Black Widow – Assembly
Hi everyone! Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or Magic Winter Solstice, or if none of these fit at least have a hot or cold beverage to cheer you up.
I have mostly finished all the metal work on my Spy Lady, except for the silver chain around her hips. I haven’t yet decided if I want to do that now or after I spray her body suit black. What follows are a few photos of her while I was soldering her gun and hair.
You can see that the heat and flux from soldering oxidize the metal and make it all dirty. I can usually put the figure into a weak acid bath (also known as ‘pickle’) which will remove the flux and some of the oxides, but in this case I don’t want to do this, yet. I’ve cast my Spy Lady’s hair from a white or silver colored bronze. This metal has the property that if I put it in the pickle for a while it raises the copper in the metal to the surface. This means that the metal gets a light layer of copper on top. When polished, my Spy Lady’s hair will turn a light red or copper color.
Mostly, I use my Dremel tool to polish the metal. 3M makes some flexible disks with embedded grits that can be put on a shaft and used like sandpaper. Unfortunately, with metal casting I don’t know how to fix every flaw in the surface such as little pits from casting porosity. I can sometimes fill holes with solder and file and sand the metal smooth, but in general I don’t try to get my bronze casts as good as a resin model. It’s just not feasible. I think with time I do get better at creating more perfect works, probably just like any modelling.
One last thing I need is a wall for my Spy Lady to lean on. I was going to create a brick wall from red granite but it was a bit of a pain to cut the stone to do this. So, instead I decided to put a wrought iron fence or grill on top of a slice of stone. And then I said to myself, why not just cast a bronze fence and dispense with the stone all together? So, I found a pattern for a fence and put it on an appropriate piece of carving wax.
After cutting out the pattern I now have a wax model of the fence I will use. All I need to do now is put it in a flask and cast it!
This is it for now. In my next post in a week or so I should have a black resin enamel painted on her costume and my fence cast and this bronze figurine finished.
Until later …
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