Princess Leia Leia's Ceremonial gown from ANH

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Amidala_wannabe, Apr 5, 2002.

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  1. Malz4JESUS Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2002
    star 5
    Thanks y'all! That helps alot! :D
  2. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    I've been working on my necklace for this costume for a long time now, on and off in spurts. I've gone through the various sculpy attempts (paint, silver leafing), other air-dry modeling material (Delight), and finally settled on making models with sculpy and then creating a mold to make resin casts. However, one of my biggest hurtles has been actually getting a model piece that I'm satisfied with. Sadly, I have no artistic skills, so I'm not able to get a sculpt as close to the real design as I would like.

    At the moment, I have two models that I'm considering using, at least for an initial necklace. Neither one is as close as I'd like, but I'm finding that I could spend forever trying to get it right! So, I'm trying to decide between one of these two here. Each has some feature that I like, so it's making it hard to decide. These are each resin-casts that haven't been painted yet. Sorry for the lack of focus; I was having trouble getting my camera to focus well on something close. I'll try to get a better picture soon. For these, I have the U-shaped piece that curves over at the top, but I kept the backside flat for simplicity.

    I thought you guys, having the greatest familiarity with the design, would be well-suited for offering advice. Any opinions or suggestions would be appreciated!
  3. Jedi-Siri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2004
    star 1
    Personally I like the second piece better.
  4. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    I like the one on the right best. Nice work on them too!
  5. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Thanks! There are aspects I wish I could have gotten better, but I figure I need to stop at some point and actually make a necklace. The one on the right was my latest attempt at sculpting, and incorporated a few points that I didn't get with the one on the left. I've made two molds for it, so next I need to churn out the resin casts.

    Thanks for the feedback!
  6. Jedi-Siri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2004
    star 1
    Keep us updated on your progress. I'd like to make a resin cast of mine but I'm not entirely sure how to do so. Can't wait to see your completed necklace!
  7. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    I'm up to 7 pieces cast now - halfway done on the casting! I think my initial molds have just about had it, though. I've read that molds typically can go up to 14 casts, but I had imperfections/small pieces missing on the curve-over part, and pulling the casts out has been hard on those little pieces.

    Casting the resin has actually been very easy. I'm using Smooth-Cast 300 from Smooth-On, which I highly recommend. You mix even amounts of parts A and B (liquid) for less than a minute, pour into your mold, and 10-15 minutes later the resin has set and you can pull it out! Very hassle-free, and it makes nice and solid pieces.

    I've had a bit more challenging time with the mold-making, though I suspect part of it is that my materials have started to go a bit off. They warn you that they have limited shelf life once the bottle has been opened, and I opened these last spring. The main challenge I'm finding is getting the mold material to flow into the little space inside the U at the top; I suspect partly due to a slightly too-high viscosity. I'm going to have to think of a way to improve on that for my replacement mold.

    Of course, once the resin pieces are all cast, it'll be on to the sanding and painting! I'm planning to spray paint, and hoping that I don't run into the problems people have had with painting sculpy.
  8. fairyprincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2007
    star 1
    I am making this for a party I am hosting with a friend. I wanted it to be a surprise but half the people going already know.

    My co-host is going as Ceremonial Luke (I am making that also, with him) as we are having a ceremony ala New Hope style at the end of the night! Medals even! But do not get to excited, they will be printouts of the medal glued onto foam with the added ribbon! (Budget and my lake of sculpting skills...five years of high school art will support this!)

    For most of my research I have scoured countless sites and books and have finally decided on what I am doing!

    Big thank you in advance to Kay Dee! I go on your site like every day! Earlier in the thread you had a picture with your arms out to the sides showing the pattern of the sleeve! BIG BIG Help!!!!

    I have a pewter/gold colour shoe that I am planning on painting but still unsure. The hair pieces are half done.

    For the belt, i need to get some leather. One of my friends flat mates works with metal and has offered to cut out the belt pieces....and the necklace. i was hoping to get one from Shadowdale Creations, but that will have to what until after the party (it will be a uni graduation present to myself)

    I found a silver cuff metal bangle at a local store for under $10 which will work perfectly.

