real weathering

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by Star Wars Man, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. Star Wars Man

    Star Wars Man Well-Known Member

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    just a shot in the dark, if that is the right phrase.

    has anyone weathered...well anything, without paint? i mean u guys use paint and all this stuff to weather your armor and yet, why not like take a baseball bat to it or use some dirt, mud, and a visit to the beach?

    like these sandtroopers are walkin around in the desert and stuff, is it possible to look like they do by doing that?
  2. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    It's possible for some weathering; I weathered the last Yoda cape I made by dragging it around the backyard and dipping it in puddles. :p
  3. pnerves

    pnerves New Member

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    Although I am using paint for the majority of my sandtrooper weathering, the initial scarring and dinging of the armor, the pauldron and the ammo pouches was all done with my garage floor and the mess that a winter in Denver leaves on it. There is something very therapeutic about kicking the thigh piece that gave you so much hassle around like a football.
  4. Predatormv

    Predatormv Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have weathered an entire zombie costume naturally. I got it wet and the whipped it around a tree a ton of times to tear it and what not, I wrapped it around my foot and then dragged my foot across a street to tear it and make it dirty, across my yard to get more dirt and grass stains. I even dug a whole a tossed it in and covered it up for more than a month. The only problem with that is anything that you wear with dirt on it, the dirt will come off onto everything. Not to mention the health issues.
  5. defyitall

    defyitall Sr Member

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    I have weathered my Aragorn duster, boots and tunic. Since the Strider stuff is so heavily weathered I actually resorted to a power palm sander with the detail point on the end. Sanded the living crap out of the coat. Did some other damage with assorted sand papers, wire brushes, sand pads, and beat it with sticks while hanging. I got a dirty look by using some brown shoe polish worked in on the elbows, ends of the sleeves, and the bottom 1/4. Also dragged it around in my back alley and elft it in a heap in my apartment for a few months. This year I might get a canvas bag and some rocks, throw the jacket in there and toss that around for a while.

    Did the same process for the boots though I didn't dirty them as much as I wanted that grey color for the movies. I've tried rubbing in flour to get more wightening but it eventually wears off. Not a good trick.

    Tunics is faux suede so I just used the shoe polish and then threw it around outside.
  6. Star Wars Man

    Star Wars Man Well-Known Member

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    crazy u guys, pics?

    but still my question. these guys in the movies, didnt band themselves against trees. sand troopers didnt use paint to look cool, they waslked around in it possible to do what they were doing and look weathered?
  7. TK1536

    TK1536 Sr Member

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    I find you 'could' weather a Sandtrooper with Fuller's Earth, which is essentially fake dirt. Keep it held in place using hair spray.
  8. saxe coburg

    saxe coburg Sr Member

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    Actually the sand troopers did use paint… I mean it would be “screen accurate” to use paint.

    While you could do “natural” weathering techniques, it would take an extremely long time to look “real”, that and... well... it would be dirty and I'd rather have paint under my nails than dirt and grime.

  9. Star Wars Man

    Star Wars Man Well-Known Member

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  10. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    For some of my weathering besides the usual sand paper and steel wool I use leather dyes for dirtying up things.
    For my desert trooper I used instant coffee that was brushed on than pounced with a terry cloth towel than I mixed the coffee with dirt and did it again, leaving dirt caked up in the recessed areas.
    Sand may work better for this application.

    Pastels work as well for some things or a wash of tea.

    I also used clay (WED) to weather my Orc tunic.

    Graphite works well since it was used on the Aliens armor in A2.

    Anything that adds distressing or makes something look real and abused can be used.

  11. Bountyhunter Niko

    Bountyhunter Niko Well-Known Member

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    This is a great question. :thumbsup

    I also am thinking about making my TK into a Sandy. There is a lot of clay around the area I live. Could I find different shades of clay, put on my TK suit, wait until some rain and then roll in the mud .

    I think it should work – and if not a lot of fun and photos would be had. :lol
  12. Star Wars Man

    Star Wars Man Well-Known Member

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    ugh, you guys have some nice techniques but not answering my question. sandtroopers in the movie suposedly didnt get dirty using coffee. now for the movie, they used paint or w/e, but in the real desert all those marks and such are from trooping in the desert. is it possible to get those results by troopin in the desert? not using coffee

    not trying to put u down division 6, i was just using u as an example
  13. rigormortis

    rigormortis Well-Known Member

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    A buddy of mine weathered a ROTS Clone helmet by dragging the bucket over his matte black painted truck. Sounds bad, but it looks good.
  14. R2B9

    R2B9 Well-Known Member

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    If you want to spend time in the desert in your armor, have fun and make sure the EMTs and CSI guys have cameras so we can see how you look as time progresses. Your body glove will deteriorate faster than the armor, too. I'd say stick with these guys' suggestions-- especially the ones that don't track dirt back everywhere you go. After all... "It was just a movie".
  15. allosaur176

    allosaur176 Sr Member

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    didn't a member here weather a metal lightsaber hilt by leaving it outside for a few weeks??
  16. LordFett

