Hey Guys! This is a short series of tutorials for people who have purchased (or just want to know more!) my “Ahsoka” Adult Togruta Lekku Headpiece! There are three main options for the headpiece:
- Unassembled “Do-It-Yourself” Kit
- Assembled but Unpainted
- Fully Painted
If you purchased yours unassembled, head back to #1 to learn about assembling! If you purchased it already assembled, but need to learn how to paint it, this is the right place for you! And if you purchased it already painted, head on over to #3 & #4 to learn about wearing and caring for your new headpiece!
Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy!
First things first, some definitions.
- This is the top with the horns where your head will go. It is made of a stiffer foam to help it keep its shape.
- The two identical tendrils that will go by the sides of your head and fall forward on your chest.
- Rear Lekku
- The larger tendril that goes along your back.
1. Tools & Supplies Needed
The materials you need will be:
- Liquitex (High quality acrylic paint)
- Bodypaint (Alcohol Based preferred)
- Liquid Latex or Plastidip
- Paintbrushes of Varying Sizes / Shapes
- Baby Powder / Talc powder
2. Reinforcing High Stress Areas
Use liquid latex or plastidip to protect key areas. For all togruta, I recommend reinforcing around the face, just because that tends to be one of the most worn areas.
For Ahsoka, you shouldn’t have any additional problem areas, but if you’re doing an original character keep in mind that anything that is armored, leather, or rough in any way that will rub against the foam repeatedly stands a good chance of tearing the foam after only one or two wears. If you know, for instance, your back piece is rough, use a couple of thin layers of liquid latex or plastidip to protect the underside area of that lekku.
You can do this after painting, but if you know going in, might as well do it first.
3. Choosing Your Paints
One of the biggest decisions to make is what you will paint the headpiece with. The material I make the headpiece from is a type of extremely flexible casting foam. It has the benefit of being flexible enough to move, wiggle and sway just like Ahsoka’s appear to during Star Wars: Rebels, which is a big part of why I chose it.
The downside is that it’s more flexible than most paints! So only certain paints will work. Each has their own pros & cons. Here’s some of the options.
Bodypaints are made to go on skin, so they are super flexible and don’t crack. There are plenty of colors and choices to work with. The downside is that bodypaint is designed to be temporary. It does last longer on props like the headpiece than it does on skin, but it does still wear off over time. The other downside is that many bodypaints are translucent, which makes touchups difficult. It is not my preferred method. But it is an option!
My preferred method is Liquitex! It’s a high quality acrylic paint that’s very popular for canvas painting, and is sold in most craft stores. There are hundreds of colors to choose from, and it’s more durable than bodypaints are. You will still need to occasionally touch up the paint, but it’s much easier to do because liquitex is so opaque.
- Lay down a base coat of your lightest color.
- For most people this is the white layer.
- (If you lay down a dark color, such as grey or black, it will require double the amount of lighter paint to have even coverage. In turn, this will lead to thicker coats on your headpiece and an increased chance of cracking, flaking, and general ugliness.)
- Decide on a pattern and draw it out.
- I recommend using a color that is only a shade darker than your base layer. That way you can still see it but if you make any mistakes it’s very easy to go over it with your base color. Of course you can always eyeball it if you’re feeling brave! 🙂
- Continue from lightest color → darkest color.
- I recommend that you do both sides at the same time. For example, do a design on one lekku then immediately do that design on the other. If you do one complete side then go to do the other, chances are you’ll have forgotten a bit of what you did on the first side and it will look less uniform.
- Seal with a LOT of your powder.
- Seriously. Douse your masterpiece in baby powder/talc powder and then give it a solid two days or so to completely dry. Touching her before she’s dry may result in you pulling chunks of the paint off.
Painting a headpiece can take a while. For most of my paint jobs I take anywhere from 3 to 8 hours! Don’t rush it because you really can’t keep repainting her — take your time and always ask any questions if you’re unsure of yourself. I’m always available by email or by Facebook message!
Next we’ll be covering the best part! How to prep it to actually be worn! Don’t worry, only a couple small steps left, like making room inside for your head, and attaching a crown!