Wow so here's part 2 of the Armour tutorial!! Here we go.
Now is the hardest and most annoying part. Attaching your armour. I opted for poppers to give the armour a more 3D look. This meant getting Bal to mark on where each popper will join. I then had to sew all these poppers on the dress by hand WHICH IS VERY TEDIOUS. You can opt for velcrow, but it may not stick with heavy armour. If you're lucky, your armour may easily attach by just being tied on/you could glue it to a base.
Now add poppers if you're connecting/putting on your armour that way. I used poppers as the armour
over laps so I didn't want it to look flat. The poppers raise the levels a little
Sealing the craft foam can take some time. I managed to do it during a week where I had nothing better to do all day. I mixed 3 parts pva with 2 parts water and painted it on. The less water the longer it'll take to dry. I just painted on a coat and went and did something else. It was usually dry after an hour or two. Depending on the amount of glue you add + how well you want it sealed then I'd reccommend 5 layers if you add lots of glue or up to 20 if you thin it out. Be careful as adding lots of glue at once means it's harder to control how much you seal it and you may end up with less flexible armour. It's essential for me that my armour bends as it curves around my waist, and even shaped in the oven a thick layer of glue will cause the craft foam to fold and not bend smoothly.
Paint the underside if you feel it may be visible from certain angles. White muslin contrasting with your gold/silver/black etc armour is gonna look really weird.
You are going to need a lot of paint if you're doing armour. I am also doing a lot of armour pieces so I went to a craft store and picked up a big tube on offer!
As some of my craft foam was a different colour I had to paint it black. This isn't super necessary although I'd reccommend it if you have time. The thing to remember is to paint it in thin layers until the colour is what you want. I managed to paint it on thickly creating cracks in the acrylic as it dried. These however, can easily be painted over again to get rid of.
Painting the armour is easy enough. I think it was the funnest part. I simply painted on red metallic acrylic, then painted on gold acrylic - mixing the two together as I did. Then I took a large paintbrush and almost 'stippled' on the black. If you want any two colours to mix/blend together then this should be done when wet. Mixing all 3 together gave the effect I wanted, which was a metallic dark gold/bronze.
Many people weather the pieces with black acrylic. You can dab it on and smudge it with a sponge, fingers or anything really. Just be gentle. This armour doesn't really have many 'weathering points'. Most of the armour is flat. Embossing and dents look great when weathered.
It may seem weird but floor wax is a good and cheap sealer. I used pledge, which I picked up from my local super market for £3.60 for a whole bottle. It's easy to use, dries quickly and doesn't ruin your paintbrushes!
It depends what type of end look you want. Wax doesn't show up much, but if you are looking for a glossy finish then use some acrylic varnish which comes in satin, matte and glossy. A word of warning though, Acrylic varnish will ruin your paintbrush no matter what.
I couldn't stress this last part enough! Make sure you test the wax doesn't strip away the acrylic
paint. That's why Multi-surface wax is the best. Don't forget to be gentle too. A soft paintbrush is ideal so you don't make any scratches.