Monday, December 26, 2011

It surrounds us, penetrates us and binds the galaxy together...

The last of my Star Wars projects went smoothly, quickly and were a real joy to do.  While I've spread the story out a bit, the process went much more quickly!
The poster from "Return of The Jedi" was relatively easy, especially with the new airbrush!
I began by making vectored shapes over the hands and lightsabre (an interesting bit of information is that I have heard that it was George Lucas' own hands holding the device that were used as reference for the image/poster!). Here is a scan of the original poster:

I've also mentioned from time to time that changes occur during the process of a build that improve the piece.  George Lucas does this himself.  The original title for the 3rd film (or number 6 if you like) was "Revenge Of The Jedi". Before the release, George decided that jedi were above revenge and he changed the title to reflect that.

The "logo" at the top was not as clear as I would like, so I was able to locate a vectored version of the logo already built and included that in my vectored version. This would give my carving much more crisp lettering.
Using the new technique, I combined it with the original image in the carving program and the carving came quick!
On to prime and paint!

The filmstrip was really where I decided to have some fun!  I had been thinking that I wanted to do a piece that hade more "dimension" and would be related to all the films in some way.  What I came up with was a filmstrip with 3 panels. Each panel would have a different frame.  I decided to skip the "20th Century Fox" logo and go directly to the "Lucasfilm ltd." logo for the first frame. The next frame would be one that was all too familiar to fans, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away". Last was, of course, the Star Wars logo. I began with an illustration of a filmstrip:

I then prepared the design, even taking the time to do my best to match the font used in the "A long time ago" panel. The "frames" would be inset into the filmstrip...
Once carved from Azek pvc, the real fun began!  I enlisted the help of my local Azek distributor, Todd Farden from Parksite.  Together we talked a bit about the amazing properties of the product as we watched it heat up on my grill. I mentioned that eventually I'd need a better method to heat my Azek!  Once it was the right temperature, we took the piece and wrapped it between 2 4" pvc pipes to create the loose "S" shaped bend.  While Todd held it, I bent one corner out a bit for an additional bit of flair- and poured cold water over it to 'set' it and lock it in shape.
The piece then got some textured prime (although not much texture on the frames as I wanted them a bit smooth).  Then it was time for paint. The real fun on this was to try to match the blue on the text and the yellow on the logo...but I really wanted to nail the 'Lucasfilm' logo.  That logo often has a green "glow" and individual points of light that animate around the logo.  This is where the airbrush was invaluable.  I was able to mix some of my "Modern Master's" metallics and arrive at some colors that I felt worked. I was very pleased with the result! The photo makes it look a bit more yellow...

  Last, I whipped up a couple of other Star Wars logos and primed and painted them in the last couple of hours.  Normally, I'd like to let all this sit and cure for awhile...but I didn't have that luxury!  They all were given time under some indirect heat and a fan to attempt to cure them as much as possible as they were later wrapped, packed and sent overnight to Texas! They all made it with no damage!

6 pieces in 3 days! It was a challenge I set for myself and I was really happy to have made it happen. A little sleep was in order and then it was time to head to the next adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding work Doug. I'm soooo jealous! LOL I love Star Wars! Were the last two pieces table tops or just extra decoration for the walls?
    In regards to bending the mention a grill. Are you heating this on a BBQ grill?
    Keep Creative!