anvil

So, I needed a big heavy dwarven blacksmithing anvil. And of course, could not have afforded one even if one actually existed. This is the perfect kind of thing to go to the prop shop and make yourself. And for me, this is the fun part of film making, a real excuse to make something cool.

First I took some scrap 2×4 lumber and built the basic shape. Always try to break your props down into basic shapes first. Bulk up the basic shape and then go in and try to refine some details.

scrap wood basic shape

scrap wood basic shape

Some basic hand tools and a sander and I had a really good shape.

scrollsawed detail

scrollsawed detail

I added a scrollsawed detail piece and started to fill some gaps with putty. I believe I used auto body filler (Bondo).

first coats of paint

first coats of paint

Once the wood was shaped, and filled with putty and sanded, I began painting.

If there is one thing I want all of you to know after all these blog posts is how to paint stuff to look like rusty metal. So, let’s begin with this wooden anvil.

Paint it black, either spray or brush it on, while it is still wet sprinkle dirt, sand or sawdust on the surface. It should stick in the wet paint. This will help hide defects, will cover some of the wood grain, and will leave a rusty metal surface texture.

sawdust texture

sawdust texture

Add what you think you need. Some of it will brush off later.

rusty colors

rusty colors

Put several rusty metal colors on a palette, so they touch. I use green, reds, oranges and yellow. If they mix then you get bonus colors.

Dab it on wherever there would be rusty areas.

big splotches of paint

big splotches of paint

Notice I added more paint down in the cracks and recesses where rust would gather and not get touched by regular cleaning.

rust everywhere.

rust everywhere.

You will start off with heavy rust and lots of color and slowly work your way back up to metal.

Once this is kinda dry, I dab on some black paint lightly to cover some of the rust. Remember rust will gather down in crevices where the the person with a rag could not reach when they clean the anvil.

Slowly bring up the metal colors on the well worn areas, the clean areas. I drybrush with some black paint, I might try some black spray paint. Go light, small steps. You are just trying to cover some of the rust, but not all of it. If I touch or rub a certain part of the anvil, it will be usually rust-free, and could even be shiny metal.

Once the black is done, you could add some dark gray, then light gray if you wish on the highlights. You could even add metallic silver on the real high spots. Keep working up to shiny or back to rust as you feel it needs.

applause

applause

It can be really impressive when you are done. You can use this to make super rusty old metal, and shiny new metal. Same process.

anvil (10)

The props around it are real metal. The tongs and the hammer are real, with real rust.

anvil (11)

anvil (13)

Pretty cool huh? If you kept on adding grays and silver, you could make this anvil look new. The sawdust texture still helps, even on new metal.

Go ahead, make a mess, have some fun.

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3 responses to “anvil

  1. Fantastic work!!! That anvil is 100% believable for the real thing. APPLAUSE!

    Like

  2. My son is almost 9 and recently found blacksmith/forging work and has been using his wooden swords for play and a basket as his forge (!!!) complete with an opening for the iron to go in.
    But then he asked for an anvil, which I knew I wanted to make in wood which led me here!
    This is absolutely fantastic!
    I’m going to get him some 2×4’s and see what we come up with!
    I’m not really sure about measurements but I think we can make this work.
    He was super impressed at how real yours looked!
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad I could be of help. Thanks for stopping by the blog. There are plenty other fun things you can make while you are here. Thanks for taking the time to comment on the anvil.

      Like

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