    I have not started on my first muslin yet, i miss placed my pattern during my sewing room re-location. But my first muslin test is my plan for Sunday. I will keep you posted on my advancements!!!! I need to have it done by October 5th. No pressure?
  9. lavagrrrl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    Good luck! The dress can be a pain to make at times, but it is so fun to wear! I always felt the most princess-y while in this costume.

    Kay_Dee's site should be a lot of help to you. There is also a great write-up with photos and sketches on www.padawansguide.com
  10. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    You are welcome :) I don't like the photo of myself, but I knew that it would help people really see what we are talking about when we call the sleeves 'wings'. I remember it took forever for me to wrap my head around how her overlay sleeves were done... it was very frustrating and I almost gave up. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that others had figured it out!

    Have fun and best of luck on your costume!
  11. fairyprincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2007
    star 1
    Well I drafted my pattern last night and plan to do my first mock-up today!

    I also recieved my hair in the mail yesterday! I bought three hair pieces, one base and 6 packets of Super Silky Braid. There are two ways I am thinking of going with this but just involves a little trial and error..... hopefully less error!
  12. Jedi-Siri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2004
    star 1
    Thanks for the info on resin, that was very helpful! I'm thinking about making a necklace out of it, but I was wondering how do you make a mold?
  13. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    To make a mold you use silicon RTV. I get mine from Micromark. This web site has some basic instructions. There are a lot of ways to go about it if you start searching for different instructions.

    http://www.micromark.com/html_pages/instructions/82083i/part_mold.html
  14. fairyprincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2007
    star 1
    To anyone who made their necklace from sculply, how many packets did you use?

    And what colour did you make them before covering in silver?
  15. Jedi-Siri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2004
    star 1
    I think I used 3, but I'm not 100% sure. I used gray sculpy.
  16. fairyprincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2007
    star 1
    Cool! I was planning on using a silver base. Did you have to seal it before you painted of leafed it?
  17. AmmersVI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2005
    star 4
    I used 2 packets silver sculpey primo. Wired together with a spool of jewler's wire and finished off with Elmer's Painters pen (metallic) silver. (I only coated the top and the sides)
  18. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    fairyprincess: from what I've read here, no one had any luck with painting the sculpy, at least with spray paint, no matter what kind of sealer they used as base or as topcoat. Aparently the paint stays tacky and rubs off on your skin. Some people have had success covering sculpy with silver leafing, either leafing foil or a leafing pen. I don't remember whether they put down a base coat before the leafing, though.

    Jedi-Siri: Here's another good site with instructions on mold-making. One of the tips I would offer is that when they say the mold material has a limited shelf life after being opened, they mean it. I opened mine once last spring, then left it sealed all summer. By the time I used it again at the end of summer, it was much more viscous and had drastically shorter pot-life (ie the time it stays liquid before setting). This made it much harder to work with. I'm speculating that the degradation might be caused by oxygen and/or water vapor that gets in the container after you open it, and so I wonder if capping the container with nitrogen before putting on the lid would help prolong the lifetime. (This means blowing nitrogen or some other dry inert gas into the container to replace most of the oxygen, then quickly sealing the cap.) One of these days I'll contact the smooth-on people to ask about that. I think they sell a can of condensed nitrogen for either this or a similar purpose.

    I'm still working on my necklace. I took a break after 10 pieces cast in order to learn about the sanding and primer process. So far I've learned a lot about wet sanding, filling in any imperfections (ie pinholes) with filler, and some about primer layers. Getting better primer layers is my current goal! On the topic of filler... a friend of mine recommended green stuff putty epoxy by kneadatite. You can find it for reasonable prices on eBay, and so far it's working well for me.

    My next major decision on the necklace is whether to carve out the piece on the back of the U-shape at the top or not. In order to do the mold and casting, I had to leave that back piece that folds over as one straight line, all one height, rather than the two pieces going down at the jump ring holes and then a shorter section between. I could cut out the middle part from each of the resin pieces, but I confess I'm tempted to leave it straight instead. For one thing, I'm always worried about messing up and ruining a piece, and for another, well, the back isn't seen at all... ;)
  19. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Alison - I remember there is some kind of gas that is supposed to be used as a 'blanket' if you intend to store the resin solutions for a long time. It's to help keep water out (that's what we were told ruined the solution). I have notes about it some place, but I'm too tired to look it up right now. I may have even seen the stuff at TAP plastics.

