Thursday, June 23, 2011

HoA: Table Progress (3)


So. The idea has been to pre-paint as much as possible before even cutting the lumber for the progress of the tables. While in some respects, this approach has stalled our momentum before it even started, and otherwise directed significant attention to pieces that may end up either on the floor or underneath more pressing details, the disposition stems largely from the lessons we learned creating the AdpetiCon tables back in March. Namely, early attention pays off in spades later.

Last time, we found that quite a few hard-to-reach places became bothersome, sloppy, and, indeed, quite irritating when we had to approach them after assembly. Moreover, every single cut of the saw pushed those details further and further from our control.

Resolved to sort finicky details before thy got on top of us, I tried a little experiment and pushed Winsor&Newton’s water colour Masking Fluid well beyond its intended parameters. First, I was absolutely not using appropriate water colors. I was (am) using house paint. This was a gamble, as the paint was likely to overpower the masking fluid and simply lock the intended detailing underneath my paint. At this early stage, I had nothing to lose with an experiment.

So I generously dabbed the fluid across the rusted areas on the one-by that I intended to have poking through.  I left that to dry and got straight to work one masking phase two.

I have also learned that painting yellow over black is a bit of a mare. I reversed the idea this time and stripped the pre-painted and textured yellow basement floor level with 1” masking tape across two tables (actually three now).  

When that was set, I blanched the one-by with a pale whitish-bluish color (left over from babyzilla –aka “the love blob”-’s room –not to be confused with boyzilla who is still at large), and blacked over my yellow efforts. This is always a rather tense moment as quite a lot can go wrong.

For example, the black and pale bluish both looked a bit too… I don’t know really, solid. So I textured each a bit with brown and some of the bluish color mixed into the black. I was working quickly to remedy an apparent problem and, admittedly, it looks quite horrible (and bright) here. 

I took a few deep breaths, reminded myself to have both patience and faith in the process, and then began to peel back the masking tape, as well as the Winsor&Newton. The tape came up fine and a touch of further weathering with the brown has pulled the whole this round quite nicely, if I may say so.

The masking fluid was a bit of a chore to pull up from underneath that house paint, but hard work builds character ...they tell me.

And so we have quite a lot of wall material and quite a lot of floor space that will, inevitably, be covered as they are both meant to represent some of the space belowhive in this mad caper. These final two photos from the day suggest how the wall and flooring might look -although there is some significant amount of weathering and of other detailing before we will call these finished and done.

As before, I would like to end this post with a few more photos from around the neighborhood, all which have helped get me thinking about how this monster could and should look.

This first section is all about the vivid hues of rust as well as the way in which a city can layer itself (even one as lamentably flat as Chicago –apart from the obvious skyscrapers). I intend to recreate, at least in some manner, the bridge, walkway, and stairs combination at several points on the table, as well as the grated flooring with glimpses of what rests below (still give me the geebies when I walk over those things). Finally, rusted stairs -vivid, inspiring, if not exactly comforting.

The second batch here stems from the contrast and layering of green paint and rust, which I hope to evoke in the “above ground” spaces in the hive. 

And finally, yet another bit of trivia and local lore. While searching for green and rust, I ambled once more past this notorious building about a mile from my own doorstep. Former owners of this site have claimed that on February 14 1929, the green frontage was a single garage that acted as the site of Al Capone’s St. Valentine’s Day massacre. Other, perhaps more reputable and/or accurate, sources claim that the original garage was demolished in 1967 and that the massacre took place in what is now the front steps of a nursing home… 

If the story is not true, it should be.


HOTpanda said...

Bloody spectacular. I hope when I attempt a simple 2x2 board that I can achieve only a fraction of the skill that you have shown us.

The Inner Geek said...

The tables are looking great! The rust is coming through nicely.

On the place with the green frontage. That event was less than 100 years ago. It's amazing what can be lost to time and how quickly!

Unknown said...

Really looking great can't wait to see the finished result!

Porky said...

You're something of a master at the hazard stripes now, and I'd hazard it's things like that attention to detail in the research and ability to learn from the past that's doing it. The reversal of the yellow and black is a simple thing for example, but important and not necessarily immediately obvious; success is built from dozens of small things like this. As ever, it's generous of you to share so much of it, the research pics too.

Kinsman said...

That table is going to be amazing, man! Thank you for showing us these steps, they're very insightful.

I can't wait to see the finished product!

Tristan M said...

I love using masking methods. I used the same W&N liquid mask for camo stripes on my Space Sharks sternguard.

Board looks spectacular - what did you use to pull up the liquid mask? Tape? Eraser?

Karitas said...

Yeah man, looking really good :)

Following on from Tristan's question, please say you used Blu-Tak, cos if you didnt, you maybe should.

It's what I use to lift masking fluid, even on canvases and it's never let me down.

Brian said...

@ Panda. I have no doubt that your 2x2 will be superlative.

@ The Inner G. It never ceases to amaze me -the sordid history of the area in which I live. Not just a half mile back toward my home from this place is the cinema (now a theatre) and alley where they shot Dillinger. Grim... but interesting.

@ Black Bob. Cheers.

@ Porky. you are too kind. Please know that your own name will be mentioned in a not-too-distant post for similar gestures of inspiration. Cheers, my good man. Cheers.

@ Sgt. Brisbane. Thank you very much.

@ Tristan and Karitas. I will confess that I initially used my hand to remove the masking... until I wore through my fingertips. Only then did I switch to a gummy artist's eraser (the kneadable kind) which, as you well know, works much better. There are still some points that want to peel and to surprise me, but for the most part this has worked brilliantly. Indeed, the still-peeling bits actually help create the effect. Funny that.

Cheers one and all for your support.

Draxius said...

Wow. These are really shaping up to be made of even more awesome then they already are!