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Fri Apr 5, 2013, 06:25 PM

How to make plastic figurines look UNplastic?

I’m making a diorama around a miniature castle I made out of real stones. The diorama features knights and a dragon. The figurines are very detailed and of high quality, but they’re plastic. Is there a way I can make them look less like plastic and more like ceramic or plaster of Paris? (I'd hate to ruin them.)

Here they are again, but I like this story better:

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Reply How to make plastic figurines look UNplastic? (Original post)
frogmarch Apr 2013 OP
pipi_k Apr 2013 #1
frogmarch Apr 2013 #2
siligut Apr 2013 #3
frogmarch Apr 2013 #4

Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:09 PM

1. What I would do

to make them look less plastic

I've done some ceramics painting using a dry brush method. It tends to leave minor flaws or streaks and uneven areas. Plus, there's no shine.

So what I would do to the figurines would be maybe stipple/dry brush them a bit with some light gray water based craft paints in selected spots... not all over.

Then see if I can find a clear, gloss-free protective spray paint to remove the shine.

You might want to try this on the bottom of the figurine to see how it would look before doing the entire thing.

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Response to pipi_k (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:16 PM

2. Thank you! I'll try it.

I hadn't thought of dry-brushing or stippling them. It sounds as if it'll work, but before I do it I will test it on the bottom of one first.

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Sun Apr 21, 2013, 09:19 AM

3. Fun project, don't know where you are in it but want to add ideas

The figurines are good, but the colors are too pure, as pipi suggested, stippling will help that. Also, sand off any seams, the only one I can see is on the dragon's tail.

May I also suggest that you paint the dragon's wings black or just to match the rest of him. I know the colorization is of a famous dragon, but somehow it misses on this one.

Be sure to post a picture of the finished project, I just love your dioramas.

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Response to siligut (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 21, 2013, 10:26 AM

4. Thank you!

Excellent tips! I hadn't thought of trying to hide the seams because I figured it would do no good to try, but careful sanding will probably do the trick. Also, yes, I agree that the dragon's wings could do with a makeover. Thanks!

I've been bogged down with a pond on another diorama (it takes forever for fake water to dry), so I haven't worked on fixing the knights and dragon yet. However, I did use dry-brush stippling on shiny areas on the rock wall on the pond diorama, and the stippling removed the shine perfectly!

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