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Finishing Horns

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by terobi, May 7, 2014.

  1. terobi

    terobi Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 29, 2014

    I'm working on a Zabrak Jedi costume for a local con (no specific person; though since I'm a long-haired guy, it'll largely be Wolf Sazen inspired).

    I've got a few months yet, but had a spare afternoon today, so I thought I'd have a play with sculpey and see if I can make anything that looks reasonable in terms of horns.

    I'm reasonably satisfied with the outcome - but they do look a bit plain and, well, sculpted.


    I've seen a few people use the sculpey method for zabrak horns like this, and with a bit of finishing they look pretty damn awesome.

    And therein lies the problem; I have absolutely no experience, skill, or knowledge of how these finishing techniques might be done. I hear terms like "dry brush", and while I'm vaguely familiar with the concept, I'm not entirely convinced the way I'm picturing it will yield effects other than just looking like badly-painted Sculpey! I'm considering going over them with a bit of course sandpaper to add a grained or striated look, then some manner of painting that will hopefully get the right look...

    Has anyone got any advice on this front? Unfortunately google searches for techniques on how to paint horns just returns a billion pages of Homestuck cosplay, and not a lot else...

    Cheers :)
  2. Commander-DWH

    Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus star 4

    Nov 3, 2003
    I've never painted Darth Maul horns myself, but a bit of digging procured this tutorial:

    It describes the dry brushing technique, and has a dubiously animated GIF showing what the process should approximately look like. I think sanding is a great idea to give it some texture, but as for paint? I think you just have to go for it and experiment. The good thing about paint is you can always paint over it and try again if it looks terrible. ;)
  3. terobi

    terobi Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 29, 2014
    Cheers :)

    I've been diggeing around and looking at various painting techniques (most of which seem to be for miniatures, which is fair enough - nice to know that techniques can be pulled from all parts of the geek spectrum ;) ) and now actually wondering if a wash might be a better technique than a dry-brush; I quite like the translucent-ish bone-white/beige of the horns as they are (I used the translucent sculpey, and they don't look plastickey at all!) I just think they need a little depth, and the wash technique looks like it might just add the kind of weatheredness that I'm after, assuming sanding gives it a decent texture.

    I've got a spare pack of Sculpey that I'm planning to use for additional horns which I will try and find a way of having protrude from beneath my hair - so it's not the end of the world if I experiment and it doesn't work!