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Unread 07-06-2013, 10:40 PM   #1
ashi ketchum
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Stocking's Sword? (Question 3)

First off, sorry props forum for all the questions! It seems every prop I make needs entirely different supplies and techniques, which leaves a lot of room for error.

For reference -
Picture of sword in show: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ouQGsQ25Uv...Large%2B30.jpg
Tutorial I based my concept on: http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/f/20...ul-d32yglr.jpg
Post 1: http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=322686
Post 2: http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=324080

I am creating Stocking's sword from the anime Panty and Stocking. It includes a clear fiberglass blade and an LED flashlight inside the handle to light up the blade. The construction ended up differing quite a bit from the tutorial but is now finished. I'm now on the painting stage and planned to use the same method as the tutorial.

I spray painted the white on the entire sword and attempted to move quickly as to get the thinnest layer possible. The paint still remained too heavy in some areas to be seen through well. It also looks evenly painted with the light off, but looks extremely messy with the light on. Worse, the tarp I used peeled off on a few bits. And that's just the white coat. Additionally, I was going to mask the white and spray the aqua blue in stripes and then a clear coat.

- Is there anything that will remove the spray paint entirely? (Sandpaper?)
- Is there anything that will remove a little of the spray paint? (Soap and water?)
- Why does the tutorial's sword have paint and also clearly glowing in a lit room?
- If I do remove the paint completely somehow, should I leave it off and just paint the blue stripes? (I think it would look less accurate but would at least light up.)
- Is there sheer spray paint possibly? (Couldn't find any on Google.)

Unfortunately, I do not have much more time to make this (about a week) so I can not do anything time intensive. The spray paint also takes 24 hours to dry completely. Any further advice would be appreciated.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 11:00 PM   #2
Serenith
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While I have no idea if "sheer" paint exists.. you only need a thin layer of paint to make it look sheer. Spray paint is just not a decent way of getting an even, thin layer. I'd have just hand painted it.
You could try and look at what the paint is made of and if there are any known "removers" for that specific paint.. I wouldn't sand it as I'd worry it would scratch up the base. I'm reading some use razors to remove paint from glass.. but obviously I have no idea how it would handle in this situation.

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Unread 07-07-2013, 04:56 AM   #3
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I think the reason you gota diffrent result is becuase the diffrence in paint used.
Some paints are a lot more saturated then others.
As for removing hte paint i would not use sandpaper as it will scratch the surface.
If you used sandpaperi would use a really really fine one and then try to usea car buffer to remove the fine scratches.
And then research which paint to use and paint it again. The scratches you may have gotten probbly wouldnt show through the paint.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 04:57 AM   #4
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Be carefull with what paint you use as some may contain solvents that will damage the Pvc
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Unread 07-07-2013, 08:45 AM   #5
Talossa
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Soap and water won't remove it. There are chemicals that will, but I don't know what they'd do to the base - if you go that route, test it on an inconspicuous area first. Sanding would do it, too, but it would take longer and it would rough up the base. I'm not sure how that would look once you repainted it, though on the other hand it may give you better paint adhesion. Do you have any scrap to practice on?

The tutorial pictures are a bit out-of-focus, but it looks like they don't have an even coat either. How uneven is your paint job? It may be just fine. If it were me I'd probably see if I could turn the unevenness into weathering/shading or something.

I think the brightness difference is just down to however the circuit's wired and/or the lighting conditions in the room - in the tutorial you can see that the lights have been lowered.

Otherwise if I were to repaint it and wanted it absolutely perfectly even but still translucent I'd probably do it by hand. The dollar store has small foam paint rollers that are really good for something like that.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 06:36 PM   #6
ashi ketchum
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I didn't hand paint it because in the past I had gotten a nice even and thin coating with spray paint. Unfortunately, lighting it up exposes every little flaw. Acrylic paint tends to have little streaks from the paint brush if you look closely, which is why I initially skipped it. If I could get the spray paint off, I would opt to hand paint it this time.

I tried non-acetone nail polish remover, which did nothing. I tried an exactoblade to chip away a few areas where the tarp stuck, which did chip the paint off but takes far too long and has to be done extremely slow to avoid scratching the fiber glass. I tried both sandpaper and a fine buffing sponge... thing both wet and dry. They all worked similarly and didn't do a good job of removing anything. They definitely scratched up the spot I tried.

I read on the vast Interwebz spraying WD40 on, letting it sit for a bit, then wiping it off can remove spray paint. I don't know how true that is or what else it could damage, though.

I'm still at a loss of what to do! If I can't remove a little paint to make it more sheer, I'd ideally like to remove it and hand paint, but haven't a clue the best option for removing it.

