28 Mar 2015

Al Hippone's plaque - short SBS

This is gonna be really quick SBS, mostly photos (some of them not very good, using my phone's camera is much easier but there is always a risk that photo won't  be super sharp),  of how I made my plaque for Al Hippone.

First the idea was to order a plaque from Name It, as I always do. I like their elegant finish, and the fact that I don't have to worry about making them. Unfortunately the font I choosen doesn't really look good, so I decided to get a bit more creative.

Because ot the name I've choosen for my bust, Al Hippone (he has this old time gangster look after all), I decided to go for an old newspaper, preferably something about Al Capone. It would be a nice touch, known only to me, but still. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything in right format (taller than wider) so I went for just a newspaper from the right place and more or less time, and changed it a little.
When, after few unsuccessful attempts, I was happy with the look of the 'front page' I printed good few copies on tracing paper. In works like this I always prepare few copies just in case someting goes wrong, especially when I'm experimenting and can't be sure that I'll be happy with the outcome at the first try.

Next I applied paper tape under first few plaques to make it less transparent, and thicker, more sturdy. After that, I carefuly cut it out using a ruler and hobby knife.
Why even bother with tracing paper and paper tape, why not use normal paper? Thefirst reason is finish you get with the trace paper. It's more sleek than normal paper, and gives a bit more 3D effect due to it's thickness and transparency. And paper tape instead normal paper as and under layer, because tracing paper expands a lot when wet, and the surface gets wrinkly very easily. Besides paper tape is off white, creamy so it looks more like and old paper from the start.
And why did I use tracing paper not printing foil? To keep the paper feel to the plaque. With printing foil everyting would be easier to achieve, but it wouldn't feel like paper.

Now it's time for some weathering. Using only two GW washes (Agrax Earthshade and  Seraphim Sepia) I painted the back of the plaque, again due to the rippling properties of the tracing paper, I was careful not to soak the front, but few stains didn't do too much of a damage.

While  the paper was drying between aplications, the ruler laying on top of it was helping me to keep it more or less straight. It's not really necessary, but for me it was easier  this way.

With the 'back' as dark as I wanted (paint applied from the back still afected the front of the plinth), I just added few thin layers of wash in the corners and the plaques were ready. I was wery carefull not to apply too much of the wash in one go, to avoid wrinkling of the material. Unfortunately, when all was properly dry, I noticed that they are just too dark, especially placed on a black plinth. Below you can see photo of the plaques on white paper and black plinth, hopefully you see the difference (not only in the temperature of light).

The easiest way to make the plaque brighter was to add another layer of paper tape. So I just glued it on the back of the plaque and cut out excess of tape carefully.

After that there was just a matter of sticking the plaque to the plinth with use of double sided tape. Again, I glued the plaque to one side of the tape, cut out the excess and then removed the protect layer on the other sinde and glued the plaque to the plinth.

I hope you enjoyed this little SBS, and you find it inspiring in creating your own unique plaques.


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