Phoenix ComicCon took up most of my weekend. Here I am with my friend Paul, who was the hit of the con in his screen used 47 Ronin armor!

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I upgraded by boots to the more accurate LeatherNext replicas and was able to find the screen-correct straps and buckles. The jacket and pants are also from LeatherNext but I still have to attach the screen cast elbow pads. The knee pads held up great and were very comfortable.

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I got a photo with Judge Dredd hisself Karl Urban! He was very complementary about my uniform but all I can see is that there’s not enough dirt on it!

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On Sunday, I applied a dark green base coat to the dragon egg. I painted from the top so that the black resin under the scales stayed black, building an artificial shadow. Much painting still to do on it.

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I will be farming out the casting of the Dothraki sword gem (YAY!) so I have to build the master. Starting with a 1/4” thick piece of basswood, I drew out the profile using my rudimentary maths skillz.

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After trimming out the shape on the scroll saw, I shaped the bevels on the belt sander. I sealed the wood with shellac and started the long sanding/polishing process. This next weekend, I’ll duplicate this master with a silicone waste mold so I can send off resin copies for the production mold.

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A few weeks ago, I was sent a sample of Barge cement to try out. It worked great on my Judge knee pads but I wanted to see how it worked on other materials.

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I assembled samples of my most commonly used materials and applied a coat of Barge to one side of each. Like other contact cement, you let it dry and them press the two glued sides together.

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Here are the results of my admittedly unscientifical experimentation, assembled in a handy chart for your convenience. To clarify, “Easy Removal” means that it was staying on but the prices could be peeled apart. This can be handy if you just need to temporarily tack two pieces together. “Difficult Removal” took some work to pry the parts apart and “Permanent” usually resulted in one piece tearing.

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UPDATE: I received addition information from Kevin at Barge Adhesive:

“For the materials you trialed in the chart, I think you would be able to push many of the difficult removal into permanent by applying pressure and extending the drying time (a few pounds of weight over 24 hrs).

Pressure over time will help almost any bond. I try to stay away from recommending going for a 24 hour dry time under pressure because it is only necessary some of the time, but it is really the best way to get a better bond. In shoe repair (which is really a very demanding application) they almost always use a 24 hour period in a press – but that is for a permanent bond on an item you wear every day that is constantly flexing and shearing.

Another tip that can help bonding quite a bit is to clean the surface of the material with a little acetone on a rag after lightly buffing and brushing off the buffing dust. This removes any oils on the surface and agitates the surface of the substrate (almost like a light chemical buff). I also usually only recommend this is if someone is consistently having difficulty with a substrate I am confident we can bond (some rubbers and urethanes have a tendency to develop surface oils from processing agents).

For those items where you experienced absolutely no hold, I don’t think more time or cleaning will really make an appreciable difference.”

Granted, I was in testing mode so the glued samples only had 5 or 10 minutes to cure after I applied hand pressure for one minute. So definitely take my results as a minimum hold strength!

Working with the nice folks at Barge, I am running a little giveaway! If you’d like to try out Barge for yourself, you can win one of 10 sample tubes. Just email your entry using my contact form with “Barge” in the subject line and your mailing address in the message. Sorry, this is for US residents only. I will draw 10 winners at random and announce the results on next week’s blog post. Good luck!

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