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.
Some basic hand tools and a sander and I had a really good shape.
I added a scrollsawed detail piece and started to fill some gaps with putty. I believe I used auto body filler (Bondo).
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.
Add what you think you need. Some of it will brush off later.
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.
Notice I added more paint down in the cracks and recesses where rust would gather and not get touched by regular cleaning.
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.
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.
The props around it are real metal. The tongs and the hammer are real, with real rust.
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.