Gapoxio

Gapoxio clay allows the base of paper mache to have a more metalic looking finish.

NOTE: While this clay is great stuff for small sculpts, adding details and filling in gaps,
I no longer recommend it for use over entire large pieces such as the hip armor and chest armor.
It is simply too heavy to wear and not durabe enough to withstand - well... trips to London in a suitcase for one.

Original Costume Created by Weta for the Elves at Helm's Deep in Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers My recreation of the costume using Paper Mache and Gapoxio for the armor.
 

To purchase Gapoxio, go to the link below

GAPOXIO(TM) EPOXY / CERAMIC COMPOSITE

Here is the basic process I use.

First gather your supplies

Paper Mache base (see tutorial on making templates and building up a base)
Reference materials: pix, drawings, doll etc. (see suggestions on how to gather)
Gapoxio Clay (about 1/2 inch of each epoxy per 16 square inches of surface area. Each bar comes in 8 inches of clay)
Clay tools: rolling pin, knife, point, wood sculpter etc.
Craft toos: Scissors, pen, tape, dish for water, latex gloves
Wax Paper
Smooth surface (I used cookie sheet)

 

Make sure your paper mache base (or whatever you use for a base) is well formed and hardened. If not, you may need to use a LOT more clay. (A tutorial for basic base building soon to come) Cut equal ammounts of clay and kneed together until the color is uniform. Above I gave an estimate of how much clay is needed to cover a surface... best to over guess when you first try it. Tape the wax paper down to the smooth surface and roll out the clay as evenly as possible to a 1/8 - 1/16th thickness in the shape of your paper mache. You don't have to do this, but it does help to evenly and smoothly distribute the clay over your surface

 

Drape the clay as flat as possible over the base. Press to adhere to base and remove the air bubbles Smooth with gloved hand and water.

The Epoxy reaction begins to solidify in about an hour.
It is possible to work a bit with the clay after that,
but it will start to crumble before it dries if you mess with it too much.
So, depending on your time and how much design you have to do,
either wait for it to dry completely (3+ hours) or sculpt the designs right away.
(Obviously, if the design needs to be carved, you have to do that while it's wet!)

Allow to dry completely, at least over night before you sand it.
If you did a fairly good job with smoothing it while wet, you can skip sanding or start at 220 and go to 800 wet sand.
But if there are scratches or dents, you can go back over them with gapoxio or sand them out with 80, and 150 first.

Paint. A tutorial on painting and aging is soon to come...

Other pieces made with this method:

Shoulder Bell Original and Gapoxio Chest Armor original and Gapoxio


A great big huge thanks to Arturo/
Seeker from The Dented Helmet Forum for hounding me until I bought this stuff...
When you're right, you're right, my friend. This stuff rocks!