    LordFett Sr Member

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    Sure if you stand out in a few sand storms. I grew up in the desert. You get a lot of fine dust that lays on everything, but other then static it doesn't stick to stuff, unless it gets embedded into it (like in a fierce sand storm).
  17. Predatormv

    Predatormv Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well the only way I could think of to get dirt to stick to smooth armor walking around the desert would be to lightly spray a clear coat on the armor then walk around while it was still wet. You would basicly have to put your entire suit on, spray it, then walk around quickly. The problem is that unless you get caught in a sand storm only your feet and legs will be really dirty, your chest and helmet will have a little but not a whole lot. Also you might die of heat exaustion before you acheive the look you want.

    Ps. I don't have pics of the zombie costume, it was years ago before I knew how to really weather with paints and what not. I might do it again this year for halloween depending if I can get my friends to do it.
  18. temponaut

    temponaut Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That was Gigatron, who achieved impressive authentic weathering using tap water, vinegar, a Zippo lighter, and exposure to Mother Nature. And I think it only took a few days, rather than weeks.

    Here's the thread:

    Gigatron: My completely weather Obi ANH saber

    For comparison, here's one by lesternessman, who achieved his great weathering effect by means of sanding and painting rather than through, well, the weather:

    lesternessman: My idealized Roman's saber, what could have been...
  19. penwiper

    penwiper Well-Known Member

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    In a last-minute fit of desperation, I weathered my leper costume with soy sauce and cocoa. This resulted in my realization of one of the important considerations of weathering: smell.

    'Real' weathering teqhniques can work very well, but sometimes you may get some, um, extra reallness that you would rather not have. Mud may not be too bad, but sweat and other odors may end up detracting from the final impact of your costume. It may be impossible to wash out the less desirable weathering aspects without also removing the desirable dirt. Also, with real mud and such you run the risk of picking up real mold or mildew and doing some serious damage to your costume.

    With fake weathering, you get predicatable results without the unwanted side-effects, though you may lose the natural impredictability of real weathering.

    Real weathering does work great for some purposes, though, especially just for general 'wear' as opposed to 'dirt'. I'm currently wearing one pair of boots everywhere to make them look worn for a costume.
  20. HarleyQ

    HarleyQ New Member

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    Eeeew. You make a good point though.

    Artistic weathering is in high demand in the fashion industry. There was an article in the LA times today about boutique jeans selling for $400. The difference between the high end jeans and a normal pair is the abuse given to the more expensive ones. The irony is that the designer made a "mistake" when treating the denim, but people pay a fortune for worn out jeans.
  21. allosaur176

    allosaur176 Sr Member

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    No, it wasn't him... The member had a gold and chromed lightsaber, and let in naturally rust outside
  22. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Well technically, you're both right. I did weather my saber all naturally, but it was Franz Bolo (I believe) who left his saber outside for weeks. His was buried and then suspended over a bucket of ammonia. Mine took about 3 days. I mean technically, you could leave it outside for 30+ yrs and you'd have authentic weathering, but who really has that kind of time :lol.

  23. temponaut

    temponaut Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Didn't know about FB's saber project. "Buried and then suspended over a bucket of ammonia." Sounds more like an approach to torture than to weathering. I'd like to see photos of the results.

    Fred, I was quite impressed by the weathered look you achieved with your three-day technique. :thumbsup
  24. stormtrooperguy

    stormtrooperguy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    some small amounts of my tusken were authentic dirt. i threw the robes into the corner of my basement and kicked them a bit ;)

    but most of it was tea, coffee and paint for all of the previously mentioned smell / hygene type reasons.
  25. antwayne

    antwayne Well-Known Member

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    My usual problem with weathering is that the prop is not really made out of what it looks like- plastic is not going to rust and corrode like real metal or wear like real wood. As to trooping, I doubt any amount of time in the dry desert would actually give your armor that grimy Star Wars look because the desert is actually lacking in grime. I bet if you left your armor outside the best you would get is that "unwashed car look" over yellowed plastic.
  26. Jayn

    Jayn Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(AntWayne @ Jan 16 2007, 12:23 AM) [snapback]1397992[/snapback]</div>
    ^Exactly. The desert troopers were most likely painted/aged more than a "realistic aging" for contrast. So the more drastic distressing would show up on film under the bright lights and not be 'washed-out'. Plastic and any other material left out in the elements will suffer too much deterioration/break-down of the 'integrity' of the material to be of any use. Trooper armor would just become brittle & break in short time. Also, keep in mind that most movie costumes ARE painted, because 9 times out of 10, there are multiples of the same costume, each aged identically or to specifics. (I know, because this is what I do for a living. )
  27. Icedevil

    Icedevil New Member

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    I threw some sand at my armor once(er had some thrown at me) it just bounces off :lol
  28. Stampedemag

    Stampedemag Active Member

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    I did some weathering on a fett cape for my son:


    Also I did some on my Jason costume as well. It is outside right now getting geuine weathered.