I could at this point spray another coat and just have a non-lit up sword, but that'd be a shame at this point after going through all the effort of making one that's translucent.

Appreciate all the help so far!
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Unread 07-07-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
Serenith
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Perhaps for this convention, or wherever you need it, just paint back over where you've got any paint removed. Don't bother with more layers or lighting it up. Then when you get back try working more at getting it off?

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Unread 07-08-2013, 09:49 AM   #8
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I dont know if it is possible to redo the electronics to get a brighter light.
Cuase with more light the imperfections would be less noticeable and you would get more light from the sword.
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Unread 07-08-2013, 01:09 PM   #9
ashi ketchum
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I considered doing that if I could find a reliable paint remover that wouldn't eat away the fiberglass and silicone sealant. I assume at this point it would be easier to remove one layer of paint than six. I may do exactly that and just leave it if I can't figure out a better alternative, though.

I didn't actually make any of the electronics myself. I'd worked with LEDs in the past and that turned into a large project in itself.

I bought an LED flashlight and used it for the base of the handle then built up water putty around it. It does light up the thinly painted areas, but not the thicker areas, which is primarily why it doesn't look as good as it should.

Redoing the electronics would essentially mean starting from scratch and scrapping these supplies. In hindsight, I probably should have just done the LEDs throughout and hoped for the best.
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Unread 07-08-2013, 02:31 PM   #10
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If I'm understanding this correctly, you only have an LED at the base of the blade, and no lights going down the length of the blade? The tutorial uses an LED strip that runs down the entire length of the blade, but it sounds like you just put lights at the very base. Just wanting to make sure I have that right.

If that's the case, you are going to be hard pressed to get the entire blade to light up when it is that long, unfortunately. LED strips can be mega bright, and the strip is putting bulbs in the blade all the way down to the tip, which is why the tutorial blade is so bright, even with lights on.

My friend recently made a light up sword for her Rin Okumura cosplay. She based her designed off of that same tutorial, but made some modifications. She used a blue LED strip and ran it along the spine. It is blindingly bright on its own. Then, to get the light to spread out and look even down the blade, she took a high grit sanding block and frosted the plastic. This made it half opaque, but it was still see-through enough for light to break through, but at the same time, dispersed the light. The LED strip was bright enough that the half opacity did not obstruct the light much. She then hand painted on some silver acrylic so that it would be a silver blade with the lights off, and that went on pretty transparent. When the lights are on, you can't see the paint at all (no brush strokes even - lights are too bright!).

Before she went the frosting + acrylic paint route, she tried silver spray paint on a scrap piece of plastic. She got the same results as you, with the blotchy unevenness in the thickness of the paint, and the light of the LED strip would only really show through on the areas that had only speckles of spray paint. I have no idea what spray paint the person in the tutorial could have used to avoid this. That spray paint made my friend's scrap plastic instantly opaque.

Given your time constraints and the fact that you don't have the LED strip set up, I honestly think you will be better off with moving forward with your sword not lighting up and just making the paint job look nice. I don't know the right way to remote spray paint from something like clear plastic, but a few years ago, I sprayed on some Krylon clear varnish (meant for acrylics) and something about the chemistry of that with the thing I spray painted caused the spray paint to come completely off...I still don't entirely understand that, but you might be able to try that if you really are set on trying to remove the spray paint? Otherwise, if you try to sand it off (with high grit sand paper), you will end up scratching up the plastic. This is fine if you wanted to try frosting the plastic though.

But yeah, I honestly think you are better off just making your sword look good as it is right now, and making a new one with the LED strip for a later convention. I just don't know how you're going to get the whole blade light up like you want with LEDs only in the base.
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Unread 07-08-2013, 08:31 PM   #11
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Yes, you are correct. I didn't strictly follow the tutorial; I just used it as a guideline of how to go about the project, which sounds like what your friend did. The base is a flashlight and actually did a good job of illuminating quite a bit. The whole length of the blade actually is lit in the thin areas, but those places that got an unintentionally thicker blotch of spray paint aren't illuminated at all. It doesn't have to light up brightly, just to the extent that gives it a glow in regular light.

I believe this is the white I got: http://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-779...ustoleum+white
The blue and glass coats are of the same brand and type, but I couldn't find them on Amazon nor have I used them yet. Although I imagine all spray paint will have that same effect unless there really is a sheer spray paint out there.

I didn't consider buffing the glass initially, but did to get the paint off. I don't really need the light further obscured and also worried the scratches would show through.

I'll try to grab some pictures later to give those helping a better idea of what I've done so far and how it looks since I'm probably doing a poor job explaining it. I'm starting to consider leaving the sword home for the convention, as it isn't so iconic that the character will not be complete without it and possibly fixing it at my leisure.
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