    I almost agree you might be safer leaving your back portion of the necklace fold solid. For starters, it will lend more stability. Reducing them to prongs could leave them vulnerable to breaking off (this is resin, not silver like the real necklace). It should still look fine from the front, and it's one less thing to worry about messing up, like you said.

    Good luck! I can't wait to see your work of art!
  20. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Yikes, I hadn't even thought about the strength issue, but you're totally right! The thinner tab pieces would be much more vulnerable to breaking. Thanks for pointing that out! That settles it for me - I'll leave it as one straight piece across the back of the u-shape.

    Water: ah-ha. I figured it had to be either water or oxygen. For situations like this where a chemical reaction must be taking place, it's usually either water, oxygen or heat. Well, or light, but I figured that and heat weren't the problem.

    I spent a while tonight sticking green stuff putting into little imperfections on several of the pieces. It'll harden overnight, and then tomorrow night I'll be sanding everything again. Hopefully several pieces will be ready for final primer after that. [face_praying]
  21. fairyprincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2007
    star 1
    Well I just finished my hairpiece! I used a pre-styled bun as a base and then used some synthetic hair to create the plaited bun and sewed the plaits to the pre-styled bun. For the tail part of the hairstyle i used a ponytale attachement which had a little bit of a curl. I plaited this and added it under the bun. It has some fly aways but i am not too worried about that! Perfection is a curse!

    I am now going to drft my sleeve 'wings' and will hopefully have my draft done by tomorrow afternoon sew I can start sewing it.

    I just bought some pleather for the belt. I wanted to get some leather but the party plans have to come first. I will redo the belt once i am finished and the party is over!

    After that i will finish my necklace and then .... hopefully i will have it complete for my party!!!!

    ....I think the force will kick my butt if I don't get it finished:)
  22. fairyprincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2007
    star 1
    Why hasn't anyone said how much one feels like an angel when wearing this?

    I finished it and have just tried it on and i am unbelievibly happy with it! I am just waiting on the on the belt pieces from a friend to drill holes in the centres (apparantly boys do not read minds!) and then my belt will be done!

    I am just waiting for the sealer to dry on my neaklace before I add the leafing! I am so happy I could cry!

    Well I have to wash it now so will be dry for tonight! My motor skills were very poor last night as i was sewing. You would think the whole glass to mouth move would be aced by now! Pepsi had better come out when i wash it!

    I will post pics with Ceremonial Luke at the party tonight....I had better start cooking!
  23. lavagrrrl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    Good luck getting the Pepsi out. I was able to get blood out of my dress after my leg gave out at a parade (multiple times) and I managed to scrap up my knee. :oops:
  24. Neimhaille Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2002
    star 3
    It's not so much that the paint never dries with spray paint it's the the polymer clay gets broken down by the propellant, with a tacky surface the paint never really has a chance to dry. The paint itself would be fine if it was a brush on as it is acrylic based. Enamel paints are just as bad if they use a petroleum based solvent.

    Here's a page with a lot of info even if it is a bit jumbled:
    http://glassattic.com/polymer/paints.htm

    I've bought some mica based powder (Pearlex) and it really gives a very good reflective surface. I haven't tried the silver but I suspect experimenting with brushing some into a mold, pushing the clay in and curing the lot in an oven might be one way to get a good metallic finish. Also there may be ways to paint with an acrylic silver and dust with the Pearlex/other mica based powder as it will adhere to wet paint.
    http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/faux_abalone.html
    You can also blend the powder with the clay which would help disguise a chip in the paint should one occur.


    I just wish I had access to all this when I was sculpting polymer dolls in the 90s ;)
  25. fairyprincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2007
    star 1
    I made my necklace from two packets of silver sculply. I sealed it with the sculply gloss sealer and then covered it with leather spray paint. It has not rubbed off and is not tacky. I will let you know in two weeks if it has changed at all!
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