breathe a little easier now.
 

Simmon M

Sr Member
I would have doubled over in the fetal position and cried all morning if I woke up to that.

You did a damned fine job of bringing Yoda back to life.
 

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CGClone

Sr Member
WOW, excellent job and care. Sucks that the accident happened, but hang your hat on the fact the restoration job is superb!
 

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ave4uevoli

Sr Member
that is an incredible fix. You couldn't have paid a professional outfit that would out do your work. TWO THUMBS UP!!!
well I dont know about that - I'm sure a professional outfit (or even some of the great bust painters here on the RPF) would and could do a better job than me. Another option would have been to repaint the whole thing. My skills are limited so there's no way that was an option for me.

What a nightmare!

I have to say that you did an excellent job restoring Yoda. We can all breathe a little easier now.
Thank you- For my first restoration job I must say I'm quite proud of it. I'm definitely breathing a little easier myself.

Nice save Thomas! Man that first destruction pic made me ill!!!
You and me both! :sick

I would have doubled over in the fetal position and cried all morning if I woke up to that.

You did a damned fine job of bringing Yoda back to life.

I did, a little. I pretended like I was playing with my baby daughter in the corner of the room.... .I shed a few tears.. I'm such a baby :cry :angel


A thing of nightmares!


Yup - that's the money shot right there... :confused

You could have put a Mark Hamill face cast in there..
HAHAHA :lol I couldn't figure out how to get a smoking effect going.

WOW, excellent job and care. Sucks that the accident happened, but hang your hat on the fact the restoration job is superb!
you did great man.....good job!
Thanks thanks guys -I'm just glad this is behind me.

Is it me or does he look happier now? I swear he has a grin.

Great job on the repair!!
I think it's just the angle of the shot. hopefully I didn't glue his jaw on wrong! :) (no, I didn't - the upper lip piece fit in pretty well without alteration.)

Is it only the camera angle that makes yoda have those HUGE hands? Looks like lobster pincher's.
No, his hands are a little big. They're usually hidden inside the robe. They're latex and soft so with a little alteration they can grip stuff. I think, when the robe covers a lot of the hands, that the nails and the fingers are pretty accurate in terms of size. (I watched the marathon on Spike TV over the weekend... I was also watching for the size of the hands and nails). It doesn't help that the internal structure is thin. So the bicep area and forearms are skinny. It doesn't look that demented when you pose him in different positions.
 

ttdriver

New Member
Terrific repair of a truly unfortunate accident. The trial and error method always seems to work for me as well...often discovering a new way to work and useful for the next project.
NICE WORK!
 

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OldKen

Master Member
something about this image makes me think yoda is made out of chocolate.


Have you considered filling in yoda with something, maybe expanding foam? just to make it more solid?

Dude...

If I had accurate molds and the knowhow I would soo make a hollow chocolate yoda head for easter! :lol
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
Awesome repair, but sorry you had to go through that. I think the damage actually adds character and age to the little guy. I just can't get over seeing him with blueish eyes.
 

mattman6886

New Member
Amazing repair job. If it were me, I would've been furious seeing that yoda without a face. Just woulda threw it away and pretended it never existed. You should be very proud!
 

exoray

Master Member
Have you considered filling in yoda with something, maybe expanding foam? just to make it more solid?
Expanding foam could be disastrous, after all 'expands' and it doesn't have a preference to direction... I wouldn't risk it...

I would consider a slush cast or hand layup of fiberglass inside though...

BTW great job at the repair, I can only imagine the amount of work you put into it...
 

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