Hello, if you have purchased one of our Loki headpiece kits (or are thinking about it), this is a short walk-through on how to assemble it. You will only need a few things:
- Two 1/2in screws (preferably pan head)
- Hand Drill
- 5 minute epoxy
- Sandpaper/files/hobby knife
- Epoxy putty (optional)
- Gold spray paint
- Black acrylic paint
- Matte finish spray paint
- 1/2in black elastic
- Thin craft foam (or similar padding)
- Low temp glue gun
- Soap & water or rubbing alcohol
Our kits are made from casting resin, which starts out as a two-part liquid. After being combined in the appropriate ratio and mixed, this liquid chemically hardens into a durable plastic. Depending on the brand of resin we have on hand when you order, your kits natural color could range from bright white, to a coffee with cream, to a grey or black. The color may be slightly mottled, or it may be multiple shades/colors. This is all normal, and should be no reason for concern. All resins have a bit of oily residue left over from the curing process, so before you begin working on your kit, please wash it with soapy water or rubbing alcohol and let it dry, and again before the painting process begins. This will insure you have a trouble-free time getting your Loki headpiece looking exactly how you want it!
Your kit will be in three pieces, the headband and the two horns. Before we do anything else, let’s get those horns attached! I suggest using 1/2in pan head screws and 3/32 drill bit. Just make sure that whatever screw/bit combination you go with has the diameter of the bit near the same size as the core of the screw. This way only the thread of the screw is biting into the resin, which prevents stress cracks.
Next, drill a hole through the center of the rings the horns will set into.
Now you will need to CAREFULLY hold the horn in the position you want it mounted in and mark it by putting the drill bit back through the hole and barely spinning it. I highly suggest you have someone help you with this, but it can be managed by one person.
Once you have your mark, drill approx 1/2in into the horn. This is your pilot hole.
Now do that for the other horn. Once the pilot holes have been drilled, you can start to put in the screws. At first just put the screw in far enough that you can see the point sticking out on the other end.
Now we are ready to bust out the 5 minute epoxy. I like buying it in the big bottles, but you can use the smaller, 2 chamber syringe style if you don’t have a use for copious amounts of epoxy.
Only do one horn at a time, and only mix up a small amount of epoxy. You do not want to get this stuff all over your kit, clothes or kitchen! I used a small disposable brush to apply the epoxy to the bottom of the horn, and the inset area on the head-piece. If you put too much on, it will seep out when you tighten the screw down and make a mess of your horns. Less is more!
Before the epoxy sets, you will need to tighten down the screw while making sure the horn is pointed in the right direction. I try to line up the top ridge of the headband with the point of the horn. Don’t over-tighten, as you can crack the resin! Just get it tight enough that it no longer moves, and is as close to the surface of the headband as possible.
Now just do the same for horn number two!
Before we move on to sanding, you need to decide how you want the base of your horns to look. You will notice some space around the inset and the base of the horns. you can choose to leave that gap or fill it in. Both options look great, so it comes down to personal taste (and time).
If you chose to fill it, I suggest using an epoxy putty like JB Kwik Wood, but you could use Milliput, Green Stuff, Apoxy Sculpt, Free Form Air, Elmers Damaged Wood System, etc.
If you have never used epoxy putty before, watch my video on it!
Once you have your horns attached, you will need to do some sanding. This is to remove any flashing (the left over resin from the casting process) and any small bumps. You can do this with just some sandpaper, but I like to use small files and hobby knifes as well. Make sure to get multiple grits of sand paper. You shouldn’t have to be removing large amounts of material, so start with something in between 150-240 grit (or a file). If there are any tiny bumps, carefully use the hobby knife to scrape them away. After you have sanded and scraped away the flashing, go back with a higher grit, either a 320 or 400, and sand out any roughness that the first pass left. If you want it even smoother than that you can go up to 600 grit and wet sand, but I don’t think that is necessary on this piece. Now remember the inner part of the headband has a leather texture, so unless you want to sand the whole thing smooth be careful while you are doing this.
On to paint! Before we start painting, make sure to wash off all the sanding dust, and let the piece dry. As a plastic, casting resin can be difficult to paint. I do not trust any paint that says it is “Paint & Primer”. You are always better off using a good automotive primer. I prefer the Bondo Easy Finish black primer, but any automotive primer will work. For the Gold, you can really use any brand you like. We use Design Master Colortool 731 Brilliant Gold. Design Master is a florist spray paint you can find at most craft stores.
If you want a bright metallic gold, I suggest Montana Gold Acrylic spray paint, Goldchrome. It’s kinda expensive ($10 a can) and can usually only be found at fine art stores (although some Ace hardware’s by me carry it). Make sure to read the instructions, this paint needs to be shaken for 3-5 minutes before you spray!
When your gold paint is good and dry, you can move on to weathering, but if you want a pristine piece, skip this step. One way we weather props is with inexpensive acrylic paint, using a process of adding and wiping. Adam Savage has an excellent video demonstrating this technique, but the basic idea is you brush on a lot of paint, then quickly wipe it off. It will naturally begin to build up in the nooks and crannies of the headpiece, and with acrylic being water based, its fairly easy to clean up. On the other hand, to keep from messing up parts you like, I will spray protective coats of Krylon Matte Finish 1311 between passes. This seals in the work you have already done, and it is very fast drying.
You don’t need to go to crazy with the weathering, just enough to give the headpiece that real world feel.
If you want more control over how the paint goes on, you can use a process called drybrushing, but I don’t have the time here to completely cover that technique.
You are now in the final stretch! The only thing left to do is strap and pad. A simple elastic band, hot glued to the headband is how we make this wearable. Be sure to sand off any paint where you will be gluing, otherwise you will have adhesion problems. You can sew small tabs of non-stretching nylon strapping on the ends of the elastic for added support, but we have not found it necessary for this project. For the padding, we use craft foam. It’s as simple as that.
I hope that covers everything! If you have any questions feel free to ask here, or through Etsy if you have purchased one of our kits. Thanks!