    I used old techniques such as beating the crap out of it and dragging it thru the dirt and also the dremel. I also sprayed it lightly with black paint. The only problem is the shirt and pants are "Scotchguarded" so the dirt doesn't stick. While that wouldn't normally be a problem it is if you want it to look like that.

    And yes, I know that I had a piece of shirt sticking out of the collar... no one told me until I saw the pics. Oh well. Can't always have a handler around.
  29. motman241

    motman241 Well-Known Member

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    On clothing, I find it best to beat it, rip it and tear it. Using real dirt will take a long time to actually color the prop. Most likely, the dirt washes or wears right off. That's why I like to use paints and dyes.

    Just like the sand troopers. Think in a logical manner - it's plastic. What sticks to plastic? Glue. Hairspray. Paint. Not much else. Sand and dirt sure don't. If you were to go into the real desert with armor, you'd likely just get it scratched up, and warped. You can do that at home.

    That's the other thing with real dirt on armor - it washes right off. Maybe that's what you're after, and maybe not. I know I've trooped several times in the rain, though. ;)
  30. PantheraGem

    PantheraGem Sr Member

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    Well, it's a prop of sorts. My Wested Indy jacket after nearly eight years of rough wear. The only artificial part is along the seams on the inside of the arms. I went over it with some fine sandpaper. That area doesn't really wear naturally.
  31. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    you could set a torch so that it smokes really bad and go over your prop. A lot of actual set pieces are done like that.
  32. Chris Martin

    Chris Martin Well-Known Member

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    Actually, it's real dirt. It's a clay powder and available in several colours. Domestically, it's most likely to be found in the bathroom cabinet. It's what mud face packs are made of. You could also try the coloured powders available for colouring concrete.
  33. KnightAsylum

    KnightAsylum Sr Member

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    I have done some "real" weathering with dirt and such-but I think it is always better to fake it. In 10 years the fake weathering will still look good, but real dirt can grow mold and whatnot (nature taking its own course and such) it is the same idea as actually wandering around the desert in your costume to give it the "real weathering". Would it work, sure, but real weathering is just wear and tear, so what you get is not so much a cool look as it makes for old, falling apart equipment. We fake weathering so we don't have wear and tear. Especially on things such as trooper amour- which isn't "real" so it doesn't take "real" weathering well either. You would be much better off "real" weathering a piece of "real" amour (like a current military helmet) it was made to last so has the potential to have some wear and tear and still hold together. Not so true with a piece of molded plastic.
    Not the facts - just my 2 cents, :D
  34. DarthXXX

    DarthXXX New Member

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    I would think the easiest way to weather it without using paint would be to put it on, and go out and put it through the works in the woods or a gravel pit somewhere. Realistically, thats how a stormtrooper would have acquired weathering anyways, just normal, everyday wear and tear. Probably take you alot longer than paint but it would be authentic and natural.
  35. Corsairgryl

    Corsairgryl Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've weatherd cloth for costumes by clothespining it to a chainlink fence (fall and winter works best generally, summer best for fading) about 3 months you'll see significant weathering effect. I also weathered leathered armor by leaving it outside on non-rainy days for a few weeks
  36. MrGzilla

    MrGzilla Well-Known Member

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    i weathered my jason costume using rocks, dirt, and well realy anything. it took about 2 months to weather the jacket, i rubed the rocks up against it to create fraying and holes, i also used dirt and mud to discolor it and for about 3 weeks i actualy left it outside and let nature do the rest.
  37. Tetmatek

    Tetmatek Well-Known Member

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    I weathered a Republic Commando by painting it black then silver and then grey then used fine glass in my bead blaster to blast the leading edges and random lines here and there. It turned out really nice
  38. sgmorton

    sgmorton Well-Known Member

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    Sure weathered some boots by wearing them and then running in a creek bed. Wet dirty rocky muddy creek bed.

    Also helped weather some TC armor by making scorth marks with Black Cat Firecrackers. They leave excellent authentic blaster marks.

    Weathered my Jayne Cobb shirt ... by hanging it in a tree in my back yard for 6 weeks straight.

    Just some of the ones I recall off the top of my head.
  39. GeektressGalore

    GeektressGalore Well-Known Member

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    My evil plan for my Badlands Armor is to tea dye and roll around in the dirt for a while. Looks like you've been toughing it in the wastes for a while, but taking a baseball bat and a knife to the leather bits will be a lot more satisfying.

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