Level 8:2 – Armor Damaged!

5 Jun

Eleanor Lamb screen shot

As most costumers would tell you, it’s not enough to have a good-looking suit, you have to wear it. I might take that a step further and say that it needs wear and tear to complete it. Thanks to the help of an amazing friend and her superb, sewing skills we had Eleanor Lamb‘s suit but it was up to us to give it a story.

The first step in removing the shine of our new suit  was a couple of rounds of tea staining. First, we soaked the suit in water and then put it into some fresh tea. We left it to soak for about 2 hours, swishing it around every half hour. The picture below is from our test strip and you’ll notice that not all of it is submerged. That’s why we rotated the suit around in the tea soak, we wanted it to look “patchy.”



Once it dried, we added the serial numbers. Check out the reference photo above, on the right side of her chest you can see some tiny, faded numbers. Hard to read aren’t they? It took us a long time but we finally found an action figure that has the numbers prominently displayed; 726. We decided to use spray on fabric paint which we tested prior to using it on the suit.

Daniel free-handed the numbers and then cut the stencil into some scrap foam we had lying around and we were set to spray our suit. We started by laying out a painting tarp and putting cardboard between the layers of the suit to prevent bleed through.

Suit prep for spray


Next, we positioned the stencil and proceeded to cover the rest of the suit in cardboard to prevent any wafting paint particles. Then, using long sweeping motions, I sprayed the paint across the stencil.

Numbers on Eleanor Lambs Suit

After the numbers dried, it was time to add the blood and the rust. First, the blood.

Eleanor Lamb Suit Blood EffectWe decided to use acrylic paint primarily a Venetian Red. Since we’re not dealing with fresh blood, we added some brown as well. First, I put down a layer of paint and then hit it with a spray bottle of water. I wanted to get the look of actual liquid running rather than trying to fake it with a paint brush. Interested in the nitty-gritties? Head on over to our Rust on Cloth Effect Tutorial.

Once I got the look I wanted, I went back in with deluded paint to make it more pronounced. I did the same thing with the smaller cut on the stomach and the arm.

The rust proved to be a bit trickier.

We did a little digging around for a tutorial but didn’t find a whole lot for rust of on clothing aside from rubbing the suit on a rusty piece of metal. So we decided to use chalk for the rust.

Here’s the nifty article we found about using chalk.

Using the same technique as the blood, I started working on the rust. Since copper oxidizes differently than, say iron, I decided to use green, yellow and brown instead of a typical red, orange and brown. Feeling encouraged by how well the blood effect went, I started working the chalk into the suit.

Eleanor Lamb's Suit Rust Eleanor Lamb Suit Rust Wet

The only thing I didn’t account for, is how dark the chalk is when it’s wet and how light green and yellow chalk are when dried. Imagine my frustration after spending hours hunched over on the floor only to find to find out the next day that it’s not nearly dark enough to be noticed. It was also very difficulty to get the coverage right. I would try to dry the chalk with a hair dryer before putting on the damp suit and then the helmet and having Daniel take pictures so that I could see where the lines needed to be adjusted. A mannequin would have so come in handy right about now.

Eleanor Lamb's Suit with Rust

It took about ten hours total to get the effect that I wanted but, in the end, it was worth it.

As I was working on the rust effect, I also noticed that there are faint brown lines around Eleanor Lamb’s waist and thighs. I assumed that these were markings from the leather shorts and leg wrappings that Big Sisters typically wear. So I used more brown chalk to suggest a faded line where the wet leather might have marked the white suit.

Last but not least, the final detail to Eleanor Lamb’s suit, the oil stains. For this, we used charcoal and a wet paint brush and tried to copy the smudges from the concept art and viola; a distressed suit!

And here’s our finished product in full production!

Photo by Geek Behind the Lens Photography

Photo by Geek Behind the Lens Photography

Thanks for following along! Hopefully, you found this helpful and maybe a little entertaining! — TCG


One Response to “Level 8:2 – Armor Damaged!”


  1. Level 3:5 – Recon and Advance | Co-Op Campaign - June 23, 2014

    […] that stylized blood would be more fun. I used the same Venetian Red acrylic paint that Sara used on Eleanor Lamb’s suit. Instead of painting it on using brush strokes, I globbed it on in patches to mimic splatter and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: