SHOWCASE: Cosplay Contest Custom Trophy
I got a really cool opportunity to create this custom trophy for a Cosplay Contest at the Asian Night Market Festival in Dallas. For those of you that only follow my painting, I work part time for an Asian music promotions company (yes, that's in addition to painting, being a full time student and my day job in Marketing) and of course I was tasked with making something cool that would bring people to the event.
Of course, I could have contacted one of the many trophy companies and get something generic, but the event is Saturday and today (the day I made this) was Tuesday so there wasn't a lot of time to promote. So I decided to make something custom (that would also cost less and look cooler.
For the base, I started with this Ezrael action figure toy thing. Don't worry, it's not the one that was given out at the official League of Legends events - I think it's a Chinese replica and I got it for about $15. I took the thing apart where I could and masked off the clear blue areas. The red is where I used acetone to see how thick the paint layer was to see if I needed to strip the model. The acetone revealed that the paint layer was thankfully pretty thin and that the details wouldn't be covered after painting. That was pretty good because the material is some type of polyviynl (close to Reaper Bones material) or PVC.
I did however have to clean the imperfections from molding. These "mold-lines" come from excess material leaking in between the two parts of the mold. Unavoidable, but still annoying and can really detract from the finished product. I used an X-acto Knife to cleanse the figure of these offending lines. On normal plastic, these can be scrapped off, on PVC you sort of have to slice them off. This gets particularly difficult in high detail areas like the hair. Note to self: Enamel and Lacquer based sprays don't react well to PVC so prime in acrylic...
I found this photo cube at Hobby Lobby for about $7 (and a 40% off coupon) that I decided would make a good base. The trophy shops want $40 for a cube of similar size that is made of recycled wood with wood pattern printed on.
Also that $40 doesn't get you custom inserts...
Or this cool rotating mechanism that I'm removing for now.
Here's what it looks like removed.
Cheap, mass produced wood has many imperfections so I sanded everything down smooth.
And the cheap, mass-produced wood looks ugly but with some wood stain we can make it look expensive. I applied two coats of Minwax Red Mahogony and 3 coats of Gloss.
In between coats, I started on the primer coat for the figure. I made a mental note earlier not to use Enamel based sprays on PVC but of course I forgot and did anyways. The result is a sticky mess because the Enamel won't cure on PVC. No worries, I applied two coats of Acrylic Gloss over everything and that seemed to work. Gloss was going to be used anyways since a Black Gloss basecoat is the best to make metallics shine so no time is wasted, only temporary panic...
I used the airbrush and lightly applied the Gold in thin layers...
With the masking removed, it looks pretty good! People will recommend that you wait 1 day after the primer coat (2 if it's Enamel), another day after the gloss coat, and a yet another day after the Gold, but I did everything in a few hours. If paint it dry to the touch, it's good enough for me.
After the base is dry, I added the lazy susan thing back on.
I wanted the trophy to be pretty hefty so I mixed some plaster to add weight.
Total weight = 4.20. Win.
There are wooden pieces that back the photos you put in so I added spacers to ensure that there was enough space for the glass between while the plaster dried.
The trophy would not look so cool if it were to break off the base so I drilled a hole though the lid and foot of the statue to hold everything together.
Stopping point for the evening. I got out of class at 5 and went to the store right away. At this point, it is about 2 in the morning.
I wanted to finish everything with as much of the day as possible to promote the Cosplay Contest so I woke up at 6 so I could shower before Fedex opened at 7. Still had to finish everything before I headed into the office at 8. The graphics were designed by Senpai Lily over at Daebak Shirts. She also works as the Marketing Director for Hallyu Entertainment. She makes custom shirts for people when she's not at school or at her day marketing job (where she sells cows and hay). If you want a custom shirt, you know where to go!
Glass and images inserted. Some of the plaster inevitably leaked outside the wood panel so I had to carefully scrape it away with a knife.
Made with Love by Sensei Swag.